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The Return of Led Zeppelin


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The Return of Led Zeppelin

Behind the scenes at the rehearsals for the biggest show of the year -- plus talk of a tour.


Rolling Stone

Nov 28, 2007

On June 10th of this year, at 2:30 in the afternoon, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones met in a rehearsal space to play some songs. It was the first time they had been in the same room with instruments since their rough four-song set at Led Zeppelin's 1995 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This time, the stakes were higher: to see if they had the strength, empathy and appetite to truly perform as Led Zeppelin again, in their first full concert since the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980.

The location of the rehearsal, somewhere in England, is still a zealously guarded secret. In interviews a few weeks before Led Zeppelin's December 10th show at London's 02 arena a benefit tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, the co-founder of Atlantic Records Page, Plant and Jones claim they can't remember the date, what they played or even how the idea of reuniting in honor of Ertegun, a close friend and mentor during and after the band's years on the label, came up. They all agree that playing together again, after so long, was a momentous, emotional occasion.

"It was immediate," Page says brightly, sporting a small splint on his left pinkie, the result of a fracture suffered in a fall at home that forced a pause in rehearsals and the rescheduling of the concert, originally set for November 26th. "Everybody went in with a will to work and to enjoy it. It was a delight."

Plant recalls "a lot of big smiles," wearing one himself. The day was "cathartic and therapeutic. No pressure, no weight." Jones claims he "didn't have any doubts. Someone picked a song. We got through it. And it rocked."

But Bonham's son, Jason, can tell you the exact date and hour Led Zeppelin became a band again, because he was there, taking over for his dad. "They might not know what time it was," he says of the other three, "but I know." For him, it was "a real lump in the throat."

"I didn't think there would be an instant sound," says Jason, 41, currently a member of Foreigner and now a father of two himself. "I thought, 'It's going to take some time.' " He was wrong. The band went right into the slow, dark fury of "No Quarter," from 1973's Houses of the Holy. "When the riff came in, there was this look that went around. It was brilliant." Next, the four hit the desert-caravan march of "Kashmir," from 1975's Physical Graffiti. "Then we stopped. Jimmy said, 'Can you give me a hug?' And Robert shouted, 'Yeah, sons of thunder!' "

Finally, at the end of that day, Jason says, "They said, 'When we get together next . . .' " He laughs. "I thought, 'You mean I get another chance at this?' "

Excerpt From Issue 1041

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I bet they were in Bath, England. A few years back I was there at this kind of B&B place and saw Plant in the parking lot. Apparently there was a little studio of sorts next door. He kind of gave me that, "Oh ****, he knows who I am" look. Never been a big fan of the group actually and he was always the main reason!:P But that town apparently has been a place they have gotten together over the years. Pretty out of the way spot.

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ukfalc (12/7/2007)
... just wait for the 2008 world tour.

That was rumored and a possibility however, Plant and Page both stated they would not tour with a replacement drummer other than Bonzo's son Jason.

The problem arises there in the fact Jason is under contract with the band Foreignor; who has put recording a new album on hold and their upcoming tour was delayed due to his rehearsals for this show.

IF in the event all contractual obligations could be worked out, you could probably expect to see Zepplin in the US one last time.

Sources across the big pond have said the offer made was $250,000,000.00 per member

Unlike members of Pink Floyd, I don't think they are stupid enough to turn down a BILLION dollars for a US tour.

With that kind of revenue on the table it is possible they will tour in late '08 or early '09.

Even though they are old as ****, I would welcome the event in the fact these old Senior Citizen heavy metal rockers would show the world just how UN-TALENTED todays wanna-be's actually are.

EDIT: Rumor Confirmed today.

Led Zeppelin reunion: 'We had to keep it in the family'

Robert Plant stresses the Bonham connection

5 hours ago

Led Zeppelin have explained how important it was to keep their reformation within the band "family" ahead of Monday's (December 10) reunion show.

The band will reunited at the O2 Arena in London with Jason Bonham on the drums, replacing his father John, who died in 1980, leading to the band's initial split.

Now frontman Robert Plant has explained how the band would not have reunited if it wasn't for the family connection with their new drummer.

"I've know the Bonham family since I was 15 and I know Pat, John's widow. I've know Jason since he was born," he told The Sun's Something For The Weekend.

"I've spent so much time talking to Jason over the years. He's such a good guy and I've got very close," he added. "Jason's such a great drummer and he's now in his reformation character."

Meanwhile ahead of the band's gig at the O2 Arena on December 10 we want you to vote for what you think is their best song.

All you have to do is head to our Led Zeppelin song vote now and give each track a score out of ten.

We will then count up all the scores and bring you the ultimate Led Zeppelin setlist according to your votes ahead of next Monday's gig.

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golden goose (12/7/2007)
It has been rumored that they will be playing the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in Tennessee this year along with Metallica.


If anyone hears of a definite confirmation please post it here.

Really? I had not heard this. I went last year and Jon Paul Jones was there playing Zeppelin songs with Ben Harper, etc. It was unreal!

I can't imagine how crowded Bonnarroo will be next year if this is true.

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Ton80Kid (12/6/2007)
Great...the tour can be sponsored by Cialis and Depends...;)

I agree totally. My whole life, i wanted to see Led Zepplelin, almost like they were gods. My friend did also, well when Plant and Page came to town, it basically was Led Zeppelin. We got to see them, it was also the last show on the tour. It was one of the worst concerts that I have seen. Literally 2 old geezers on stage. Either it was a bad night, or they were tired, but I and my friend were not impressed. Was more a tease, thinking it was going to be so great then it wasn't :( IMO sorry if it offends. ;)

Also I'm not knocking them because their old, I have seen the Stones twice and their concerts were awsome. There was just no energy and it was flat with Plant and page. ;)

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golden goose (12/7/2007)
It has been rumored that they will be playing the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in Tennessee this year along with Metallica.


If anyone hears of a definite confirmation please post it here.

Nope, just a rumor. Doubtfull Metallica will be there either.

Bonnaroo festival deny Led Zeppelin rumours

Organisers say Metallica claims are wide of the mark too


05.Dec.07 10:13am

Led Zeppelin will not headline the Bonnaroo Festival 2008, despite internet reports.

Rumours that Metallica were also set to play have been denied too.

In a statement to Billboard, organisers Superfly Presents and AC Entertainment explained: "The rumours that are out there about the Bonnaroo 2008 headliners are inaccurate.

"We're very excited about the line-up that we're putting together for this year's festival. We'll be announcing the confirmed line-up toward the end of January/beginning of February."

The source of the Led Zeppelin/Metallica rumor was an anonymous email included last week in industry commentator Bob Lefsetz's newsletter.


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