Back in 2007 Led Zeppelin reunited for a one off show in London. They filmed it with 14 cameras and the result, Celebration Day, has just been released to the big screen with a DVD and Blu-ray coming out for Christmas season. From all reports it's an excellent concert film.
Friends of mine who've seen it say that the band sounded tight. People in the theater were applauding after songs. Apparently it's that good.
After that show in 2007 the rumor mill began. Will the band reform and stage a world tour? The answer, of course, was no. Robert Plant had settled into a new musical life with American roots musicians. He and Alison Krauss had released the wonderul Raising Sand album. Incidentally the two of them first met at a Rock Hall American Masters series for Lead Belly in 2004 here in Cleveland. He's also been working with Buddy and Julie Miller, Patty Griffin and others. Why would Plant want to revisit his past, especially when it was not all a bed of roses?
Yes, there's the money a reunion tour would bring in, but is it worth it? Check this theory out as to why Plant won't reform Led Zeppelin. I haven't researched or fact checked it so I'll state right up front that this is just two people theorizing after seeing Celebration Day last week.
From a message board:
On the never going to happen Zeppelin reunion-- the post-movie discussion that (name withheld) & I had about it prompted her to do further research. Check this out. I'm sure a lot of you Led-heads are well aware of the Plant family's car accident in Greece and how the death of Robert's son, Karac, nearly broke up the lead balloon in the late 70's, but did you know that Karac died within 2 hours of Plant being informed by phone while he was on tour with the band in New Orleans? Just imagine the "cat's in cradle" guilt that this tragedy dumped on him and then it got worse.
So, Plant has a funeral for her son, and the only band member who shows up was Bonham. The story goes that Page deep into his heroin addiction and supposedly Jones was helping him through it. Plant was so pissed and so done with Zeppelin that he actually applied for a teaching credential and was accepted, and was planning to start an entirely new career but Bonham begged him back into the band so they go on tour again, then Bonham dies at Page's home some time later. We all know that he choked on his vomit and all, but Page swore at the inquest that he laid Bonham on his side.
Now I'm not going to go any further with my conjecture, but I think it's worth noting that (besides the horrible Live Aid performance) the only time that Plant agrees to 3/4 reunion is on the occasion of another loved one's death. Now we're not rock gods, and we're not Robert Plant, but you tell me-- your son dies, and your best friends don't show up, and you can easily blame that on drug abuse. Then you lose your best friend while he's staying at your drug-addicted buddy's home. I think Plant has some very deep feelings about all of these things, and I think the main reason he finally agreed to one last jam was simply a vengeful move to remind his bandmates of what they lost.
So I ask you, why would Plant want to go back to that time? I stood next to Plant at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass last year as he watched Buddy Miller and Patty Griffin perform before he eventually joined them on the Rooster Stage. He was having a wonderful time with these dedicated musicians. I'd have to think that it'd be better than hanging out with Jimmy Page.
I've never liked Jimmy Page. I respect is guitar work but all that black magic and bad handling of heroin was a turn off. Nowadays he's the dinosaur who holds back Led Zeppelin from gaining new fans. It took a long time before the Zeppelin catalog made its way to iTunes and it's still not on Spotify. I heard a press interview with him on the release of Celebration Day where he chuckled about not buying the soundtrack on MP3. Yes Jimmy, we know there's better sounding formats but holding your material back to save us from inferior sound isn't doing you or us any favors. Maybe you should talk to Neil Young about a better strategy.