Showing posts with label Reunion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reunion. Show all posts

Friday, April 25, 2014

Well, that settles it. No Led Zeppelin reunion, and that's all anyone ever cared about

Isn't it interesting that nearly all of the Led Zeppelin news coverage anywhere on Thursday was centered on Robert Plant's declaration that there was "zero" chance of another Led Zeppelin reunion? In case you missed it, that's what he told the BBC in the very last second of a six-minute chat aired on BBC radio Wednesday morning and was available online for listening all over the world.

It's what he said in the very last second, the "zero" chance comment, that stole the headlines. Because there's always been an interest in a Led Zeppelin reunion, no matter when the last one was, or how discouragingly bad the last one was, or how astonishingly good the last one was. But Robert's closed the door.

Jimmy admitted, in his separate interview, also broadcast April 23, that he's more surprised than anyone there's not been a reunion. Furthermore, he's not the one to ask about a Led Zeppelin reunion. He's only the guitar player. He's not the singer. You should ask the singer. And so they did, and the singer said no. It was an outright no. And as Brian Gardiner astutely observed on his site, this is exactly what he could have said a long time ago and saved us all some agony.

I'm feeling really badly for Jimmy now. I think he put a whole lotta stock in the inevitability that Robert would change his mind once again. It's possible Jimmy didn't want to get any kind of a studio or live project going again unless Robert was going to be the frontman. Luckily, John Paul Jones doesn't feel that way, and we've gotten Them Crooked Vultures, Seasick Steve, Minibus Pimps, I won't repeat myself...

What was really cool is the fact that neither of the two Led Zeppelin bonus tracks premiered by the BBC at the same time was anything ardent fans have ever heard before. (Correct me if I'm wrong!) Jimmy truly dug into boxes of tapes, and took two years doing it, to arrive at the best stuff there is. And so far, this is stuff that never leaked to the masses.

We've now heard a minute's worth of the Led Zeppelin III outtake "Key to the Highway" (none of the "Trouble in Mind" portion expected later) and learned it was recorded 30 minutes after "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper." It features Robert Plant singing through the same reverberating filter also heard on another studio outtake already distributed and well known among bootleg collectors. But it's a totally different melody, and the chord progression features a nice two-five turnaround seldom heard in the blues.

Representing Led Zeppelin II's bonus disc is a rough mix of "Whole Lotta Love" with an alternate vocal. This is nothing that came out with the multitracks when they leaked online in February 2012. Hmm, just over two years ago, which we can now surmise is when Jimmy started working on this remasters-plus-bonus project taking advantage of technological advancements of the past two decades since the first remastered Led Zeppelin CDs ...

And this is all in addition to the sweet first track of the live CD accompanying the Led Zeppelin remaster, which we can stream on Spotify now whenever we want.

Also, it was fun hearing Robert admit he was imitating the stylings of Steve Marriott on "Whole Lotta Love." Isn't it funny how Jimmy wanted Steve Marriott as the singer and instead got a Steve Marriott imitator? Not that Robert was a Steve Marriott imitator all the time. He says he was this for one three-minute song, then onto something else entirely different for another. Great point!

It sure would be nice hearing from John Paul Jones on these matters. I wonder why not.

Anyway, now that Robert closed the door to any future Led Zeppelin reunions, what impact will that make on whether Jimmy picks up a guitar again, in his 70s, and goes out there with somebody else?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Led Zeppelin field questions at New York press conference

Led Zeppelin's three surviving original members gathered for a question-and-answer session in New York today, promoting their concert film "Celebration Day."

The film, which captures their 2007 reunion concert as Led Zeppelin, is set to be released in theaters for a limited time next week before Blu-Ray, DVD and CD editions are released in stores in November.

During the press conference, Jimmy Page said part of the reason they decided to go forward with their reunion concert at London's O2 arena was because they hoped to overshadow previous reunion concerts that hadn't gone as well as planned.

"We just really wanted to get it right and go out there to play to people who maybe never heard us, who had heard about this reputation and what we were about, and basically go out there, stand up and be counted for what we were," said Page.

John Paul Jones spoke about the chemistry the band felt instantly upon rehearsing again for the first time in all those years. "The feeling was there," he said. "It clicks again. You don't have to work at it."

Referencing a Funkadelic song, Jones added, "Once the fingers got going again, the brains followed, as did our asses."

Robert Plant praised the efforts of drummer Jason Bonham, who filled in for his late father on drums. "I think we were really propelled by Jason and his enthusiasm," Plant commented.

Plant dismissed the possibility of Led Zeppelin playing live again in the future, even though he heralded their collective performance in 2007. "I think that night back then, we were just hanging on for dear life, watching each other," he said.

"We were so happy that we were actually getting it right and really enjoying it and taking it beyond what we thought we were about that night. There were moments in it where we just took off and pushed off into some place. The responsibility of doing that four nights a week, for the rest of time, is a different thing."

Jones expressed similar comments about the feeling onstage. "There was an immediate feeling of relief, of course, that we actually got through it and did well," he said.

Page argued the possibility of any further Led Zeppelin reunion has decreased because so many years have passed since their gig. "At this time four years ago, we'd have been rehearsing to get to the O2," Page said.

"In December, it'll be five years since the O2, and so that's a number of years have passed in between, so it seems unlikely if there wasn't a whisper or a hint that we would do -- get together to do something or other, even two years ago or whatever, seems pretty unlikely, doesn't it?"

Carol Miller, host of the syndicated radio show "Carol Miller's Get the Led Out," and producer Denny Somach, were among those who attended today's press conference. Photos provided by Denny Somach.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Robert Plant unsure of Led Zeppelin reunion odds; singer tells BBC, 'I don't bet'

By Brian Gardiner

Robert Plant spent an hour sitting in with Chris Evans on the "Chris Evans Breakfast Show" on BBC Radio this morning. The singer is in London between legs of his American tour -- a schedule that is dictated by the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. You have to "plan your career, set our priorities right," Plant quipped.

Led Zeppelin was, Plant also offered, a lot like the Wolves: really good some nights, really bad others.

In good spirits, Plant even pontificated on that question he hates answering. The Led Zeppelin reunion:
"All those big guys saw it as being the next big roll out. Led Zeppelin was worth far more than that ... it was great to do it once properly."
And then, unprompted, he went further:
"What happens in the future really is based on kinship, camaraderie. Whether or not there's life in the old beast."
If you're a betting man? Evans asked. "I don't bet," Plant answered.

Evans also asked Plant to pick the better guitarist: Jimmy Page or David Gilmour?
"Listen to Pagey. Jimbob. He's wild. He's brilliant."
It was, no contest, Plant said. He also suggested he talked to Jimmy Page yesterday, and would see him again Wednesday.

He has been accused recently of not getting along with the other members of Led Zeppelin, so it's good to hear he's on terms with Jimmy Page, even if they won't be working together soon.

About the Band of Joy, Plant said he was pleased for Patty Griffin winning a Grammy. But:
"You gotta be sharp with this lot, because they do soundchecks, which I never knew about. Then they go and eat broccoli."
And while it occurred to Plant a person had to look after themselves, he still likes a drink, which is OK because "a lot of musicians are drinking again."

For an early morning radio show Plant sounded in good form, and offered quips about many people. Paul McCartney, for instance, was the first person to hug him after his Grammy winning night for Raising Sand. And who gave him the shortest hug? Alison Krauss.

Listen to the show here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steven Tyler talks Led Zeppelin -- past and, uh, future? Howard Stern show recap

Photo by Daigo Oliva
An interview conducted live on the Howard Stern show today sheds some light on what Jimmy Page has been, and may still be, up to.

In the "surprise guest's" interview, Aerosmith singer and "American Idol" judge Steven Tyler said he turned down an offer to do some songwriting with Led Zeppelin's guitarist.

Still, Tyler's interview ended with a comment, maybe made in jest, that he might be performing soon with Led Zeppelin.

The conversation first delved into the subject of Zep when Stern, surprised by his guest's appearance, suddenly asked if Tyler really did audition for Led Zeppelin, as reports stated in October 2008.

A one-off Led Zeppelin concert in December 2007 saw Page reunited with Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, along with Jason Bonham, son of original drummer John Bonham. The following year, while Plant was on tour with Alison Krauss, the others were gathered together with hopes of continuing playing music together.

However, with Plant unavailable, they considered forming, instead, a new band. Statements to the effect that Led Zeppelin would continue with any singer other than Plant were untrue.

The story at one time was that Tyler had auditioned for Led Zeppelin, implying Plant would be replaced. Tyler, through his words in today's interview, may have callously reinforced that notion.

Stern asked if Tyler auditioned for Led Zeppelin, and the singer didn't exactly say no.

Tyler mentioned by name the man who was Jimmy Page's manager, Peter Mensch. Tyler said Mench called him to say that Led Zeppelin had "just played live and that Robert wouldn't play with them again." So he was asked, "Want to come over and jam with the guys?" Tyler said it was natural to jump at the opportunity.

However, when he and Page met face to face and was asked to record an album with him, Tyler turned that down due to his allegiance with Aerosmith.

Previously, a source said it was Page who turned down Tyler after an audition Page deemed "shambolic."

(That is enough to make one wonder how Page would do as an "American Idol" judge. Unafraid to express harsh opinions with words such as "shambolic," Page could be the new Simon Cowell!)

Tyler's overall message on the state of Aerosmith's future was that he would drop "American Idol" if faced with a conflict between being a judge and being a lead singer.

Tyler said he thinks he could have several ongoing projects and they wouldn't jeopardize his position with his bandmates in Aerosmith. For instance, he offered, he could play some Led Zeppelin shows.

Yep, that's right, Tyler said of Led Zeppelin: "I may do some dates with them, just a couple of one-offs." But it wouldn't be a barrier: "That doesn't mean I'm joining Zeppelin."

Anyway, catch Jimmy Page's take on how it really went down in 2008 with Jones and Bonham. And how Jones says it went down.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Current Led Zeppelin reunion rumor unfounded; Robert Plant hasn't really changed his mind

Twitter user @LedZeppelinNews went on a tirade this morning after waking up to find an unfounded rumor continuing to spread into a second day. (Yes, I just referred to myself in the third person.)

Here is that tweetirade in full:
The increasingly popular rumor that Robert Plant is leaning toward a Led Zeppelin reunion is unfounded. First, the interview was on July 29.
Second, the out-of-context line people think means he'll be talking w/ other Zep members about reuniting actually means THEY AREN'T TALKING!
The Led Zeppelin members haven't been talking, much less playing. Why so hopeful based on a loose interpretation of a 2-month-old remark?
Hasn't Robert Plant given enough interviews over the last few months to give anyone a good idea of his thoughts on reuniting Led Zeppelin?
Now going into The Daily Show mode. Adding to the list of extreme voices today: the sites Antimusic and @Guitarless. Let's restore sanity!
The big offenders here: @Contactmusic (, @SPINmagazine ( and @gibsonguitar (
Seriously, read @The_AV_Club interview of Robert Plant from July 29, published Sept. 30: & prepare to be enlightened
But if you get a hold of the interview tape from @The_AV_Club and play Robert Plant's voice backward, he does say Led Zeppelin will reunite.
[I was wrong when I said the AV Club's interview was published Sept. 30. It was actually published Sept. 28. It only seemed like it was published Sept. 30 because it took two days for idiotic Web editors to start misreporting anything about it.]

Coincidentally, the second anniversary of a statement from Robert Plant passed on Wednesday. It is the statement posted on his official website in 2008 that said, in part, "Robert Plant will not be touring or recording with Led Zeppelin. Anyone buying tickets online to any such event will be buying bogus tickets."

Mention of this appeared in the top right-hand corner of for the entire day Thursday while the rumor was starting to pick up steam. It said, "On this day in 2008, a month rampant with Zep reunion speculation ended, Robert Plant having just stated they weren't getting back together."

And yes, I fully admit that a rumor I inspired less than a year ago went viral and created a widely held belief that Jimmy Page was joining a supergroup with Eric Clapton and Aerosmith. It got me a lot of hits on my website for a few days (not that my bank account noticed), but as soon as the truth of the matter was clarified to me and I realized how erroneous it all was, I retracted the inaccuracies of my original story because I felt remorse passing off inaccurate information.

Will Spin, Contactmusic, Gibson, Antimusic, Guitarless and everybody else feel any remorse and make a retraction in this case? Or, on the other hand, do they prefer passing off popular rumors that distort the truth? Let's see.

Update, 7:30 p.m.: I've authenticated the comment below from Gerry Hayes at Guitarless, who says a correction is on the way and encourages me to "continue to harangue lazy, non-fact-checkers like me."

Update, Oct. 6, 11:35 a.m.: Robert Plant has now quashed the rumor too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Robert Plant suggests little in common with Led Zeppelin bandmates; likely no chance of repeat performance, he tells Telegraph

One of these guys is not like the others. Robert Plant, second
from right, suggests his entertainment goals differ from those of
Jason Bonham, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page.
The reason Robert Plant says he will probably not be seen working with Led Zeppelin again, as he did for one night only in 2007, has in part to do with things he feels he does not have in common with the other musicians.

In a new interview published by the U.K.'s Telegraph on what happened to be the singer's 62nd birthday, Plant discusses several aspects of his career from the original Band of Joy to his modern-day incarnation. That band has a pair of London dates on Sept. 1 and 2, but of course the article diverts several times into a discussion with Plant about Led Zeppelin.

Of that group's classic and historic run from 1968 to 1980, Plant tells reporter Neil McCormick, "We were never a middle of the road band; we were really quite fearsome."

In his article, McCormick overviews some of the highlights, twists and turns Plant has embarked upon since 1980, including "the vintage R'n'B of The Honeydrippers," "a wild concoction of hybridised world music with his band Strange Sensation," and his ventures into Americana, first with Alison Krauss on their "extraordinary, ethereal album" Raising Sand, and now with the wide range of genres one can expect at a Band of Joy concert, including "hints of wild psych rock to keep old fans entranced."

McCormick was one of the few journalists who spoke to Page in 2009. When they met at the London headquarters of Gibson guitars late last year, their conversation was about the instrument, of course because it is the subject of the movie It Might Get Loud, whose U.K. premiere Page was promoting at the time. Their conversation delved into Page's own beginnings with guitar and his eventual innovations, plus his current musical leanings and even his goals. As to the question of a possible Led Zeppelin reunion, Page gave McCormick direct orders: "You'd better ask Robert Plant what the future of Led Zeppelin is."

He even brings that up in his article, that he was under the advisement of Page to ask. The reunion concert happened once; would Plant agree to another?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Jason Bonham says aborted project with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones was 'as close as you could get,' felt real

Jason Bonham didn't keep it a secret in 2008 when he thought he might be working in an official capacity with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The drummer said he'd been to England for rehearsals, and Jones soon remarked that once singer auditions concluded, the announcement of an album and tour would be likely.

In a far-reaching interview for MusicRadar, Bonham goes further than ever before in explaining why their collaboration in 2008 never did come to fruition before he and Jones went on to separate projects last year.

"It got as close as you could get. It got real close," he tells Joe Bosso in a piece published online yesterday. "You know, we did a year of writing and putting stuff together. I loved working with Jimmy and John Paul. It was so much fun. That band ... I think we felt more like a band than Black Country Communion."

It is in an unpublished portion of the interview that Bonham more fully discusses that group, whose debut album was recorded in less than two weeks and will be released this September. The crux of Bonham's interview, as published online yesterday, focuses on his imminent touring project, called Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, which is a multimedia tour featuring the music of Led Zeppelin and plenty of personal photographs and home movies that help Bonham to tell the story of growing up as the son of Led Zeppelin's drummer. Bonham says he will not announce the lineup of his band before the first show of the tour, so as not to invite any prejudices regarding the musicians he has already picked.

As to why last year passed without him touring with Page and Jones, he says, "I think ... basically, they [Page and Jones] agreed to disagree. After a while, it was just time to move on."

When Bosso asks whether singer Myles Kennedy was a definite enlistment for their group, Bonham says, "Nope. There was somebody else. [pauses] Somebody else was involved -- and that's all I'll say to that. But as I said, I've always love the time we had together. I can't even explain it, it was just great!"

Lemon Squeezings spoke with Bosso today about the interview, and he declined to speculate on who the other singer might have been. At least one account has confirmed that Aerosmith's Steven Tyler sat in one weekend in 2008 but that Page thought his audition was "shambolic." Another possibility is that Page was hoping to hold out for Plant to join up.

Bosso did comment to Lemon Squeezings, however, on Bonham's statement regarding the rehearsals with Page and Jones feeling "more like a band than Black Country Communion." Bosso says he didn't interpret this as a dig on the so-called supergroup, which also involves singer and bassist Glenn Hughes, guitarist and singer Joe Bonamassa, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian.

"We did another part of the interview that will run on MusicRadar later," says Bosso, "during which he said that the group (BCC) recorded their record 'very quickly; the whole thing took 10 days from start to finish.'

"He said that the speed in which they worked was surprising, that he might have liked to have done some drum parts over again, but everybody else seemed very happy so there was no reason to. My take, and you can quote me, is that he sounded very proud and pleased with BCC and is definitely looking forward to going on tour with the band and making another record with them. He does see them as a band with a future. From the impression I got, he's looking for them to gel as a group on the road. Because the record was done quickly, this is in stark contrast to the year he spent working with Page and Jones, hence his remark. I don't think his comment was a slight against BCC at all."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can Led Zeppelin save the world?

Some "world citizens" with an ambitious stated goal, "to save our planet," are organizing a two-day concert to be held this September in Toronto. And they want Led Zeppelin to reunite for the event.

In fact, the organizers of the "Imagine Concert for World Change" want Led Zeppelin to reunite so badly that they have already obtained a double-neck guitar for Jimmy Page to play and even had a representative of the Mohawk Traditional Council bless it.

According to the description of a video posted to YouTube on Monday:
This sacred guitar will give birth to 3 other sacred instruments, each representing the four directions of the medicine wheel. Attached to the instrument is a medicine bag and an eagle's feather[.]

After rubbing the medicine bag which contains white magickal medicine, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham will be given special powers to unite humanity for healing Mother Earth.
During his spiritual invocation, the tribal cleric chanted and shook the medicine bag in front of the guitar. In the company of a prayer circle, he then intoned, "We ask that the energy flow through this instrument to bring back to our Mother Earth the true spirit of the great law of peace."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

While Zep Glastonbury reunion rumor put to rest, Robert Plant and Jason Bonham align

The band replacing U2 at the Glastonbury Festival next month is going to be Gorillaz, the festival announced today. U2 canceled the Glastonbury date as well as North American tour dates due to the physical condition of singer Bono's back.

So much for reported rumblings that U2's replacement might be a reunited Led Zeppelin.

That's one less possible topic of conversation tomorrow morning when Jason Bonham and Robert Plant appear together on "The Paul & Young Ron Show" for whatever reason. Since their booking, originally slated for yesterday morning, was accompanied by a press release that got a fair amount of traction on the Web, they must have some kind of an announcement.

Yesterday, a publicist for Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience confirmed Plant and Bonham's joint radio appearance as well as the timing of it -- now scheduled to take place at 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, May 27 -- but said she would be finding out what it was all about while the chat takes place live.

"The Paul & Young Ron Show" airs live weekdays between 6 and about 10 a.m. on several terrestrial radio stations in Florida. Big 105.9's Web site streams the show live.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Everybody's promoting something today in the Led Zeppelin arena -- even a reunion rumor

If one week ago today was Super Tuesday in the U.S. political arena, today has already been somewhat of a Super Tuesday for Led Zeppelin news. A lot of people connected to the band in some way had something to promote today, be it an album, a concert tour, a radio show, or the idea that Led Zeppelin ought to reunite.
  • In the United States, May 25 has long been designated as release day for two musicians who were not connected to Robert Plant until a couple of months ago.
  • Just yesterday, the world learned of a scheduled in-studio radio interview that took place in England this morning involving Jimmy Page. And, of course, while it's not news that Page would have been asked about a possible Led Zeppelin reunion, and it's also not news that Page could not speak for anybody but himself when he said he wouldn't oppose it, media outlets have been treating it as if it is news.
  • And, strangest of all, a press release distributed to the media this morning spoke of another Zep-related radio appearance, this one for several Florida radio markets and for some unstated reason joining both Plant and Jason Bonham. This last radio appearance, on the syndicated "Paul and Young Ron Show," was rescheduled at the last minute from this morning to Thursday morning.
So, if you feel like you're in need of a breakdown of what all happened this morning -- and didn't happen -- and who's promoting what, then sit down and read on.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jimmy Page was engrossed in voiceless Led Zeppelin trio; speculative band lineup quashed because singer's introduction was 'premature,' Page says in interview

John Paul Jones has used his ample media opportunities in recent months to narrate his version of what ever became of that project he'd promised in 2008, a band with Jason Bonham and Jimmy Page. Ever since Jones has been showcased as a starring member of Them Crooked Vultures, his newfound podium has afforded him the luxury of pronouncing that he and the others "couldn't agree on singers" and so the band "fell by the wayside." This, in turn, leads Jones to change the topic and discuss matters at hand: namely, Them Crooked Vultures.

Bonham has also talked here and there about his participation in that band, but likewise, he is more excited to discuss his next offering, Black Country, and not focus on what was and what should never be.

Even the once-rumored singer auditioning for a spot in a Page-Jones-Bonham lineup, Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, has opened up on the subject of those rehearsals together in 2008 -- to, no less. Once reluctant to speak about the subject publicly, he recounted on Dec. 16, 2009, what it was like to have written new material with members of Led Zeppelin:
"There were two, a couple songs that I remember. For me, that was the biggest thrill because these were songs and pieces of music that no one had heard. And I'm standing in a room, and I'm putting my melodies and lyrics to it. For me as an artist, I don't think anything will ever compare to the feeling that I got from those moments. It felt like you were kind of a part of history for a few minutes there. It was just amazing. It's hard to even put into words, Steve, it really is."

The one voice that was missing on the subject for just as long was Page's. Now, he's given Mojo magazine the cover story for its February 2010 issue, and he's also contributed an interview for the February issue of Uncut. He's detailed his ideas for the genesis of a band with Jones and Bonham that would be missing a voice of its own.

Page admits for the first time that when he was rehearsing his three-piece band, he found it exciting to experiment with their combined sound and content to see what direction it would carry them -- even, it seems, if it meant they would remain an instrumental unit.

In his interview with Phil Alexander for Mojo, Page says he thinks Kennedy "is a really fine singer." What stopped them from proceeding beyond the rehearsal stage, the guitarist proclaims, was a nagging feeling that no vocalist should have been introduced until after the music had first developed further.

"We hadn't really had the time to bring what the three of us had to fruition," Page opines. "I felt that once we'd done that, then that would have been the time to bring in a singer." He says all they needed was "more time," even "another two weeks."

However, forcing a singer in at the stage they did was "premature," he says. "I felt it was somewhat like putting the cart before the horse, because it was bringing in an unknown into an environment of three known elements."

Page says a lot more in that interview, and a little more in the Uncut interview. But first, let's place all the recent remarks -- from him and elsewhere -- in their proper context.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Testy guitarist admits he's 'a year behind' in releasing his new music

Jimmy Page, in his first interview published in the new decade, says he's tired of his plans as an artist always being compared to those of his former bandmates in Led Zeppelin.

An Independent piece published with the Jan. 1 dateline focuses on the guitarist and his involvement in "It Might Get Loud," now in U.K. theaters.

The piece also overviews what's been reported about some of his plans for the current year, including a possible tour, a possible appearance in Beijing, a possible album -- hopefully, says reporter James McNair. It's all just possible and hopeful, though. Nothing about Page's future plans was confirmed in the article.

Just what Page says: that he has some new music to put out. Scratch that; he has "lots of new music to present."

But just don't expect him to base his decisions around Led Zeppelin reuniting anymore.

"It's unfortunate that anything that I might want to do gets linked into whatever Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are doing," Page is quoted as saying.

McNair even offers that Page says it "a little testily."

Page continues:
"I intend to be making music next year and I've got lots of new music to present, okay? The only thing to say is that I should have started it a year ago. So I'm a year behind with what I'm doing -- that's not too bad, is it? Some of these business things can get rather complicated, but I've managed to work my way through all that and see a way of getting on with it, thank God."
His last published interview of the 2000s seems to be another feature, this one in the Telegraph by Neil McCormick.

It's gotten a lot of traction in the past couple of days for one particular remark of his, likely a verbatim quote from an interview or two some decades ago when asked to comment on Led Zeppelin reunion rumors. In a manner that made it clear there was a single holdout, the following canned response would suffice:
"You'd better ask Robert Plant what the future of Led Zeppelin is."
That's precisely how Page handled the topic in the Telegraph interview published Dec. 30. It must have felt relieving to say those words and pass the buck.

Page then continued:
"Musicians can always play together, but I don't think you can go out with a band called Led Zeppelin if you haven't got the original vocalist."
True, true.

Not to beleaguer the point, but with all the John Paul Jones interviews coming out lately where he's been stating that when he and Page were last rehearsing together, we've learned through Jones that they weren't considering replacing Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin and it was only mischaracterizations by the mainstream media. Here are two such statements.
  • Jones said in a French television interview filmed Dec. 4 and broadcast Dec. 17, while he was discussing how he came to become a member of Them Crooked Vultures:
    "... I was kind of up for doing something anyway because I'd been -- I'd spent a few months working with Jimmy Page and Jason Bonham after the O2 [reunion concert by Led Zeppelin]. We were gonna form another band, but everybody kept calling it Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant, so we decided -- it kind of fell apart. So... But I was ready to, like, do something and play some music ... "
  • Similarly, Jones tells the Skinny in a piece published Dec. 10:
    "We thought we'd like to start another band -- not Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant, as was reported -- we just wanted to do another band, although obviously we realised we would have to play some Zeppelin songs if we actually went out on tour. We couldn’t agree on singers in the end."
There's no published confirmation from Page in either of his interviews that the Led Zeppelin reunion rumors of 2008 were a media concoction.

In fact, you get exactly the opposite from reading those two articles.
  • McCormick says the music Page hopes to release in 2010 "is unlikely to be with any incarnation of Led Zeppelin, despite having spent a considerable amount of time and energy this year [sic] trying to follow up their 2008 [sic] reunion." (Just to clarify McCormick's blunder, the reunion was in 2007, and the time and energy spent doing something akin to that was in 2008.)
  • McNair follows up his mention of the O2 arena concert, correctly placed as having occurred in 2007, saying that afterwards Page "had hoped for a subsequent Led Zeppelin tour, but Plant's commitment to the O2 show had largely been predicated on it being a one-off tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun, the Atlantic Records president who was also a close friend of the band."
Again, the above is true. Nobody is suggesting it's not. There absolutely was a time in those rehearsal studios that Page, Jones and Bonham thought they might be able to get Plant to join them and consider another go at a longer Led Zeppelin reunion, perhaps either more shows or an extended tour. This has been well documented all along.

But didn't their desire to reunite Led Zeppelin ultimately give way to another desire, one that Jones said -- back in the thick of things, in October 2008 -- was all about getting out there and playing some loud music? He told us they'd been trying out the odd singer.

Trying singers out to do what? Stand in Robert Plant's place in the rehearsal room until he miraculously showed up?

One singer, Myles Kennedy, has even confirmed to he'd been writing with Page and Jones. That doesn't sound like standing around and singing Led Zeppelin songs to me.

Is it possible that Jones, Kennedy and Bonham were all on board for a new band while Page wasn't? Is it possible that the only singer Page wanted to see himself working with was Robert Plant, and the only band he wanted to see himself working with was Led Zeppelin?

One thing Page does admit is that what he'll be doing this year is something he should have done a year earlier. It no longer matters to him what anybody else is doing. All he's talking about is where he wants to be and what he wants to be doing.

As for the specifics, we shall see.

Speaking of specifics, if you'd like to read more about Page's pictorial autobiography due in a few months, your best bet so far is to fetch a copy of the February 2010 issue of Mojo. You can't miss it on the newsstand because Page adorns the cover. The issue also promises:
"Cue a look back over a career that has spanned the last 45 years of rock history with unseen photos, in-depth discussion of his new movie, his new music and the truth behind those persistent Zeppelin rumours. PLUS! The Page record collection revealed! The sounds that rock his soul!"
But start saving up for a copy of the book now because Genesis Publications is involved, and what that means is this is a high-end and relatively expensive collectable photograph book that is very limited in number.

Although official word is not available outside of Mojo, it appears to that the book's editor is Dave Brolan, who represents Ross Halfin and other photographers who've shot members of Led Zeppelin together and apart.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Exclusive interview: Myles Kennedy thrilled to have written with Zeppelin members

Photo credit: Albe Serra, Barcelona, Spain, June 2008

Singer Myles Kennedy has opened up to in an exclusive interview about his experiences writing music a year ago with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham. The interview, recorded for the producers of Carol Miller's "Get the Led Out" Led Zeppelin spotlight radio series, was conducted on Dec. 16 by

Kennedy, who sings and plays guitar with the band Alter Bridge, first confirmed in January 2009 reports that he had spent part of 2008 rehearsing for a new, unnamed band to be formed with three-fourths of the trio that had recently performed as Led Zeppelin for one night in London. By the time Kennedy spoke up, the project had only recently been called off. All he was comfortable saying about it at the time is that he was "very grateful" for having had the experience.

Now that a year has passed since the project fell by the wayside, Kennedy has thoroughly answered a set of specific questions provided exclusively by, seeking details about that collaboration.

The occasion for this interview was the release of the first live DVD from Alter Bridge. While unfinished business has prevented a deluxe edition of the Live from Amsterdam set from being released in stores so far, Kennedy says the fan reaction to a version being sold online has so far been positive, as was the fan reaction during the concert.

Filmed during a concert in Amsterdam on Dec. 7, 2008, the DVD shows the audience enthusiastically singing along to Alter Bridge's tunes. In the interview with, Kennedy attempts to put into words the kind of rush he gets from hearing an entire audience singing back to him lyrics and melodies that he helped to create. He also discusses the onstage experience of singing cover songs like Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" in a live setting.

As one can tell from viewing the DVD, Alter Bridge concerts provide a wide range of dynamics, from hard rock to solo acoustic material. Asked to name some of the musical influences on having such a diverse set, Kennedy signaled he and his bandmates are all influenced by Led Zeppelin, "the greatest of all time." A former session player who worked on heavy metal and hard rock in his earlier years, Kennedy said bands like Metallica, Slayer, Tesla and Journey have all impacted Alter Bridge songwriting.

A slightly earlier Alter Bridge concert date other than the Amsterdam show was originally planned to be the time and location for the DVD shoot, and that was on Nov. 8, 2008 in London. Kennedy says he recalls that show, held at the O2 Brixton Academy, as being a particularly thrilling night and one he wishes could have been documented on video. It was only after that concert that he learned Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were in attendance, obviously checking him out as their group with him was still under consideration at the time.

By the time Alter Bridge went on the tour that saw them play in England and mainland Europe last November and December, Kennedy had already been rehearsing for months with Page, Jones and plus Jason Bonham. He says he is grateful to the drummer, who was an acquaintance of his from years earlier, for calling him to England to take part in the rehearsals.

In helping to craft some new material with the trio, Kennedy contributed both lyrics and melody but not any guitar. It was his voice they wanted, and he says he wasn't even sure if they even knew at that point he could play guitar. Kennedy spoke about being in his comfort zone singing and not playing guitar while also being recognized as a guitarist, such as when his Alter Bridge bandmate Mark Tremonti asked him to contribute a guitar lesson to a DVD project of his.

Since plans for the prospective band joining Page, Jones and Bonham with him fell through by the end of 2008, Kennedy has remained positive about his experience and continued writing new material. He says he has finished work on a solo album and is considering releasing it independently next year.

Solo work is not all that's in his future. Now that the Creed reunion tour is complete and his Alter Bridge bandmates are once again freed up, they have been in Florida writing material they intend to begin recording in February. He says he was surprised whenever he hears it reported that his group had broken up, although he does believe hardcore Alter Bridge fans are aware the band has always intended to continue making new music following the Creed tour.

Early this year, Jones was secretly rehearsing and recording with a new band of his own, Them Crooked Vultures. Kennedy says he was already a fan of Dave Grohl's work with the Foo Fighters and Josh Homme's work with Queens of the Stone Age, so it made sense to him that their collaboration with Jones was going to be a good one. He says he received an e-mail from Jones inviting him to come see Them Crooked Vultures live, so he attended their Oct. 24 concert in Portland and enjoyed it immensely. Asked if Jones recycled any of the material from his rehearsal sessions with Page and Bonham, Kennedy says he doesn't recognize any of the material.

He is also highly complimentary of Page, adding that while he was at first nervous about being in the presence of such "genius," both Page and Jones were able to make him feel comfortable in their working environment.

When informed Kennedy during the interview that Page had just announced his intention to release some new music and play it live next year, he said he couldn't be more pleased that both Page and Jones would be giving fans the opportunity to "continue to feed off the masters." He says he looks forward to hearing Page's new work.

At the conclusion of the interview, Kennedy had kind parting words for the interviewer, Steve Sauer.

Monday, November 9, 2009

John Paul Jones proclaims Them Crooked Vultures now 'the best band in the world'; he hopes for second album, says Led Zeppelin won't be calling him back

John Paul Jones, in an interview published today by Australia's Nova 91.9 FM, says that for the second time in his life as a musician, he finds himself in "the best band in the world." Them Crooked Vultures has now taken Led Zeppelin's position as the world's best band, Jones says.

The full context of his statement comes in an in-depth interview that touches on the vows of silence under which the band labored all year to create the album now streaming online and soon to be released commercially, the reasoning behind the secrecy, his satisfaction with both of his bands, and the fact that he no longer expects to work with Led Zeppelin.

Unlike at least one other recent interview with Jones, there was no mention during this one of the group with Jimmy Page and Jason Bonham that did not come to fruition last year after being heralded by the press as a second coming of Led Zeppelin with a singer other than Robert Plant on vocals. Today's interview focuses solely on the events since this February, when Jones began working with current bandmates Josh Homme and Dave Grohl, and comparing the impetus behind their music with that of Led Zeppelin's from 1969 to 1979, when that band was releasing albums and, according to Jones, was the world's greatest.

"I always try to be in the best band in the world, I promise myself," says Jones. "I'm obviously very proud of the Zeppelin legacy, and I'm hoping I'm keeping the spirit alive with this band."

In some real ways that deal with the music, he does seem to be. "There are so many parallels with the old Zeppelin days," says Jones. "We're making music that we want to make. You're not thinking, 'What's going to sell? What is everybody else going to like?' We're making music for ourselves, and Zeppelin was exactly the same. We never thought, 'What's the new record going to be like?' We just got the songs together. It's all an organic process. None of it's manufactured."

It seems to be the exception and not the norm in the current climate of today's music scene. Jones agrees: "To my ears there's not much around that actually excites me, and this music that we're making excites me. So I assumed it might excite other people too. That's the only way you can think of it."

Furthermore, this is the first time Jones has felt this way about a band of his since Led Zeppelin's breakup in 1980, so why would he want the feeling to stop with the release of this album? Why would he want to make this disc his sole statement with Them Crooked Vultures?

He says he'll be ready to head back into the studio with Homme and Grohl, and he'd rather fight off the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age than not work with those two again right away. Jones testifies, "I hope there's maybe going to be another album. I don't have a band that's going to call me back – the other two do. But they're going to have to fight me for them because we're having a bit too much fun at the moment."

And there it was: Jones slips in that he won't be anticipating any future work with Led Zeppelin. The window of opportunity for that to happen has firmly shut, Jones affirms. There really is, as anticipated not long ago, no reason to believe. Who's going to be at Glastonbury with Robert Plant? Not John Paul Jones and, therefore, not Led Zeppelin.

Jordana Borensztajn's interview with Jones carries so much more, though, than one member's de facto denial of a Led Zeppelin reunion. As for the reasons Them Crooked Vultures kept its existence the secret it was for months and months, Jones says, "We kept it quiet so there wasn't all the speculation and the pressure. There was enough pressure between ourselves to do a really good record, and we did try to impress each other. ... We just wanted to get on and concentrate on the music."

The best part of touring this new material prior to its release, says Jones, was that nobody in the audience was familiar with it and, therefore, was uniquely capable of giving honest reactions to hearing the music in a live setting for the first time. "To have an audience just stand there and listen, and take it all in – it's just amazing," says Jones. "They're reacting really, really well and it's new for them because normally they would have heard the record first and know the lyrics. It's a new experience which they look like they're enjoying and they sound like they're enjoying, certainly." Talk about taking a risk! And yes, Led Zeppelin was always known for taking those.

Jones on the band's sound:

"When people ask what it sounds like, it sounds like me playing bass and Dave playing drums and Josh singing and playing guitar. It's very obvious. It's just us -- it's straight ahead, it's very honest and it really rocks. It's multi-layered and sounds fantastic. We love it. We play it and we're like, 'Wow, this is really good.' ...

"Josh is great. You know those old competitions in magazines where they show you a familiar object from an unfamiliar angle and you have to guess what it is? That's how Josh seems to look at life. He just looks at it from a really unfamiliar angle and it's just so refreshing. ...

"And Dave is just a killer drummer – a bass player's dream. And he's a great musician. He listens, he's very enthusiastic, very excitable, he drinks a lot of coffee and there's a lot of laughter and a lot of joking all the time. It's a very nice position to be in, I have to say. ...

"We all listen to each other. With the experience [we have], nobody has to explain anything to anybody else. If something's not working, everybody knows it's not working. And also, when you're with experienced musicians, you can fail. You can try something out knowing that it might now work."

There's one other comparison Jones makes to Led Zeppelin, and that has to do with the fan reaction. The fact that the music is not "manufactured" but is made just to please the musicians themselves greatly affects whether or not fans too will like it. As Jones says, "This music that we're making excites me, so I assumed it might excite other people too."

He and his bandmates suspected their individual names had some drawing power but weren't sure exactly what effect that alone would have on public interest, on creating enough demand to fill clubs and excite festival audiences when the audiences knew not what to expect.

"We knew we would create some sort of splash and it would be noticed but you never really know the circumstances," Jones says. "It's the same as Zeppelin. People would say, 'Did you realize when you were writing "Stairway to Heaven" what a huge song it was going to be?' Well, not really."

He describes Them Crooked Vultures concerts like this:

"Our shows are extremely loud, and slightly terrifying. We love doing them. Nobody shouts out Zeppelin numbers or Queens numbers or Foo numbers at our shows -- nobody does it. And that's refreshing. They're here for us. In fact, none of us have played any covers in rehearsals or jamming and we're very, very happy with that."

This writer must fess up to shouting for Jones's post-Zeppelin instrumental "Spaghetti Junction" as a request between songs at the 9:30 club in Washington, D.C. To my ears, Grohl may have teased "Moby Dick" between songs that night, but Jones didn't sate my palate for "Spaghetti Junction." Instead, he sated it with the band's new album plus other new material perhaps destined for that second Them Crooked Vultures album Jones has now publicly expressed interest in recording.

After all, he says there's no band from his past that will be calling him back. And you can take that to the bank.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Reason to believe in a Led Zeppelin reunion has faded

The rumor of a Led Zeppelin reunion supposedly in the works, sparked by something Robert Plant said to a reporter on Monday, is worth considering -- if only to keep people from wishing, hoping, believing, and being disappointed.

Briefly, for a few months one year ago, there was a reason to believe in a Led Zeppelin reunion. That reason has long since faded.

Last year, Plant was the only one with a steady gig. When Jimmy Page was asked on Jan. 29, 2008, what the chances would be of a Led Zeppelin tour later in the year, he blamed the fact that Plant was unavailable. All we know of what Page said during that day's Tokyo press conference is this: "Robert Plant also had a parallel project running and he's really busy with that project, certainly until September, so I can't give you any news."

Page himself was a bit busy at the time. He was in Tokyo making the rounds to help promote the release of Led Zeppelin's latest best-of repackaging, Mothership. Just days before, he had met for the first time with The Edge and Jack White, as filmed for the movie "It Might Get Loud."

He plays a piece in that movie, originally called "Domino" and now recast as "Embryo No. 2," a leftover from his 1999 rehearsals with drummer Michael Lee for an album they hoped to release with Robert Plant on vocals.

So, when Page spoke with David Cavanagh for Uncut magazine on March 10, 2008, the topic of his unreleased music was on the tip of Page's tongue. "I had some new material written for another album," he said. "I had about a dozen numbers, and some of them were really good, but Robert heard them and he wanted to go in another direction. He wanted to do another solo album. Fair enough."

As Page says, another album never happened back then. Walking into Clarksdale in 1998 was their last together, and Plant went on to release the solo albums Dreamland and Mighty ReArranger, followed by Raising Sand with Alison Krauss.

It's obvious from Page's comments early last year that he was still hoping for Plant to come around, nine years after they parted ways at the beginning of 1999. But he finally had reason to believe again in a productive working relationship with Plant.

They'd just played a single show together, as Led Zeppelin, and spent months and months planning it and rehearsing it beforehand. Page discussed with Uncut the commitment that was involved in making that concert the worldwide success it was, and the same commitment it would take to carry Led Zeppelin forward:
"Everybody had such a great commitment to it. Now, if you're talking about a tour -- other dates, maybe recording together -- there's only one thing that's going to be the common denominator with that. And that's commitment. That's how we did the O2."
What a difference a year makes! When the calendar flipped to 2008, and the world was abuzz with cries for Led Zeppelin to reunite, Plant could not commit to the project.

Page also spoke during his interview on March 10, 2008, about any number of projects he had cooking. He wasn't forthcoming on the specifics, but "It Might Get Loud" was one; he'd be named an associate producer of the film. As the year proceeded, it became evident that Page had been in rehearsals with John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham.

But Page said in September of last year there needed to be four members. Evidently, there weren't.

As of this writing, a year and a month later, little has been disclosed about the nature of those rehearsals Page had with Jones and Bonham. All we know are that there were multiple candidates for singers who wanted to front their band, that the members never would have called their band Led Zeppelin if Robert Plant was not involved, that they were playing "loud music," and that rehearsals "fell by the wayside" after they "couldn't really agree on singers."

And if the anonymous tipster to England's The Sun tabloid is to be believed, there's this statement, which was printed in September of last year:
"Jimmy, Jason and John are determined a tour will go ahead next year. They've been rehearsing frequently in London and the band is really gelling. There's an American guy who has been standing in for Robert regularly and doing a great job. Obviously they want the original frontman to join them on the road but he still won't commit. They will be finalising plans for shows over the next couple of months and will tell Robert that if he doesn't want to be involved they will go ahead without him."
The Sun reported that Plant was receiving "an ultimatum by his bandmates - join us on tour or we'll replace you." Them's fighting words!

By the time Page's manager, Peter Mensch, publicly said singer auditions failed, it was old news to him. Mensch told MusicRadar on Jan. 7, 2009:
"They tried out a few singers, but no one worked out. That was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue. Zero. Frankly, I wish everybody would stop talking about it."
Also by that time, other opportunities had opened themselves up to John Paul Jones, and he beckoned their calls. Jones spent part of this February producing the debut solo album by former Nickel Creek singer Sara Watkins. Once it was out, he joined her on a late-night TV slot and, eventually, a festival appearance. When the recently departed Merce Cunningham marked his 90th birthday with a ballet series in his honor, Jones teamed up with Takehisa Kosugi and the members of Sonic Youth to make some experimental music on the fly.

These commitments kept Jones busy in the opening months of this year, but all the while, he was keeping a huge secret from everybody: During his time away from the public eye, he was hiding away, intensely preparing a complete album of all new material with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl. Now, they have a single out this week, their resulting album is due in less than a month, and they'll be on tour straight on through January, hitting England, mainland Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Other dates are also expected.

Now, there is the rumor of a Led Zeppelin reunion taking place in June 2010 at the Glastonbury Festival in England -- all because Plant said he'd been talking to Michael Eavis about booking him in some shape or form but not being any more specific than that. Somehow, this makes many folks jump to the conclusion: He's finally getting Led Zeppelin back together! Celebrate!

I said it the other day, and I'll say it again: There just isn't any chance Plant would be volunteering eight months' advance notice of a Led Zeppelin gig. In my opinion, this isn't a Led Zeppelin gig. It just can't be. It has to be something else. Someday, what it is will be revealed. For right now, it's nothing more than Plant's cheap attempt to draw some attention to himself at a time when the only gigs he's playing are the ones he decides with no notice. (Last night in England, he played an impromptu set at a charity benefit, shortly following an unforeseen weekend of activity with Buddy Miller in California.)

Earlier this month, Jones commented on the longevity of his current group, Them Crooked Vultures. He told KUT 90.5 in Austin, Texas:
"Yeah, I think it's going to go for a while. Honestly, you know, their respective bands will call them back eventually, but I think we're going to get a good run of it before anything like that happens."
Notice he said "their bands" and not "our bands." Jones didn't even allow for the possibility that Led Zeppelin would be calling him back. No splinter group either. There you have it: It wasn't on the back of his mind.

Wish for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour eventually? Hope for this Led Zeppelin gig next summer? Puh-leeeease.

If you have read this far and still believe in an imminent Led Zeppelin reunion, then please tell me what you know and I don't, or give me a hit of whatever that stuff is you're smoking.