“That’s the Way”…

Zeppelin

… Robert Plant rolls.   Demonstrating yet again how many capital F’s he does not give, the 66-year old Zeppelin frontman allegedly disappointed legions of fans worldwide by turning down an $800 million offer from Sir Richard Branson to participate in a reunion that would have taken place over 35 dates in 3 locations (Berlin, London and….New Jersey???).  Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones reportedly signed their contracts, while Jason Bonham (filling in again for dad, John) agreed to take a fee. But Plant said ‘no”, and rumor has it he added a dramatic flair to his refusal by tearing his contract into little pieces.  Page and Jones reacted accordingly.  First, this …

flynn

then this…

mad

and finally…this …

breaking-bad-fu

All kidding aside, Plant’s publicist has branded the report “rubbish”, but this isn’t the first time Mystical Goldilocks has refused to participate in a full-fledged reunion tour.  Back in 2007, the band reunited at London’s O2 Arena for a one-off tribute concert celebrating the life of Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records.  The concert, appropriately titled “Celebration Day”, led to widespread rumors that Zeppelin would tour again, but Plant minded and he would not get in line.  In a May, 2014 interview with Rolling Stone magazine (http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/robert-plant-slams-idea-of-zeppelin-tour-im-not-part-of-a-jukebox-20140508), he explained unequivocally that he isn’t “part of a jukebox” and that, unlike The Eagles, he “isn’t bored”. Further quashing any hope of a Zeppelin reunion is his declaration in the same interview that he has no problem if the band tours without him. Having heard alternative lead singers were being auditioned (of which Steven Tyler was rumored to have been a possible choice), Plant, without any hint of irony, had this to say:  “It seemed like a great idea to me.”  So, when the frontman of your band gives you his blessing to proceed without him, then turns down $800 million offered by the world’s most obscenely wealthy fanboy, I think it’s pretty safe to assume the guy means business, and, you know, maybe people should stop asking.  In fact, Page has already elegantly resigned himself to the fact that he’ll be cold in the ground before Plant relents — “There’s always a possibility that they can exhume me and put me onstage in a coffin and play a tape.”

Now, is Plant’s decision fair to the remaining members?  Maybe not, but I don’t think any of them are weeping over it (well, except maybe John Paul Jones).  Is his decision perhaps just a tad douchey?  Ehhh…maybe a tiny bit since he knows Zeppelin isn’t really Zeppelin without him.  But at the end of the day, if he decides he doesn’t want or need to be culturally charitable, then that is, indeed, HIS decision.  The fact that he cannot be bought is actually quite refreshing in a day and age when it seems that anyone can be (and for far less than Branson offered).

So, sorry, Sir Richard.  I realize you’re “gutted”, but it’s a hard lesson learned:  money may be able to buy you multiple estates, a record company, a mobile phone company, a publishing company, airplanes and a spaceship, but it cannot buy you a stairway to heaven or a Led Zeppelin reunion.  It can, however, buy you the latest remasters of “IV”, “Houses of the Holy” (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1002402631&ref=spks_0_0_1924018122&ie=UTF8&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-auto-sparkle&pf_rd_r=00JVRB6Z324275V10QDM&pf_rd_p=1924018122&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_i=led%20zeppelin%20iv&qid=1415715520), and Jimmy Page’s new book, “Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page” (http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Page/dp/1905662327).

Until tomorrow, folks.  Ramble on….

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