Robert Plant has spoken out in the strongest terms yet against the idea of a Led Zeppelin having toured after their 2007 reunion show.
He ruled himself out of the concept, leaving bandmates Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason to attempt to hire a replacement.
And he remains certain hitting the road would have been a bad move.
Plant tells Rolling Stone: “You’re going back to the same old shit. A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests, and the very essence of everything that’s shitty about big-time stadium rock.
“We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls in the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox.”
His message to those who are prepared to go along with such “circus” setups is: “Good luck to them. I hope they’re having a real riveting and wonderful late middle age. Somehow I don’t think they are.”
He adds: “Do you why the Eagles said they’d reunited when ‘hell freezes over’ but they did it anyway and keep touring? It’s not because they were paid a fortune; it’s because they were bored. I’m not bored.”
Page recalls his attempts to continue working after Plant walked away in 2008 – and his memories seem to support the singer’s estimation of what might have happened.
“Singers were being thrown at us,” says the guitarist. “Other people wanted to get us on the road quickly. I wasn’t feeling comfortable – going out with the three members from the O2 show and another singer might have looked like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole.” He remembers: “I wanted to see what we could come up with musically.”
The project came to a halt when Jones joined Dave Grohl and Josh Homme in Them Crooked Vultures. Page reflects: “That was a pretty definitive statement.”
But Plant believes his colleagues’ project could have gone somewhere. “They kept rehearsing and they had a singer. I don’t know what happened; it seemed like a great idea to me.”
Led Zep are poised to release the first three instalments of their extended remaster series next month.