Robert Plant tore up a Led Zeppelin reunion contract worth £500m, according to a newspaper report.
The Mirror says billionaire Richard Branson approached the band with an offer of a 35-date world tour – which Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones both agreed to.
The Virgin tycoon planned to pay the three men £190m each before tax, plus £70m from merchandise sales. Drummer Jason Bonham also agreed to take part for an unrevealed wage.
Branson planned to fly Zep round the world in one of his planes, rebranded The Starship in memory of their 1970s touring vehicle. He’d also lined up an additional 45 shows if the band wanted them.
The Mirror’s “band source” says: “Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately – it was a no-brainer for them. But Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it.
“When he said no and ripped up the paperwork there was an enormous sense of shock.”
Last year it was revealed that former US president Bill Clinton had asked Zep to perform a charity show for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Charity boss David Saltzman, who witnessed the conversation, said: “Bill Clinton himself asked them to reunite – and they wouldn’t do it.”
Plant has been inundated with reunion questions since the band’s 2007 Celebration Day show in London. In May he stated: “We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls in the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox.”
Recent comments by Page suggest he’s finally accepted another gathering won’t take place, saying of his former bandmate’s decision: “It’s his journey, isn’t it?”
Led Zep are midway through the release of their remaster series. Plant launched latest solo album Lullaby And… The Ceaseless Roar earlier this year, while Page says he’s planning to record and tour in 2015.