England’s "Sunday Mirror" has finally published what insiders have known for six weeks. Robert Plant said no to a Led Zeppelin reunion.
How could he do this? The touring industry needs Led Zeppelin, the fans are ENTITLED!
Robert Plant employed the artist’s prerogative, which has not been seen in a top level act, never mind a classic rock act, this century. While every has-been known to man is touring at an inflated ticket price on a victory lap that would make those in attendance cringe if they heard the tapes after the fact, Robert Plant is saying let it be. To leave Led Zeppelin in the seventies. When they wrote the book, when rock excess was married with music critics pooh-poohed, but the little boys and girls understood it was the shit, as their kids now believe also.
YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO SEE LED ZEPPELIN! It does not come with your DNA, does not come with purchasing the tracks. You don’t get to do everything in this life. Whether you made bread as a hedge funder or your parents indulged your every whim. The O2 show was a one time event, even though no one believed it. Not Jimmy Page, not John Paul Jones, not even ME!
You had to be there. That was the expression when Led Zeppelin ruled. You had to awaken before dawn to line up to buy tickets. There was no DVD, what you felt at the moment was all you got. A high you might remember forever. Music wasn’t entertainment, it was life ITSELF! Not a single parent took his kid to a Led Zeppelin show. There was none of the father/son bonding of Stones shows today. Rock and roll isn’t family entertainment, it’s all about sex and drugs. If you didn’t partake, YOU WANTED TO!
Led Zeppelin’s music was created in this hot house. Jimmy Page was not the guy playing "Whole Lotta Love" at the New York Stock Exchange, rather he was holed up in the Ryatt House allegedly dripping wax on little girls. Not that that was the band’s only infraction. Can you imagine an act today toting around the mud shark story? Have you even LISTENED to "Mothers Live At Fillmore East"? There was a cult culture, which was not on AM, not on TMZ, that only fans could be aware of, AND THEY WERE!
If you were too busy being safe and you missed Led Zeppelin in their ten year run, you deserve the silence. If you’re a kid and you’re wetting your still-attached diaper, I’m telling you I never got to see Babe Ruth. And therefore his legacy looms even LARGER! Hell, Joe DiMaggio would show up at Yankee Stadium, but he didn’t take center field and show us how much he’d lost.
That’s what a Zeppelin tour would be like. It would taint our memories of the seventies. Those hot chicks with their tits hanging out… They wouldn’t be wearing tank tops. And they would be too heavy to sit atop their boyfriends’ shoulders. Boyfriends with bad backs, pot bellies and no hair. Sure, it’s not a crime getting old, but we don’t get to go back to high school and we don’t get to see Led Zeppelin!
They had to change the key. Robert’s voice is different. This is no problem if he’s singing new material with Alison Krauss, but you’re going to expect "Stairway To Heaven" to be as good as the original, TRANSCENDENT! And do you want him to sing shirtless again too? Mick Jagger prancing around in those tiny outfits after working out ad infinitum is a joke. It makes you turn your head. I won’t go to a Stones show. To think that I once thought they were…the greatest rock and roll band in the world. Even though they were uneven as hell. Now they’re a P.T. Barnum act. Yup, you’re a sucker if you go.
Robert Plant has not had plastic surgery. He grew up, can’t you?
Part of being a rock and roll fan is believing. But we haven’t been able to believe in the acts in eons. They all make deals with corporations, they won’t take a political position. Their handlers say not to hurt their earning power, not to alienate potential ticket-buyers. These aren’t rock and rollers, these are BUSINESSMEN! I can’t believe in THEM!
As for Jimmy Page? I guess it’s incumbent on him to find new players and make NEW MUSIC! Instead of traipsing around the world living on fumes, giving the people what they want. And they don’t want new Zeppelin music, not of the quality of "Walking Into Clarksdale". Why tarnish the legacy? Wasn’t "Coda" bad enough?
I expect sometime in the future the band will do another one-off. To honor someone’s memory, probably not for a charitable cause, Zeppelin was never charitable. This is fine by me. Every fifteen or twenty years is okay. Kind of like a family or high school reunion. Only this time, I’M GONNA GO! Why schlep all the way to London, spend thousands of dollars, when the band will come to my hometown and I can DRIVE THERE? That’s the way it is with all these acts. They create a buzz, they test the waters, then they say the public demands they go on the road. No, they want to get paid. And all their handlers say to do it, the agents and managers WANT THEIR PERCENTAGE!
For far too long, the tail has been wagging the dog. The businessmen have held sway over the artists. Don’t lament that Robert Plant won’t reunite with his bandmates as Led Zeppelin, cheer out loud, that there’s one Greek God rock star left who isn’t beholden to the money, who’s not worried about giving the public what IT wants, but is only concerned with what HE wants!