This year marks the 50th anniversary of the formation of Led Zeppelin.
That’s a pretty major landmark. But, so far, all we’ve got to show for it is a somewhat expensive coffee table book.
Now, we fully expect to see new Led Zeppelin products a plenty as the year rolls on, especially in the run-up to the Christmas season (our fingers are crossed for unreleased live material).
What we’re almost 100% percent certain we won’t get, though, is any sort of Led Zeppelin reunion gig.
Since their one-off performance at London’s O2 Arena back in 2007, front man Robert Plant has been resolute in his refusal to get the Led out again. He’s reportedly turned down several multi-million dollar offers for tours and festival appearances, doggedly forging his own path with his solo career instead.
Honestly, we’re sympathetic to Plant’s position. There’s something commendable about not being tied by past glories and exploring new musical avenues. He’s produced some great albums in the process.
But, it does seem a shame that we probably won’t be getting a Led Zeppelin live return to coincide with the 50th anniversary landmark.
This raises an interesting question though. If Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and (presumably) Jason Bonham wanted to continue under the Zeppelin moniker (or indeed, a new band name), could they do it without Planty? And who (if anyone) has a big enough voice and personality to fill those boots?
It seems almost sacrilegious to ask that question and we’re aware it’ll almost certainly never happen. But, hell, endless speculation about stuff like this is part of the fun of being a rock music fan, right?
On paper, Zeppelin sans the Golden God seems like an impossibility. But, back in 2008/2009, in the immediate aftermath of the Zep O2 concert, the idea was being seriously mooted. Page and JPJ reportedly auditioned a bunch of singers, exploring the possibility of a Plantless Zep.
Three names rumored to have auditioned at that time are Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, Chris Cornell and Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy. It’s kind of hard to imagine Tyler in the role – not because he doesn’t have the vocal chops, but because he’s so iconic for playing in a band contemporary to Zeppelin. Chris Cornell would have been an amazing fit – see below – but is sadly no longer with us.