Fans bought a whole lotta Zeppelin last week, with the band’s new three-CD live set How the West Was Won and their concert DVD “Led Zeppelin” topping the album and video sales charts.
With the rekindled interest in the band, some are wondering if a reunion tour is far off. Speculation has been rife for years, and promoters have made huge offers to encourage the group’s remaining members to regroup. Madison Square Garden, for one, hopes to get Led Zeppelin to play its 125th anniversary celebration next summer, according to a source affiliated with the venue.
And speaking of anniversaries, 2003 marks the 35th year since the band formed, which has only made the rumor mill churn faster. Guitarist Jimmy Page said he’s constantly deflecting rumors of a reunion.
“I go into the studio and the engineer said to me, ‘It’s all over the papers that you’re touring next year,’ and I said, ‘What?’ ” Page recalled. “If ever there was going to be a situation that I personally would ridicule, it would be a band that was doing something from 30 years ago, putting it out, and then 30 years later going out to promote it with live shows. What sort of nonsense is that? That was just really silly.”
Still, Page doesn’t dismiss the idea entirely. But the legendary guitarist is looking for a catalyst other than money for the three surviving members to tour for the first time since 1980, when they chose to break up rather than continue without drummer John Bonham, who died in a drinking binge.
“It might be inconceivable, but it’s absolutely true — the three members of Led Zeppelin (Page, singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones) haven’t even sat in a room and discussed the possibility of whether we would get together,” he said. “For me, the most important thing would be that we got into a room together, look each other in the eye, pick up the instruments and play a song, still looking each other in the eye after that, with a smile behind the look. That’d be it.”
Should a reunion occur, several drummers’ names have already been bandied about as potential fill-ins for Bonham, including Zak Starkey (son of Beatle Ringo Starr), Phil Collins and Dave Grohl.