Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reunion tour still longshot for Led Zeppelin

There's a lot to consider when estimating the chances of Led Zeppelin extending its reunion beyond a single concert date.'s report yesterday of an in-concert announcement that the Cult would be opening for Led Zeppelin in 2008 has to be taken with the same grain-of-salt approach that has been afforded every rumor of a summer tour for many of the past 25 years.

Several news organizations have been repeating the story of Ian Astbury's pronouncement, including Billboard, which dug up a remark Jimmy Page made to the magazine in 2003:
"I think really we'd need to see how we got on in every respect. ... I mean, it's all very well. I know everyone would love to see us play together, but the reality of it is, if you start doing that, you commit to a period of time. And you've got to make sure that the music is jelling, and the personalities are jelling. But you know, who knows? Everything is possible! ...

"Let's be positive and say that maybe it could be. ... It certainly wouldn't be because anyone had gone ahead and booked dates for us. No, no, no, no, no. That wouldn't be the case at all. It would be because we felt like we'd like to do it."
Essentially, Jimmy said as recently as four years ago that you never know, it could happen under the right circumstances.

Those circumstances are pretty much in the here and now. Not completely, however. I can identify at least eight potential roadblocks that have to be overcome. This makes it still somewhat of a longshot.
  1. This Dec. 10 show has to come off without a hitch. [corrected a typo from before]
  2. The guys have to remain energetic and devoted.
  3. The guys have to stay healthy.
  4. The guys have to identify with a genuine reason to do more collaboration. This isn't a simple one!! "Do it for the fans" isn't good enough, and the only money they're concerned about is the money they can raise for charity. That might be a good angle.
  5. Plant has to be able to expand continually, be it with Alison Krauss for the time being or the Strange Sensation for the long run. Here's a BBC 4 news report that shows the balancing act he is currently doing.
  6. The other guys have to respect Plant's freedom.
  7. The other guys have to realize that they are also free to complete their own side projects (Jason with Foreigner, Jonesy with solo album, Jimmy with the world wide open).
  8. They have to give 100 percent when they're in Led Zeppelin, and if that takes up three months out of a year, then they are free to do whatever else the other nine.

Anything else???

I mean, there's no given that Led Zeppelin will tour in 2008 with the Cult or with anybody else or at all. Sure, they may have venues booked already, but there's no real penalty for pulling out of a show or tour to which you haven't committed.

I think Page's quote from 2003 stands as totally relevant today. It just goes to show you, though, that when you plug it in, it takes a lot more than just personalities jelling and music jelling. It takes understanding and cooperation and sacrifices. These guys just have to be up for the challenge.

And if committing yourself to be in the most powerful rock 'n' roll band of all time isn't a challenge, then I don't know what is.

1 comment:

  1. 1. The term is "with out a hitch"
    2. If Plant was in Zep full time, there would be no need for further expanding because Zep can and did it all. It is only because he is now with lesser musicians that he needs to collaborate with other types of players to expand.
    3. I've seen the real Zep 4 times in the past, and this "reunion" is not "Led Zeppelin", but it's the closest thing you are going to get. It's going to be more like: Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham.... Jr.


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