Monday, September 29, 2008

If not reunite Led Zeppelin, what's Jimmy Page's next move?

Now that Robert Plant has quashed the rumor of his agreement to participate in a Led Zeppelin reunion, the rumor mill must find a new storyline to push.

And in this case, why not revive the one we were fed last week involving Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham?

After all, just because Plant isn't working with those three guys doesn't mean they're not working with each other, perhaps auditioning singers or maybe even already having identified their choice candidate.

A hint passed on to Led Zeppelin fans last week suggests that Alter Bridge singer-guitarist Myles Kennedy has become the boys' top pick in those much-ballyhooed jam sessions in England.

Hey hey, whaddya know? The Myles Kennedy rumor has now gone semi-mainstream, with entertaining Telegraph blogger Neil McCormick picking up on it! Also having written about it is Michael Christopher, music columnist for the Delco Times in Delaware County, Pa.

The mention of Kennedy's name in Zep circles last week was accompanied by a stipulation, assumedly conveyed to fans by insiders, that the Page-Jones-Bonham-Kennedy band would be a new project and not a Led Zeppelin redux.

If that's so, OK, fine. So, the band hypothetically puts out an album of originals. All new stuff nobody's heard before. How well does that go over in a live setting?

That resurrects another scenario previously discussed here: how classic artists can work to ensure their new music is appreciated by fans in a live setting, rather than be ignored as fodder for the proverbial bathroom break.

Still, even an aspiring new act that stars three members who will forever be indelibly linked to their past participation in Led Zeppelin has only one album's worth of original material under its belt. How could this act possibly conduct any kind of a tour without dipping into the Zep songbook for at least half the show?

Is it not human nature on the part of the musicians to want to play the songs that made them famous, and human nature on the part of the paying audience to expect to hear those songs?

And furthermore, is it not human nature to be disappointed if that expectation is not met? After all, this is the same fan base that crucifies Plant whenever he is seen as the lone holdout against a Led Zeppelin reunion, as he is no doubt currently being viewed in light of today's statement.

Plant's stance has definitely disappointed many fans who held a glimmer of hope that what happened in December 2007 could happen again, and soon.

So, if Page, Jones and Bonham have a project together that is not reuniting Led Zeppelin, how different can it be? Or, if you fit this into the context of history-resisting bands like Blind Faith and The Firm, how different must it be?

And what is the consensus on Myles Kennedy among readers of

Robert Plant negates reunion reports; says he will not tour again for another two years

Reports that Robert Plant has agreed to participate in a Led Zeppelin reunion are not true, the singer said today in an official statement.

Plant "has no intention whatsoever of touring with anyone for at least the next two years" following the conclusion of his tour with Alison Krauss on Oct. 5, the statement specifies.

Addressing the rumors that he would be somehow involved with Led Zeppelin, it says: "Robert Plant will not be touring or recording with Led Zeppelin. Anyone buying tickets online to any such event will be buying bogus tickets."

The Sun, a British tabloid, days ago published a story in which an unnamed source reveals Plant had agreed to tour with Led Zeppelin next year and, further, that the other musicians -- original Zep members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, with drummer Jason Bonham -- were ecstatic over Plant's decision.

That single report triggered a swath of articles in the media parroting the message, now debunked, that Plant and his onetime bandmates would soon be embarking on a tour as Led Zeppelin.

Plant says in the statement: "It's both frustrating and ridiculous for this story to continue to rear its head when all the musicians that surround the story are keen to get on with their individual projects and move forward."

What those individual projects are is unclear.

The Sun had earlier pegged Page, Jones and Bonham as collaborating together on new material and rehearsing with an American singer and perhaps even auditioning others.

Unlike the tabloid's later report about Plant, there may possibly be some truth in the report of the other musicians collaborating.

It was in August that Bonham first revealed in a radio interview that he had at least twice this year been jamming on new material with Page and Jones, although he did not mention whether or not any singers were involved.

At that time, Bonham announced he was leaving the band Foreigner, which is currently on tour with a new album due out next year. He said he wanted to have some time off to spend with his family before committing to any new projects that may require some time. He hinted that the jam sessions with Page and Jones would certainly result in something.

When the press took Bonham's comments to mean a new Led Zeppelin album was already being recorded or that a reunion tour was imminent, Page used an opportunity at an unrelated press conference to deny such assertions as overblown.

Jones is not known to have issued any public statements on the situation.

This weekend, London's Mirror reported that Bonham has put some of his property in England up for sale, which it somehow foolishly interpreted as a telltale indicator of a Led Zeppelin reunion.

Today's statement from the Plant camp concludes with one final thought from the singer: "I wish Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham nothing but success with any future projects."

So, the ball appears to be in the court of those musicians as to what individual, or perhaps collective, projects they will be moving forward on in the future.

As for Plant, evidently, we will not be seeing him on another tour until late 2010 at the earliest.

That doesn't necessarily mean, however, he would rule out any one-off onstage appearances. So, there's just enough ambiguity in his statement to keep hopes alive for anyone desperate to believe Plant could still take part in at least one more concert reuniting him with Page, Jones and Bonham -- such as they did last December in front of 20,000 fans at a concert paying tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegün.

But following a year of touring, Plant deserves at least a little break. A year ago this month, the Daily Express quoted Plant as preferring to sit back rather than embark on a Led Zeppelin tour.

"I know I’m getting on," he said at the time. "When I do come back from touring I'm shocked to find a lot of my mates tend to be going to bed far too early and that means I should probably be doing the same. Maybe I should stop having a good time and get old."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Report: Robert Plant caves, agrees to tour with Led Zeppelin

No confirmation on this story out as of yet, but a report says Robert Plant has responded to the recent reports of his Led Zeppelin bandmates rehearsing and auditioning singers in his stead with a green light to go ahead and include him on plans for touring next year.

An unnamed source told British tabloid The Sun that Plant "realized he couldn't face the thought of not being involved" in a touring band that involved Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham.

If true, this would prove to be the first Led Zeppelin tour since 1980. John Bonham, original drummer for Led Zeppelin, died 28 years ago today, leading the band to cancel its autumn 1980 touring plans and announce its dissolution by year's end. The band also resisted temptation to reunite save for very rare appearances, with last year's one-off (featuring Bonham's son Jason proving his worth on the drums) being the first onstage collaboration of all the band's surviving members in 12 years.

The story was also reported by an Australian news source (and has now been quoted by many news outlets in the United Kingdom and the Far East, although the mainstream press in North America held off on reporting anything by Friday morning).

Again, has no independent confirmation of Plant's commitment. (Update: Nor does any other source citing The Sun's report, and in fact Jason Gregory of Gigwise reports a spokesperson for Led Zeppelin provided no comment when asked to clarify.) But we'll see, won't we?

Is this the reunion we've all been holding out for? Oh, let the comments rain down upon my face!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Myles Kennedy first met Jason Bonham in 2000 on set of 'Rock Star' flick

It was during filming of the movie "Rock Star" in 2000 that drummer Jason Bonham first met Myles Kennedy, the singer-guitarist whose name is now being mentioned as having possibly been the mystery vocalist at jam sessions with Bonham, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones this year.

Both Kennedy and Bonham acted in the film, which starred Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston and marked George Clooney's first stint as an executive producer. Bonham played drums in the film's fictional band, Steel Dragon, and Kennedy had a brief singing part in a scene near the film's conclusion.

In an interview with Wall of Sound conducted a few months prior to the film's September 2001 release, Kennedy recalled what he said on the set in his first conversation with Bonham: "I remember sitting down and telling him, 'Your father's music pretty much inspired me to do this.' ... He was really nice about it. He's very proud of his dad's legacy, and he should be."

In "Rock Star," Steel Dragon hires the young lead vocalist of a tribute band devoted to the group to replace its famous longtime frontman. Some are interpreting the recent story published in The Sun as an indication that Led Zeppelin may go that route, favoring a new singer over Plant. Could Kennedy be that singer?

While Kennedy has not served as a member of any Led Zeppelin tribute bands, his various rock groups -- namely Citizen Swing, Mayfield Four and, currently, Alter Bridge -- have easily been identified as bearing Led Zeppelin's influence. The singer, whose vocal range is said to span four octaves, has admitted to being a Led Zeppelin fan since his teen years.

Pretending he was Page and his tennis racket was a guitar, Kennedy at 15 years old would spend hours at a time mimicking Led Zeppelin classics in front of his bedroom mirror.

When Kennedy teamed up with three former members of Creed and the rock fourpiece became Alter Bridge, he relocated from Washington across the country to Florida. That state has been home to Bonham for many years.

Alter Bridge is scheduled to tour the United Kingdom and mainland Europe this November and December. That excursion is currently set to end following a Dec. 7 show at Amsterdam's Heineken Music Hall.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Robert Plant resumes tour with Alison Krauss

Nine more concerts remain on the shared touring itinerary of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The first takes place tonight at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, with the final scheduled appearance two weekends away.

The Raising Sand 2008 tour began in April and included Krauss's first tour dates outside North America. The band traveled to perform in the United Kingdom and mainland Europe as well as throughout the United States and a few selected cities in Canada.

On their album Raising Sand, released last October and produced by T Bone Burnett, the two singers harmonize and take turns on lead vocals, all the while delving into an array of cover songs rich in Americana and styles of music altogether previously unexplored by the Led Zeppelin singer. Many of the studio musicians, already rich in their own musicianship, reprise their roles onstage this year and reliably provided the kind of support required to adapt to Plant's vocal improvisations on Led Zeppelin numbers and other songs he essentially made his own.

Plant returned to England during his time off to accept an award in London on Sept. 2 alongside his Led Zeppelin bandmates, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. As this appearance narrowly followed Jason Bonham's revelation that he had been rehearsing new material with Page and Jones, Plant's presence sparked a bit of hope that the bandmates would once again reunite just as they had for a one-off show last December. So far this month, Plant's only publicly disclosed comment on the prospect of any further Led Zeppelin reunion was a comment to GQ magazine that he would inevitably be required to sign a great deal of paperwork.

But on Sept. 9, Alison Krauss was at Plant's side when they attended the London ceremony for the Nationwide Mercury Prize. Their album, Raising Sand, had made it to the shortlist of 12 of the best albums of the past year. Elbow's new album won the prize.

Plant was back in the United States by Sept. 17, when he and Krauss met up again in Nashville to pay tribute to Levon Helm of The Band. The all-star concert was affiliated the the Americana Music Association, which gave its top honors to Plant and Krauss the following night at an awards ceremony at the Ryman Auditorium. Sept. 18 also saw Plant join touring partner Buddy Miller onstage for a rendition of a song CMT says will be included on Miller's upcoming album.

The nine remaining Plant-Krauss concerts, beginning tonight, are as follows:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 23 -- Kansas City, Mo. -- Starlight Theatre
  • Wednesday, Sept. 24 -- St. Louis, Mo. -- Fox Theatre
  • Friday, Sept. 26 -- Zoo Amphitheatre, Oklahoma City, Okla. (recently announced; this concert replaces one originally scheduled on this date at Houston's Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, which was canceled due to damages from Hurricane Ike)
  • Saturday, Sept. 27 -- Austin, Texas -- Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park
  • Tuesday, Sept. 30 -- Portland, Ore. -- Theatre of the Clouds
  • Wednesday, Oct. 1 -- Seattle, Wash. -- WaMu Theater
  • Friday, Oct. 3 -- San Francisco, Calif. -- Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest
  • Saturday, Oct. 4 -- Kelseyville, Calif. -- Konocti Field Amphitheatre
  • Sunday, Oct. 5 -- Saratoga, Calif. -- The Mountain Winery

Monday, September 22, 2008

Robert Plant's not the only singer in the world

Back in the Led Zeppelin days, the whole band contributed some harmonies from time to time. And at December's reunion show, drummer Jason Bonham displayed an unexpectedly powerful set of pipes when he backed Robert Plant and took his late father's place on the skins.

Bonham tells us since that show, he has sometimes jammed on new material with original Led Zeppelin musicians Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. No doubt there were three expert instrumentalists in the room, but which of them stepped up to carry a tune?

Was it Bonham himself, whom Plant encouraged to belt out the opening line of "I Can't Quit You Baby" between songs at the Zeppelin performance?

Was it John Paul Jones, who sang on two of his own solo albums in 17 years apart, and even took to singing "That's the Way" onstage on his last solo tour?

Or have the seldom-heard melodic tones of Jimmy Page's voicebox received a much-needed jolt?

Last week's suggestion that a fourth man has been introduced into the fold seems logical. If there is singing at all, it would make sense to have a singer there so that vocal cues can be heard without unnecessarily diverting one of the non-singers' attention from his instrument.

If they're planning for a Led Zeppelin tour with Robert Plant next year, and if he's temporarily unavailable at this stage in the rehearsals due to touring commitments with Alison Krauss, then it makes sense to have someone sit in who can at least muddle through the old songs.

Anyone who's been listening to Zep's back catalog for a few years could fit that bill. Ahem; I could do it!

The article in U.K. tabloid The Sun hints that the new vocalist is a decent singer who would be capable of serving as Plant's understudy should the original frontman singularly decide a Led Zeppelin tour in 2009 is not in his future.

Too much paperwork seems a fine excuse to sit it out. I mean, with all the various contracts Plant would have to sign if he were to consent to a tour, we don't want the poor dear to come down with carpal tunnel, do we? (Maybe he should take a cue from Jimmy Page and save his ink for those tour plans.)

This reported new singer, who The Sun's informant does not name but says is American, is assumedly a little better than the average guy who stumbles through "Stairway to Heaven" at the karaoke bar after midnight on weekends.

With the Foo Fighters on hiatus, it could be a great opportunity for the two members who sang Zeppelin songs onstage with Page and Jones at London's Wembley Stadium this June. Taylor Hawkins, who sang "Rock and Roll" while Dave Grohl rocked the drums, was the more mellifluous of the pair, but Grohl's energetic command of "Ramble On" -- not to mention his chumming around with the Zeppelin quartet earlier this month -- may have led MusicRadar to its guess that Grohl is already working as Plant's stand-in.

Since getting a singer is being reported as an audition situation, perhaps they've already rehearsed and rejected some candidates. If so, maybe that's why Page was reportedly so eager to get Motörhead singer Lemmy's phone number when the two met up back in June. And maybe they even considered Leona Lewis in a reprisal of her role leading Jimmy Page through a rendition of "Whole Lotta Love" at the Olympics last month.

Now suppose the direction of these Bonham-Jones-Page jam sessions is not to retread the beaten-down path and revive Led Zeppelin onstage with half of its original members. Suppose, instead, there's new territory to explore. What if a singer other than Robert Plant translates to a resulting band other than Led Zeppelin (or the definitive Led Zeppelin tribute act)?

After all, when three of the ex-members of Creed regrouped without frontman Scott Stapp and introduced a new singer, they called it not Creed but Alter Bridge. With a lineup completed by Myles Kennedy of Spokane, Wash., Alter Bridge was a new group altogether.

Could Page, Jones and Bonham likewise blend with a new vocalist to generate something genuine and entire of itself? We may find out someday.

As for now, the latest comment from Page is that the recent reports of Led Zeppelin recording sessions were off the mark. His comment would be correct even if he, Jones and Bonham have been recording an album of fresh material as members of a new band that will dominate their 2009 calendars.

Friday, September 19, 2008

U.K. tabloid cites source on replacing Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin

Make what you will of what this "source" apparently has told The Sun, a British tabloid:
"Jimmy, Jason and John are determined a tour will go ahead next year. They've been rehearsing frequently in London and the band is really gelling. There's an American guy who has been standing in for Robert regularly and doing a great job. Obviously they want the original frontman to join them on the road but he still won't commit. They will be finalising plans for shows over the next couple of months and will tell Robert that if he doesn't want to be involved they will go ahead without him."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jimmy Page downplays speculation over Led Zeppelin recording

Asked over the weekend for his perspective on the possibility of a Led Zeppelin reunion, Jimmy Page said his recent jam sessions with John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham were "nothing as monumental as what people are speculating and projecting."

The question about reported jam sessions by that particular trio came during a press conference about another trio also involving Page. Along with costars and fellow guitarists Jack White and The Edge, Page was on hand at the press conference in Toronto on Sept. 6, one day after the world premiere of guitar documentary "It Might Get Loud" at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Blogger Seán Francis Condon admits to being the first person to elicit a direct answer from Page on the subject of Led Zeppelin during the press conference, after two others tried and failed. But what Page told him in that answer certainly downplayed the reunion rumors aided by the popular press in recent days.

"If you're going to have a reunion, you need four members," Page told Condon. "You quite rightly said that John Paul Jones, myself and Jason -- we had a little sort of jam. It's nothing as monumental as what people are speculating and projecting."

This was the first time Page addressed Bonham's declaration last month that the three had jammed together on more than one occasion in the months following their one-off performance, with Robert Plant, as Led Zeppelin.

In an Aug. 22 interview that aired on on Detroit's WCSX 94.7 FM, Bonham said, "I've been working with Jimmy and John Paul and trying to do just do some new material and some writing. I don't know what it will be, but it will be something."

In the days that followed Bonham's radio interview, the popular press arrived at some outlandish conclusions regarding those words. It was a veritable game of "whisper down the lane" as various media outlets picked up the news and degraded the original message each time the story was told and retold.

By the time the story crossed the Atlantic and became fodder for the British press, Bonham's words were twisted so much as to address two things he really never mentioned: Robert Plant and the possibility of an album. Under the headline "Led Zeppelin trio back in studio," BBC News reported on Aug. 26:
Drummer Bonham told a radio station in Detroit that the songs could be destined for a new Led Zeppelin album.
But lead singer Robert Plant has not been involved in any of the sessions, he added.
Condon, the interviewer who got Page to comment seriously on Led Zeppelin reunion rumors on Sept. 6, has obviously been following the Led Zeppelin reunion rumors. He references that BBC article in his blog post summarizing Page's remarks, and he also refers to Robert Plant's recently noted takes on the prospect of a Led Zeppelin reunion. Condon writes:
Two weeks ago, the BBC reported that Page, Jones and Jason Bonham had been recording tracks for what would be the basis of a new Led Zeppelin album. If true, the release would be the first disc of all-new Zep material since 1979's "In Through the Out Door."

My question to Page was the final one of the press conference, and it was a request to clear up those reports: of the three-fourths recording, of a rumoured tour.

"We're not actually recording, so that's…," began Page, sartorial in a white shirt and black longcoat. "We played the O2. That was our reunion."

The sticking point in all the conjecture has been lead singer Robert Plant. Since O2, Plant has toured with American roots-country musician Alison Krauss, releasing the Grammy-winning collaboration "Raising Sand." In all reports, Plant has been similarly indirect – though he has previously hinted that he has little interest in the grind of a large-scale tour.
A news item by Rolling Stone also quotes Page at the press conference:
"We're not actually recording ... Playing at the 02, that was our reunion and it was one day and it was at the 02 in London. ... And basically that was it because if you're going to do a reunion, you need four members. John Paul Jones, myself and Jason would sort jam afterwards but it was nothing as monumental as people are speculating."
That Page commented on the Led Zeppelin reunion rumors at all is really something. He's been silent on the topic in the two weeks since Jason Bonham's interview. And here Page was at a press conference following a film premiere.

And apparently, reporters were instructed that their questions to Page, White and Edge had better be about the film. That's what Condon said anyway:
Before the conference started, a publicity flak urged reporters to keep their questions to the film, and not to each of the musicians’ personal careers. The message was obvious, and the elephant in the room sat there for a full 35 minutes – though the subject of a Led Zeppelin reunion was broached lightly in a couple of reporters’ convoluted questions that were easily sidestepped.
Cameron French writes for Reuters:
Moderator George Stroumboulopoulos was clearly trying to shield Page from having to answer questions about a reunion, redirecting questions from two reporters on the subject.
Finally, on the third try, Page answered.
Karen Bliss writes for Rolling Stone:
Jimmy Page dodged two questions about a potential Zeppelin reunion Saturday at a Toronto International Film Festival press conference for the documentary It Might Get Loud, alongside fellow guitarists the Edge and Jack White. But upon the announcement of “final question,” another reporter gave it a shot, and didn’t package it as a secondary question with one about the film. Point blank, Page was asked about rumours that he, John Bonham’s son Jason and John Paul Jones are recording right now and that a reunion is on the horizon.
Page was not at a Led Zeppelin event such as the GQ awards ceremony in London earlier that week. There, he was photographed alongside Jones and Plant (not to mention Dave Grohl). Surely, that was the time and place for a question about a possible Led Zeppelin reunion. But the answers garnered there were not enough.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

U.K. coverage of Led Zeppelin's award inspires word of the week: 'gong'

In U.K. reports, I keep seeing the word "gong" used as a synonym for "award," as in "Led Zeppelin received the Outstanding Achievement gong at Tuesday's GQ awards ceremony."

Evidently, this is like a trolley or a lift: They mean different things over there compared to how they're used on my side of the Atlantic.

Maybe I deserve a gong myself since I figured this out from context clues.

Here's one example from the print media. A small GQ write-up here quotes both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant on the frequency of awards throughout their career.

Page says:
"In our day we never got any."
Plant invokes the magic word, adding:
"The thing is, when the temples get grey, the gongs start coming in thick and fast."
You said it, man. Long live the gong!

On a completely different note, the first review I've seen trickle in from the world premiere of the guitar documentary "It Might Get Loud" in Toronto a few hours ago says this:
"Could this movie possibly live up to the hype? My friends, this movie lived up to everything I thought it would be ... and then turned it up to eleven."
Read the whole piece here.

Could a gong be in the future for Davis Guggenheim? I've already quoted Bob Thompson of the National Post here, who foresees an Oscar.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jimmy Page expected with guitarist co-stars at film premiere, afterparty in Toronto

Jimmy Page is used to glitz and glam, but two big red-carpet affairs in one week?

The Led Zeppelin guitarist, who just turned up in London on Tuesday to receive a GQ award recognizing his band's Outstanding Achievement, is said to be partaking in festivities tomorrow night in Toronto as the new feature-length documentary starring him opens in a limited festival run.

The buzz is building about "It Might Get Loud," and adulation has already surfaced in Canada's National Post newspaper. Critic Bob Thompson predicts the 97-minute documentary "will get a documentary Oscar nod for Davis Guggenheim's history of the rock guitar as told and played by three generations of rock 'n' jagermeisters."

The film is scheduled for three public screenings during the Toronto International Film Festival, including its world premiere tomorrow at 9:15 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre. The three guitarists featured in the film -- Page, The Edge from U2, and Jack White of both the White Stripes and the Raconteurs -- have all been mentioned as attending.

Their plans are also said to include an afterparty, the National Post reports. "Jimmy Page, Jack White and U2's The Edge are all expected at the south-of-Bloor party that's planned following the Friday night airing here of Davis Guggenheim's electrically-charged guitar doc It Might Get Loud," it says.

This would make the premiere and afterparty some of the hottest tickets in town, rivaling only perhaps those of star-studded Coen Brothers' latest big-screen submission.

After the premiere of "It Might Get Loud," the film is to move to the AMC 6 for its two other arranged screenings: on Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. and on Sept. 13 at 12 noon.

Currently, no distribution has been arranged for the film beyond these three showings associated with the festival. will report on any changes to this as they are announced.

Writer Thom Powers, in the film festival's official Web page about the documentary, says Guggenheim provides viewers with "intimate access to the creative process" of each guitarist, individually, before they meet for the first time to trade stories and influences -- and, of course, to jam.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pictures speak louder than words

A lot can be said for nonverbal communication, which happens to be the subject I studied in college two semesters in a row. So much is being made of the posture and facial expressions of the Led Zeppelin members who turned out to pick up their GQ award in London last night. Both the mainstream press and Zep fans in multiple online forums are taking stabs at interpreting what can be gleaned from examining a few photographs of the event.

The Sun uses a visual analysis of Robert Plant at the event to weigh in on any future collaboration among all three 60-somethings: "Hopes of a full-on LED ZEPPELIN reunion took a knock on the night. Bassist JOHN PAUL JONES and guitarist JIMMY PAGE both said they were keen to reform the band. But ROBERT PLANT, who had a long chat with Gavin & Stacey stars ROB BRYDON and RUTH JONES, looked unimpressed."

On both the official discussion group at and on For Badgeholders Only, fans today have been taking the phrase "Every picture tells a story" quite seriously. One user of both forums pointed to the photo shown above (from left, John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant) and said that "the body language doesn't look real cozy." Pressed for further explanation in FBO, the user continued, "Look how Jimmy is posed facing slightly toward the middle of the pic as one would tend to do. Robert is clearly leaning away from Jimmy and has placed his foot and shoulder firmly in front of Jimmy as if trying to be dominant." Some agreed with such naysaying analyses, while others commenting were less skeptical.

Any comments from the peanut gallery?

Led Zeppelin awarded in person; Page, Plant and Jones accept GQ's top honor in London

All three original surviving members of Led Zeppelin made a surprise appearance in London Tuesday when the bandmates shared a podium to receive GQ's Men of the Year award for 2008.

"The U.K.'s most celebrated awards ceremony," held at London's Royal Opera House, marked the first public appearance together by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones since they performed a one-off concert last December, also in London, with Jason Bonham filling in for his late father on drums. That exclusive performance, which reunited the group's surviving members for their first full show since 1980, is the reason the Led Zeppelin members earned GQ's Outstanding Achievement award.

Page and Jones were on hand in June when another magazine, Mojo, honored Led Zeppelin with an award as voted on by readers to recognize the live show. Plant, however, was touring the United States when his Led Zeppelin bandmates picked up the Mojo award in person.

It is also Plant who was absent earlier this year while Page, Jones and Bonham were jamming on new material in England.

Surely, much could be made of Plant's photo op with Page and Jones at the GQ Men of the Year award ceremony in London on Sept. 2. For now, all that can be discerned from this rare appearance by all three original surviving members of Led Zeppelin is that they are, for now, willing to look back and appreciate their long and storied past.

Many fans are quick to call this month Zeptember, and rightly so, as the coming weeks are to include several reminders of Led Zeppelin's magic. Namely:

  • At Knebworth Field House, the site of the band's final U.K. concerts in 1979, a fan-initiated memorabilia exhibition celebrating Led Zeppelin closes today with a scheduled personal appearance by Zacron, the artist behind the group's third album.
  • Page is slated to walk the red carpet of the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday, Sept. 5, for the world premiere of "It Might Get Loud," a movie joining him with fellow guitar superstars The Edge and Jack White.
  • This Sunday, Sept. 7, marks the 40th anniversary of Led Zeppelin's first live performance. Fans in Denmark who were present for that historic moment in 1968 will relive it 40 years to the day when a Led Zeppelin tribute band recreates the group's famous music.
  • This month, author Frank Reddon of Enzepplopedia fame is to release the first book of a series recounting Led Zeppelin's early years in detail, as told by numerous voices including some previously untapped primary sources who witnessed the group's power firsthand.
  • Led Zeppelin has been nominated for a Vodafone live music award in the category of best live return, again for the O2 Arena concert. Winners are to be announced at the third annual ceremony, to be held Sept. 18 in London.