Monday, October 6, 2008

Robert Plant on two-year abstention from touring as of today

If Robert Plant wasn't lying or exaggerating when he issued a statement last week, then he won't be on tour again for at least two years from today.

The 60-year-old's self-imposed embargo of long road trips officially began at midnight today, shortly after taking his final bows on the stage of the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. This Oct. 5 show with Alison Krauss, T Bone Burnett and other bluegrass musicians signalled the conclusion of an international working escapade that has dominated Plant's time since April.

In last week's proclamation, Plant publicly shattered, in no uncertain terms, any possibility of his reuniting Led Zeppelin for a tour or even any recording. In part, the statement released on Plant's behalf reads: "Robert has no intention whatsoever of touring with anyone for at least the next two years. Contrary to a spate of recent reports, Robert Plant will not be touring or recording with Led Zeppelin."

Still thinking Led Zeppelin could reunite in 2010? Let's see: Two years from today, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones will be three months away from their 67th and 65th birthdays, respectively. Sure, they might still be viable musicians then, but they're said to be pursuing their own individual projects in the meantime, if not making some collaborative effort. Why would they wait two years for their friend to make himself available?

Maybe Plant intends to spend a couple years acting more like a typical grandfather. Or maybe he has something musical on the table that will take two years of planning. Who knows? He didn't specify any particular justification for his decision this time, although in September 2007 he did say he was looking forward to starting to go to sleep earlier once he stopped touring.

Whatever Plant's two-year outlook may be, his announcement marked the first time in years he used unequivocal terms to address the topic of his intentions with Led Zeppelin. His interviews have seldom conveyed moments of clarity. The least vague he has been in an interview was in July when he remarked to Beverly Keel of The Tennessean, "Could Led Zeppelin play together? Of course they could, but why? And for what? That is the question." It was a hint of the decision to come.

But the official declaration of that decision came in late September as his tour with Krauss was winding down, and just after British tabloid The Sun posted a story attributing exactly the opposite decision to Plant. The report had allowed fans all over the world reason to believe that a Led Zeppelin tour was already a certainty.

Plant is not to blame for the last straw, the one in which a tipster to The Sun erroneously said Plant's consent was in the bag and the other musicians involved were overjoyed. And Plant is certainly welcome to choose what he does and does not want to do onstage and in the studio.

But Plant's decision stands in stark contrast to some of his less ambiguous comments to the media in recent years when he spoke of Led Zeppelin.

The most egregious that comes to mind is the one published in the Dec. 13, 2007, issue of Rolling Stone, in which he tells David Fricke in a November interview how enthusiastic he'd been while rehearsing with Page, Jones and Jason Bonham for their one-off concert in London. "I never wanted to do it," Plant said at the time. "Now I want to do nothing else. How about that?"

If being wishy-washy were an offense worthy of capital punishment, Plant would be swingin' on the gallows pole.


  1. Just from the interviews I have seen and read, I think the man was quite clear for some time already! But then, my view wasn't coloured by hope! And personally I applaud him for moving forward rather than back in time! :)

  2. i think Plant is playing a game!to become more interesting,he and Zep are agree to play this game with fans!to see how Zep fans would apply them min after min!!

  3. Plant as usual, has used The possibility of a tour w/ Zep to his advantage. he constantly uses his Zep past to promote his solo endeavors, and then disavows Zep when he doesn't need it. if he was never in Zep, he would be nobody. So now that the AK tour is done, he washes his hands of Zep until he needs them again. he should have said straight out NO!,months ago. This in itself has made me lose respect for him. i would love a tour, but i understand his reservations. he should have in no uncertain terms said NO! He will use Zep again to promote himself, no doubt.

  4. Hey Steve,

    What’s Page’s options?

    That’s a no-brainer.
    Jimmy said he was preparing a solo album to be record and released in September of 2007 “But something got in the way” (little did we know).

    So now he’s going to complete that project and what better way to complete a project than to have the help of John Paul Jones and Jason to work with him. They’re a rythem section complete and ready to go with added benefit of spending six months or so together.

    JPJ brings his experience, musicianship, arragning skills, easy going attitude and can play multiple instruments where needed, just like in the Zeppelin days.

    Jason bring in the familiarality with playing the back beat. Although he is no John Bonham, he still is a good drummer.

    This would be a big advantage to Page to have this “ready to go” rhythem section, than to have to pick some strangers out to work with him in the studio, plus it probably would’nt cost him that much, being the miser that he is (ha, ha).

    Page has stated in recent interviews that he always felt that “musically Zeppelin could always handle anything in house, especially in the studio”. 2 old studio pros working together with the added plus of having worked before, and recently and being very successful at it.

    You could pull in a singer if needed for a song or two and there you have it.
    “Jimmy Page and friends”.

    What do you think?


  5. "Page and freinds" sounds about as interesting as "rasing sand" was. I disagree on the "no brainer" comment. Plant has screwed that up for his "freinds" as well. If they do that now it will absolutely come off as a cynical ploy to exploit the desire of zep fans to see their favorite band, without delivering; Just as Rob Plant did. I think thats real problem.


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