Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jimmy Page's manager claims singer auditions failed, 'no plans' for tour

OK, so the only thing that stands in the way of a new album and tour with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham is identifying a singer. Right?

That's what one would be led to believe after being exposed to the words of Page's manager, QPrime's Peter Mensch, who just said as much when he spoke with BBC Radio, as reported today.

But now Mensch is quoted, also today, by another news site saying something a little different. According to Joe Bosso's report on MusicRadar, the manager has told that site:
"They tried out a few singers, but no one worked out. That was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue. Zero. Frankly, I wish everybody would stop talking about it."
Confused? Parse these words from Mensch carefully:
"Led Zeppelin are over! If you didn't see them in 2007, you missed them. It's done. I can't be any clearer than that."
Right. We already knew that, considering past disclosures to that effect from Page himself and an unnamed QPrime representative speaking on his behalf. This is almost exactly what Page told reporters last September:
"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."
It almost sounds like MusicRadar's reporter was asking Mensch about a Led Zeppelin reunion, rather than a new collaboration between a singer and the established trio of Page, Jones and Bonham. It was precisely this line of questioning that went out of fashion last year after it became clear Robert Plant wanted no part of a Led Zeppelin reunion.

But it's interesting to see Mensch commenting on the fruits of the rehearsals, particularly that of the "few singers" they "tried out," "no one worked out."

While it has been reported that Page, Jones and Bonham were auditioning or rehearsing or jamming with singers Myles Kennedy and Steven Tyler last year, there have been no previous comments on how fruitful any singer rehearsals or auditions were.

And so, if you believe MusicRadar's quote from Mensch, then that's it: The project is called off. It won't happen.

The MusicRadar report concludes with one final quote from Mensch on the topic. It asks him what Page's plans are for the new year, and the manager replies:
"F--- if I know. I'm waiting to hear."
We all are, Jimmy. In fact, we have been for a while.

The guitarist turns 65 this Friday, Jan. 9. Jones just celebrated his 63rd birthday last Saturday, Jan. 3.


  1. This Peter Mensch guy sounds like a real tool . . . .

    I believe that the 3 are working on new material for a non-Zeppelin album.

    Jimmy had stuff ready for a solo album right before the reunion started, and JPJ had been working on his 3rd solo album as well. I believe that they are putting both of those together and are polishing it up for recording, when it is ready.

    Also, If you listen to some of the bootleg recordings from the studio, you'll notice that a lot of the time the band already laid down the finished music tracks and Robert would come in at the end and add the melody and the lyrics to the song. I certainly can see them doing it the same way and adding the singer of their choice at the end, when they make their decision. Could be multiple singers.

    Who knows, maybe even the great Robert Plant can add his parts to the songs in Nashville, in between, when he's not working with Yoko Ono, I mean Alison Krauss.

    On a different note:

    I certainly wish that all of the morons out there finally get it through their fat heads: PAGE, JONES & BONHAM ARE NOT GOING OUT AS LED ZEPPELIN!

    Period . . . . End of story . . . . Take a chill pill Lill . . . . No one is going to rain on your precious Led Zeppelin Parade.

    Although I was initially upset that little Bobby Plant blew us off by refusing to tour with the other guys, I am actually happy now that he is not participating.

    This will keep all of the soccer moms, yuppies and rich people from attending the shows just for the "Bragging Rights" of being there. It will also keep the ticket availability, prices and scalping down.

    That will really give the actual fan (me) a 50-75% better chance of actually seeing them, and scoring some decent tickets, at a decent price.

    As far as new material is concerned, I can't wait to hear what Page and Jones come up with. The joy and enthusiasm of hearing the old band (even with Jason) play together again live, should be great. I'm a musician. I go to concerts to listen, and Zep has never disappointed me with the music, but singing wise, is a whole different story.

    Why ruin the music with a crappy burnt out voice, that still can't hit the high notes an octave lower?

    Let's face it, Plant's last great year was 1972. Every show he sang after that was a disappointment. When I saw him in 1973, it broke my heart. I remember thinking to myself: What the hell happened?

    What do you think he would sound like in 2009, 37 years later?

    I've heard and seen the Bootlegs of the O2 show, and he croaks.

    On the other hand, I believe when Jones and Page get together, they inspire each other to play better and to be on top of their game, playing wise, writing wise, and arraignment wise. To me, Jones never lost a step, and based on the O2 performance, Page has improved immensely from the last few times we've been able to see him. What do you think that is attributed to?

    Both Robert Plant and John Bonham said it themselves: "The other 2 Guys are better than we are".
    Even though that's hard to believe, they both felt inferior to Page and Jones. That's the way it is, that's the way it was. Look it up.

    And quit crying "No Robert Plant, No Led Zeppelin".
    No Shit.


    PS: Note to Jimmy Page - Check out that dude from Mars Volta.

  2. Amazed by the above comment. I have heard Robert Plant in his Led Zep days, with Strange Sensation and with Alison Krauss.

    He has always been excellent and often demonstrated a completely fresh approach to the Led Zep classics. His singing style in the early LZ days was so unique that it is absurd to think he should sing identically to the way he did in 1972. Who on earth could some 36 years later?

    On top of that he is always good value, going out of his way to meet and talk to people, supporting events like Cropredy as well as charities.

    I only hope I have his energy (and his voice) when I hit 60+!!

  3. Cedric Bixler-Zavala is that dude from The Mars Volta. I totally agree he's somebody Jimmy and co. should audition if their project is still viable. Here's the thing though - Bixler-Zavala and TMV guitarist/producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez stated The Mars Volta have recently completed their 5th studio album. It's slated for release sometime this spring. Since TMV have a history of doing extensive international tours and doubtless, they will be touring to support the CD, when and where would Cedric get the time to do a live audition? Great idea and choice... bad timing.

  4. If you're looking for an energetic singer who can fill in on multiple instruments, you could do a lot worse than Cedric. I am amazed by the couple of Mars Volta albums I have, De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute. And Cedric's vocals are a big part of that.

    But I'm even more blown away by this live album by De Facto that a friend played for me once, ¡Megaton Shotblast! That's an amazing piece of work, with Cedric on not vocals but drums. And since he's quite the utility player, Cedric also used to play bass with De Facto.

    So, say he were in a band with John Paul Jones, and Jonesy wanted to play a keyboard or mandolin or lap steel and not worry about having to double on bass pedals. Cedric could play bass (and sing at the same time). If Jason Bonham drummed for the same band but wanted to tackle lead vocals for a number, Cedric could take over on drums. And nobody would be upstaging Jimmy Page on guitar assuming he were part of it too!


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