Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Myles Kennedy admits he jammed with Led Zeppelin members last year; singer-guitarist says there are no plans to continue

Myles Kennedy has finally admitted he sang in rehearsal with Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham last year.

But the chance of continuing with them in some capacity is now gone, he says.

"I'm not singing in Led Zeppelin or any offshoot of Led Zeppelin, but I did have a great opportunity and it was something that [I'm] very grateful for," Kennedy says in his first interview confirming his involvement last year with members of Led Zeppelin.

The singer-guitarist has previously sidestepped the issue and deflected direct questions, also refusing to address it as recently as two weeks ago.

His first confirmation came in an interview conducted at the National Association of Music Merchants' 2009 NAMM Show. Speaking to Eric Blair for an edition of the online series called "The Blairing Out Show" posted to YouTube Jan. 19, Kennedy broke the silence.

Asked how it felt being in the rehearsal room with Led Zeppelin members, Kennedy said, "Surreal. It was great." He would not comment on whether they were rehearsing new material.

His admission comes within two weeks of the disclosure by Jimmy Page manager Peter Mensch that some singer auditions took place last year for a Led Zeppelin offshoot band involving Page, Jones and Bonham.

Last August, Bonham became the first of them to admit to the press that jam sessions had occasionally taken place earlier in 2008 with him drumming for Page and Jones.

"I've been working with Jimmy and John Paul and trying to do just do some new material and some writing," he said at the time. "I don't know what it will be, but it will be something."

Kennedy, when asked to name the songs he sang with them, avoided the question. "I don't know," he said. "I'll tell that story someday, but for now it was a good experience, and I'm still pinching myself. Let's just put it that way."

Bonham's comments last August did not specify whether any singer was involved, but a disclosure to the press from an unidentified source soon said a singer was involved, at least in the placeholder capacity should Robert Plant decide to take part once his touring commitments with Alison Krauss expired. Kennedy was named shortly thereafter, and by the year's end, other names were speculated on, such as Steven Tyler's.

Kennedy is the first of those singers to admit publicly that he was involved in rehearsals.

Jones spoke last October of a project under consideration at that time that would have Page, Bonham and himself in a band fronted by a singer yet to be determined. He said he anticipated the project would include an album and a tour. He seemed to be under the impression that an announcement would be forthcoming.

Plant, meanwhile, has extended his professional relationship with Krauss beyond last year's tour, and they are said to be currently working on their second album together. Their first album, Raising Sand, is on track to pick up as many as five more Grammy awards at next month's ceremony after yielding them one Grammy last year.

Plant also issued a statement last September that said he would not be taking part in any Led Zeppelin activity.

While it was widely speculated in the press last year that Led Zeppelin was planning to tour and record under that name without Robert Plant, both Page and his management intoned that the band under consideration would never call itself Led Zeppelin. Plant, speaking in November at a time when the Page-Jones-Bonham project may have still been under consideration, also commented that his former bandmates would not be using the name Led Zeppelin in their endeavors.

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