Saturday, July 4, 2009

Media abuzz over John Paul Jones band, not O2 offer to Led Zeppelin: Michael Jackson's 50 London gigs split between Zep, ABBA

Numerous media outlets have rolled with the semi-confirmed report on the musical project involving John Paul Jones with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme in the past couple of days since Antiquiet broke the story. The as-yet unnamed supergroup has been the talk of Rolling Stone, The Guardian and an infinite number of music blogs with great interest in each of the three.

Yet there has so far been no such mass regurgitation of a report yesterday that AEG Live has offered Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Jason Bonham, the would-be members of Led Zeppelin, half of the 50 concert dates at the O2 arena that had been booked for the recently departed Michael Jackson. Shows there were to begin July 13.

Perhaps the lack of coverage has to do with the current American holiday, or maybe the media are responsibly holding off until they can confirm the report, considering it was issued by the British tabloid, The Sun.

Interestingly, The Sun is the same outlet that, late last year, correctly aired the first reports of Jones and Page rehearsing Led Zeppelin songs with singer-guitarist Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge.

But this time, the report in The Sun does not come from a source close to the members of Led Zeppelin, rather from a source at AEG Live. It outlines an offer made, not one necessarily being considered, and the point of view comes from AEG Live, which the article says would "face multi-million pound losses if they cannot fill the slots."

The other half of Jackson's concert dates was offered to Swedish pop group ABBA, according to the report in The Sun. It quotes a source at AEG who tells The Sun, "Only Michael Jackson could sell out 50 nights at such a big arena, but Led Zeppelin and Abba combined might just rival him. There is huge money on the table."

This wording could translate to a mistake in making the offer an attractive one for the members of Led Zeppelin, who are hardly ever ones to make a decision about resurrecting that band name lightly. Even despite a close relationship between that band and ABBA, it is hardly acceptable for Led Zeppelin to equate itself with ABBA or any other act. The AEG Live source may have hurt the cause in obtaining Led Zeppelin by implying the group is half as good as Jackson and exactly as good as ABBA.

Another report has surfaced, quoting ABBA's Benny Andersson as denying having been approached by AEG Live. "No one has ever asked us," Andersson reportedly said. "And if they asked us they would have had 'no' as an answer." So, there you have it: ABBA may turn down an offer, although his opinion is admittedly one of four that all matter. If ABBA backs out of the equation, it could leave Led Zeppelin as the sole act to pick up the slack.

A series of 50 gigs is not something Led Zeppelin would quickly, or even slowly, agree to complete. It's reportedly been a sticking point of Plant's that any reunion activity is limited to a single gig here and there, and always for the right cause. In the case of the band's 2007 concert at the O2 arena, its first public performance in 19 years, the cause was a tribute to the late Ahmet Ertegun benefiting a scholarship foundation established in his memory. It seems highly unlikely that a cause like keeping some promoter out of debt would be a top priority for the would-be members of Led Zeppelin.

For the group to accept this invitation would be highly unexpected. Instead, maybe the invitation ought to be extended to Jones, Grohl and Homme, if they're eager enough to get out there and play.

1 comment:

  1. Guess AEG took my idea from 6-26 and ran with it, but ABBA?
    Come on . . . . .

    What is it with these guys?
    Really . . .



Comments are moderated prior to publication. Comments will not be published if they are deemed vulgar, defamatory or otherwise objectionable.