Led Zeppelin: No Reunion, but No Flat Denials Either
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones discuss expectations, the Kennedy Center Honors and the Super Bowl halftime show during a news conference to promote their concert film, "Celebration Day."
Better put those hopes for another Led Zeppelin reunion on hold.
Questions to that effect directed to the surviving band members and drummer Jason Bonham, son of the late John Bonham, were met mostly with a stony silence at a New York City news conference to promote the theatrical release of Celebration Day, filmed at Zeppelin's historic 2007 show at London’s O2 Arena.
When asked how he felt about the fact that the worldwide showings of the film on Oct. 17 and 18 likely would spark a renewed desire in fans to see the legendary band in the flesh, bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones muttered, “Sorry.”
During a Q&A at the Museum of Modern Art that followed a screening of Celebration Day, guitarist Jimmy Page pointed out there had been no band activity since the one-off tribute show in honor of the late Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun took place nearly five years ago.
“It seems unlikely, doesn’t it?” he said about the possibility of another reunion or tour.
“We’ve been thinking about all sorts of things,” singer Robert Plant said with a smile. “Then we can’t remember what we’ve been thinking about.”
All were in agreement that the 2007 concert, due to be released Nov. 19 in multiple audio and video formats, featured them playing with a renewed power that far exceeded their reunion shows at Live Aid in 1985 and the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert in 1988, both of which were considered disappointing.
“That night we were just hanging on for dear life,” Plant said about the O2 show, for which they rehearsed over a period of six weeks. “We were so happy that we were getting it right.”
Asked about the set list that included such classics as “Dazed and Confused,” “Kashmir,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock and Roll” and radio perennial “Stairway to Heaven,” Page defined the show as a career retrospective.
“I think we made pretty good choices in the time we had,” he pointed out.
“It was a feeling of relief that we got through it and did it well,” Jones added. “The feeling was like the very first time we were together.”
Said Plant: “The responsibility of doing that four nights a week for the rest of time is a different thing. Expectations are a horrific thing. To do anything at all together is a terrible weight. Because sometimes we’re f---ing awful.”
All admitted to being thrilled about their Kennedy Center honor in December, especially since their music mostly had been influenced by American musicians.
But when asked about the rumor that they might play at the Super Bowl halftime show next year, Plant smirked.
“Who said Americans aren’t funny?” he replied.
Watch a trailer for Celebration Day below.