Robert Plant Turned Down Nine-Figure Payday to Reunite Led Zeppelin: Report

By Brian Ives 

Over the weekend, the U.K. tabloid The Mirror reported that Robert Plant declined to participate in a Led Zeppelin reunion that would have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The celebrity gossip sheet reported that Plant’s former bandmates Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had signed on the dotted line for the reunion, offered to them by Richard Branson, who was also going to rebrand one of his Virgin Airlines jumbo jets “The Starship” to fly them to the gigs (“The Starship” was the name of the airplane that Zeppelin used to travel around on their tours in the ’70s).

Related: 10 Best Robert Plant Songs Outside of Led Zeppelin

“An industry source” told The Mirror that Plant, Page and Jones each could have earned £250 million, or about $397 million, for 35 dates in three locations: London, Berlin and New Jersey. Jason Bonham, who would have played drums (and who had reportedly signed on), would have been paid salary for the shows.

Related: Robert Plant: ‘Zero’ Chance of Led Zeppelin Reunion

The band was also promised £70 million of the profit from merchandise and there was an option to do 45 more gigs in five venues.

Related: Q&A: Jimmy Page on His Favorite Led Zeppelin Album, Beastie Boys, and a Good ‘D’yer Mak’er’ Joke

The report claimed that Page, Jones and Bonham signed on immediately, but Plant asked for 48 hours to mull the deal over. When he said no, he did so in rather dramatic style — supposedly tearing up the paperwork in front of the promoters.

Related: Live: Robert Plant Brings His ‘Lullaby’ And ‘Roar’ to Brooklyn

However, Plant’s publicist has denied the story outright, calling the report “rubbish” in a statement to The Guardian.

While Page has always seemed to be more than open to the idea of a reunion, and Jones is usually amicable to the idea, Plant has generally asserted that Led Zeppelin is very much in his rear view mirror. At a 2012 New York press conference promoting the live album and film Celebration Day, documenting their one-off reunion concert from 2007, a journalist asked Plant why the band wouldn’t reunite.

“I think that night [in 2007] we were just hanging on for dear life,” he responded tersely. “We were so happy that we were actually getting it right, and really enjoying it. There were moments when we really took off. The responsibility of doing that four nights a week, for the rest of time, is a different thing.” Gesturing toward the journalist who asked the question, he added: “So any inane questions (like that)… you should just really think about what it takes to answer a question like that.”

Plant is current in the midst of a UK tour promoting his latest solo album, Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar.





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