Led Zep To Reform

And with news of the second wave of Zep reissues comes all the media guff about whether or not Led Zeppelin will reform. Robert Plant has been quoted this week as complaining about being goaded in the press by Jimmy Page into doing the deed. Jimmy Page has… well, whatever.

This of course has been going on ever since Live Aid, 29 years ago, when Robert and Jimmy and Jonesy did get together with drummer Tony Thompson, down in Bath, to see what would happen. Then again when Robert semi-agreed to it, in the guise of Page-Plant, in the 90s, and again when they did the O2 in 2007, which was supposed to have been the launchpad for a series of huge shows around the world the following year, but again which Robert stepped away from in fright the nearer it got.

And, well, dear or dear, it’s still going on. In a nutshell, Jimmy wants it, needs it, hates it that Robert won’t play ball. Robert says he doesn’t want it, clearly doesn’t need it, and says he hates it when Jimmy starts the whole thing up again, even a little bit.

Before I began working on my Zeppelin biography, When Giants Walked The Earth, I had a very slanted view on this. Like, come on Robert, what’s the problem? Stop playing footsy and just do it, for fuck’s sake.

Then when I’d finished the book I swung the other way. Especially after seeing the 02 show, which was pretty dull, truth be told, too much baited breath being expelled and too much dancing around – Robert insisting he would only sing ‘Stairway’ if they did it in the middle of the set just like Any Other Old Song, no big deal etc.

Jimmy insisting on Anything That Makes Robert Happy, so desperate was he to make the show happen and be good and enjoyable enough for Robert not to bail on all those other shows they had secretly planned.

Wow, it makes me weary just sitting here having to go through this again. Like, if the boys don’t want to play nice together take their ball away and let them find something else to do.

Now, though… it’s seven years later. Jimmy is going to be 71 in January. Robert is going to be 66 later this month. John Paul Jones is going to be 69 in January. Even Jason Bonham isn’t getting any younger, though his playing just keeps getting better. And… well, hey.

Instead of acting like two old queens hissing at each other from opposite sides of the dressing room, why can’t they – that is, Robert and Jimmy, Jonesy has never been the problem – just breathe deep and talk to each other like the wise old men they both obviously feel they have grown up to be. Instead of a couple of snippy little schoolgirls.

These reissues… that’s poor old Jimmy’s way of staying active. Flowers he brings to the grave of his dead love every Sunday regular as clockwork. Robert and his let’s be honest tedious ‘world music’ versions of Zep-songs, is so last century it’s embarrassing. And all it really is, is Robert’s obsession with staying cool. Not facing up to the fact that at this point the coolest band in the world – finally – is Led Zeppelin.

Come on fellas, get talking before it’s too late and make a little music together. If Jimmy insists on calling it Led Zeppelin, that’s okay, let him. Believe it or not, Robert, we your audience have no more desire to see you open your shirt or fiddle with your cock than you have. We’d just like to see you guys making a little music together again. For your sake more than ours. The same way it would have been better for Lennon and McCartney to have brushed the bullshit aside for five minutes and just relaxed a little in company with each other.

Before it’s too late. Because, trust me, gentlemen, it really nearly is. For all of us.

3 thoughts on “Led Zep To Reform

  1. Hi Mick,
    thanks for the latest blog.

    I have my own thoughts on the most recent Zep activities I´d like to share with you.

    I was actually quite surprised how good the O2 show was considering that this was not the end of along tour which might give you the time to getting into perfect shape.
    Of course it didm´t have the fire of the 70s but could we really expect that?
    And I think that´s exactly why Robert wants to stay away from it. Doesn´t want to ruin the great memory.

    Each time I watch the video of that gig and try to have a peek inside their minds I see Jimmy so full of joy having his long lost baby back, Robert asking himself sometimes why he actually agreed to all this and Jonesy just being very relaxed. He would have survived without it but really enjoys being there.

    I didn´t have tickets for that gig and would have loved to see them somewhere else, but I remember myself seeing other original bands reuniting again after decades and in the minutes before they went on the excitement of seeing them was mixed with that thought “it better be good”…really good.
    Sometimes it was fantastic sometimes it was utter crap.
    So I can actually understand Jimmy who believes he has more in him leading the coolest band on the planet, but also Robert who might be afraid to live up to this expectation.

    As for the 2014 rereleases I can only say that none is forced to buy them. The die hard fans might enjoy the unreleased versions which are of course not as good as the official ones but maybe some people out there would like to hear some work in progress.
    All the original albums were all over the place when I was a teenager so I know them inside out but believe it or not never had a copies myself. Very strange when I think about it now but true. So I finally decided to fill that gap in the collection buying the originals without the extra tracks enjoying the music of my youth once more.

    Thanks once again for your brilliant blog.
    I already look forward to your next entry.
    Have a great weekend.

    Cheers
    Ralf

  2. And amen to that. Whilst I completely get where Robert is coming from, the last years with Zep were not exactly a fun-filled laugh riot for him, and he doesn’t owe anyone anything, I watched him at Glastonbury with increasing levels of frustration thinking basically “oh for fucks sake just throw your head back and roar dammit!” It could still be great, and for the record I think the version of “Kashmir” on “Celebration Day” is the best one anywhere.

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