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Robert Plant on his Led Zeppelin royalties...

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But here goes - I wasn't offended by Bong-Man's remark - actually it made me laugh (but I respect the right of others to both feel differently and express their opinions about it).

And here goes - I took that tact and made those remarks because I was trolling for a reaction....and I got it. I did it because I can...and it's so predictable. It's not much different on a back-masking thread, or one about Zep stealing music. Take the opposing side and some folks will accuse you of spending 30 years smoking dope while twirling an lp in reverse. I know some people will disagree, but it does have entertainment value...nothing but cheers and jeers in my pm box. :blink:

In this instance, some people feel that since Robert has never really commented on his motivation for selling his rights, we should respect his privacy and not speculate. Bullshit ! He lost that right in the Fall of '68. I'm a fan, and if you aren't going to tell me, I'm going to try to put the available pieces together the best I can. If that bugs anyone, or you don't appreciate my opinion, put me on ignore.

I think this is an important issue. I do remember that this was originally reported in the newspaper and on the radio. It was a big deal, and it was seen as another nail in the Zep coffin to most fans. Personally, I tend to lean towards Steve's opinion. I think someone convinced Robert that because of musical trends, the Zep catalog would never be worth more than it was on that date in time. If that's true, then I stand by my opinion....MORONIC !

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I am pretty fascinated about the fact session musicians would recieve royalties outside the US as I've been reading about that recently especially concerning the Beatles. They used a lot of string & horn sections during their mid to later career & to think those outside union musicians may still be collecting a royalty is a bit of a shock. I think it's great for those musicians but for the longest time I was under the impression that the outside union musicians were just paid a flat rate & that was it. I would imagine the string & brass musicians on Zeppelin's "Friends" & "Kashmir" respectively would have a similar deal outside the US.

I know McCartney's situation definately gets under his skin but as you said he did the same thing with Buddy Holly's publishing. He owns tons of publishing outside of Buddy Holly, a great deal of 50's & 60's rock & roll an old standards predating rock and roll. It was rumored that he owns the publishing to "White Christmas" & "Happy Birthday" for goodness sake lol. I don't know if that's true at all but that would be quite a boon. McCartney is the one who advised Michael Jackson into buying publishing in the first place which I think is what really pissed McCartney off, that he was partly responsible for creating a "monster" that would cause him great grief later. McCartney also came under a bit of fire for reversing the writing credits on Beatles songs that appeared on his live albums so they would read McCartney/Lennon. That didn't go over well & I wonder if it was worth it to him. Everyone with any reasonable music knowledge who would buy a live McCartney album would have to know that he wrote "Yesterday" despite that it reads Lennon/McCartney on Beatles releases & whomever else covered the song. It's a bit vain, I believe, on his part even though I understand his frustration but it is the deal that he entered into with John Lennon very early on. He's asked Yoko Ono to reverse the credits on Beatles songs, especially "Yesterday", many times & she's always said no & from where she's standing I don't blame her. Also, I wonder how McCartney was able to release "Let It Be.. Naked" & if it cost him anything out of his own pocket to do so as the production & song list on the original "Let It Be" album always pissed him off.

I was under the impression that Robert still had his publishing because how could he have a say on how Zeppelin songs were used commercially if he didn't except maybe with a gentlemen's agreement with Page, Jones, Bonham's estate, or anyone else that may have some sort interest in those songs. They may be former band members & even in the best of times between them I couldn't see there just being a gentlemen's agreement between them because after all it's still a business & Led Zeppelin now solely exist as a business.

Also I'm curious as to what their royalty rate was when they first signed to Atlantic & if that changed greatly when they renegotiated with Atlantic when Swan Song was formed.

"Lennon/McCartney" just rolls off the tongue.

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I guess if you needed the money now, but knew that trying to estimate the future was near impossible, maybe a ten year period could be developed after which you would regain these rights. This would help to alleviate/reduce the risk of not knowing what changes were coming in technology -and- whether a revival/expanded audience would come into vogue. Outside of ten years, it is hard to estimate sales anyways so I wouldn't think this would throw off a cash flow analysis a whole lot.

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I guess if you needed the money now, but knew that trying to estimate the future was near impossible, maybe a ten year period could be developed after which you would regain these rights. This would help to alleviate/reduce the risk of not knowing what changes were coming in technology -and- whether a revival/expanded audience would come into vogue. Outside of ten years, it is hard to estimate sales anyways so I wouldn't think this would throw off a cash flow analysis a whole lot.

Of course this may not fly if you are trying to split off onto a whole new record label....

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I think there's a bit too much emphasis on Robert retaining his say in how the music would be creatively used in the future. It wasn't moral high ground. I'm betting he really didn't contractually have much of a choice. The other three legal parties would certainly not be interested in dealing with an outsider, and anyone who obtained that right would always be outvoted anyway. I'm also going to speculate that at the time, this decision caused some tensions between the three surviving members. Also, Atlantic records and even Ahmet Ertegun himself were probably very involved in this transaction.

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I'm no expert on the subject but at the time maybe, just maybe Robert's priorities weren't just based around financial gain. Clean break and a fresh start if you will . I'm probably wrong but it's the feeling I got at the time and my opinion hasn't changed

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I think someone convinced Robert that because of musical trends, the Zep catalog would never be worth more than it was on that date in time.

I would only add he wouldn't have needed much convincing, given his "No more Led anything" stance & artistic direction

as well as his own enthusiasm for the New Wave music of the time.

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I think there's a bit too much emphasis on Robert retaining his say in how the music would be creatively used in the future. It wasn't moral high ground. I'm betting he really didn't contractually have much of a choice. The other three legal parties would certainly not be interested in dealing with an outsider, and anyone who obtained that right would always be outvoted anyway. I'm also going to speculate that at the time, this decision caused some tensions between the three surviving members. Also, Atlantic records and even Ahmet Ertegun himself were probably very involved in this transaction.

Once again, there seems to be some confusion as to what he sold. He ONLY sold HIS rights to receive royalties on sales of Led Zeppelin's back catalog. Can't imagine Jimmy or JPJ giving a toss about a financial transaction affecting only HIM.

Creative control was never relinquished, but it would have been a minor point at the time anyway given their contract with Atlantic concluded with the release of Coda. Eveything that followed (Boxed Set, Remasters, BBC Sessions, Led Zeppelin DVD, HTWWW, etc) didn't exist at the time.

Edited by SteveAJones

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Creative control was never relinquished, but it would have been a minor point at the time anyway given their contract with Atlantic concluded with the release of Coda. Eveything that followed (Boxed Set, Remasters, BBC Sessions, Led Zeppelin DVD, HTWWW, etc) didn't exist at the time.

I'm glad you brought this up. You stated earlier that Robert's sale only related to the first 10 albums. I strongly disagree with that point. I believe each song is licensed individually no matter how they are repackaged in the future. Also if Robert had a chance to regain possession through some preconceived contract clause, it would have been public knowledge.

I'm surprised you haven't come up with some kind of original press release on this. I do remember there was one, and it did raise eyebrows. I'm not trying to labor the point, but would you agree that there seems to be some kind of joint effort by all parties to bury this issue ? In other words, not Robert's best moment ?

Not trying to pull the attorney card on you either.

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I'm glad you brought this up. You stated earlier that Robert's sale only related to the first 10 albums. I strongly disagree with that point. I believe each song is licensed individually no matter how they are repackaged in the future. Also if Robert had a chance to regain possession through some preconceived contract clause, it would have been public knowledge.

I'm surprised you haven't come up with some kind of original press release on this. I do remember there was one, and it did raise eyebrows. I'm not trying to labor the point, but would you agree that there seems to be some kind of joint effort by all parties to bury this issue ? In other words, not Robert's best moment ?

Not trying to pull the attorney card on you either.

I wasn't in the room when the deal was done so I can only present my understanding of what went down: he sold his rights to receive royalties on sales of Led Zeppelin's back catalog. Each song is copyrighted, yes, but when merchants ordered stock for their album bins they ordered albums. When John Q. Public walks up to the register at the record store (remember those - ha!) it's the sale of an album that is rung up, unless it's a single of course.

Some of the post-Coda releases are merely compilations of back catalog material, and on that premise alone he may not have received any royalties on them. However, he also could conceivably have exerted his creative control on those releases - namely to block them - unless some amount of monetary compensation was included in the contract.

I don't see a joint effort to bury the issue - we are discussing it openly on the official site - nor any effort on Robert's part to bury it as he did discuss it when it came up during at least one or two interviews. All I can add here is that

people liquidate assets for a variety of personal, professional and financial reasons. In this case, what's done is done.

I'm not aware of any press release concerning this transaction.

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I'm glad you brought this up. You stated earlier that Robert's sale only related to the first 10 albums. I strongly disagree with that point. I believe each song is licensed individually no matter how they are repackaged in the future. Also if Robert had a chance to regain possession through some preconceived contract clause, it would have been public knowledge.

I'm surprised you haven't come up with some kind of original press release on this. I do remember there was one, and it did raise eyebrows. I'm not trying to labor the point, but would you agree that there seems to be some kind of joint effort by all parties to bury this issue ? In other words, not Robert's best moment ?

There are multiple types of "royalties" that Robert could have sold, and no one really knows exactly what he sold the rights to. (At least, no one has come forward with a definitive answer.)

- he could have sold the royalties from CD/LP sales

- he could have sold the songwriting royalties (which is completely separate from CD sales)

- he could have sold part of the songwriting royalties (i.e., keeping royalties for radio airplay but selling everything else)

And yes, it is possible for Robert to have sold off the royalties from JUST the first 10 albums. It all depends on what Robert, his lawyer, and the buyer agreed to. And without access to the court records, we'll probably never know for sure.

I won't speculate as to whether it was Robert's "best moment", but....what if he took that lump sum and invested in Microsoft, then cashed out at the peak of the tech boom? Again, we have no idea.

Edited by swandown

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Is there an entertainment attorney in the house?

Aside from the bickering it is an interesting topic.

Someone said a long time ago it may have coincided with his divorce...I can't recall excatly.

I can't see him needing the dough that much.

Maybe he "sold" it to a family member, as some people shuffle assets.

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Someone said a long time ago it may have coincided with his divorce...I can't recall exactly.

If I recall correctly that was finalized in Spring '83, so it does coincide to some extent but I don't think we can speculate upon the relevancy of that aspect on this board, which is why I refrained from mentioning it at all.

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I cannot find any direct information tying Robert Plant to the selling of his Led Zeppelin Royalties -- either in part or whole. There was a lawsuit on the part of Led Zeppelin (including Robert Plant) vs. Atlantic Records around 2002 claiming that AR has only paid 25% of Royalties on LZ music. So I started tracing Atlantic Records, which was conceived by the innovative Mr. Ahmet Ertegun, who later sold his ownership interests . Atlantic Records has also changed partners frequently and was recently spun off to an investor group from Time Warner -- Warner Music Group (WMG: Ticker). It appears that the debt taken on to complete this deal is making life difficult for Warner Music Group. As to the value of Led Zeppelin's music....I found one "back of the envelope" calculation of Stairway to Heaven:

$572 million or more for one song: "Stairway to Heaven" -- Led Zeppelin

http://www.portfolio.com/culture-lifestyle/culture-inc/arts/2008/06/16/Stairway-to-Heavens-Revenues/

Interesting info on back royalties with Atlantic Records in this piece:

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/ahmet-ertegun/atlantic-records/97/

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Robert is listed as a plaintiff in Led Zeppelin's 2002 lawsuit against Atlantic Records (which claimed that Atlantic stopped paying royalties in 1999). So he clearly kept some kind of vested interest in Zep's royalties.

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Robert is listed as a plaintiff in Led Zeppelin's 2002 lawsuit against Atlantic Records (which claimed that Atlantic stopped paying royalties in 1999). So he clearly kept some kind of vested interest in Zep's royalties.

Wow thanks!

Any updates on the status of this case? Is it going to jury trial?

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I had a dream, crazy dream..anything I wanted to know..

and a voice said, with a thunderclap, it's Jonesy!! :o

True story. The dream, not the content.

whaddaya think? It would solve one mystery in my book, "the cold shoulder."

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I've covered this more than once before so I'll keep this short: He only sold his rights to receive royalties from sales of

Led Zeppelin's back catalog (the ten original studio albums). This was done circa 1981-83, either during or shortly after Peter Grant negotiated his recording contract as a solo artist. At the time New Wave music dominated the charts and

'70s rock album sales were abysmal; no one knew the compact disc format would come along a few years later and spur the public to repurchase all those old albums. Robert has not publicly divulged to whom the rights were sold. It's possible they were simply sold to Atlantic Records while Grant was negotiating his recording contract as a solo artist. There's no evidence to suggest Page, Jones or the Bonham estate ever did anything similar to this.

And ther it is... Short, sweet,accurate and my VERRY FIRST POST!!!

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Just looking for the bridge

"Ah excuse me, ah will you excuse me? I'm just trying to find the bridge, has anybody seen the bridge? please"

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, maybe he needed the cash to finance his solo career, so he sells his royalties for $7m, and now is in the top 400 millionaires list in the UK with £95m, some dumb arse hey? :lol:

Regards, Danny

PS, not keeping Led Zeppelin going after the O2 show, not wanting to do a world tour and a live album, not wanting £100m plus ROYALTIES for doing it, now that's what i call

DUMB ARSE

:hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical:

Edited by BIGDAN

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Plant sold his rights to the Led Zeppelin material in the early 1980's, although he still maintains 1/3 creative control, but he doesn't get any royalties from the sales of Led Zeppelin albums, hence his comment when being interviewed by Letterman about Zeppelin being more rewarding for Jimmy these days. Robert has used this control to veto the 20th anniversary single of "Stairway to Heaven" and the use of any Zeppelin material in the film "Dazed and Confused." Plant is worth £80 million as of 2009 according to The Sunday Times Rich List , though.

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Robert has used this control to veto the 20th anniversary single of "Stairway to Heaven"

It was released. I have one.

stairway-1.jpg

Edited by SteveAJones

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Were they actually ever for sale in stores does anyone know?

I See these on eBay all the time. They sell between 40 and a 100 bucks depending...a lot of the listings claim that it was never released but used as a promo item for radio stations and record stores and such.

It was released. I have one.

stairway-1.jpg

Edited by ledwallett

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