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AEG's Randy Phillips To Meet With Bill Curbishly


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Will Zeppelin tour again, or is it just a trial balloon?

Word is spreading that the rock group might play Bonnaroo. Promoter says they're set to play a tribute concert in London, but that might open a door.

By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

December 10, 2007

Will Led Zeppelin play Bonnaroo, the huge rock festival staged each June in Manchester, Tenn.?

That's the big rumor in the music industry leading up to the classic-rock demi-gods' performance Monday at a tribute concert in London and lead singer Robert Plant's recent comments advocating a full-scale reunion tour (which Rolling Stone has already dubbed "the biggest tour ever" on its cover).

Bonnaroo, which hosted a high-profile stop on the Police reunion tour this year, would seem like an ideal spot (and Zep bassist John Paul Jones even played there already as part of this year's bill) but we hear that Zeppelin will not be flying high at the jam-inclined festival.

"It's just a rumor, none of that is real," says Randy Phillips, chief executive of AEG Live, the concert promotion company that runs O2, the London arena where Zep will be playing in a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, one of the most celebrated figures in the music industry as the co-founder of Atlantic Records. AEG is pushing hard for the Zeppelin tour; Phillips said today he was headed from Los Angeles to England to "meet with Bill Curbishly, the band's manager, and hand him a huge offer."

Plant has a tour on tap with Alison Krauss to promote their new duet album, "Raising Sand." The Zeppelin tour would have Plant, guitar hero Jimmy Page, Jones and drummer Jason Bonham (behind the kit in place of his late father, rock icon John Bonham), and, by all appearances, it seems to be girding up with the same positive inertia that recently carried the Police back on the road and the Eagles back into the studio.

"The reality is Zeppelin has not agreed to a tour," Phillips said. "They want to play this show and see how it goes, how it feels, and then go from there. There's nothing firm yet, but maybe afterward."

Zeppelin is the bestselling heavy-metal act ever, with nearly 110 million albums shipped, according to the Recording Industry Assn. of America. The group hasn't toured since 1980 (the year Bonham died), and their last full concert dates in the U.S. were in 1977. (The surviving members did perform a short set at the industry banquet for their 1995 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

How much appetite is there for a Zeppelin reunion? Industry sources compare the likely box office to the recent record-setting road-runs by the Rolling Stones or U2, but it may be even more: Organizers of the online ticket lottery for the Ertegun tribute said 20 million requests came in for a show with 16,000 seats.

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Aparently Bill Curbishley IS Led Zeppelin's manager. Nickey Horne of Planet Rock just said Bill Curbishley wants a tour to happen. He asked Jimi about it and again, he responded that there is discussion but they want to wait until after the 02 concert to decide.

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I too thought Curbishley only managed Robert, not the others.

BTW, I saw that article in the LA Times. Interesting......but we'll just have to wait and see....right now, we know Robert will be touring with Allison in the spring.....they will be at NO Jazz Fest......hmm...I've always wanted to attend that festival...... :D

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Just my opinion, but I see Plant running away from all this speculation and hype to tour. Just can't see him trudging around stadiums singing Stairway at this point in his career. My bet is that he lays low until it is time to tour with Allison this spring.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Robert has came out of the blue and surprised all of us before. Remember 1993, he had released Fate of Nations ( very solid solo disc I might add) and took shots at Jimmy all the time for him working with Coverdale, and who would've thought that he would work with Jimmy at that point?

Whatever happens, it will be on Robert's terms, that's for sure. But Bill Curbishley had a huge part of Robert teaming up with Jimmy. I read an interview that Bill Curbishley around the time he sold Trinifold.

Do any of you wonder if Robert get's tired of knowing Jimmy is sitting on his ass waiting for Robert to give into desire to reform Zeppelin? I still think Jimmy was pushing to bring JPJ into the mix during the Page/Plant era, and that's when Robert decided to call it a day. Look at the '98 P/P tour setlist. Few new songs, and pretty much straight forward Zeppelin tunes, of which Robert grew tired of. He has always said he intends to move forward, not become a member of the rest on your Laurel's club aka the Rollingstones

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