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Charles J. White

HUGE NEWS - The Bonham/Jones/ Page Sessions of 2008

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Robert has even said he'd be ok with the 3 of them getting a new singer and putting something new together..

I imagine he'd be plenty pissed if they used the name and I can't say I'd blame him.

But he really should not mind, care or have any say if they do something without him.

Edited by the chase

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No Robert, No Zeppelin. Kind of stupid anyone believed the media onslaught that said the 3 J's were reforming LED ZEPPELIN without Robert. Ok not stupid, retarded.

He's (Robert) a bit like a woman. Changes his mind on a whim. Reminds me of a Billy Joel song.

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I honestly believe that Page thought by rehearsing new material with lil bonzo and jonesy and by bringing in singers to see if there was chemistry and letting all that leak out to the press was hoping to pressure Robert into signing up to get back on board with the band. I just don't think Page truly had the heart and guts as it were to strike out without Robert, to tour with lil bonzo, jonesy, and a new singer as a new project that sprinkled in zeppelin classics here and there.

to anyone questioning whether or not this would be huge without plant, are you kidding me? The guys are legends, they'd easily sell out EVERY SINGLE JOINT THEY WANT TO PLAY IN because people would know they're going to bring out the zeppelin hits. Granted what would have been most important in this project was having material that could stand up next to the zeppelin stuff, stuff where they could do something new then play kashmir and have it feel relatively seamless.

Plant had been pretty clear that in anything he does he wanted to do new music, but i honestly don't think Plant would want to do new music as Led Zeppelin, preferring to let sleeping dogs lie. Plant to me would have wanted the guys to twist the music a bit, make it something different if there was any reunion tour.

I think at the end of the day plant essentially called pageys bluff, and at that point Jones had the offer to do them crooked vultures with josh and dave grohl, so he took that as it gave him all the fulfillment that he was waiting on with the zep stuff........sad part is i wish he would have invited page to join the vultures, that would have been sick.

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Led Zeppelin without Plant would have been a smaller commercial draw than the Page and Plant venture in the 90's.

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Led Zeppelin without Plant would have been a smaller commercial draw than the Page and Plant venture in the 90's.

Page Plant in the 90's was selling out arenas. MSG was bedlam!

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Page Plant in the 90's was selling out arenas. MSG was bedlam!

Everywhere I saw them, it was bedlam too!

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It's my belief that as much as Robert wants no part in a Zep reunion, he is still very protective of preserving the image of Led Zeppelin. He's stated numerous times of how proud he is of what Led Zeppelin was. I think he saw the Led Zeppelin brand/image being ruined by what would have been a semi cover band with only half of its original members. He knows the singer is, by default, the center of attention of most bands. I wish he would do a reunion tour, but I agree with what I believe is his view.

It was never going to be presented as "Led Zeppelin" without Robert in the lineup and everyone knew that. Besides, Page/Plant was arguably a semi cover band with only half of Led Zeppelin's original members yet he had no problem performing/recording in that band for nearly five years.

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Led Zeppelin without Plant would have been a smaller commercial draw than the Page and Plant venture in the 90's.

It's interesting to contemplate what the best approach for artistic and commercial success without Robert Plant would have been. For me, I think the best bet would have been to perform a lot of Led Zeppelin material that hasn't been overdone (perhaps Achilles Last Stand, certainly Tea For One, etc) and bring in a popular, well established singer to lend vocals to some of the songs. I can see where Myles Kennedy or Steven Tyler were worth a shot, but I would have preferred Huey Lewis. I think Huey's voice would've killed on stuff like Candy Store Rock and I'm Gonna Crawl. He's also well known enough to be seen as credible yet not so famous (Tyler) as to possibly detract from Led Zeppelin material.

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Page Plant in the 90's was selling out arenas. MSG was bedlam!

No dispute there. I saw it myself, twice. Actually, the Page and Plant concerts, especially the 98 shows, were very successful, commercially. All sold out and quite a hard ticket to get. I'm just saying that a Zep minus Plant, even if they were somehow able to go out billed as Led Zeppelin, would not have the commercial pulling power of what Page and Plant had, which was arena-level shows. Now the size of shows that were being touted as a full-on Zeppelin reunion would have been Stones/U2 type stadium events, playing to 40,000+ crowds. This is clearly what the promotors had in mind when the stories were going full tilt.

In terms of commercial interest, here's my ranking of Zep-related acts (both real and imagined):

1. Led Zeppelin (O2 show personnel)

then big drop to:

2. Page and Plant (second tour doing their Zep show)

3. Led Zeppelin (without Robert Plant)

4. Page and Plant (first tour with the No Quarter ensemble)

5. Robert Plant (solo)

6. Jimmy Page (doing any of his Firm, Coverdale, etc., collaborations)

7. John Paul Jones (solo)

8. Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin Experience)

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It's my belief that as much as Robert wants no part in a Zep reunion, he is still very protective of preserving the image of Led Zeppelin. He's stated numerous times of how proud he is of what Led Zeppelin was. I think he saw the Led Zeppelin brand/image being ruined by what would have been a semi cover band with only half of its original members. He knows the singer is, by default, the center of attention of most bands. I wish he would do a reunion tour, but I agree with what I believe is his view.

My memory of that period is that Plant released a statement wishing Page, Jones and Bonham well with any future projects. I also remember either Page or Jones saying that their plan was to start a new band (NOT called Led Zeppelin) with a new singer, write a new album and go out on tour, and play some Zep songs as part of their new band. I dont think the fact that the whole thing fell apart has anything to do with Plant. From what both parties were saying in the press, it seemed to me as if they were both happy to go their separate ways and work on their separate projects. Maybe that wasnt how Page felt privately, but we'll never know that unfortunately.

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Led Zeppelin without Plant would have been a smaller commercial draw than the Page and Plant venture in the 90's.

It was never going to be Led Zeppelin though. And if you're telling me that people wouldnt have been bothered buying tickets to see Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, then I'd have to disagree with that. To me, it just seems that Page felt pressured by the others wanting to bring random singers in, then Jones got the opportunity to join TCV and took it, because Page was dithering. Nothing more sinister to it than that.

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It was never going to be Led Zeppelin though. And if you're telling me that people wouldnt have been bothered buying tickets to see Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, then I'd have to disagree with that. To me, it just seems that Page felt pressured by the others wanting to bring random singers in, then Jones got the opportunity to join TCV and took it, because Page was dithering. Nothing more sinister to it than that.

I didn't anything to suggest fans wouldn't have been bothered. I simply pointed out commercial differences between personnel line-ups.

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Plant was a nobody without the 3 backing him up.Great singer, yes.Zep never would have been without all 4.

And yes.Page/Plant?My gods,they were screaming louder in the old Boston Garden before before the dang show started .Louder than any other show,when the band(s) fookin' was playing!

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It's interesting to contemplate what the best approach for artistic and commercial success without Robert Plant would have been. For me, I think the best bet would have been to perform a lot of Led Zeppelin material that hasn't been overdone (perhaps Achilles Last Stand, certainly Tea For One, etc) and bring in a popular, well established singer to lend vocals to some of the songs. I can see where Myles Kennedy or Steven Tyler were worth a shot, but I would have preferred Huey Lewis. I think Huey's voice would've killed on stuff like Candy Store Rock and I'm Gonna Crawl. He's also well known enough to be seen as credible yet not so famous (Tyler) as to possibly detract from Led Zeppelin material.

Huey Lewis??? Holy shit! I would pay some serious cash to see that! That would be fall on the floor hilarious. Don't get me wrong I love Huey, but singing Zeppelin tunes, no way. I mean if Huey is acceptable why not Celine Dion or Chris Isaak???

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My memory of that period is that Plant released a statement wishing Page, Jones and Bonham well with any future projects. I also remember either Page or Jones saying that their plan was to start a new band (NOT called Led Zeppelin) with a new singer, write a new album and go out on tour, and play some Zep songs as part of their new band. I dont think the fact that the whole thing fell apart has anything to do with Plant. From what both parties were saying in the press, it seemed to me as if they were both happy to go their separate ways and work on their separate projects. Maybe that wasnt how Page felt privately, but we'll never know that unfortunately.

I remember an interview with JPJ around this time when he commented "We don't want to be our own tribute band."

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Huge News...?

C'mon man!

You got everyone excited over that.

Not only was it 6 years ago, but Jones himself is quoted as saying "the stuff will never be heard".

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I wonder if this is the material that John Davis is working on that was referred to in the other thread?

Jimmy Page on Howard Stern? When pigs fly. Get real. Besides the gutter-minded sex and sleaze factor, Howard is one of those guys who always moans about Zeppelin stealing all their songs. There's no way Jimmy would give him the time of day.

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No dispute there. I saw it myself, twice. Actually, the Page and Plant concerts, especially the 98 shows, were very successful, commercially. All sold out and quite a hard ticket to get. I'm just saying that a Zep minus Plant, even if they were somehow able to go out billed as Led Zeppelin, would not have the commercial pulling power of what Page and Plant had, which was arena-level shows. Now the size of shows that were being touted as a full-on Zeppelin reunion would have been Stones/U2 type stadium events, playing to 40,000+ crowds. This is clearly what the promotors had in mind when the stories were going full tilt.

In terms of commercial interest, here's my ranking of Zep-related acts (both real and imagined):

1. Led Zeppelin (O2 show personnel)

then big drop to:

2. Page and Plant (second tour doing their Zep show)

3. Led Zeppelin (without Robert Plant)

4. Page and Plant (first tour with the No Quarter ensemble)

5. Robert Plant (solo)

6. Jimmy Page (doing any of his Firm, Coverdale, etc., collaborations)

7. John Paul Jones (solo)

8. Jason Bonham (Led Zeppelin Experience)

I'm in total agreement with one exception...I'd swap #2 with #4. I had attended shows around the world on both of those tours. In '95 they routinely played to capacity crowds, however there were a few occasions in '98 where the venue was noticeably not sold out (usually in smaller markets).

The '95 setlist was more varied and they were accompanied by two orchestras. The '98 setlist was criticized for stagnating and they had scaled back to a four piece (with some additional support from Phil Andrews on keyboards and mandolin).

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I'm in total agreement with one exception...I'd swap #2 with #4. I had attended shows around the world on both of those tours. In '95 they routinely played to capacity crowds, however there were a few occasions in '98 where the venue was noticeably not sold out (usually in smaller markets).

The '95 setlist was more varied and they were accompanied by two orchestras. The '98 setlist was criticized for stagnating and they had scaled back to a four piece (with some additional support from Phil Andrews on keyboards and mandolin).

....which is a bit of a shame, because by the '98 tour Jimmy's playing had obviously benefited from the previous 3 years on the road. The man obviously doesn't practise enough, and constant playing gave him back some of lyricism and fluidity he had lost in late era Zep and never really regained until then (although his playing on some of the gigs on the Outrider tour came close).

Edited by woz70

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....which is a bit of a shame, because by the '98 tour Jimmy's playing had obviously benefited from the previous 3 years on the road. The man obviously doesn't practise enough, and constant playing gave him back some of lyricism and fluidity he had lost in late era Zep and never really regained until then (although his playing on some of the gigs on the Outrider tour came close).

Jimmy's personal health was in a much better place by the second tour. During the first tour, he was clearly still coming off his heavy drinking phase. He had that puffy face and slightly bloated look.

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According to Chris Dreja, Page & Jones booked three months of rehearsal time and Kennedy claims he spent a week with them (in June 2008). So all of this was within six months of the 02 concert which already proved Jimmy still "had it". Sure, new "ideas", "music", whatever probably presented themselves (just as they had during the Page/Lee instrumental sessions in Summer '99) but I'm a bottom line guy and the bottom line is it amounted to nothing. Are some still so desperate for "new" music from Page they'll devour morsels like jam riffs? Apparently so, but I've moved beyond caring all that much about it. I feel the same way about Robert's "new" music. Page hasn't put out a decent studio album in 16 YEARS and for me Robert's last LP of original material worth repeated listening was 20 YEARS ago.

Strange, but I agree with you on these sentiments. Edited by The Dark Lord

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I mean, them crooked vultures had no trouble headlining fests around Europe, played high profile gigs all over the place, i would imagine it would be the same for page/jones/and lil bonzo.......people saying that it wouldn't be a HUGE draw are out of whack.

Page is one of the MOST LEGENDARY guitar players on the planet and when zeppelin announced the O2 show, it was the most demanded ticket in history, you mean to tell me a tour with page/jones/and lil bonzo playing both new music as well as stuff like kashmir, rock n roll, black dog, and stairway wouldn't sell out arenas worldwide?

I honestly believe page should have just said screw it, i'm bringing this band on the road with a new singer, putting out a new record and mixing both the old zep songs and new songs into a set and gunna have a blast doing it. that to me is the saddest part, how hesitant he was, and i think that's why jonesy jumped ship and did TCV, it was an opportunity to get out there, put out some tunes and have fun in a rock band again. Page clearly wants that, so just DO IT.

Edited by kenticus

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I mean, them crooked vultures had no trouble headlining fests around Europe, played high profile gigs all over the place, i would imagine it would be the same for page/jones/and lil bonzo.......people saying that it wouldn't be a HUGE draw are out of whack.

Page is one of the MOST LEGENDARY guitar players on the planet and when zeppelin announced the O2 show, it was the most demanded ticket in history, you mean to tell me a tour with page/jones/and lil bonzo playing both new music as well as stuff like kashmir, rock n roll, black dog, and stairway wouldn't sell out arenas worldwide?

I honestly believe page should have just said screw it, i'm bringing this band on the road with a new singer, putting out a new record and mixing both the old zep songs and new songs into a set and gunna have a blast doing it. that to me is the saddest part, how hesitant he was, and i think that's why jonesy jumped ship and did TCV, it was an opportunity to get out there, put out some tunes and have fun in a rock band again. Page clearly wants that, so just DO IT.

It was suggested that without Robert in the lineup demand for the Page, JPJ & Jason tour would be considerably less than if he was involved and I think that's an obviously fair assumption. I've said this before, one of the most peculiar things about Page is that he hasn't been a wildly successful concert draw outside of Led Zeppelin or paired with Robert Plant. The Firm played to half-empty halls within two years. Outrider was booked as a club show in Europe, not arenas. Demand for Coverdale/Page just wasn't there. I'm thankful Jimmy realized without Robert in the lineup anything he could possibly attempt with JPJ & Jason as bandmates would be perceived as Jimmy Page's Led Zeppelin Experience so he pulled the plug on it.

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I mean, them crooked vultures had no trouble headlining fests around Europe, played high profile gigs all over the place, i would imagine it would be the same for page/jones/and lil bonzo.......people saying that it wouldn't be a HUGE draw are out of whack.

Page is one of the MOST LEGENDARY guitar players on the planet and when zeppelin announced the O2 show, it was the most demanded ticket in history, you mean to tell me a tour with page/jones/and lil bonzo playing both new music as well as stuff like kashmir, rock n roll, black dog, and stairway wouldn't sell out arenas worldwide?

I honestly believe page should have just said screw it, i'm bringing this band on the road with a new singer, putting out a new record and mixing both the old zep songs and new songs into a set and gunna have a blast doing it. that to me is the saddest part, how hesitant he was, and i think that's why jonesy jumped ship and did TCV, it was an opportunity to get out there, put out some tunes and have fun in a rock band again. Page clearly wants that, so just DO IT.

I don't think anyone has said a Page-Jones-Jason tour wouldn't have considerable demand. It certainly would have. You absolutely cannot compare that line-up to the demand that the O2 show had. That WAS Led Zeppelin, and it featured Robert Plant. I think Page dropped it because promotor quotes paled in comparison to what the full Zeppelin reunion tour promised. I think he also dropped it because Robert kept dangling that 1% possiblity in the form of mixed messages. It's only in the last year or so that Robert seems to have slammed the door completely shut.

I agree with Steve regarding Page's live appeal without Robert. The Black Crowes venture was probably his biggest draw, made possible by a lot of Crowes fans who lined up with Jimmy/Zep fans. Jimmy is a frustrated man. Zeppelin is his band, but her just can't get his band together.

Edited by NealR2000

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