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LED ZEPPELIN'S 50th ANNIVERSARY PLANS?


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On 13 August 2018 at 12:22 PM, SteveAJones said:

It is hard to believe today is the 50th, because although it quite likely is it quite likely isn't. The date of the first rehearsal remains unconfirmed and at this point probably never will be confirmed.

For "business/commemoration purposes" such as promotion and marketing 50 years from the release date of their first album -- January 12, 1969 -- is the most appropriate date in my opinion.

The date of their first rehearsal remains speculative, and besides even prior to that they were involved with PJ Proby's 'Three Week Hero' album. They were billed as The New Yardbirds in Scandanavia and struggled to be billed correctly by promoters on their first UK tour, though we know Jimmy discussed his Hindenburg concept for the first album with George Hardie at The Marquee in London on 10/18/68 prior to that evening's performance.

I also like January 12, 2019 because it's just three days after Jimmy's 75th birthday--so there's obvious synergy there for celebrating Page the man as well as Page's music. Add to that it all more or less coincides with the start of a New Year and we have the perfect launch point! All that said, my hunch is they'll be going with October for primary product/release roll outs to capitalize on Christmas sales.

Last chance motel, early 2019 makes sense (beyond Skin Tyson 'Cast dates' etc. , but as we know,the bigger question is 'do the relationships remain the same' ? Hope not,hope better than when this was taken. Nicht gut....

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/15/2018 at 2:57 AM, Mark Williams said:

Last chance motel, early 2019 makes sense (beyond Skin Tyson 'Cast dates' etc. , but as we know,the bigger question is 'do the relationships remain the same' ? Hope not,hope better than when this was taken. Nicht gut....

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Have to say Jimmy is ageing a lot better then Robert-must be the poetry he’s reading ........

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5 hours ago, Policeman Dressed in Blue said:

I cannot remember the source, but from what I've understood, the official 'celebration' begins in september. I'm writing this the day before the 50th anniversary of their first concert. I live 30 minutes from the place where it happened. I'm stoked beyond belief.

https://tenor.com/uN6m.gif

Edited by gibsonfan159
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  • 3 years later...

Some believed Led Zeppelin’s best chance of any kind of a reunion may have been realized as the remaining band members celebrated the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin IV, released November 8, 1971. 

However, this 50th anniversary “opportunity” came and went in 2021 like a trout sipping in a mayfly on an English backcountry stream 3 miles from the nearest foot trail. It slipped by so uneventfully and routinely it’s almost like we forgot about it on purpose. And that is precisely what we must do with any misguided notions of a reunion in studio or on stage in the extended future. Why? Because were it to somehow, by some peculiar phenomenon to occur, the mega-band we affectionately refer to as Led Zeppelin would breakdown and fail the same way it did in 1980 for exactly the same reasons. Like a bee slowly dying after stinging the family dog. It may take a while but the end would be as certain as the beginning. And I might argue, such a modern day musical, emotional, and spiritual implosion could be far more devastating than the first time the surviving members chose to terminate the biggest band the world ever knew. It is so because unresolved conflicts of the heart don’t diminish with time, they grow with it. Raw unsettled emotional pain is as predictable as it is devastating.  And Page and Plant have plenty of it!

On that day in 1980 the surviving members used the death of their band-mate and friend as an excuse to call it quits. And similarly, any ill-advised return of sorts today, would of course also be followed by an imminent and predictable end.

Never mind what the surviving members want. Never mind the fact they already chose to end it once. Never mind that Jason Bonham could easily and proudly step behind his father’s drum kit without missing a beat (pun intended). That’s the thing about people, and especially fans. We’re selfish. We don’t care about the emotional toll in took on Robert Plant. All we want is to pay homage to our heroes and see them play one more time. Or hear the songs from the most anticipated album release in history. We wouldn’t even care if they were out of tune and out of shape and just plain awful playing live. Some want to see them live for the first time, others have seen them before, both want the same thing - Just a little bit more of Led Zeppelin.

 Is that too much to ask? Yes it is. It damn sure is too much to ask. We can’t even begin to understand what the rifts between the clean and the unhealthy band members did to the band. It had to be awful, so awful that they chose to end it 42 years ago. That’s right, they chose to terminate the greatest rock n roll band of all time. That’s how bad it had become. I mean, I can see why they might want to show respect to Bonzo by not going on, but let’s face it, unless the drummer is the main songwriter (and John was not), it would not have been ideal, but it would have been possible to replace him and keep going. That is, if the rest of band was healthy, and this is how we know it was not.

 Continuing after John died simply would not have worked because the wounds between Robert and Jimmy are too deep. No one knows for sure, and this may be met with scorn, disdain, or even downright hostility but that doesn’t make it any less true. Besides it must be said: I firmly believe had John Bonham not died when he did, the band would not have lasted another year.

 To help move this idea along, let’s fast-forward to December 2nd, 2012 at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. And specifically let’s look at Robert’s demeanor, his emotions if you will, while listening to the Heart Sisters, Michael Barakan aka Shane Fontayne, a seemingly unknown bassist, Jason Bonham, a small orchestra and a large choir, play their biggest hit ever – Stairway to Heaven. Almost immediately Robert begins trying to hold back his emotions. I suppose he’s doing this because he’s a man and because he is a stoic Englishman. But I believe the question we should be asking is what triggered those emotions in him? This question goes a long way in telling us why the most popular, successful, powerful rock band to ever play, broke up in the first place.

 No one can know for sure but anyone who does a little digging into the history of the band can bring about some remarkably accurate conjecture as to why Plant sat aside Page for 7 minutes and 25 seconds, fighting back tears most of the time.

 Sure even though they wrote it, recorded it, and no doubt played it a thousand times, the song is an emotional one no matter how many times you play it, or sing it in Robert’s case. So maybe Plant simply got caught up in the moment. After all, he wrote most of their songs in the latter years and songwriters are typically more emotional. Where do you think the creative feelings at the heart of those emotional songs come from? While it is possible that Robert found himself caught in the moment and could barely hold back the tears, it is not likely simply because he was so familiar with the song.

 So moving along, did Robert’s emotions nearly get the best of him because Bonzo’s son Jason was sitting in posthumously for the senior Bonham, bringing back memories of better days when John Bonham was alive and healthy and the band was in better shape? Maybe seeing Jason play it all the way through in that setting, maybe for the first time? It’s possible but not likely because the surviving members had played many times with Jason by this point and so it seems unlikely Robert was awestruck about Jason playing even what appears to be a very similar drum kit as his father played when he was alive.

 Okay what about Robert reminiscing about the elder Bonham? How hard he pounded his drums, what he was like as a man, the Bonzo he knew. Maybe wishing someone had checked on him that fateful night, had even Robert himself checked on him that night would he be alive today? Did Robert chose this time and place to entertain feelings of guilt about Bonham’s death perhaps? Again, possible but not likely because by this point Plant had enough time to process John’s death, almost 32 years in fact. Besides, Robert Plant accomplished much as a solo artist, enough so that he would not likely have been longing for the once celebrated, better days of Led Zeppelin with a healthy John Bonham.

 In contrast to Robert Plant, who is struggling to avoid the tears he can’t seem to impede, look at Jimmy! The only emotions I see is an occasional smile, laughter, and a look of appreciation for what he is hearing! Why? Because Jimmy was numb to the worst days and times of Led Zeppelin. His favorite drug, heroin allowed him to plow through whatever inconvenient  emotions came his way, some of the same emotions Robert had to endure. What a dichotomy! Sure there was conflict between him and Robert, but nothing that little drug synthesized from the Papaver Somniferum Poppy could not quickly but temporarily remedy.

 Robert was hurt by Jimmy’s drug use because the two of them were close in the formative years of the band, before Jimmy’s drug use pulled them apart. In fact Jimmy created much of Robert’s emotional pain directly. Not only because some nights he was too high to play, but also by his behavior. For example when Robert’s son Karac died at the tender age of 5 while Zeppelin was touring America in 1977, Page did not attend the funeral following the cancelled tour, likely due to his drug habit providing a much more convenient path to take, one leaving Jimmy far less exposed. I mean, the funeral of a child is no place for an addict who is trying to hide who he really is. A funeral wrought with the real emotions of the front man for the band Jimmy controlled, and his family. It was too much for Jimmy who didn’t want to face all of that, or any of it really. Instead he found it far easier to indulge in his drug and spend the day alone. Anywhere but at that funeral.

And of course not seeing Page at his own 5 year old son’s funeral must have hurt Plant deeply, regardless of what was printed in the e media about it.

 And just to put Jimmy’s heroin use in perspective, he was using almost every night they played while on tour toward the end. And each night the solos got longer and longer. This too exacerbated the friction between Robert and him.

 All this had to be devastating to the once vibrant Robert Plant. He was slowly dying I think, being suffocated by the band he once loved, and its’ now diminishing leader Jimmy Page.

 So then back to the Kennedy Center one last time where Robert was not fighting to hold back tears for any one reason, but rather a culmination of reasons. There were in fact many reasons why this otherwise brilliant, talented, stable, strong man named Robert Plant could not control his emotions that night, hard as he tried, but it was mostly the pain brought about by Jimmy. And that’s enough about that.

 Speaking of enough, hasn’t this band we all love given us enough without some ill-fated reunion in whatever form it may take? Haven’t they given us enough over the years? I mean really, haven’t they? Enough songs, enough albums, enough concerts, enough memories? Not just of live shows we were fortunate enough to attend, but so many different memories they have given us! Allow me to direct your thoughts to exactly when and where you were the first time you heard such exceptional greats as Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, The Battle of Evermore, The Song Remains The Same, and Kashmir to name a few. Remember? What a gift these memories are to all of us, to each of us who has ever played one of our favorite Led Zeppelin songs while doing what we love, or even what we hate, making such memories unforgettable. Look how much this band has given us over the years, how can we ask more of them?

 The notion of being satisfied with the current LZ catalogue may be met with contempt, but I have to say it anyway. We have enough Zeppelin songs, we do. So count your blessings we have what they have given us. Some they wrote, some they did not. But each is an outstanding recording in its own way, each uniquely Zeppelin. And look at it like this: To want more when you have enough is like rejecting what we have, what they have given us. So don’t.

 Some see it differently of course, clamoring enough LZ? Huh? Never! There is no such thing as enough of a good thing! Is there? Yes, there is, so…Let’s be realistic about it and let it go for so many reasons. After all there is a reason our champions broke up in the first place and it wasn’t because John Bonham died. It was for the same reason any (and really most) of our favorite bands break up. Egos and drugs. We need not make the discovery process any more complicated and painful than it is. Jimmy’s incessant heroin use combined with Robert’s intolerance of it drove this band of musicians we love into the ground. It’s that simple.

 And just as Robert was starting to spread his wings and was so much as beginning to escape the unrelenting burden of Jimmy’s dominance over himself and his other 2 bandmates, it all ended. Just like it was supposed to. Right on time.

 And just because he wasn’t fighting back tears at the Kennedy Center doesn’t mean Jimmy was unscathed by his unsettling odyssey of change, conveniently terminated at the end of the 1970’s. Oh my, nothing could be further from the truth! Few of us know the perils and horrors of what comes from that God-damned poppy. Any bigger taste of pure hell and he would have been eternally standing in it. So we are all delighted he has put it behind him. Few who venture so far down that path return. Few do, very few. Death has been cheated, but so dark the stain left behind the band will never reunite again. There must be a payment for accountability to mature. A bittersweet concept but what an unfortunate business indeed.

 Jimmy was the commander of the band since the early years, indoctrinated and maintained as such by Peter Grant. Page’s masterful touches as the engineer, earned him that title and I suppose the right to lead the other band members. Although he later abused his prodigy, he got it right in the end. In all his wisdom, why do you think he insisted on using a different sound engineer on every album they ever recorded? Allowing Led Zeppelin themselves to lay claim to the sonic brilliance that was their own, and not any (one) sound engineer’s. I never said he wasn’t a genius, I just said his unfortunate drug use brought down a giant. But the world is a better place with him in it and we are all grateful he made it back.

 So please be satisfied with what they have given us and please stop agonizing over any ill-conceived reunion in concept or in thought. Please.

Edited by Tr_Hall
Mispelled reminiscing
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That was very long but well said and most of this makes so much sense. You summed it up well. One of the best posts I've read on this forum and I've been here since the very beginning. Even better as it was your first post. Welcome aboard!

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