ROBERT PLANT On LED ZEPPELIN’s Decision To Disband Following JOHN BONHAM’s Death: ‘It Was Right For Me’


November 20, 2023

In a new interview with the Irish Examiner about the recent vinyl re-release of LED ZEPPELIN‘s “Led Zeppelin IV” album, Robert Plant weighed in on rumors that Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones wanted to carry on with the band more than four decades ago, even if it meant continuing without the singer. Plant maintained his solo career and toured alongside THE BAND OF JOY, Alison Krauss and at present with SAVING GRACE, featuring Portuguese vocalist Suzi Dian.

“You have to keep on developing. Probably for everybody and everything it was the right thing. It was right for me,” Plant said of LED ZEPPELIN‘s 1980 break-up following the alcohol-induced death of drummer John Bonham. “I think Jimmy and John Paul, for a while, wanted to keep it going but we all change. You have to go from the writing of youth. You’re talking about ‘Bron-Yr-Aur’ and ‘Battle Of Evermore’, from writing in that fashion and those visions of a life and an eternal rub between people to the maturity you find along the way; I’m doing the right thing.”

After LED ZEPPELIN‘s 2007 reunion concert at the O2 Arena in London with Jason Bonham, the son of John Bonham, Page and Jones were looking for a way to keep working and tried out several singers, including AEROSMITH‘s Steven Tyler and ALTER BRIDGE‘s Myles Kennedy.

The option for a three-quarter ZEPPELIN reunion ended when Jones accepted an offer to form THEM CROOKED VULTURES with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. Page later said: “I guess that was a pretty definitive statement.”

Page said “the LED ZEPPELIN question” is never far from people’s lips, joking, “People ask me nearly every day about a possible reunion. The answer is ‘no.’ It’s been [more than a decade and a half] since the O2. There’s always a possibility that they can exhume me and put me onstage in a coffin and play a tape.”

Back in 2018, Plant suggested in an interview that he would be “whore” if he were to agree to take part in a LED ZEPPELIN reunion. When pressed about the band’s 50th anniversary that year, the inevitable archival releases, and the hopes for yet another reunion, Plant told Esquire: “All those projects, well, they’re going to do somebody some good somewhere, and that’s good. But you don’t even have to talk to me if all you want to know about is LED ZEPPELIN.

LED ZEPPELIN was an amazing, prolific fun factory for a period of time, but it was three amazing musicians and a singer living in the times. Those times. That’s not going to stop me doing what I’m doing now. So that’s a headline, or not a headline. It doesn’t matter to me… If I didn’t, I’d be a whore, and I’m never going to be that. I’m only a singer, and therefore I can get bored really quickly. And if I get bored really quickly, what am I doing [more than] 70 years old being bored? No chance. So I move on all the time.”

Plant admitted to The Pulse Of Radio that no matter what he does, there will always be a cross-section of fans that rate it against his work with LED ZEPPELIN. “The LED ZEPPELIN myth has been extended now by the mission and the cult,” he said. “And so, everybody goes, ‘Oh, but ZEPPELIN was much better than that.’ Maybe it’ll happen to me, too, but I’ve kind of taken the essence of ZEPPELIN, and I am the singer of LED ZEPPELIN. And I’ve taken the essence of the changes of LED ZEPPELIN and brought it up to date. So, I could never, ever hope to top it. I could never expect to be taken as… taken to the hearts of people quite like LED ZEPPELIN was, because I’m only a part of it.”

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