September 13, 2007 Alfred Branch Jr.
By Alfred Branch, Jr.
For fans of a certain age, they’ll always remember where they were – and who they were with – when they first heard Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”
And apparently, roughly 20 million fans are trying to relive the experience, according to a spokesperson for the legendary band. That’s the number of people who have entered their names on the website set up to gain tickets to the scheduled benefit and comeback concert in November in London. The show is a tribute to the late, iconic record executive Ahmet Ertegun and a benefit for his education foundation. Ertegun, founder of Atlantic Records, signed the band in 1968, and the group has gone onto sell more than 300 million albums worldwide . . .
Singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones will be joined by the late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason Bonham on drums for the November 26 concert at the 20,000-seat O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome.
In an effort to ward off website crashes due to the overwhelming demand, the band is reiterating that all of those who register will have equal chances to receive tickets. Earlier this year, the free ticket giveaway for Ozzfest temporarily crashed Live Nation’s servers.
“The message is to be patient. The website will be open until midday on September 17 for anyone wanting to register,” a spokesperson for the band and the concert said in a prepared statement. “It is not ‘first come, first served’ and all successful applicants will be entered into the ballot for tickets to be drawn at random.”
Tickets will sell at face value for ₤125, or roughly $250. Published reports also said that the O2 Arena’s website experienced massive overload due to the demand.
November’s benefit marks only the third time Led Zeppeline have reunited since John Bonham’s death in 1980. The three remaining original members played the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia and an Atlantic Records anniversary show in 1988.
The Who’s Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, rock band Foreigner and Paolo Nutini are also slated to play at the November tribute concert.