Although Led Zeppelin’s lead singer Robert Plant has insisted that he has no plans to tour or record with his former band, that hasn’t stopped the speculation from continuing. Recently, conjecture about an upcoming regrouping and tour was redoubled by Zep’s bassist John Paul Jones.
According to published reports, the musician told the audience at a UK guitar expo that tour talks are, in fact, underway.
“As you probably know, Jimmy, Jason and I are actually rehearsing, and we’ve had the odd singer come in and have a bash,” Jones was quoted as saying, alluding to tabloid reports that the band auditioned different singers to take Plant’s place should he dismiss the idea of a tour.
But Plant did just that as speculation grew, denying that the iconic band would tour again and indicating that he had no desire to join his bandmates in the next few years if they did tour. He posted a message on his official Web site, stating, “It’s both frustrating and ridiculous for this story to continue to rear its head when all the musicians that surround the story are keen to get on with their individual projects and move forward.”
It seems, though, that Plant might have been alone in that sentiment. According to Jones, he and guitar god Jimmy Page are eager to get back on the road, with deceased drummer Jon Bonham’s son, Jason, stepping in to fill his shoes. “As soon as we know — which we don’t — we will let you know,” the bassist reportedly said. “But we really hope that something is going to happen soon because we really want to do it and we’re having a lot of fun, actually, just rehearsing.”
It’s not unheard of for singers to be replaced, especially as bands continue touring well into their later years. Popular ’80s band Journey replaced Steve Perry when he left the band due to hip problems. And most recently, prog-rock band Yes announced plans to launch their 40th anniversary tour without Jon Anderson, who was sidelined by acute respiratory failure.
Yet some critics say that without Plant, there is no Led Zeppelin. A report from Los Angeles Times suggested that, if the tours goes on sans Plant, the band should focus on creating a new sound and releasing new material under a different name to avoid looking like a tribute band.
But Jones and Page are already considering those things, if not the new band name. “It’s got to be right,” Jones said in an interview with Radio BBC. “There’s no point in just finding another Robert. You could get that out of a tribute band, but we don’t want to be our own tribute band. There would be a record and a tour, but everyone has to be on board.”