Plant: Old and in the way?
Well, a couple of weeks back, it was announced that Led Zeppelin, including surviving members Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, and bassist and keyboard player John Paul Jones, and the heir to the mightiest bass pedal EVER, Bonzo's son Jason Bonham would reprise his tantalizingly brief stint on the drums, with his Dad's old mates.
The concert, to be held November 26 at the O2 arena in London, is being described as a "one-off," a one night stand in memory of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, with tickets for the 18,000 seat venue running a cool £ 125 (about $270) apiece. The Ahmettribute.com website, which went live on September 12th, crashed in a matter of hours as in excess of 20 MILLION fans would try to book tickets for the event. The Who's Peter Townshend, and former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, will open. This fueled speculation that the reunited supergroup might do a few nights in the UK, Europe and the US before disappearing into retirement forever. Shortly after, Robert Plant looking much like a besotted extra on the crew of the Black Pearl, announced there would be no tour. At least, that's what they're saying now.
This marks the first time the three surviving members have reunited since their induction into the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Prior to that, I witnessed their anticlimactic performance at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary Bash at Madison Square Garden in May, 1988, when they headlined a very long and memorable day of performances with a sloppy Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, and Rock and Roll. It's not that they were downright bad, just kind of dull and listless. I was actually a lot more pissed that Townshend and Daltrey didn't show, and that Peter Gabriel and Steve Hackett weren't going to oblige Rutherford, Banks, and Collins for a brief Genesis reunion. And that Crosby, Stills, and Nash sure seemed weak and wimpy without Young. Or, for that matter, that I had to listen to Debbie Gibson, and hear the late Laura Brannigan do Gloria, and stomp angrily off the stage.
But it seems the bron-y-aurs shall stomp the terra again. At least once.
Would I do it even at $270 a shot? I dunno. I was never that big a fan. The taste I got at the end of a great day, nearly 20 years ago, was good enough- probably sufficient to hold me over forever. And back then, tickets for 12 hours of nonstop (and mostly good!) performances only ran $100, and we each spent easily that much on food and beer over the course of the show that day. But with Mr. Jones, and none of the wretched Page/Coverdale, or Plant/Page rearrangements that I can barely recognize, it's still kind of tempting. Except the hype will no doubt be so thick, and the gouging for t-shirts, and everything from bottled water to beer to lines at the bathroom so outrageous as to take the fun out of it for this veteran of the psychic wars.
I'll probably just wait for the inevitable DVD to come out, and put it in my Netflix cache...unless its at the 9:30 or the Warner. That might be worth checking out...!