You know, a lot has been written about Led Zeppelin and the desire for the band to reunite for a tour and maybe an album.
I now realize why this is never going to happen, and that it shouldn’t.
The other night CBS broadcast the Kennedy Center Honors Award Show. I recorded it and was watching it today. I was especially interested in the Led Zep tribute.
The Foo Fighters, Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz and Heart performed songs in tribute to the mighty Led Zeppelin, whose surviving three members sat in the Kennedy Center opera house a few seats down from the President.
When I saw that Heart’s rendition caused Robert Plant to tear up I knew there would never be a reunion. Like a god surveying his creation – it was good. The torch was passed, in reality it had been passed almost a generation ago.
While fans have been pining for a proper reunion almost since John Bonham died in 1980, the only time the band has actually reunited was in 2007 at a tribute concert for Ahmet Ertegun. I don’t count Live Aid. Twenty million online ticket requests were made online for this one off show. One of those requests was mine.
Pete Townshend was reportedly scheduled to perform as a supporting act, but he pulled out when he heard Led Zeppelin was performing, saying, “They really don’t need me.”
Watch them play Kashmir from the Celebration Day movie recorded at what became known as the O2 concert.
Here you see the band in prime form, maybe even better than in the glory days. Maturity and sobriety can do wonderful things.
When I saw Led Zeppelin in 1980, Jimmy Page was still battling a reported heroin addiction and was frail. He certainly looks strong and clear eyed here.
Plant stalks the stage, bellows, wails and roars and gives a clinic to frontmen and women half his age – he makes me think of Odin from the Avengers movie. Although, Sir Anthony Hopkins didn’t strut quite like this.
Jack Black declared the band, “the greatest rock and roll band of all time, better than the Beatles, better than the Stones…”
We can argue that, but Pete Townshend might be inclined to agree.
So you see, the release of Celebration Day is more than a perfect coda to their career, it is an epitaph written in their own hands. “This is how we will be remembered, and remembered we will be.” The once and eternally Mighty Led Zeppelin.
They truly are Golden Gods, but they are the Old Gods.