So, as I’m sure you already know, Led Zeppelin are getting back together. For one concert.
I really really hope it’s just one concert.
They’ve only reunited in the past for a couple of special occasions to date (Live Aid and Atlantic’s 40th anniversary shindig), and I hope that this show – to remember the late Atlantic founder Ahmet Ertegun – is also just a special one-off, too, even though it means 99% of the people who’d like to see Led Zeppelin live won’t be able to do so.
There’s something quite sad about bands reuniting properly when they don’t need the money. It doesn’t bother me that Pixies got together again; they did it with dignity, and kinda deserved the boost to their bank accounts considering that many many indie and rock bands have made money off their backs. It doesn’t even bother me that The Police reformed for a tour, where you just know they’re in it for the money. But Led Zeppelin are different.
Led Zeppelin splitting up after John Bonham’s death was a beautiful and noble thing. Deciding that without him they weren’t Led Zeppelin is a pretty cool way to honour your drummer; because when it comes to replacing a band member, the drummer’s kinda the easiest to replace, even if he was as great as Bonham.
This is what worries me the most about this one-off potentially spiralling into a big world tour: they wouldn’t be reforming if Jimmy Page or Robert Plant had died in 1980, and if they do get back together properly, it would seem to me to be erasing the nobility of splitting up 27 years ago.
Maybe it is true, though. But I’m a tad cynical. Why go to the effort of making sure that rumours circulate, and playing at a relatively small venue, building building building expectations, if you’re only gonna do one show? Well, there’s a “best of” CD to promote, so that’s handy timing; but I wish I could shake the feeling that this is the beginning of a proper reunion.
And what better way to get a full-on reunion rolling than, a) playing a charity show to deflect these “doing it for the money” digs; b) allowing them to bask in the news reports on the night of fans travelling from Seattle, São Paulo, and Sydney to be there, and c) giving them the opportunity to say, “well, the demand was so great, we felt we owed it to the fans to do a world tour”?
I really hope I’m wrong. But, if I could get a ticket, I’d still go…