Recently, it was told that Richard Branson offered the Zepp 800 million to re-unite. Then, apparently, Robert Plant ‘ripped it up and said no’. Turns out both of these stories were untrue. However, the heart of it is absolutely true. The other two surviving members of the mighty Zepp have been wanting to get the band back together for years. It has always been, without any question, Plant stopping the process.
Now, we can talk about why he should or shouldn’t. We can talk about whether they will or won’t. Everyone already has. Quite simply, Plant (like the others) is very old. 70 something (editors note, he is 66. He just looks that old from the rock and roll lifestyle… which Plant pretty much invented). He is stupid rich, they all are. There is no conceivable way he could spend the money he has in his time left on Earth. I have to imagine his side of it is; why be a billionaire who dies on a tour bus in Omaha away from my family... when I could just sit here and do dick all instead? That is my perspective.
Tangent - touring for all bands >
I write this because I don't they are against reforming or performing. I think Plant stops it because of hte touring aspect. He doesn't want to do it. It's weird, because he tours full time now with his new career as a folk singer guy. Wouldn't, then, a Zepp tour just be that but easier? I mean, he would have personal assistants, drivers, private jets, private chefs... etc.
Remember, though, that touring sucks. Yes, it is exciting the first couple of years. Yay, I am seeing the world and having this amazing life experience. But, 20 years of it? It's a nightmare. Even with the top accommodations, you just want to be home. You want to sleep in. You don't get to, ever. It's not 'play all night and sleep all day'. Let's say you get on the bus about midnight, heading off to the next city. You have to wake up every day and to a phone interview with the local morning zoo guys. Or, worse, go on those local hacky morning shows... inbetween the bagel segment, and the adoptable slug segment.
So, you say "well, but the might Zepp wouldn't have to do that kind of press, right?" Wrong. A band this big could only play football stadiums. Someone very rich put up a 10 million dollar guarantee to failitate the tour. Now, in each city you need to sell 65,000 tickets (the exact average of all the American pro football stadiums). You think 'easy, right? This is the greatest rock band of all time!' Well, yeah, but consider they haven't put out any new music since 1979. Their best years were 40 years ago. Ask anyone under 30 to name 5 Zeppelin songs. Those concert tickets would need to be a at least $100 a pop.
my point on that side rant is that even for the biggest band in teh world, touring is a monster pain in the ass and very stressful. You also don't make as much money as you would think. Several years ago, the Stones were on another world tour. They had to skip the UK (which is several countries). The band did the math and even if they sold out every single day and every single ticket, they would lose money. Why? Unions and tax structure. England taxes performers at 80%. If you get paid $10,000 for a gig, you actually walk away with only $20,000. Now pay the roadies and engineers and unions. You are probably left with about $7,000.
Is it worth all that work and hassle and stress on the body and mind to make $7,000? Not if you are already stupid rich.
I write because of this. If I am a promoter, how do I get the Zepp (and Plant) together? I buy a big ass island resort and offer them a residence. Something like buy 500 acres in Bali, or somewhere far and beautiful and exotic. Give each member his own big ass house with full time staff. You build the venue on site there. So, the band doesn’t have to travel. Travel to their gig is on a golf cart, and they are home and in bed by midnight every single night… eve show nights.
If you wanna see them, you have to fly to Bali. It will cost you several grand, but we throw in the hotel room for free. Yes, it will be expensive, but that is your problem. Bookings begin a year out.
See, I know Robert still loves the music. He is still very, very active. He is still touring 200 days a year with his folk band. We need to make it as easy as possible for them.
* that pic above is amazing, isn't it? It's not photoshopped, either. He was playing a gig in Kezar Stadium in San Fran. He was singing, and gesturing as he does, and the pigeon just landed on his hand... and sat there.