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article imageRobert Plant rips up $790 million contract for Led Zeppelin tour

By Earl Dittman     Nov 9, 2014 in Music
The former lead singer for the legendary rock band reportedly tore up a contract from Sir Richard Branson for a proposed 35-date reunion tour that would have garnered Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones a cool $300 million each. Or is all "rubbish?"
According to the Sunday Mirror, Virgin Group mogul Sir Richard Branson was reportedly "gutted" when former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant ripped up a $790 million (£500 million) contract that would have reunited Led Zeppelin — Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones — for a planned 35-date tour.
Sir Richard Branson is such a devoted fan of the group that the airline mogul has long had plans to rename the staircase of his Virgin Airlines jumbo jet "The Starship" after Led Zep's classic song "Stairway To Heaven." He was so anxious to have the group reunite that he willingly offered the surviving members of the band the record-breaking deal, which would have netted Plant, Page and Jones a reported $300 million (£190 million) each before taxes for the three-city (London, Berlin and New York/New Jersey), 35-date tour.
A unnamed source close to the members of Led Zeppelin told the Sunday Mirror that Page and Jones were ready to sign on the dotted line. “It was a no-brainer for them, but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it," the source claimed. Plant then reportedly refused to even consider the reunion and promptly tore up the contract in front of shocked and bewildered concert promoters. "They tried to talk him (Plant) into it but there is no chance...when he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock...his mind is made up and that’s that."
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in the halcyon days of Led Zeppelin
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant in the halcyon days of Led Zeppelin
Atlantic Records
As reported here in September, Page recently held court with members of the press at London's Olympic Studios to play tracks from the just-released remastered/deluxe editions of Led Zeppelin IV (aka ZOSO) and Houses Of The Holy. When the subject of a rumored reunion was broached and Page was asked if a Led Zep reformation could be happening in the near future, the guitar god offered up some potentially deflating and bad news for longtime fans.
"I don't think it looks as though that's a possibility or on the cards, so there's not much more I can say about that," Page candidly admitted. "I'm not going to give a detail-by-detail account of what one person says or another person says. All I can say is it doesn't look likely, does it?"
When a member of the press corps inquired if Robert Plant (who has been on the road with the Sensational Space Shifters promoting his new album Lullaby And...The Ceaseless Roar, playing several reworked versions of Led Zep songs in his live show) was the one member most reluctant to reform Led Zeppelin, Page would only offer-up this very firm response, "I've just said it doesn't look very likely."
The band quit touring in 1977 (cancelling a 1980 U.S. tour after the "accidental" death of drummer John Bonham). However, on December 10, 2007, Led Zeppelin took the stage at London’s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert for dear friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. The band came together to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which pays for college and university scholarships in the United Kingdom, United States and Ertegun's native Turkey. Jones, Page and Plant were joined by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham, to perform 16 songs from their celebrated catalog including landmark tracks “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock And Roll,” “Kashmir,” and “Stairway To Heaven.”
In October 2012, Led Zeppelin released the film Celebration Day, which documented the band’s 2007 concert at London’s O2. To promote Celebration Day, Plant, Page and Jones went on an unprecedented press tour, visiting the CBS Morning Show and even David Letterman's late night gab fest. All the renewed interest in Led Zeppelin had fans hoping the band would reunite for a full-fledged tour, and a possible new album. While the general consensus among Zep insiders has always been that Page, Jones and Bonham are willing to seriously entertain the thought of getting back together, especially after the success of the 02 show, Plant, who continues to enjoy a successful solo career, is said to have always been the sole hold-out. When a journalist at the 2012 press conference asked if reuniting was a possibility, Plant half-jokingly called him a “schmuck” for inquiring.
Jimmy Page and his new book  Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: The Open Edition
Jimmy Page and his new book 'Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: The Open Edition'
Genesis Publications
Late last month, during an interview for his book Jimmy Page by Jimmy Page: The Open Edition, the guitarist was questioned about the likelihood of fans getting to see the band, one last time, performing their classic hits in a concert setting, he simply said, "I’m sure people would love to hear it. I’m not the one to be asking, I don’t sing."
The Led Zep inside source said that Plant will not be moved — regardless of any amount of money being offered. "No!" is what Plant reportedly proclaimed when asked if they band will ever play together again.
UPDATE - November 10, 2014 - London, England: A report in The Guardian claims that Robert Plant's publicist has called the Sunday Mirror story "rubbish" — offering no additional explanation or information.
RELATED ARTICLE: Jimmy Page: Led Zeppelin reunion "doesn't look likely"
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