It doesn’t look like a Led Zeppelin reunion will be happening any time soon.
According to a report from UK publication The Mirror, the group’s lead singer Robert Plant literally tore up a contract to reunite the band worth almost $800 million, saying the timing just wasn’t right for a reunion tour.
Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin brand fame was apparently behind the entire thing, offering the band an obscene amount of money just to reunite for a few dozen shows. The contract was reportedly for 35 shows in three cities: London, Berlin, and an unnamed location in New Jersey. Each of the three remaining original members would have earned somewhere over $200 million each just for performing, while another $100 million in merchandising profits was to be shared between the group members.
Branson was reportedly also ready to supply the group with their own private jet for the tour. The mogul was prepared to take one of his airline’s planes and rebrand it “The Starship”. The contract also had an extension option to add 45 more shows in additional venues should the band agree.
Guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones apparently signed on immediately, and Jason Bonham, the son of late drummer John Bonham, was set to step in for his father. Plant apparently met with conert promoters to discuss the deal, and during the meeting actually ripped the contract in two, ending any chance of a regrouping.
While $800 million is certainly a lot of money, it’s not like Robert Plant (or any of the other members for that matter) really need it. Led Zeppelin are one of the most successful groups of all time, having sold around 112 million records in the United States alone (that figure is three or four times that when the entire planet is counted). In fact, they are the fourth best-selling music act in American history, right behind the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Garth Brooks.
Robert Plant has also had an incredibly successful career outside of Led Zeppelin. He has released fourteen albums, selling additional millions and making his chart history that much more impressive. His collaborative album Raising Sand with bluegrass/country singer Alison Krauss may not have been his most commercially successful, but it was adored universally by critics, and won he, Alison, and producer T-Bone Burnett five Grammys back in 2009, including Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
While the band’s last album of original music, Coda, was released back in 1982, the band has continued to sell well throughout the years, making millions in repackagings, reissues and live album releases. This year, Page was behind expanded reissues of Led Zeppelin I, II, III, IV and Houses Of The Holy.
The group’s last show together was in London back in December of 2007, which was a tribute to legendary music executive Ahmet Ertegün. The concert is thought to have had the most-desired tickets of any show in history, as when it was announced, 20 million requests were submitted online for passes. A movie of the concert, Celebration Day, came out in 2012.