Robert Plant, an English musician better known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the British super group Led Zeppelin, has reportedly turned down £500 million (almost $800 million) to reunite the band for what could be the most expensive tour in music history.
Plant, regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of rock and roll, declined the offer by tearing up the contract for 35 dates in three cities – London, Berlin and New Jersey- which was signed earlier by other members of the band.
The tour would have earned Plant, 66, and his fellow founders of the band, lead guitarist Jimmy Page, 70, and bassist John Paul Jones, 68; more than £190 million each before tax. While Jason Bonham, the son of the group’s late drummer John Bonham, would be given a hefty wage to perform as their drummer.
Jimmy, John and Jason, according to a source from the band, signed the contract immediately.
English business magnate Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group of Companies, who made the mind-boggling offer, was very disappointed.
Branson is a self-confessed avid fan of Led Zeppelin. He said he was ready to rename the stairs of one of his jets, The Starship, to Stairway to Heaven as a tribute to Led Zeppelin’s monster hit 70’s song.
The business tycoon said he would have flown the group around in one of his jets and offered them an option to do 45 more gigs in five venues if they so desired.
A source close to the band said Robert Plant’s mind is made up. Plant reportedly said it’s not the right thing to do.
He had previously said, “I have to be in some brand new zones quite regularly… It’s an insane thing to do, to go back.”
One of the surviving members of the band said, “There is no way we can go ahead without him.”
Led Zeppelin’s last performance was at London’s O2 in 2007. It was recorded as a live album called “Celebration Day.”
Here’s the video of their Celebration Day performance in 2007: