Thank You, Robert Plant, for Refusing to Tour with Led Zeppelin
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, Robert Plant once again dashed the hopes of Zeppelin fans around the world by saying that he is “not a jukebox,” and won’t tour with Led Zeppelin just for the sake of touring and rehashing all their old stuff. I applaud his position.
I have been a fan of his solo career for years, have been to numerous concerts, and enjoy his solo career as much as I enjoy the older Zeppelin stuff. Some of it is very different, but similarities also exist, from the North African-influenced riffs, to the wailing screams and beautiful and often sex-charged or cheeky lyrics that could come only from the legend himself. No one doubts Jimmy Page’s contribution to their classic music, which every teenager will eventually discover and come to marvel; he was an irreplaceable innovator with the guitar. But Robert surrounds himself with impeccably-practiced musicians that don’t leave anything lacking in a reprisal of an older song, even if it has been re-worked considerably. He throws in the wail you’ve been wondering whether he can still perform, and have been waiting for. And it is good.
My best advice to those who want to see Zeppelin is to go to one of Plant’s shows. He mixes his new stuff with the old. Sometimes those old songs have a new spin, but there is usually enough of the original to make jaws drop and knees give way. As the man himself says, older guys only get together for a tour if they are bored. Robert Plant obviously isn’t bored, with all the collaborations and new material he has conjured over the years. He is also not boring, if only you will listen with an open mind, and remember that he was the genius behind all those classic lyrics that we all love. I can’t wait to hear more from him, but I won’t say I wouldn’t be tempted to buy a ticket to a Led Zeppeline reunion. It won’t happen, but I know what to do in the mean time, and that is quite enough for me.