Led Zepplin without Robert Plant is no Led Zepplin

By by Justin Jacobs

‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Think about your favorite band. It’s pretty great, right? ‘ ‘ ‘ Now… ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Think about your favorite band. It’s pretty great, right? ‘ ‘ ‘ Now imagine, if you will, that your favorite band decided to hire a new singer. That new singer, it so happens, used to front a really awful band like, say, Creed. Or Insane Clown Posse. ‘ ‘ ‘ Or, hell, let’s say that the new singer is one of the guys from 98 Degrees who isn’t Nick Lachey. No, I don’t know any of their names, either. ‘ ‘ ‘ The new singer doesn’t understand your favorite band, does he?’ Of course not ‘mdash; he was still eating baby food from an airplane-shaped spoon when your favorite band was touring the country and drinking gallons of whiskey every night. ‘ ‘ ‘ Sounds pretty horrifying right? Well, folks, it’s happening.’ To, of all bands, Led Zeppelin.’ John Bonham must be rolling in his grave. ‘ ‘ ‘ Talk about Led Zep increased exponentially a year ago when the band played a one-off, sold out gig in London honoring record executive Ahmet Ertegun. Of course, original drummer Bonham died in 1980, but replacing him was his son Jason. Not a true reunion, sure, but it couldn’t have come much closer. ‘ ‘ ‘ At the end of 2007 and into 2008, there was huge chatter about a full-scale reunion tour, but much of it was stifled because of singer Robert Plant’s project and resulting tour with folkster Allison Krauss. ‘ ‘ ‘ Now, it appears, Bonham, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are tired of waiting. ‘ ‘ ‘ The three announced last week that they were looking into a full tour with Myles Kennedy, singer of grunge-rock losers Alter Bridge. ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘Who?’ you ask. Well, even more disturbingly, Alter Bridge is actually a band composed of the members of Creed with Kennedy replacing the insufferable Scott Stapp on vocals. Unsurprisingly, then, Alter Bridge sounds like the bastard child of Puddle of Mudd and a dying cat. ‘ ‘ ‘ Put simply, this is an awful idea. Awful. Utterly and completely awful. ‘ ‘ ‘ This is like U2 touring without Bono (because he was busy feeding starving African children) and replacing him with Chris Daughtry. Except Led Zeppelin is better than U2, and Myles Kennedy is worse than Daughtry.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ All hatred for anything Creed-related aside, this is a damaging move, because Led Zeppelin is too iconic for a lineup change this drastic to ever succeed. Led Zeppelin will forever be made of Page, Plant, Jones and a Bonham. Each member is just as much a part of Led Zeppelin as Jagger, Richards, Watts and Wood are integral to The Rolling Stones. ‘ ‘ ‘ When a band has reached the legendary status of Zeppelin or the Stones, which few acts have, the aura surrounding the band and its music is insulated, as in, a change to the band itself would create something that is not the band itself. ‘ ‘ ‘ This isn’t like Rage Against the Machine hiring Chris Cornell to become Audioslave or even Guns N’ Roses hiring Scott Weiland to become Velvet Revolver ‘mdash; neither of those original bands has nearly the legend following them that Led Zeppelin does. ‘ ‘ ‘ The reasons as to why the Plant-less trio would even think to tour are equally baffling. Is it money? I think not ‘- Zeppelin has sold more than 300 million records worldwide, and royalty checks from the band’s still well-selling albums have got to be substantial. ‘ ‘ ‘ Unless they all blew their money on yachts and solid gold guitars, all the members of Led Zep should be rich enough to use hundred dollar bills as toilet paper. Is it some desperate thirst to create new music? No, the band has only expressed interest in touring, not recording. ‘ ‘ ‘ Maybe it’s to spite Plant ‘mdash; after all, he is the one who shot down all the reunion buzz in order to tour on his own side project, likely leaving the band a bit falsely excited after the London show. ‘ ‘ ‘ Or maybe Led Zeppelin’s old dudes really do want to tarnish their reputation by hiring a kid to do a man’s job. ‘ ‘ ‘ Whatever the reason, it’d be a shame to see Led Zeppelin tour without actually being Led Zeppelin, no matter if Kennedy’s voice would do the music justice or not. ‘ ‘ ‘ If the guy from Alter Bridge is singing me ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ I think I’ll stay here on Earth.