The long-denied rumors are true: a bona fide Led Zeppelin reunion show was made official this morning at a press conference in London. The “Holy Grail of rock reunions” will take place November 26 at London’s O2 Arena, headlining a benefit show to raise money for the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which provides scholarships for schools in the U.S., UK and Turkey.
“They are the last great rock gods that remain to be seen” by this generation of fans, show promoter Harvey Goldsmith announced. “I have a feeling that this is going to be the largest demand for one show in history,” he said. The man knows what he’s talking about; overwhelming demand for tickets, which cost upwards of $250 and are distributed by ballot only, has already crashed the show’s official website, Ahmettribute.com.
The remaining members last shared a stage 12 years ago when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the weight of their contribution and influence has remained constant throughout the years. Without Zeppelin there would be no Black Crowes, no Guns ‘N’ Roses, no Aerosmith or any of the countless other rock acts whose sounds and struts are derived directly from the progressive psychedelic metallic blues the band gave birth to.
Formed in 1968, Led Zeppelin was comprised of singer Robert Plant, six-string wizard Jimmy Page, bassist John Paul Jones and legendary drummer John Bonham. They broke all the rules and boundaries ‘60s rock and roll had to offer, redefining rock music with a sound saturated by sexuality, mythology, psychedelics and a dark aura of mystery. Their first album, Led Zeppelin I, recorded in a scant thirty hours and released in 1969, was mauled by critics but devoured by rock fans. Today, Led Zeppelin I is considered a crucial piece of classic rock history. Led Zeppelin are widely credited with creating heavy metal, and the jury’s out on whether or not they invented the blacklight as well.
The band parted ways in 1980 after the death of Bonham, swearing never to play under the name Led Zeppelin again. Plant and Page later toured and recorded an album together, but without the Zeppelin moniker. They excluded the other surviving member, bassist John Paul Jones, who Plant has been quoted as saying simply wasn’t needed because previous collaborations weren’t intended to be Led Zeppelin reunions.
The reunited Led Zeppelin, with John Bonham’s son Jason filling his late fathers shoes behind the drumkit, is expected to play a two-hour set at the show. Rumors are already circulating of a worldwide reunion tour if the show is a success.
The band will also release a best-of compilation on November 13th, entitled Mothership.