Following Led Zeppelin’s iconic 2007 reunion at the O2 Arena in London, which over a million people attempted to attend, rumours began to swirl about a fully-fledged tour. However, Robert Plant had no interest, and they needed a replacement if it was ever going to work.
As we all know, there was no tour, and Jimmy Page was unsuccessful in trying to manifest his fantasy. Instead, the guitarist was forced to put his plans on the back burner, and as the years have gone on, Page has seemingly accepted the band will never play together again. If that is the case, they bowed out in graceful style.
However, following the hype of their reunion, it seemed as though a tour and festival appearances were an inevitability. Unfortunately, Plant eventually extinguished the fire regarding his involvement, but talk of a tour with a different singer continued.
He said in a statement: “It’s both frustrating and ridiculous for this story to continue to rear its head when all the musicians that surround the story are keen to get on with their individual projects and move forward. I wish Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham nothing but success with any future projects.”
Furthermore, The Sun also speculated they were auditioning for new singers, and Chris Cornell was one of the names in the discussion. In theory, it made total sense, and if anybody could adequately step into Plant’s shoes, it was Cornell.
For a few days, it even seemed like it was a certainty they’d tour with Cornell due to press speculation. The rumour mill intensified to such a degree that the Soundgarden frontman had no choice but to address the talk. “I would never do anything like that whether I were approached or not,” Cornell commented. “It just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I would not want to go see me performing Led Zeppelin songs with the two other guys that used to be in a band called Led Zeppelin while Robert Plant is out somewhere touring.”
He added: “That’s not a ticket I would buy. God bless ’em, but that’s not Led Zeppelin. I find it completely depressing. I’d never do anything like that. I mean just out of respect to the legacy of the band.”
In truth, there is no Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant, and it would have been a travesty to see anyone else front the group, even if they were as well-equipped as Cornell. Additionally, the way Zeppelin bowed out at the O2 was perfect, and anything else they did after it could have detrimentally impacted their legacy.