A new report indicates Robert Plant turned down an $800 million (£500 million) offer from Virgin head Sir Richard Branson for a Led Zeppelin reunion tour.
The Mirror reports Plant ripped up Branson’s contract for 35 dates in three cities – London, Berlin and in New Jersey – in front of promoters after the other members of the band had signed on to green light the project.
The group were also promised £70million of the profit from merchandise and there was an option to do 45 additional shows in five venues.
The offer was to be split three ways between Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, while Jason Bonham – son of late drummer John – would have been paid a wage to perform.
“Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately,” said a source. “It was a no-brainer for them but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock. There is no way they can go ahead without him.”
Branson planned to fly the group in one of his jets and have the staircase of the Starship jet renamed the Stairway To Heaven after the band’s 1971 classic; he was going to sell off the back 20 rows of the aircraft as special seats for £100,000 each.
Plant has been the lone hold-out for a Led Zeppelin reunion since the band regrouped for a December 10, 2007 concert at London’s O2 Arena tribute concert for friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun.
The singer and guitarist Page have publicly traded shots at each other over the reunion issue in recent years, following hints by Plant that he would be available – before pulling the rug out from the band and fans looking for more concerts.
Led Zeppelin recently released expanded versions of “Led Zeppelin IV” and “Houses Of The Holy” as part of a series that will see the group’s full studio catalog reissued with additional material.
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