Robert Plant and Sir Richard Branson are denying a recently published report that the Virgin head offered Led Zeppelin $800 million (£500 million) to perform a reunion tour.
A publicist for Plant issued a statement refuting the story, saying the singer "has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months" about Led Zeppelin gigs, and hasn't met or communicated with Branson in 50 years, adding that Plant was "disappointed with any confusion this current fabricated story may bring."
“I’ve been left dazed and confused by a story doing the rounds this week about us apparently offering Led Zeppelin £500 million to reform and carry out a tour,” Branson wrote on his blog. “As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story.”
“There were even claims that Virgin Atlantic was about to rename one of our planes and include a stairway to heaven in honour of the band,” he continued. “However nice an idea, this is also completely untrue. After a week of seeing worryingly inaccurate reports in various publications regarding Virgin, it was sad but not particularly surprising to see yet another fabricated story.”
UK tabloid The Mirror published a report claiming Plant ripped up Branson’s alleged contract offer 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 allegedly also promised £70million of the profit from merchandise and there was an option to do 45 additional shows in five venues - read more details here.
The Mirror has since removed the story from their website.
“I spoke to Robert Plant about the story, which he also confirmed is complete rubbish from his side too,” noted Branson. “Robert told me he is very proud of his history and the band’s past, and has always had great respect and love for his work throughout his career. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today.”
“Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful his solo career with the Sensational Space Shifters is going,” he added. “He is setting out on a sold out tour today and they released a brilliant album last year. Fellow band members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones also have many exciting projects in the works and should be respected in their own right. I’m proud of how so many artists from my generation, whether it is Led Zeppelin, Mike Oldfield or Peter Gabriel, are still being so creative and inventive. They have all moved on into exciting new phases, while still celebrating their incredible pasts.”
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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