THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Led Zeppelin At The O2

I’m not saying it wasn’t a good time, that I wouldn’t want to have been there and experience it. But it just doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe

because I don’t buy this hogwash that it’s a one-off.

All my sources tell me there’s going to be a tour. No one will CONFIRM a tour, but it’s a well-known fact that they’re going to go on the

road. As for Ashley Capps and Bonnaroo…when he contacted me to correct that e-mail I printed, saying it was false, I replied that I would if

he guaranteed in writing that Zeppelin absolutely wouldn’t play Bonnaroo. I got no response.

Hell, the band’s entitled to make a living. If they want to go on the road and people want to pay, I understand it. But it just doesn’t feel

good. It’s kind of like going to the museum.


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

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Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.

That’s one of the reasons I didn’t go see the Police. I remember first hearing "Walking On The Moon", decades ago. That experience is frozen

in time. I’m not sure I want to relive it, certainly not with the people in attendance, those now decades older or those too young to be into

it the first time around, maybe not even born.

As for Genesis… You wanted to shake the stink from your shoulders. Talk to anybody that went. Genesis used to mean something, even after

Peter Gabriel left. I saw them at the Forum, they weren’t just a hits act, they carried on the tradition. Now, Phil Collins is leading

cheers, he’s playing the role of rock star on stage.

Maybe that’s the problem… Robert and Jimmy, John Paul Jones and Bonzo…THESE WERE THE GUYS! Who raped and pillaged, who we wanted

to be, or fuck, or both. Now they’re old men. I was next to a besuited Jimmy Page one evening and I didn’t even bother to say hello, I didn’t

want to mess with my memories.

It’s no crime to get old. It’s more of badge of honor than o/d’ing at a young age. But to go out and play the role of a young man, that’s

what’s truly weird.

We revere retired baseball players, but we don’t want to see them take the field and play nine innings. We don’t want our memories fucked

with.

And it’s not like there’s any new music. And, even if there were, would anybody want to hear it?

I guess the show seems to be nostalgia, trying to bring us back to the way things used to be. But those days are through. But they live on in

my memory. Inviolate, unchanged. Just like the records. That’s one of the great things about music, every time I play the Zeppelin catalog,

the songs remain the same.

If it’s truly a one-off, then I take it all back. It’s about honoring Ahmet. But, unlike Pink Floyd, I don’t hear the band

members protesting, saying that they’re definitely not hitting the road again. I see them collecting e-mail addresses, saying we’ll see.

"We’ll see" in rock and roll means it’s gonna happen. Unless the band members get into an awful fight. Like Van Halen back in ‘96, at the

VMAs. Still, the band eventually got together. And as much as I enjoyed it, the show was ultimately meaningless. It brought you back, but it

didn’t stand for anything. Hell, I don’t even imagine there were groupies backstage. And, if there were, I bet David Lee Roth didn’t want to

fuck most of them.

But Van Halen was about fun. Led Zeppelin was something different. Led Zeppelin was about testing limits. Not playing by the rules. And if

they go on the road now, they’re just like every other classic rock band trying to make an extra buck.

I guess what I truly lament is the passing of the years, from the days when music was a dividing line, between us and them, to now, when

those in charge, who were on the right side then, are now all about the bucks.

In the seventies you listened to the record to know which way the wind blew. Music was the ultimate art form. Hipper than movies, TV paled in

comparison. And the profits on records were greater than those on films. Music built the Warner empire.

If Ahmet had known this, he would have waited a few years to sell Atlantic, he would have gotten more money for the company. And believe me,

Ahmet liked money, just ask all those who were screwed on royalties. But Ahmet didn’t know it was going to continue. He’d had Cream, never

mind all the earlier R&B greats. What could come next?

Led Zeppelin. Decades of triumphant acts.

But Ahmet was primarily about the music. He took some money off the table and continued to play. Today’s executives want to take

ALL the money off the table, and they want the acts to be subservient to them.

You couldn’t tell Led Zeppelin what to do. You can tell ANY ACT ON A MAJOR LABEL WHAT TO DO TODAY! So, when everybody in the business is in

London tonight rejoicing, my head is spinning. Are these the same guys fucking the business up? Who feel they’ve got no option but to rape

and pillage themselves?

It’s only about the money now. Except if you’re young. That’s why the youngsters have glommed on to Zeppelin. They SENSE that this was

something different, a band that played by its own rules, that wasn’t afraid to test limits. I only hope that some of the band’s fans will be

inspired and create or steward equally challenging quality music to the public.

The people who are gonna change the world musically were not in London this evening. They can’t afford the buy-in. They’re not connected

enough to get a ticket. Music has gone from being inclusive to exclusive. Instead of love your brother, we all belong, it’s I’m richer than

you, FUCK YOU! The best seats aren’t even ever sold. And acts and promoters complain that scalpers are making all the money…the fan doesn’t

count. The fan will pony up the bucks, right?

Wrong.

Used to be the ONLY problem was getting a ticket. NOTHING was overpriced. You went to the gig constantly, it was a way of life, it was a

religion. You listened to FM radio to know what to buy, you bought it and went to the show. FREQUENTLY! You had to buy the record before the

band hit your town, you wanted to be familiar with the new material, which they were going to play! Don’t see them this tour and you might

NEVER hear it live, because they’ll be on to NEW STUFF!

Now tours are the greatest hits, all the time. Give the public what it wants. But musicians used to LEAD the public, which doesn’t really

know what it wants. But labels are only interested in the easy sell. And acts are afraid of pissing off their fans. But Neil Young and Bob

Dylan can still tour BECAUSE they piss off their fans, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Therefore, only fans go, and the fans respect

them for following their muse.

I don’t want to rain on the parade. Anybody who hears music and enjoys it gets a pat on the back from me. Even if I don’t like the act to

begin with. Music is the grease that makes life worth living.

But the reason I got into music was because of the notes, the performance, the music itself. The trappings came after. Now the trappings are

primary.

I guess I do want a return to the old days. When music was religion.

I know it’s a religion to some, but it used to be for everybody.

Except the man. The parents. The establishment. They just didn’t get it. And that’s why we didn’t do endorsements, didn’t do commercials,

because we didn’t want to be associated with THOSE PEOPLE! It was AGAINST OUR PRINCIPLES!

But now we’ve got no principles. Just a guiding light. And that light is money.

And what I smell in this O2 show is money. Not the amount raised for charity, but the vast quantity Zeppelin is going to make on the road.

The cost for all the Americans who flew over there. Whereas it used to be you didn’t even have to leave town to be a fan. Like that guy in

Harry Chapin’s "Taxi", you could be stoned in your automobile, grooving to the radio, feeling completely connected with the tunes that

emanated from it.

But now you can’t listen to terrestrial radio. You don’t even know where to start musically. Like that old Stealer’s Wheel song said, we’ve

got clowns to the left of us and jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

And I hope you are stuck here with me. You love the old tunes, but you want music that meaningful again. And it’s got to be at

least as good as the old stuff. Sure, Sarah McLachlan is tasty, but she’s not even in the same LEAGUE as Joni Mitchell. We all love Dave

Grohl, but if you mention Foo Fighters and Led Zeppelin in the same sentence, I’m laughing.

What was in the water then? Can those days return, or did we live through the Renaissance, no different from the one that took place in Italy

centuries ago. Artists have painted since, but there was only one time when it all came together, when art ruled.

I don’t want to watch Michelangelo paint. And if he came back, he’d be hundreds of years old, what he produced would probably be shit. Hell,

his legend would inhibit him, he’d probably be UNABLE to paint.

If somehow we could return to the seventies, when each new album was eagerly anticipated and digested, when we were surprised by "Physical

Graffiti" and the fact that "Presence" came so soon thereafter, that would be great.

But we can’t.


To try to bring back alive that which is already gone… It’s impossible. You can try something new, like Plant did with Alison Krauss, but you

can’t breathe new life into something dead. Led Zeppelin is dead. And one of the reasons it’s so revered is that the band didn’t carry on

after Bonham died, which utterly stunned us. There’s no time for carrying on now. Give it a rest. Sell the DVD. Allow those in attendance

their badge of honor and their memories. Please don’t tarnish the image, the legend. We’ve whored out rock and roll too much already. It’s as

if Jesus sold Cadillacs.

What would Jesus do? Well, he’s NEVER come back. Maybe that’s why people still revere him so!

Comments from readers – With Bob

Please withhold my name: I think it's interesting that all of the coverage is focused on Zeppelin. There is almost no mention of Amhet, who this performance is supposed to honor. That makes it smell even more like a tour primer. Furthermore, they allowed clips for television. Do you think Peter Grant would have let that happen? To give away the mystery? I guess they've got to PROVE that they don't suck so that people will pony up whatever the price is going to be for the tour. I don't mean to be full of hate. I watched 5 songs on youtube (interesting that they haven't been taken down – more pre-tour promotion?) and the band acquitted themselves quite well, but not exactly the hammer of the gods.

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Jeff Campagna :: Sales || Forced Exposure It's funny Bob I saw all the synergy happening before my eyes. The announcement of the O2 show followed soon after by news of the DVD/CD reissue of the Song Remains the same. Wow using a dead man to flog product, another time honored tradition! I then started seeing ads everywhere for Led Zep CD's on sale. Reviews of the remastered CD/DVD started appearing, articles and interviews with the band specials on Vh1etc. The thing that sealed the deal for me that there was a full blown media attack, which was obvious anyway. When I realized something bigger was happening when all throughout the Patriots Sunday night (or maybe it was the Monday night game) game a couple weeks back they played Led Zep tracks for every bumper. This was highlighted by the constant use of "Dazed and Confused" which I thought was incredibly inappropriate for a sport dominated by concussions and head injuries! But go figure I noticed it. Funny thing I wasn't the only one who noticed it as it appeared on sports radio here in Boston the next day. The talk of how Led Zep had a CD, DVD and "probably" a tour coming. People aren't as stupid as the executives believe. They see right through all the marketing crap and the "oh we aren't sure" bullshit. They probably are all out buying Bonnaroo tickets right now!

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Philip Walden: A masterpiece! I particularly love your closing comment, re: Jesus.

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Jane Holman: Bravo, dude.

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Paul Santo: I've been looking around for a place to email Bob Plant….this is what I would say: "Good God, man…don't go back and tour with Led Zeppelin. Keep looking forward and leave it alone! I'd appreciate that…..thanks, Paul" he's put out great records in his career, the Krauss thing is brilliant and he will probably continue to be curious and inventive. he can't possibly sing that stuff anyway, so why?? I think Page should reunite the Firm 🙂

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Dusty Wright | Co-Founder | Culture Catch – Smart Culture: Bob, "We revere retired baseball players, but we don't want to see them take the field and play nine innings. We don't want our memories fucked with." This is the best line you've written this year, and you've written plenty. The perfect metaphor. Well done.

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Eric Foster White: that is the best line you've written in months. what a great line… On Dec 10, 2007, at 9:37 PM, Bob Lefsetz wrote: What would Jesus do? Well, he's NEVER come back. Maybe that's why people still revere him so!

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jonesyat331mediagroup: bullseye. nothing closer to the truth.

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Jordan Berliant: thanks. As someone who reveres (present tense) Led Zeppelin, I've felt very conflicted about this day. I appreciate what you wrote.

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Jon Meyers: Some of the best, on-target writing I've read in ages. Damn right. Thanks Bob.

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David Bach: Touche on Jesus but I'm willing to bet that His reunion tour will be one heck of a show.

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Montry Carroll: The morning news reported a man paid $168,000.00 for a ticket. They called him a 'fan'. Fans don't pay $168 grand for a ticket and I particularly don't want to sit with people that pay that much for any ticket. We have absolutly nothing in common. This shit reminds me of the Rolling Stones 'fans'.

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Anonymous: Mr. Lefsetz, A friend of mine stopped by tonight for a bit & I told him Zeppelin was playing in London tonight. He's a music fan, but not hardcore or anything, but he said, "No shit? Someone must need money."

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Billy Straus: Gotta say I am right with you on this. Couldn't have been a bigger Zep fan in the world than me, saw them twice at the Garden in the 70's as a young teen, and THE single most defining moment of rock and roll magic for me happened when the lights would go down, LZ would take the stage an hour late (an hour that seemed like an eternity), and bonham's thunderous opening to "Rock and Roll" would fill the room. It's as visceral in my memory now as it was in reality then. The ultimate hair-raising moment (actually both times I saw them); I knew right then that that those 4 bars (which every drummer tried to cop but none ever could) contained the secret DNA that made LZ magic. But I don't think I could go near this tour, even if you gave me a pair of tix. Though I'd be damn tempted and I'd wanna bring my son who is 16 and totally gets why LZ occupies a realm that no others will ever enter, I fear the whole thing would be far too risky. And anyway, without Bonham it's really just an approximation of a big bang that happened light years ago. Too big to really grasp, sorta like going to the planetarium or something. I just ain't willing to risk it.

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Scott Burchfield: Well spoken. I waited in line for 3 days back in 1973 for tickets to Led Zeppelin at the Atlanta Statium. My 3 best friends from high school and I still cherish those days waiting in line to buy those dreams. Being 18 at a Led Zeppelin concert was heaven. It wouldn't be the same and I don't want to fuck with those memories. Regards,

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Scott Register: "What was in the water then? Can those days return, or did we live through the Renaissance, no different from the one that took place in Italy centuries ago. Artists have painted since, but there was only one time when it all came together, when art ruled." And with this paragraph, you summed the whole thing up. I have been preaching the "Musical Renaissance Theory" since college and continue to this day. The stars aligned for a few years and what came out of it was magic. Will it happen again? In my opinion, probably not. There have been movements since the Renaissance (cubism, expressionism, minimalism…) just as there have in music since its Renaissance (rap, alternative, grunge…) but there will probably never be another true Renaissance. Don't you think that if it was going to happen, it would happen soon? Our society is ripe for it. If this were the days of old, the unwashed masses would be amassing and demanding change. Problem is, money and greed rule today's world not art, not expression, not heart and soul. Hell, I'm just as guilty as the next guy in this business and I consider myself a friend to the artists and as close to a purist as you will find these days. It's hard not to want more when you have two children, a mortgage, child support payments… It used to be that only a fraction of our society realized "The American Dream". In today's world, the "American Dream" is more like the "American Reality". Get yours and get out with no regard for who or what falls by the wayside. Unfortunately for our society, the what that is falling includes music and art. Peace, Reg

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Janie Hoffman: I saw Led Zeppelin open for Joe Cocker at Asbury Park Convention Hall. It was day two of Woodstock, but we left to travel to the shore cause it was the first U.S. tour for the band. I was already a Cocker fan (as you know ) so this was a double whammy treat. Plus, I had to see for myself if Zep was as good on stage as it was on vinyl. Here's what I remember, which is amazing considering the time in history and the quality of weed. Jimmy Page had on red corduroy bell bottoms and this tiny cowboy hat on his head. He did that insane thing with the violin bow. He played notes on those guitars of his I never believed were possible. Robert Plant was sex on two legs – there's simply no other way to describe it. When Robert and Jimmy traded vocal lick for geetar lick on "Dazed and Confused" I wanted to run away with their circus. Bonham did a drum solo that didn't suck even for a second. John Paul Jones was the booming bass man but in all honesty, the other three were just overwhelming with their individual and collective BEINGS. We bought our tix at the box office two hours before show time. The house wasn't full for their set. Less than a year later they sold out Boston Garden. Instead of being with the boyfriend from high school, I was with the girls from college in all our divine hippiness Penny Lane splendor and yes, I wore red corduroy bell bottoms. I would never fuck with any of those memories, not even for a free trip to London and back. Led Zeppelin is my favorite rock album of all time with "Dazed and Confused" my all time favorite song. That band, those songs, their shows are one enormous and beautiful square in the quilt of my amazing life. But if I never saw them before, I think I would have wanted to cross the pond to be there. With everything that's changing around us, music can provoke even the most jaded of souls to let down their guard and be reminded why we got into this business so many moons ago.

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Monica Ice: I don't know about "creepy", but I figure Led Zep getting together now – especially for more than a one-off – destroys their legacy. Is that what you're feeling? By coming out now, they can literally undo everything they've established and had going for them as the top classic rock act or musically. It's like all the PR Slash seems to be doing now to be seen destroying what would've been the legacy of GNR had the band lasted longer. We see the dinosaur patterns of recent years; I don't have to tell you about it. If I were Led Zep, I would know to leave the legacy alone. Otherwise, I'd destroy it.

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Rob Guernsey: "I'm trying to figure out why this Led Zeppelin reunion is creepy." I dunno, seems like you pretty much nailed it to me. I'd like to add one thing though. The thought of Zeppelin hitting the road again without Bonham is just wrong in so many ways. Some bands you can replace a member, others you shouldn't try. The Who should have hung it up after Moon went, to say nothing of the Ox's passing. Zep is another. Like you, I see it coming. I'm trying to ignore it. Trying really hard.

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Jamie Hellen: Great letter. Just perfect! It is exactly why I was ripsh*t when Phishcame back…I was, like, come on, stop scrwewing with my memories. It's why I did not go see Van Halen. My mom even took me to see Zeppelin at the Boston Garden when I was 3. I don't even want that memory fucked with.

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Don Kaye: Bob — I have mixed emotions too. On one hand, I never got to see Zeppelin (just missed them) in their heyday, so I would love to see those guys play those songs live. And I feel that way for all the young kids too, who know about the legend and are so unsatisfied with the crap they're getting today. But at the same time, it just becomes another cog in the reunion wheel if they do go out — just look at the last year alone: Rage, Pumpkins, Police, Genesis…all the way down to tiny underground metal acts no one ever heard of the first time around. And the money and demand for tickets will make it into another one of those exclusive events that all those hedge fund cocksuckers can brag about going to. Naomi Campbell was at the O2 show — what the fuck does she know about Zeppelin? As for going back to a time when music was religion — it ain't gonna happen. Even religion isn't religion anymore. Everything is just a commodity and everyone's just thinking about a paycheck.

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Craig Patterson: Bob, "It's as if Jesus sold Cadallics"…….sums up what I believe is one of your best columns ever perfectly. Man, when you are on, you are on!

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Iz El-Bahnasy: Apparently last night was all about middle-aged men with neat hair-cuts. Hardly any LZ t-shirts were worn. Kate Moss and Arctic Monkeys were amongst the crowd. A big Screen behind LZ added to the effect. lots of effects. That probably says it all.

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DirtE Records: great email – couldn't agree more..and of course there's gonna be a tour.

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David Green www.ameritz.co.uk: Bob, You said it – L Z are people just like us, not deities. People are greedy and selfish no matter how pure and uncorrupted the music might have sounded. You can capture this sound of escape and joy on a record but that only happened THEN. The people who recorded it are nothing…they are just like us… That's why these reunions are just stupid. You are no closer to the original experience than if you went to see a tribute. The soul has gone. It's on the record. I bet there are some really messed up heads today flying back from the gig. They will just feel empty. Kind Regards

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Scott McIntyre: I'm 41. I'm in England today. I was not at the O2. But while I was reading your letter about this very subject just after I woke up this morning before sunrise, I also had BBC Radio 2 on in my motorhome. I think you'd be pleased to have heard that at least one Radio network still tells it like it is. I'm not saying that BBC is like the way it used to be, quite the opposite. I'm just saying that they still have the flexibility to poke fun, and hence, toy with truth. Between playing the oldies and trying desperately to remain relevant. The phrase I heard? Well, the gist of it is "Led Zeppelin performed the set with the power of Tea and Ironing Boards", as apparently, Plant finished his warm up exercise with a mug of hot tea just before heading back stage to iron his own clothes, saying, "it always gets me in the mood"….followed the announcement that a World Tour would follow. Well done, Bob. Spot on. Regards, Scott McIntyre PS: I loved your ending phrase about why Jesus is still so popular. Truly clever.

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Daryle Gessner: Follow the money Bob, follow the money.

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Randy Geider: It'll be 6 North American dates……….100,000 or more per market………….and then Jo Burg, Rio, and a few massive Euro fests………..call it twelve, total. Swan Song Tour. Beautiful but Sad. I'm a capital F Fan, but you pretty much nailed it.

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Bob Welch: Bob…You ARE right . It WAS the renaissance. It will NOT happen again. Like you've been saying , the new rockstars…..are programmers.

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Morley Bartnoff: Bob I really appreciate your passion about music I know this may seem inconsequential But when Moonie and Bonham and Bill Berry and Stan Lynch, or on another track Bill Wyman ALL Left the Building the same thrill I had listening to my once favorite bands changed For Me it could never be the same it might be cool in it's own way but… there is something to be said about being able to see the Original Magic Makers perform together that's what bands always meant to me Pre MTV you had to go seek out what bands looked and sounded like I know the Drummers don't write the tunes but a lot of the magic you're talking about couldn't possibly be the same because if you change an important ingredient of the soup you're cooking It's going to taste completely different. I am SO glad The Beatles didn't get back together Abbey Road seems like a legitimate way to close the last act that being said showing up all at once on SNL just to pick up the Union Minimum would have been a True Rutles Moment

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Lee Van Put: i feel the same way about these reunions.. and what sucks for me is that i have no memories of the stones, zeppelin, new york dolls, etc. playing in their heyday because i wasn't even born yet. i've had countless arguments with friends over why i wouldn't go see some of my all-time favorite bands. knowing i'm a tremendous stones fan they find it hard to believe, but if you watch "Ladies and Gentleman… the Rolling Stones" from the '72 tour, why would you ever bother to see these 60 year old dudes playing greatest hits now? Willie Nelson- there's a guy I'd see sing on his death bed. I think a big part of it has to do with the music they're playing. Maybe if the Stones or Zeppelin were to do some kind of small scale delta blues tour I'd want to see these old men playing songs, but I damn sure don't wanna see a 60 year old strutting around stage like he's below 30 singing sexed up rock n roll songs. it's like watching your dad hit on birds at a party.

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Braden Merrick: Hey Bob, didn't q-prime recently sign one (jimmy page) or all of the zeppelin members? Which could spell a tour/LP are coming? I bet you're 100% right about last night in London, it's not a one off…

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Shaun Jette: I hear you Bob. The whole thing kinda stinks. However, for me Nirvana and Pearl Jam embodied everything that you lay out as a pre-requisite for music that matters. They cared not at all about what the mainstream thought. They did their own thing. In Pearl Jam's case it meant not touring through the prime of their career just to make a point and that point was not lost on those of us who really cared about music. If those bands could come along and make a difference after years of Warrant, Motley Crue and Salt and Peppa being crammed down our throats, then surely there is still hope. In the early 90's I was just turning 20 and I listened to nothing but classic rock because most of the modern music coming out had no balls at all. I see the same thing happening today. The kids are listening to classic rock again because they know that Nickelback (no matter how hard they try) are not Led Zeppelin. Not even close. To borrow one of your sports analogies – they wouldn't even be allowed on the grounds crew at a Led Zeppelin game. The time is ripe for a new wave of music that will blow the doors off this music thing again. I'll put a fiver on it…..

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Dave Charles Brisbane: Zeppelin recordings can never be bettered in a live concert. The reality for those who pay 'stupid money' to see these kind of shows is they want confirmation that they are still alive and breathing. It somehow validates their life. Example, a few weeks ago I saw Steely Dan in Brisbane. The band was hot! Donald Fagan's vocals were not. Walter Becker held his own on guitar. The set list was disappointing. I left the show feeling empty and somewhat disappointed. I should've know better. I'd rather see new acts. The John Butler Trio is a great live act as you know.

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Sandy in NC: Great column, love the way you cut down into it… I read about halfway through, then started thinking about the old guys who =do= still have it goin', like Quincy Jones for example. You might not like his music (I'm not a total fan, just a respecter), but hey, he's still working, still =creating=, because he does what he wants to, and moves on to new stuff. He does not go out on tour. He works in his workroom, making what he wants to make, what he feels =now=. I do respect that. I appreciate that the older artists were groundbreakers, totally new, back in their glory days. That's what rock is about, IMO, being a groundbreaker. Oh, back to your column…. So I'm reading along, thinking about Quincy et. al., and there you say it too, the ones who are doing something good are doing something NEW. Not following the prescription, not watching the ratings, but doing something new and if some folks like it, great. I guess the Nostalgia tours are to get money to do the new things, I guess that's o.k., as long as they come home and do the new things. I was happy to see Plant do the disk with Krauss, that =is= new, and is good and fresh too. Interesting to hear him hold back so as not to overrun Missy. Ok, that's enough, time for =me= to go do something new. Have a great day! Sandy in NC

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Kevin Ritchie: "But Neil Young and Bob Dylan can still tour BECAUSE they piss off their fans, you don't know what you're going to get. Therefore, only fans go, and the fans respect them for following their muse." Another nail you've hit squarely.

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John McNiel: your words… "Can those days return, or did we live through the Renaissance, no different from the one that took place in Italy centuries ago…" NO those days can't return. YES it was a musical renaissance. Did Michaelangelo or Leonardo keep painting the same 'hit' painting over and over again? NO. He evolved, made new. Invented. The old stuff hangs on the wall, a testament to that inspired moment. More often than not, true inspiration is a fleeting notion, not a career.

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JT Kay: Jones, Plant and Page with the right producer. I'd love to have a new album that included Jones. Just don't try and repeat the past.

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A. Porro: Those days or quality of music will NEVER return…Maybe they weren't even there to begin with… Back then, there was alot more left to the imagination, and speculation…Today, the media outlets have broken all of that down…If you want to see Britney's cooch, you can google it!…All we had in the 70's was a picture of Farrah in a one-piece, and a hell of alot of imagination!! You get my drift?? There was a shroud of mystery covering the bands that we loved back then! You knew nothing of them except for small interview snippets, or what they'd do onstage…other than that, there was no "sneek-peek" into their lives…And those are the times that we long for!! When we were left to imagine, and speculate on the bands, celebrities that we liked/admired… In contrast…Today, the media outlets, all of them basically, have for the most part, and quite unfortunately, removed that shroud. Nowadays, there is no suspense, speculation, or mystery involving musical acts, or celebrities, and maybe that is to blame for the fact that we just don't view their music in the grand light of the acts of old?? The "WOW" factor is gone… If you want to see how Ozzy, or Gene Simmons lives at home, all you gotta do is tune in…I bet you that neither of them even dreamt of that kind of exposure or profits from it, when they were at the top of their game 30 years ago!! But what's to say that if that amount of coverage had existed back then, that we would've seen our favorite bands or celebrities doing some amazing stuff on their down-time?? Who knows, they probably would've been just as uneventful and boring, as watching them in the present day… UNLESS we would've had a You Tube link of Led Zepp shoving the Mud-Shark into that chick's puss…THAT probably would've been worth it!!! I think that by now you've figured out what I'm trying to say by all of this…

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Jeremy Shatan: I share some of your ambivalence. Of course that doesn't mean I won't jump at the opportunity to see them – I'll just have my eyes open to the pitfalls. My wife gave me the Led Zeppelin DVD from a few years ago for my birthday. It's just astounding. While I was watching the Knebworth portion from 1979 with my jaw on the floor I found myself missing Jimmy Page more than Bonzo. While I appreciate all the legacy work he's done, I would have liked to hear more new sounds from his unique fingers. Then again, watching him dripping in sweat (was he still hooked in '79?), giving his utmost, I wondered how much longer he could have kept that kind of commitment going had Bonzo not died.

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David Goldman: It's funny I'm reading your feelings about Led Zeppelin and I'm thinking back to two things. 1) how when I lived in Los Angeles I saw the Waterboys play at the El Rey a few years back. Now I was a huge Waterboys fan growing up in Toronto in the 80's and 90's and had seen them in Toronto and I loved the show it was great, they played all my favorite songs and a few more I never thought I would hear live. So when they were announced to be playing at the El Rey I thought for sure I'm going to go but to my total chagrin I couldn't find a single person to go with me. Since I literally lived up the street from the El Rey and did not have to give up my precious parking spot I decided to walk down the block to the show. If I was blind I would of known no difference but since I rely on my eyes to make a living as a music photographer I felt sick. I looked around and all I saw was old people. Surely they could not be that old I thought or was it me that could not be that old?. Even though I loved the show from a musical side I swore never to go to an "oldies" show again. I don't need to feel like an old man to try and recapture my youth. The way I see it is this, there are only two things that can happen at a show from a band I had seen and loved in the past 1) it will suck (hot house flowers NYC/06) or 2)it will be great but make me feel like an old man because no matter how great it is it will not be as good as the first time. Better to leave it in the past. My second point about getting tickets to shows and how you say they don't even have good seats anymore. Well I think it was around 1984-85 I was 14 or 15 and loved Jethro Tull, My buddy and I woke up early to go down to the BASS ticket office at Sam the Record man on Young St in Downtown Toronto during the month of Nov to line up for tickets. We arrived at 6am for tickets that went on sale at 10am we were the first in line and it was fucking freezing. We waited and waited. The second people showed up at 9:45am so never mind waking up early we could of slept in. As the ticket window opens we quickly ask for two tickets to Jethro Tull please. The woman pokes around and two tickets spit out of the machine. We are so excited to get our front row centers only to find we are 22 rows back on the side. WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ALL ABOUT? We wondered. The worker bee dedicated fan has never been able to go down and get great tickets to a show at least not in my life time. One last thing. I always said growing up that I would love a job that would allow me to get great concert tickets and low and behold I got one. I have shot record packaging and publicity for many many bands when I lived in LA and as a result I have seen my share of bands for free. Of course the labels pay me fuck all and want to own my images for ever in the universe in perpetuity etc etc. Jeez I guess it's not only the bands that have been fucked by the labels I guess it's the fans and the photographers and who else knows. P.S if Zeppelin do go on tour I think I would go see them, After all I don't have any memories of them playing live and I'm sure I would not be the oldest guy in the room.

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Evan W. Stone: Bob, are you taking issue with these performers getting older and wanting to play/tour because rock and roll is only a young person's game or that creatively they haven't done anything new together in years and their current tours are all about the money? If its the former, I think you're way off base to say someone 60 can't rock like a 20 year old – hopefully, its different music and lyrics, but age shouldn't define if you kick ass or not. If it's the latter, throw stones as much as you want. I did see recently see The Police and it was a snooze fest, except for Stuart Copeland who rocked his drums. I think the intention of the artists is much more important than their age – touring for money vs. the art is a crime, but getting older should not be.

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Bill Bollenbach: Music as religion? On Jimi's last tour of the States he often referred to a concert as a connection to "Sky church" and that he and the band would be playing some "sky church music". Then came the hucksters, the rubes, the posers, etc. The beginning of the end was probably MTV and all hoopla/crap that pervaded that media (artform – don't think so). Surely our freakflag fell when Michael Jackson bought out the Apple Beatles catalog and Revolution (!! Revolution !!!) was used to sell Nikes or whatever. I think that my assumptions were always that most of the bands and musicians who had survived the late 60s/70s were lucky/astute enough to squirrel a little back to pay for retirement and such. I didn't feel the same way about BTO cashing in by selling out "Taking Care of Business" as I did Revolution. BTO was a 2nd tier act and they were entitled to what they did. But Zeppelin mattered. Still matters. Because people lived against the grain to that soundtrack. Chances were taken, and lines were drawn. People got hurt, got drafted and died, fell in and out of love/lust, people moved on. The times felt tenuous, and victories large and small were celebrated to real rock and roll. I remember walking the backline at the 1970 Atlanta Pop Festival coming down from some really bad acid. The Allman Bros were playing and things unsettled seem to find their way back into place. A dealer with an eastcoast accent was hawking his wares at the junction of 2 major streams of people. He was talking about liberated zones and celebration – and everywhere I looked people were celebrating in anyway they deemed appropriate. And it felt like liberated territory!! People were preaching, people were dancing, people were naked, people were stoned, people were returning gingerly to their own orbits. I think I bought a 1/2 ounce and moved on. The experience was the gold standard then. You could be stamping out widgets or macrame during the day it didn't matter. When the opportunity came to rock out, outside the domain of the convention, the experience counted for something and it was real. You might share a toke with Jack Nicholson or Joan Baez or Joe Blow at a blowout concert and it didn't really matter. We were all on board for the ride. We liberated each other and our selves. We were free to dance!!

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John Ackermann: If it's truly a one-off I'm fine with it but a tour? Leave well enough alone. Make a DVD out of the O2 show and sell that if you want but that's it. I thought it was a stretch when Page and Plant did their arena tour in the 90s. Plant's voice was shot THEN. Looking at the footage from last night, I see they had to drop the tuning a bit on "Whole Lotta Love" just so he could sing it. On the other hand, if they still enjoy playing the music, who are we to tell them to stop? Does anyone ever tell the Stones to hang it up? They seem to get by on the trip of "Hey, you think we're getting on, we're just getting warmed up when you compare us to the old blues guys." But looking at your argument, I wonder how people would look at that band if Mick Jagger died sometime after "Some Girls" came out.

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Ruben Salgado:
Hi there Mr Lefsetz This is in reference to your blog on O2 & Led Zeppelin. I'll be honest with you here, I enjoy reading what you write, don't agree with 80% of your opinions, mainly because I don't even listen to half the stuff you listen to, I'm way more leftfield than that, but its not to say I don't know who you are writing about, because like you I'm a music fan, I just think you're way too far into the corporate rock machine for my liking, therefore your opinions are kind of lost on me, but I digress. I'm not here to berate you or your opinions on corporate music. A long time ago I got to the point where I couldn't trust the flock of current musicians young or otherwise doing the rounds & this is the crux of my e-mail. On this issue I'm behind you 100%. "Musicians" as we know them today, currently formed or reuniting only seem to be around for one thing & one thing only, money, money, money & FUCK the fan. Thats not too say the artists I listen to aren't either, they just don't yap about it as much. Ignorance is bliss & all that stuff. I'm no fan of Led Zeppelin, though I do appreciate the legacy & influence they have left behind, but fans & passive admirers must be dreaming if they think that this band of old men have any of their integrity to the music or their fans, left intact, when you're that rich fan's don't mean diddly shit. Just like their heirs to the rock 'n roll dream throne, they're all in it for one reason & one reason only & they're all endorsed by every corporate rape machine from here to TimuBUCKtoo. Its such sad state of affairs & it irks me no end. I once tried to pursue this type of career & very quickly realised that unless I'm going to suck corporate cock I ain't gonna get anywhere very quickly. So, I gave it up. I like my pride & I like my dignity where they are, so now all I have is a myspace page where people can go & download my songs till the cow's come home & I don't give a shit, unfortunately I am one of a very small number of musicians/producers who do this sort of thing. Which is a pity, because I know very well there used to be a time when an artist of any form or fashion & especially musicians would have done the same thing rather than play Russian roulette with the devils son's & you loved & admired them all the more for it. Rebellion, nowadays amounts to how much sucker punching rock stars dish out & how much their fans can take before they cave in & shuffle off onto the next big "rebel" & then they all sit back 2 years after there debut ignited the "charts" & wonder where its all gone wrong. I love that mentality. The sadder part of this shit is that I think there are a lot people out there that know they are being taken for a ride by whoever they're supporting, but due to the astounding lack of backbone from artists & a reluctance for any one them to stand up & walk the other way, fans are also left without a choice but to follow. The world of the rock star needs a leader, someone who abandons all his senses & shoves that contract right back under 'the man's' nose & tells him to fuck it. So far the only popular artist I know, that has endeavored to push his boat out & see how far it'll go is Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Question is, with his style of music how many people will cotton on to his vibe & follow? Not many, I don't think. He has his fan base, his safe, he can afford to that. Young people, need an artist that is young, understands them & can teach them what anarchy is & can show kids how much corporations are ripping the arse out from under the, blinded by gloss, consumer. Trent is not that guy, as much as I admire him, he is not that artist, I wish he was though. Oh, how I would wave my black flag around like some drunken fool then, screaming "I told you so!". The other question is, is it too late, have artists lost too much power & control? In my opinion, its much too late. Integrity…thats something that only a pet has nowadays. Greed is the only thing that matters now, FOR EVERYONE. The future is going to be, one for one & one for nobody else. Rock stars = rebellion? Not unless theirs a million bucks attached to the end of it & that might not even be enough, anymore. What a pity its all come down to this.

Against Bob

Danny Zelisko: I am so moved that I am going to suffer my typing on a blackberry as I am passionate about this incredible evening the band gave me. __Tonight was a pilgrimage for my 19 year old daughter Danielle and I to see the group that always had it together more than anyone else… As well as the bottom line for getting along with people. You like zep or you don't.___ To see this was a miracle long time coming as zep was always magical…but to be there and watch them exceed all expectations was breathtaking if not life changing.__ This coming from a guy who has done 10000 shows over the last 35 years.__ The list of industry folk was mind boggling.__ And they delivered.__ They wanted to play together, ahmet was the reason.__ They offer tickets and 20 million people ask for one. Speculation rises about a tour because that is a sure fire hint that there could-should be a tour. But they never asked for that or shopped it.__ Why does that make them anything less than what they are? Fabulous musicians and friends who should have done this sooner….as far as the public is concerned.__ Robert and Jimmy have a wild relationship that came together once and for all tonight but jason was the key. They jad to have jason just right. And he did his thing perfect.__ John paul jones provided a semblance of cool and class and colored all of jimmys incredible guitarwork and roberts top form vocals.__ Jimmy was clearly pleased all night, smiling while punishing his guitars. Robert was as seductive as ever, holding back until he let loose with the voice that continues to rock generation after generation.__ They and their music is timelss. They ARE the true concert experience. It was like 2.25 hours of non stop fireplay and execution for 20000 witnesses at the same time.__ This was the ALI of rock concerts and they delivered beyond compare to any of their peers. Cost was not even a consideration. All you had to do was pony up. The band made nada, not a cent. All to ahmet's charity. This is a good thing. __I am serious, this was one of the best music nights of my life. And for all the right reasons.__ My boy, you would change your tune had you been there. You could have felt what we all did, and said a lot of more true and obvious things.__ This was the best there is on stage. Let's hope they tour.__ This is the standard that all should be compared to, from now till forever.__ You had to be there._ Danny Z

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Jerry Mickelson: I don't know if you rant for the sake of ranting but this time you are way off base. Page, Plant, Jones & Bonham ruled last evening at the O2 blowing everyone away. The Zep show was one of the best concerts I, along with the 20,000 other people, have ever attended. You blew it by not being there 'cause if you did you wouldn't be writing this bullshit.__ And what's wrong with getting older? What we witnessed last night were great musicians playing legendary songs that sounded better than any of their records and previous shows. Robert's voice was in fine form and stronger than I remember while Jimmy's guitar was on fire. I mean no disrespect to the Police and Genesis, but Zeppelin are in a league of their own and last night's show was a religious experience that none of us who were there will ever forget.__ And it's not a done deal that there will be a tour. While Robert & Jimmy looked like they were truly enjoying themselves there is no guarantee we will ever see them perform together again. We should all only be so lucky to have them grace stages around this world so the masses could witness and rejoice in the music which has been such a large part of so many people's lives.__ The only one fucking with our memories is you. How you can justify ignoring Jimmy Page is beyond belief. And how you can praise certain bands and denigrate Zeppelin makes me think that you have lost it, being truly out of touch with the reality that 20,000,000 people tried to get tickets to this one show. People traveled from over 50 countries and you sat home on your ass. That's a shame because if you would have been there you would have seen that the song remained the same._

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Stephen Budd: Bob As you know ('cos I emailed you from the show during the encore), I was there last night. Let me say that, apart from it being a truly sensational show, even better than when I saw them at Earls Court in 76 as a 15 year old……you really had the sense they were doing this for the RIGHT reasons…….. They are all (apart from Jason) richer than any of us could possibly imagine. IF they tour – and I'm sure they will after this…..it's NOT for the money, it's for the FUN. You should have seen them, they REALLY ENJOYED themselves. And I bet you that the FANS will be able to see them at reasonable prices when they do eventually tour. Yes this was a one-off to see if they could work together again, I for one was sceptical but HAD to be there of course, but boy was I surprised at the STUNNING quality of the show, the production values were AWSOME ( I know you like CAPS, so I thought I'd throw a few in there…..). And IF the plan was to tour all along, so what ? What an amazing way to market it and to garner a million email addresses in the process…..good on them for embracing the new model……whats the betting they will sell the live DVD's direct to the fans themselves ala 'In rainbows'….. I can imagine you are cynical……but you had to see this to believe it….it was THAT GOOD !

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Rob McDermott: You know what's funny Bob…I agree with you that it may become about the money eventually for Zep. With those huge checks that will come who could resist right? _BUT_ maybe we were fooled and fooled ourselves because last night was about the love and passion of music. Everywhere you looked people were hardcore devoted fans. From the guy who took the train two hours to get there to the people whose car probably broke down in the 32 degree cold to marilyn manson who can sellout that arena walked one and the same through the crowd to his seat and to mick jagger who looked as into the Led Zep songs as he is with his own music_ it was taking us all back…_ No one cared or was talking about what happens next, they just wanted to live for the moment. If just for two hours everyone in that room can forget everything that they do and escape by wrapping themselves in music then the four musicians that reunited onstage last night have succeeded. That's why I had to go because after this it may all get ruined…_ But the best thing is I can guarantee is that its real rare that you see so many fans, artists and heads of multi-national corporations get lost together at the same time to the same riffs and melodies then we all did last night… MUSIC WON for a change…all the other bullshit…that's for another time

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Sean Tracey: Bob , your blog below summed up my feelings pre show . I was one of the few who got a ticket via the ballot and as I queued up yesterday some doubts were going through my mind . I have to say that they completely blew me away, they were awesome . No it doesn't mean as much anymore but as a pure balls out blues rock show I think it wil be a long time before I see a better one . And they were enjoying it , at one point even pissing themselves laughing at Page getting the end part of In My Time Of Dying arse about face . I last saw them in the late 70s and one good thing is the sound systems are a whole lot better now , I can remember at the time thinking that I love this band but the live sound stinks. Last night the sound was perfect . Unlike other "reunion" show , it felt like you were seeing genuine great musicians really giving it their all and trying hard to put on something more than just a run through some hits and sell some t-shirts show . However I do hope that they do not tour , the venue last night only held 20 thousand and I don't think they would cut it now in football stadiums etc . That should be it, no more, in typical Zeppelin style have it as a great one off, dissapear and leave us to our memories, box-sets and dvds. Rgds

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Anonymous: What are you talking about? It's simple………let's make some music! With all due respect, you're a knowledgeable cat, but you need to get over yourself. Music is like water. It continues to move forward and cut through anything in it's path. It also wouldn't hurt to talk more about the great musicians/bands that are making music NOW! And i'm not talking about all those obvious corporate label bands you write about ad nauseam. Seriously, you need to stop being so redundant in your essays and focus more on the positive elements of MUSIC FOR MUSIC'S SAKE! Yours truly, Diego Voglino, drummer for Marshall Crenshaw, Betty Buckley and James Hunter. As well as the not so famous, but equally talented Jay Collins, Jason Darling, Scott Sharrard, Max Green, Chris Cheek, Ed Cherry, Chuck Mackinnon, Dred Scott, Mudville, Mary Lee Kortez, Tom Beckham, Kenny Brooks, Lipbone Redding, Pamela Luss, Chris Bergson, Will Hawkins and Hope Debates.

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Don Barnes: There's no time for carrying on now. You're right, Bob. We must hold on to the past pristine, reverent images of our favorite groups to be considered 'real fans.' As a matter of fact, let's beat an even quicker path to the grave and dammit, stop enjoying ourselves so much! I mean, what a silly notion! Celebrating our past together with others who need that charge again to make it through the next few decades has got to cease. Because reliving priceless memories when those songs marked life's milestones definitely tarnishes the whole experience.

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Brad Rosenberger: Wish you were here…'Cause it wasn't creepy. It was AWESOME!!! _Sent via my 1966 mono reprocessed stereophonic handheld communication device

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Thom Daugherty: Who gives a fuck, Bob. I'm 29 years old, and I started playing guitar at age 9 because of Jimmy Page. I wasn't lucky enough to catch them in their heyday like you. If they swing through the Midwest, I'll rape and pillage to be there! Cheers, Thom Daugherty

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Leigh Goldstein: wow Bob……can't they just do it because it feels good to them??

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Karen Gordon: Hey.. I don't know about all of this. If Led Zeppelin sound really great right now, why not go on tour? Its only a bad idea if they don't have their musical mojo. Then its a nightmare. Worse. It would break the spell. For a band as seminal as LZ a tour at this point could be really good for the collective souls of whoever goes to see them. I can't believe I actually wrote that.!!! …. but, when you go to a concert its about that collective thing as much as its about the music. And..so, if they are in fine form, then it would be something incredibly special to have them together for one more round.. You know a mix of legend and nostalgia.. that's not a bad thing.. You're right about the moment though.. Its a given that its not going to be the same moment, but there's something to be said for a few tens of thousands of people getting together to just be one with something. At that point its not about the edge anymore or about the discovery.. it is about the memory.. but in a good way!!!!! And this is from someone who probably wouldn't go!!!

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Britt Wilen: Didn't even finish reading yet… But I'm wondering why its difficult for you enjoy a concert with people who weren't born when the music first came out?? WE experience it for the first time too, discovering it in all is glory from our parents dusty crates of records or on some classic rock station in the midst of switching channels. Ignore the fact that "WE" are probably more passionate about this music than you old guys are because we haven't lived with those classics for 30 years yet. Plus this stuff; Zeppelin, The Police, The Beatles, Yardbirds, CSNY, whatever… is better than the majority of crap on the radio today. We are all dying for something REAL! I want to hear a voice crack, a guitar with one string slightly off or how about this for something: RAW ENERGY! And by the way… you are the weird one if you can't go out and "play the young guy". Its not "playing" but "being". I don't want to think I or anyone I know will ever be old on the inside. But maybe I'm weird too. Its not always about memories, its about living in the moment. You use to think that way too when you were my age! I know it! Let the memories be what they'll be and let go, the past was the past. Enjoy now and then equally as much. I would have killed to be at Zeppelin even if it were a bunch of old dudes rocking out. That may have made it even cooler, that they wanted to relive it as much as the rest of us.

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Ken Stewart: Hi Bob, I hate double standards…so can you tell me why going to Led Zep is creepy but Van Halen was so fucking awesome??? (You didn't get free tix right?) So they collect a million email addresses good on 'em. They've had so much negative schtick thruout their careers that you are just but one in a very long queue. The press always hated Led Zep and so it seems do you. And as far as wanting unprecedented demand for a future tour and using the one-off gig as a lure…what is the difference between them and Radiohead. Some guerilla marketing and a white lie. Do you think the fans will complain. You're the one talking up touring as the last means left for rock bands to make some cash. So if Plant and Page need to redecorate their mansions good on em. Cheers Big Ears!

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Mark Crosbie-Smith UK: What's the problem Bob… couldn't you get a ticket? If I could get on stage and perform songs I'd written…. and perform them brilliantly… then I'd still want too… its not always about the buck Bob! I didn't hear anyone complaining leaving the 02 Arena last night I don't begrudge fans old and new the opportunity… and yes… I hope they do more… by all accounts it was one hell of a performance. BTW… I didn't get a ticket either.

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Humberto Carmona: You are full of shit. Man c'mon one day you praise them, one other day you praise fucking blackberrys, other 25 days you talk about the beauty and functionality of macs. What the fuck is wrong with you???!!! LIKE IT OR NOT the 70's are over, we live on 2007 almost '08. We can not jack off on the past, we can respect and learn of it but c'mon we need to re-write history and make new stuff. You suck mayor ass, when I started reading your stuff I thought you were dialed in, sticking it to the man, that you had answers. But dude you are always complaining and never proposing solutions. Loosers are like that always complaining about how fucked up is everything and never taking the time to create something new. And what if Led Zep wants to play a world tour, Im 29 and never got the chance to see them. What the fuck if they are 70? I still want to see them live. C'mon stop being exclusive and let us experience that. You are one of those you are always ranting against. Shame on you.

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Clark Pardee I have mixed feelings as well about reunion tours but am coming at this from a slightly different perspective (as a musician). Something you're not taking into consideration here is the view from the other side of the lens. Musicians (not present day entertainers) create, write and perform. Not everyone has a creative streak that remains uninterupted – most actually don't. But musicians yearn to connect with their audience and to play/sing using their chosen alternative means of expression in a live forum. That's why all of these guys remain active doing different projects. And it doesn't always have to be new to be meaningful or relevant to them. If you chose to participate and it doesn't "do it" for you, fine but you've at least given it a shot. And yes, it is mostly about the music – their music – but if you think money never came into the equation in the past, in whatever percentage at whatever time, you're dreaming. Money is always relevant, whether it's finding a cheap hotel while you're traveling in a van from gig to gig just so you can take a shower, or deciding if you can do the gig on X amount of money. It's never purely about the "art" and never has been. And in the Renaissance you had the Medici family supporting the master's endevours. Think you're gonna find a Hedge Fund or Venture Capitalist in this day & age that's gonna fund a host of local musicians just because they love music? Not to mention the "needle in a haystack" situation from the other side of that example in finding any real talent. Two other quick points – yes, we did see the Golden Age of rock music unfold in the 60s, 70s, 80s, into the 90's. And Zep was the quintessential blending of U.S. Blues, Rock & Roll and British folk music – it resonated with a huge group of people. Other combinations of influences have been tried – some with more success than others – but we're running out of inspirational principal elements. Now most all we're seeing is further micro analysis of the same old genres. Seems like it's almost gotten to the point that your "style" is determined more by your equipment choices than what you do with those instruments. I saw Zep a few times over the years – and was mainly disappointed in their live show (except Bonham – always a monster). The best I've ever seen Page was the final Yardbirds tour (just before leaving for Zep) at the Grande in Detroit. A good quarter of the show was the first Zepplin album. And Page was unbelievable – pulled off all of those "must learn" and signature licks from the first album live on an old painted up Telecaster, that black Danelectro guitar and a WALL of Fender Dual Showmans. It was transcendent.

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grrrl100: I hear you. I understand all your concerns, and they are fair. But as far as motivation, I think you may be over-thinking this. Yeah, there's the history, the culture, the sales, the experiences, the phenomeneon. But actually, it's just these dudes playing. And sure, they're getting paid. And they're a little older or fatter or weirder or in recovery or can't sing as high or have cheesy clothes now — shoes, for instance, seem to be a big challenge for the post-50 rocker set. But as you suggested, your suspicion is not founded in aesthetics or ageism. If your love of this music is pure, then shows like this have no more chance of robbing you of your memories, or the music's excellence, or the brilliance of its original zeitgeist moment than do those Danish political cartoons of robbing Muslims of their faith. It's Zeppelin, dude. One last time. Or maybe, like Fanny Bryce, it's their first of many farewell tours. But either way, it's OK. Just like Groucho Marx doing Carnegie hall or singing on Dinah Shore. Be glad if you were around for their first or these last shows. Kids born today will probably know Led Zep, but they won't ever have the opportunity to see them live. If music is indeed your religion, then go to church. Temple. Mosque. Whatever. Just go to the show. And tell us all about it, in your inimitable way.

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Rob Cone Bob, You're a lovely nostalgic man. But in the same way you criticize the business for failing to develop a new model, you are failing to deal with the aging of a generation. People grow up, mature, and their motives change. That is not intrinsically bad. You maybe right about everyone whoring out for the money, it is also possible that you're completely wrong. I would bet my hard earned dough that most sports players today would pay for less money. Do you really think a Michael Jordon played for the dough, or played so he could beat the other guy? Don't you think Payton Manning and Tom Brady and Roger Federer and Alex Rodriguez and all pro women athletes would perform at the same level for less dough? It's not the dough. But the dough is going to go to someone, and it always does, why shouldn't it be the one with the talent? Similarly, I think these most bands play because it's FUN! There certainly are some bands that have spent a lifetime trying to collect and outworn their welcome. But most of them can't envision another life, and however small the venue and the crowd, playing music is better than most other things. I don't believe Led Zepplin won't go on the road for the dough. They'll go to recreate the experience THEY had in their youth, when they were the most powerful Rock and Roll band ever. They have husbanded that legend, and now if they go out it's to find that magic again. But we'll know for sure if the tour is done clean and unsponsored. If it becomes the Bud Light Led Zepplin reunion it's about the dough. If it's just AEG or Live Nation and Manager Present, then it's about the experience. And stop dissing those people with money who can pay up for this sort of thing. When Led came out, we were all poor and living on canned soup in a dorm or working our butts off to pay the rent and buy food. Crikey Bob, it's not like all of these people inherited Dukedoms and titles. They went to school and did the hard yards, started lowdown for the most part and worked their way up. A lot of them didn't get the school advantage they just worked their butts off or had a great idea and executed it. If life makes you successful, that doesn't make you de facto bad. You may be an asshole, but mostly you're just a person enjoying the fruits of a life of work.

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Jamie Rowe: Ok, so you think the Zeppelin reunion is creepy? Dude, do you hate everything just for the sake of hating? I bet the folks in attendance wouldn't say it was creepy..they would say "it's about time". I can see this..and I'm not a Led Zeppelin fan. I used to really enjoy your insights, but lately you come off as that kid who didn't make the team who laughs when the team loses the championship. But in truth is dying to be a part of the team. You know, a few years ago when the labels were offering up nothing but "product" (aka: under 25 bands/singers who had a team of 35-45 year olds doing everything but posing for the picture) they caused alot of this current climate because eventually the audience felt like they had been "had". LZ has something other than nostalgia going for them…it's called talent. And you know what, there is also talent in the 80's "hair metal" that you seem to really enjoy lately. You know..the stuff they call modern country. Talent will always have an audience. Product will not. A view from the heartland, jamie

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Gerry Mosby: Come on, Bob. You'll be the first guy to get tickets, if and when they tour. I heard a snippet of their show on the news last night, and they sounded very good, and seemed to be having fun. Fun is what the whole thing is about, Bob, and if Zeppelin want to have fun on tour, it's THEIR decision. I think they fucking had a blast at the show – probably stayed up real late with one another and celebrated their successful show – a milestone in rock history. They certainly don't NEED any more money, Bob, and I'm sure they paid Jason B. a shitload o' cash to do the rehearsals and the show. Besides, he's the heir to his dad's vast estate, so I doubt that money plays any role whatsoever in THEIR plans, though I'm sure it plays a MAJOR role in their managers' and lawyers' etc. plans. Imagine if YOU were their lawyer, Bob. You'd be jumping on their bandwagon before THEY got on. Money aside, let's face it, Bob. Compared with the make-believe vapidity of today's rock n roll, an aged Zeppelin would certainly be MY preferred cup of tea, any day. And with all due respect to Van Halen, one of the great American bands of all time, VH's reunion tour appeals to Van Halen fans like you and me, as well as the just plain curious. That's about it. A Led Zeppelin tour would appeal to just about fucking anybody, Bob. Kings and presidents and even you too! Your Michelangelo scenario is wholly different from that of a still-very-alive Zeppelin. Painters have NEVER, nor will EVER be ROCK STARS. They live solitary lives and create wonderful, though static, completed works of art. That's the whole point of painting – to finish a canvas and hang it up on a wall. Music, on the other hand, is totally organic and mutable (at least it USED to be, in the days when Zeppelin and the Beatles and Stones and CCR and etc. ruled the roost). In a perfect musical world, a composition enjoys new life and possibility, each and every time it's performed. To my ears, it sounded like Zep were playing really together – in the pocket – during the snippet I saw on TV. I mean, Jason Bonham's not exactly a slouch on drums, is he? You could see just how much he was in the moment – mentally counting out perfect time – during the woefully short clip I saw on BBC. As an aging rock bass player-turned-commercenary, I'd give my fucking eye teeth to have been close to the stage last night, to be able to hear the stage banter between the four. Prodding each other. Reacting to each other's high points. It must have been magic for the Zep boys. And GOOD ON 'EM. Their music changed the world of popular music. They, along with stars like Hendrix and Cream moved rock n roll into rock and further, into heavy rock. And they became ROCK STARS in the process. Your and my generation fucking expect rock stars to BE rock stars. When they pillage and rampage, they're doing for you and me and all the other fans in the world. Sure, last night, Zep tuned their guitars down a half step. Sure, Robert didn't go for as many high notes as he used to, but he stopped reaching for the vocal stratosphere over thirty years ago, after a rumored throat operation in '73. After hearing his wondrous work with Alison Krauss, I wondered if he could make the giant leap back to lead, rather than harmony vocalizing. It looks like he did, Bob. Wow. Will wonders ever cease? Bring on the four symbols!!! Best to ya, and I hope to see you at the LA show! Gerry

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Joseph Hamilton: I gotta tell ya, as a 37 year old rock fan, I am delighted at the Zep reunion. I agree with your assessment concerning the mixed message of the tour, namely that it's a definite and they should just say so. So I have no issue there. You know the business side of it as well as anyone. But the music on the other hand, that's where I disagree. When I saw McCartney in 05 I was mesmerized. Sure I'd heard and seen enough live McCartney over the years to have died happy not to have seen him in person. But I did. I'm 37. I've seen lots of shows big and small, mainstream and indie. But McCartney playing the melodic walking bassline that introduces Penny Lane while singing it in the original key? That isn't dead. To hear him play For No One at the piano? Not dead. And it isn't dead because he has the chops to pull it off. Serious chops, even after all these years and so much bullshit. And we the fans still connect the minute the intro to Maybe I'm Amazed is played. Or is it Hey Jude. Or God Forbid, Yesterday. He stands there and actually plays those songs. They're not records. Bob, I've worshipped these recordings since I was 7 years old. And in 2005 I heard f or the first time that they weren't ephemera. They were real. That's what I want from Zeppelin. If they can't pull it off, then I'll be disappointed. But, if like McCartney, the guys still have the chops and the drive, then I want to hear that this stuff is not just on record. I'd love for them to demonstrate to me, my peers, and my younger confreres that this stuff is alive. I know there's no going back. But to show us all once again how ferocious, serious, and beautiful Rock music is would be fantastic. In fact, it's better that they're older. I don't care about the groupies and the Riot House and the sand sharks and the rest of it. That really was then. But Rock and Roll? Kashmir? Stairway? These are all that matters. And if in their later days they can actually show that. I'm in full support. Still don't think I'd shell out the 300 bucks it'll take to get a nosebleed seat, though!

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David Dennard, Dallas, TX: I don't know Bob. All this sounds like some old Downbeat jazz critic kvetching about "the old Miles vs. the new Miles", etc. After years in the "real" music business, I now play in my with my re-united high school rock band, The Novas. We were really good back then, had records out and did TV so we were valid even at 16. We're all really good musicinas and we sound even BETTER now by a huge margin. Why? Were older, smarter, more accomplished and the equipment is far superior now…we can get sounds we only dreamed of in 1966. If you're worried about the question of "can old guys still rock" please watch the newly-released Crossroads Festival DVD (2 discs) and get a load of what Clapton and Beck can do for instance. Awesome!!! Killer…never played better or sounded better. Page is in that league too, of course, so let's see what a few "old guys" (who are absolute MASTERS, by the way) can do. It's gonna be fun…really. They MIGHT even put out a new album if they get some wind in their sails.

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Brian Dear Bob, Sorry, not buyin' it. 🙂 If Zep goes on tour, I wanna go, whether it's creepy or not! I never saw them live back in the day. I loved their music then, and marvelled at each new album release. But my memories are not so sacred that there isn't room for some new ones! If the reuinted band sounds good, plays well and meaningfully, I absolutely wanna experience that! (On the other hand, you could not have paid me enough to go to a recent Van Halen show, but that's another story.) If Led Zeppelin tours and it sucks, oh well. I kept going to Who concerts for years, until I realized it was the same old Barnum and Bailey act every time, with a dozen unknown backup players on stage and Townshend not even playing lead anymore. I'm willing to take a chance on Led Zeppelin. I bet a few million others are too.

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Barbara Wesotski: I guess you'd have to be on the stage and feel all that mega-love-of-the-ages coming at you to understand how they might want to revel in it a little longer, a few more times. Whats so wrong with them bringing delirious happiness to a few more people? Whats it to you? Sounds like sour grapes to me. And hey while we're at it, who else has 10 albums with maybe 4 throw-away songs total on them all? (probably all of them on Coda) Seriously, hearing you say anything at all negative about Led Zeppelin makes me feel like you're talking shit about my mother….

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Andrew Muroff: In 1980 I was 12 years old. I had been listening to Zeppelin since 76 (when I first learned to play guitar), thanks to a close uncle that was only 10 years older than me. I didn't see the 1977 show at the Pontiac Silverdome, but my uncle did and he also took me to see the Song Remains the Same when it originally aired in theatres. On September 25th 1980, I was in the top row of the bleachers at a Windsor Spitfire's (OHL hockey) game listening to WRIF 101.1 (Detroit) on a first gen. Sony walkman when I heard the announcement that John Bonham had died and that the group was disbanding. I was young, but I knew at that time that it was a huge, yet devastating, moment in the history of rock n roll. 27 years later, nothing has changed for me with respect to Led Zeppelin. For so many reasons, they are still the biggest influence on my 30+ years of playing, recording and producing music. Aside from arguably being the most influential rock band of all time, Zeppelin is the only group (past/present) that has managed to so strongly bridge generations from the 60's to today. As you say, it's because of the music (although likely as well because of the mystique created by the void when they abruptly disbanded). Regardless, this is one of those times, Bob, when you have to live "in the now." Sure you had great memories of the Zeppelin "of yore" :), and sure a tour (which is all but inevitable now) will be a cash cow, but so it was back then. The difference is that the music was and IS strong enough to support the demand. Enjoy this revival, Bob. Dec. 10th, 2007 was momentus day in the history of Rock music. This is what rock and roll is all about!

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John Andrade: No disrespect to someone who was alive when Led Zeppelin was at their prime. Maybe I'll never fully understand. But, as a 20-something fan of Led Zeppelin, I want to see Page, Plant and Jones rock LIVE and I don't care if it isn't as good as before my time. I love the music. I love the band. This is meaningful in itself. I want my Led Zeppelin experience. You had yours.

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Don Palmer Dear Bob, I truly feel sorry for you, as you sit by the fire in the twilight of your life. I wonder if u smoke your pipe as you recount and lament your youthful glory days. You always intertwine age limits with music as if creativity ends before death. No, Michaelangelo would not be overcome by his fame and unable to create masterworks. But I am quite sure that you would be one of the first critics telling him that he was too old, too creepy and too fake. He should have rolled over and died to suit your needs. Are you jealous of Led Zep making a victory run and still kicking ass while you while away the years, anxious for old age, huddled over your latest newsletter. You'll always be an outsider and never a performer. You chose the easier path without the fan adulation and glory. You are a fucking lawyer. Could you be anymore status quo? I bet you can't wait to get in to movies on your senior discount. Your argument is that music today sucks but that you don't want to see an oldies act. Your shit outta luck aren't you? Painted in to a corner. You remind me of the old Jewish joke about when a son receives two sweaters from his grandmother and he runs to his room to try one on for her. When he shows her the first new sweater the grandmother asks, "Whatsamatter? You don't like the other one?" Enjoy your bitter old age while the rest of us keep rocking. Hopefully you'll stop spouting your antiquated bullshit before you become an embarrassment to the nursing home.

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Greg Thomson Bob, First time I'd ever heard of Muddy Waters was when someone reviewed his performance at the Bottom Line for my high school newspaper. Muddy Waters was 66 years old then. I don't remember the review in substance. BUT, as long as Waters still had reasonable finger dexterity, and as long as his voice still enabled his mammoth depth of expression, as long as he had some stamina left, does anyone doubt that Muddy Waters rocked the house? In fact, if anything, Waters at 66 might have more power, more weight of experience behind him than Waters at 26. Why is it that we think Rock can't age the way blues can? Or the way R&B often can? Sure it's about adolescent/post-adolescent rebellion, but hopefully it's about hella more than that. And if it is about more than that, and if an artist is still inspired at 63 or whatever, then they can continue, and they should continue. Chuck Berry said that he derived his Rock&Roll style by taking R&B and packaging it to appeal to adolescent rebellion, spirit, angst. Fine, but let's not be trapped by that. One can rock without having to pretend to still be 22 years old.

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Jeff Amato I wanted this performance to truly be over-hyped and hollow. I have already told all my friends – NO WAY will I be spending the money to see this band if they ever tour. The band's spirit died with John Bonham… etc etc THEN I SAW THE FOOTAGE FROM LAST NIGHT'S SHOW ON YOUTUBE! This legendary band is once again driven by their drummer – and there is no better drummer for this band. Zeppelin sound better than they ever have. They are just not young savages anymore. I am taking back every sarcastic comment that I made and I am so ready to return to the soundtrack of my misspent youth – whenever they get here: I will be there.

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Dean: Mick Jagger left the London School of Economics to focus on music so it wasn't about money then? The bottom line is if enough people still enjoy seeing old performers and particularly those seeing them for the first time nothing you write will have any influence.

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Tim Hunze Stage Three Music/Nashville: Bob, I understand most of what you saying about keeping memories, but for me I never got to see Zeppelin play (I was too young). I do agree that something's should be left alone, but I for one would LOVE to see Zeppelin. They still stand for something every time I listen to one of their albums (yes I said album because if I put on Zeppelin I'm strapping in for the whole ride!) To see them now would make memories for me. If they can make some money off it then good for them. Also, not everyone is in this biz for the money. It's still a religion for most of my friends who work in this industry. It's easy to get attached to your expense account, backstage passes, big parties and all the fun that goes with this job. We're not different than rock stars at times. But at the end of the day, I am still here because I absolutely love what I do. I get to work with writers/artist and listen to music for a LIVING! It's not changed since I was 13 playing drums to my Zeppelin records dreaming that I would be rock star. Peace

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Jesse DeCarlo: Hi Bob, I appreciate your point about Led Zeppelin going out on the road, but I'd like to offer a dissenting point of view. I'm a full-time musician and music lover, and Led Zeppelin is one of the biggest reasons I got into it. I play many different styles, from jazz to R&B to rock, but Jimmy Page is and has always been my favorite guitarist. Hard to explain, but his playing just speaks to me in a really unique way. Unfortunately for me, I was 5 years old when John Bonham died, so I never got to see the band live. And since seeing the musicians I admire play live is a really big deal to me, I'm pretty excited that they might do a US tour next year. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want my memories messed with either if I thought it were going to be half-assed like their other performances of the last 27 years. But they've been rehearsing for months, right? So even though they're looking long in the tooth, and even though the energy of the performance will undoubtedly be completely different than it was back when they ruled the world, I'll be grateful for the opportunity to see these guys play their music. They're real musicians, and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their motivations for doing this. Cheers

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Gabrielle Kerson: Dear Bob, I sat with a friend last night watching The Song Remains The Same on VH1 Classic while clicking refresh on our search for Zepplin footage. We are young music industry people. He plays in a rock band, I manage a box office at a club in Manhattan, our friends, like us, live, breathe and search endlessly for new music but there is nothing like the thrill we felt watching an old Robert Plant and a young Robert Plant perform. He was 24 when they sold out the Garden for three nights. Ands as you said nothing we have is that good. But we realized, two twenty eight year olds sitting on a couch, watching an amazing moment in history that 24 is too young these days, and even thirty is really just a prodigy. Nels Cline is 51 years old. Thom Yorke is 39. Jim James doesn't include his birthdate as part of his biography, possibly because he is past the peak of 27 that Janis, Jim and Jimi taught us to aim for. We need Led Zepplin to tour. To remind us what we are searching for. How far the musical jump can be. What expectations we are breaking. Especially because they waited so long. The Police, their music has been boring. Van Halen overplayed. Zepplin is something everyone can relate to. It doesn't matter if you are old or young, interested or not They are Great, Adventerous, Living Legends. Let them tour whether they admit they are doing it or not. Because last night I remembered for one minute, what it is I am searching for, the next best sound that makes me feel that good.

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Greg Beshers; Led Zeppelin, like the Stones and many other great bands, love and were inspired by the blues, and blues artists have always played until they've dropped. Why can't zeppelin have the same privilege? Why do they have to live up to some idealized vision of what once was? Why can't they just be a group of guys who love playing this music for people – and who love getting well paid for it? Sounds like a fantastic job to me. And Bob, if you're STILL looking for the meaning of life in rock n' roll, I say, good luck to you.

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Michael Edwards: If Zep comes back (or don't) what does it matter in the end… It isn't ours its Jimmy, Robert and John P. Jones's. ZEP is their music and they should be able to do whatever they want with it. You know it isn't a "product" for them to sell. They love it more than any of us do because they gave birth to it.

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Benjamin K: Yes, it's only about the money now, but how great is it that these old geezers can still even partially recreate the sounds and images of days gone by. When I've see the Who on recent tours, it's hard to believe that they can still manage to capture the spirit of what they once were: a bombastic, over-the-top rock band with the energy and passion that they had as young men. They still do a great job – thanks to Pete Townshend's return to form and Roger Daltrey taking good care of himself and his voice – and some of their recent shows have been the best shows in decades… As for Led Zep – I never felt they were as significantly compelling musically or socially as the Who, but their first 4 albums were rock milestones, and many of their songs remain unprecedented on many levels… In fact, I thought the set list for the reunion show lacked some imagination… What happened to "When the Levee Breaks", "Going to California", "Living Loving Maid", "Thank You", "Communication Breakdown", and a handful of others I would want them to do if they really do tour in 2008….

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Mark Friedman: I can appreciate your fear of tarnishing what Led Zeppelin means to you if they do in fact hit the road for an overpriced, underwhelming reunion tour, but I think you've missed the boat on this one. The first rule in entertainment is "give the fans what they want." I doubt there is a band that people want to see reunite more then Zeppelin. For someone like me, in my late 20's, Led Zeppelin are simply legends. They exist only on records, posters and on the radio. I missed out on the golden age of rock n' roll. But I grew up worshipping the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Eric Clatpon and of course Led Zeppelin through my parents vinyl and the subsequent CD collection that I grew out of the curiosity for what was simply the best music I had ever heard. I'm sure part of it was that they were history…something from a distant time far away, but more so it was a simple love for what they had created. You single out acts like The Police and Van Halen, but from what I can tell, reviews all around have been extremely positive for these tours. Sure they are expensive, but that is a function of demand. Either the band takes the profits or stubhub and the scalpers get it. The only band I ever loved more then Zeppelin was the Beatles. A couple of years ago I got a chance to see McCartney at MSG. It was the first tour ever when he performed a set chock full of Beatles tunes. It didnt matter that the seats cost a couple of hundred bucks, or that John, George and Ringo weren't there. I got as close to something that existed only in my imagination up until that point and it was as close to a religious experience as I have ever had at a concert. It was worth every penny. The Rolling Stones still tour. I'm sure we will get to see a Pink Floyd reunion someday if Waters and Gilmour can patch things up. Reunion tours are hear to stay and for good reason. The geriatrics want to relive their youth, get as close to the summer of '69 as time will allow. Young whipper snappers like myself want to see what it might have been like to see Jimmy Page break out the bow and the double necked SG. It's not the same as it once was…it never will be, and everyone realizes that but you it seems. I respectfully submit that this is about you and your selfish desire to preserve memories in wax. But some of us want new memories…ones that reach back into the history of rock n' roll and tap a unique energy. In keeping with your analogy, I doubt so many people would be awaiting the return of Jesus if they didnt expect it to be glorious. If only he could sit in for Bonzo on the drums.

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Mike Campbell Soapbox Racer Entertainment Ahahaha… What an excellent rant. However, if I had the wherewithal and the time – and the fucking connections – I'd have been at that Zeppelin show tonight and I'd have been happy to have been there. For the prestige? NO! NO! I'd have gone for the same reasons you would have: to close my eyes and hope (against hope) that I could transport myself back to that exact place you talk about so precisely. And yes, you're right, it's not possible, but this is truly one band that might be able to command a suspension of disbelief enough to pull it off. And, if they could do it for one night, they can do it for a tour. There, I said it… I am of the original Zeppelin audience (I bought all the records as they came out – ALL of them) but I was only lucky enough to see them once, and that was NOT enough. I would happily sit with the "Johnny-come-lately" fans of the band. I would happily sit with people who didn't/couldn't have seen them in their heyday because of the accident of age. I'd be PROUD to weasel and connive to buy tickets for kids I've turned on to the band over the years. GLADLY. Because they will probably never see a show that will be as good as what these mid-life guys will do – and I have no doubt that if they decide to do it, it will blow minds… Money? They won't be doing it for the fucking money!!! IF they do it, it'll be because it's worth doing. God love Bonham (obviously) but he didn't write the songs. Jason can play his dad's stuff to the note, no doubt, and that's enough for me. Yes, Plant and Page and Jones are now geezers – but cool geezers – and cooler than pretty much anyone else on the rock landscape, yes? Why shouldn't they reassert their juice, if they've got it? If they don't, they'll suck, right? I seriously doubt that the reconstituted Zeppelin would even consider doing a real tour if there was any chance of that happening. I would LOVE the opportunity to see this band again and I wouldn't lift a finger (or my skint wallet) to do the Police thing, or the Eagles thing, or the Stones thing, or maybe even the Who thing, but this I would go to because it wouldn't suck… I went out of my way as a white kid to see the blues guys that my heroes (pretty much all British rock/blues guys) referenced, from Muddy Waters, to James Cotton, to Howlin' Wolf and even Willie Dixon (for the Zep-specific) and was I bummed that I didn't see those guys when they were young and "vital?" Fuck no! Willie Dixon at 80+ was magnificent and I have Led Zeppelin to thank for that. If the Zeppelin of 2007/08 isn't up to your memories, screw you! You were lucky enough to see them. You had a great accident of birth. I'm all for accommodating all those rock kids who are forced to listen to the music of "your life" (not theirs) on bullshit classic rock stations that make my skin crawl and are ubiquitous (as you like to say). Give them the experience. So what, they don't see the band in a tiny club – like my Willie Dixon experience – instead they see the band in its natural habitat? Even better! You'll claim it sucks (because you saw it when the shit was happening and the band was young, and you wanted to be back-stage to see the debauchery) and the new kids will fucking love it because they've never seen the like. I'm with the kids. Why should they be deprived because your pristine memories shouldn't be pissed with? This isn't creepy, this is beautiful. I hope it happens, I really do…

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