Robert Plant Said Reunited Led Zeppelin Were Never Going To Tour
The drummer, who took the place of late father John Bonham for 2007’s Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert, admitted he’d expected more shows to follow due to the amount of work the pair had put in alongside Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. In the end, the Celebration Day event was the last time the band performed, and Plant has consistently rejected the question of further appearances, even though other members have at times seemed positive about the idea.
“We did six weeks' rehearsal for one show, so I was thinking we must be doing more," Bonham told Billboard, recalling that he discussed it with Plant after they’d attended a soccer match. “On the way back I said, 'I’ve got to ask you ... are we gonna get the band back together?' And he said, 'I loved your dad way too much. It's no disrespect to you; you know the stuff better than all of us, and no one else who is alive can play it like you. But it's not the same. I can't go out there and fake it. I can't be a jukebox. I can't go out there and try to do it that way.’ … He told me, 'When your father left us, left the world, that was it for Led Zeppelin. We couldn't do what the Who did [in continuing without Keith Moon]. It was too vital.’”
Bonham added that Plant's sentiment was in line with the statement released in 1980 after his father’s death, when the band said: “We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were.”
"And I got it," Bonham Jr. added. "I was absolutely fine with that. My dad and Robert, they'd known each other since they were, like, 15. It was a lot deeper for [Plant]. So, I was OK with it. It was a great time, and to end it the way it did, with that great concert, was for the best. [Plant] said, 'We needed to do one more great concert, and then maybe put it to rest.'"