Richard Branson says reports of his financing a Led Zeppelin reunion are false
The Virgin chairman was said to have offered an $800 million contract for a reunion
Branson says that making up the story is disrespectful to the band members' careers
Robert Plant has called reports of a Led Zeppelin tour “rubbish,” and now Richard Branson is doing the same.
On his blog Wednesday, the Virgin Group founder said he’s “dazed and confused” by rumors that he offered an $800 million (£500 million) contract to see Led Zeppelin re-form for a reunion tour.
“As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story,” Branson said.
And despite what you may have heard, Virgin Atlantic isn’t going to rename a plane “and include a stairway to heaven” in Led Zeppelin’s honor, Branson added. “However nice an idea, this is also completely untrue.”
The report that Branson was involved in a Led Zeppelin reunion appeared in The Daily Mirror this week and claimed that Branson was eager to cart the band around in one of his jets as part of a tour that would hit London, Berlin and New Jersey.
It was said that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were all in for the deal along with Jason Bonham, the son of the band’s late drummer, John Bonham.
The holdout, the Daily Mirror reported, was lead singer Robert Plant.
“Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately,” a source told the paper. “It was a no-brainer for them but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock. There is no way they can go ahead without him.”
“Rubbish,” was Plant’s publicist’s response to the story, which appears to have been removed from The Daily Mirror’s website. Branson is taking it a step further.
Not only is it untrue, he says in his blog post, but it diminishes the band members’ current careers.
“Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful (Robert Plant’s) solo career with the Sensational Space Shifters is going,” Branson said. “He is setting out on a sold out tour today and they released a brilliant album last year. … Robert told me he is very proud of his history and the band’s past, and has always had great respect and love for his work throughout his career. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today.”
Legends like Led Zeppelin are once-in-a-lifetime creators, but that doesn’t mean they should be restricted to simply rehashing their old stuff; Page and Jones also have their own projects in the works, Branson pointed out.
“I’m proud of how so many artists from my generation, whether it is Led Zeppelin, Mike Oldfield or Peter Gabriel, are still being so creative and inventive,” Branson said. “As Robert told me: ‘Look Richard, I just do things because I love them and I want to do more new things that I love.’ I couldn’t agree more.”
CNN’s Todd Leopold contributed to this report.