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Sky's The Limit For Led Zeppelin

While the music business and international media continue the "will they or won't they tour the world" debate, Harvey Goldsmith - the promoter of Led Zeppelin's December 10 reunion show in London - says the band's earning capacity is unlimited.

But Goldsmith, who was awarded the MBE for his services to music and charity, doesn't believe what The Times described as "a whole lotta loot" will be the motivating factor.

"Basically, the sky's the limit," he told Pollstar, without revealing if he's among the promoters who, according to The Times, are "structuring bids in the form of a large upfront payment to lure the band to their venues."

The paper reported that Led Zep is "being pursued with offers from both Live Nation and AEG," and claimed the latter put in an offer immediately after the London show, although it admitted it couldn't verify that info.

But Goldsmith reckons some creative thinking is more likely to win the day.

"They are one of the few bands around that do not need to tour for money," he explained.

"Not much point in talking hypothetically. Led Zeppelin committed to playing one show for Ahmet [Ertegun]. That was it," he explained, as if dismissing any question of his own future involvement.

"If they decided to go onwards there are so many different ways to reach an audience. Money is not the driver.

"Therefore, what would be important is creating an environment that worked both for band and audience. That would need a lot of creative thinking with the band's input being paramount."

If Live Nation or AEG is about to stump up "well over £100 million," which is where The Times is pitching the act's potential earnings, then they're not letting on.

"I wouldn't presume to have any knowledge or info on this," was LN head of global touring Arthur Fogel's reaction to his company's mention in The Times piece. However, he did admit to having thought about it.

Having persuaded The Police to reunite and take to the road again would suggest that producing a world tour for Led Zeppelin would be right up his street.

Anyone trying to prognosticate whether Live Nation is about to table a bid may be left feeling a little dazed and confused. While Fogel said he didn't profess to speak for Live Nation colleague Michael Cohl when talking about Led Zeppelin, Cohl himself is saying nothing.

AEG Live President Randy Phillips, who was at the London show, is clearly a fan and would love to promote a tour.

"Standing on the floor of the O2 Arena, I closed my eyes and felt like I was in college studying for finals again," he told Pollstar.

"As far as making an offer for a world tour that night, this never happened. I was told that the group are going to meet again in January to decide whether this was a one-off or if they will want to do more performances.

"Needless to say, if they decide to do more I would be honoured to be invited to make a proposal to be their tour promoter."

Live Nation's Los Angeles-based rival is seen as the other main contender by one or two of the U.K.'s serious papers, although Cohl will likely also have considered the fact the act doesn't have a record deal.

As head of Artist Nation he now has an infrastructure to deliver a tour and record contract, as the company has recently done with Madonna.

The will they/won't they debate may even be turning into a can they/can't they question as singer Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are set to tour in the spring.

Most of Europe, apart from non-qualifying countries including all those in the U.K., is also likely to be more focused on the continent's major soccer competition during the summer.

However, according to the Daily Star, the tour is definitely on and the act is already looking at playing Cardiff Millennium Stadium. It quotes Welsh Rugby Union chief exec Roger Lewis as saying, "We would love to welcome Led Zeppelin and we have already put in a request to Harvey Goldsmith."

Only time will tell if he's talking to the right person.


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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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