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Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant turns down £500MILLION to reform supergroup

The rock legend ripped up Sir Richard Branson’s contract for 35 dates in front of astonished promoters after the other members of the supergroup all signed up



Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant has turned down a Whole Lotta Lolly – more than £500MILLION – to reform the band for the dearest tour in history.

The rock legend ripped up Sir Richard Branson’s contract for 35 dates in three cities in front of astonished promoters after the other members of the supergroup all signed up.

The tour would have earned singer Plant and fellow founders Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones £190million each before tax.

But Plant, 66, said he thought it wasn’t the right thing to do.

A source close to the group said: “They have tried to talk him round but there is no chance.

“His mind is made up and that’s that.”

Virgin tycoon Branson, 64, has been a lifelong fan of the band.

He was getting ready to rebrand one of his Jumbo jets “The Starship” to fly the group around the venues.



An industry source said they were told they could have £250 million for 35 dates in three cities, London at the O2, Berlin and New Jersey.

Led Zep were also promised £70million of the profit from merchandise and there was an option to do 45 more gigs in five venues.

The cash was to be split three ways between Plant, Page, 70, and Jones, 68, while Jason Bonham, 48, son of late drummer John, would have been paid a wage to perform.

Our band source said: “Jimmy, John and Jason signed up immediately.

“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.”



Branson had planned to have the staircase of the Starship jet renamed the Stairway to Heaven after the band’s 70s hit and was going to sell off the back 20 rows of the aircraft as special Led Zep seats for £100,000 each.

The source added: “Branson tried to pull out all of the stops. But even his money was not enough to get Plant to sign up. He is gutted.”

Plant has previously said: “I have to be in some brand new zones quite regularly... It’s an insane thing to do, to go back.”

Formed in 1966, Led Zeppelin have sold more than 300 million albums. Their last performance was a one night only gig at London’s O2 on December 10, 2007.

From: Mirror
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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