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Robert Plant, Richard Branson deny Led Zeppelin reunion rumor



Robert Plant and Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson have gone public separately to disavow media reports circulating this week that Branson had offered Led Zeppelin's surviving members anywhere from $400 million to $750 million to reunite, and that Plant had torn up the offer in Branson's face.

As much as I love [Led Zeppelin], there is absolutely no truth to the story.
- Richard Branson

"Robert Plant has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months with any organization or promoters regarding future Led Zep live shows," Plant said Wednesday through a spokesman. "Robert Plant has neither met or communicated with Richard Branson in the last 50 years, so it was with great surprise to see this reported in the press."

Branson took to his personal blog to confirm from his end that no such offer had been presented, although it had been reported as fact by the British tabloid the Mirror and picked up by numerous other outlets.

"I've been left dazed and confused by a story doing the rounds this week about us apparently offering Led Zeppelin £500 million to reform and carry out a tour," Branson wrote. "As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story.

"There were even claims that Virgin Atlantic was about to rename one of our planes and include a stairway to heaven in honour of the band," Branson continued. "However nice an idea, this is also completely untrue. After a week of seeing worryingly inaccurate reports in various publications regarding Virgin, it was sad but not particularly surprising to see yet another fabricated story."

Plant is currently touring with his latest band, the Sensational Space Shifters, which released an album, "Lullaby...and the Ceaseless Roar," in September to largely laudatory reviews.

Branson went on to note that in the wake of the reports, he had connected with Plant.

"I spoke to Robert Plant about the story, which he also confirmed is complete rubbish from his side too," Branson added. "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."

Plant also included a note to assure fans he is not interested in distancing himself from his work with Zeppelin.

"He is excited and proud of their most recent remastered releases," Plant's statement read, "and disappointed with any confusion this current fabricated story may bring."

Wrote Branson: "Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful his solo career with the Sensational Space Shifters is going..."

"Fellow band members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones also have many exciting projects in the works and should be respected in their own right," Branson wrote. "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. They have all moved on into exciting new phases, while still celebrating their incredible pasts."

From: LA Times
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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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