"Celebration Day" features a two-hour, 16-song set by surviving members of Led Zeppelin
John Bonham's son, Jason, fills in for him on the drums
The 2007 reunion concert in the film was a tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun
This week’s New York premiere of Led Zeppelin’s forthcoming concert film, “Celebration Day,” may have brought out both fans and rock stars, including Mick Jones, Stevie Nicks and Paul Stanley of Kiss, but beyond the 2007 reunion depicted on-screen, don’t expect to see the legendary band in concert anytime soon.
When asked at a press conference if there were any chance the band would play again together “in the flesh,” John Paul Jones said only, “Sorry.”
Jimmy Page suggested that “if (in the five years since the movie was made,) there wasn’t a whisper or a hint that we would get together to do something, it seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?”
But Robert Plant doesn’t rule out the possibility entirely. “We’re pretty good at what we do, but the tail should never wag the dog,” he said. “If we’re capable of doing something in our own time, that will be what will happen. We know what we’ve got. Que sera.”
“Celebration Day” features a two-hour, 16-song set by surviving members of the iconic band, with John Bonham’s son, Jason, filling in for him on the drums. The concert was a tribute to the group’s friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. It was the first time the original members had played with each other since the mid-1980s. Directed by Dick Carruthers, the film uses 12 cameras on and around the stage, exploring the intense guitar playing and smiles between the band members throughout the show.
“It was clicking again,” Jones said. “You just fall into it. Time is condensed and you’re right back there.”
Six weeks of off-and-on rehearsals led to the big night that all the band members agreed was a resounding success.
The film focuses on the musicians as they revisit many of the songs that made them one of the most influential and best-selling music artists in history, with sales of more than 200 million albums. From “Stairway to Heaven” and “For Your Life” to “Kashmir” and “No Quarter,” Plant’s voice is as crisp as ever, Jones tackles the keyboards like few can and Page hasn’t lost his touch as what some have called the finest rock guitarist ever.
This week’s premiere marks the first time Led Zeppelin has been in North America since a tour in 1977. The group was preparing to return in 1980 when drummer Bonham died, causing it to break up. Page said the band owes a massive debt to America; Plant says they feel like Americans in a way. Led Zeppelin is expected to receive the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington in December. Plant said he is looking forward to the evening and meeting President Barack Obama, which he says is a privilege.
“Celebration Day” will open worldwide on October 17. The band members will also appear Friday in London. Jones will appear at the Berlin premiere on Monday, while Page will be at the Tokyo premiere Tuesday.
Can you convince Led Zeppelin to reunite? Give us your best arguments in the comments section below.