The Drummer Robert Plant And Jimmy Page Secretly Rehearsed To Reunite Led Zeppelin
John Bonham’s death in 1980 also brought the end of Led Zeppelin. The act’s dissolution was out of respect, and they chose not to reunite for most of the band’s remaining career. However, there were times when Plant, Page, and Jones took the stage with a new drummer. The Live Aid of 1985 was one of these instances.
Genesis’ Phil Collins once recalled that while working with Plant on the singer’s solo album, Robert asked him if he was performing at the Live Aid. The drummer answered yes, which encouraged Plant to ask Collins if he would get Led Zeppelin in on the gig. The rest was history. Collins did get Led Zeppelin to perform, and he actually joined them on stage.
However, things didn’t go as imagined. The show was disastrous for various reasons, and Page mainly blamed Collins for that. It was apparent it wasn’t that easy for Led Zeppelin to work with other drummers, but Robert Plant did admit that the band had tryouts with another drummer to reunite.
The Drummer Who Rehearsed With Plant And Page To Reunite Led Zeppelin
The Live Aid went wrong for various reasons, one of which was that Collins hadn’t rehearsed with the band. Phil knew that two drummers would be on stage, performing with Led Zeppelin. So, the rocker asked the other drummer to stay out of his way and rehearse with the band.
The other drummer who performed with Led Zeppelin was Tony Thompson. He was the drummer of the Power Station but played with the British act during Live Aid. It was apparent that Led Zeppelin liked his performance and mostly blamed Phil Collins for the disastrous show since Robert Plant admitted to Rolling Stone in 1988 that they had secretly rehearsed with Thompson a year after Live Aid.
“We had a week together with Tony Thompson,” disclosed Plant when asked about the secret rehearsals with the drummer. “This was the following January, ’86. The guy who’s now my tour manager was brought in to look after the drums, to help Tony Thompson leave Heathrow Airport and travel to this secret destination.”
The secret destination Plant mentioned was off the motorway near Peter Gabriel’s house in Bath. The band had gone to a village hall, filled it with parachutes to cover the room, and set their equipment. The secret rehearsals took place in this studio, hoping to reunite Led Zeppelin.
“Pagey duly arrived, and we plugged in,” recalled the rocker before explaining why the reunion didn’t happen. “As much as he wanted to do it, it wasn’t the time for Pagey to do that. He had just finished the second Firm album, and I think he was a bit confused about what he was doing.”
A reunion with Led Zeppelin’s new lineup didn’t occur because the band members weren’t entirely focused on the project. They had secret rehearsals, but as Plant disclosed, it wasn’t the right time. The act did perform on May 14, 1988, to celebrate Atlantic Record’s 40th anniversary. Only this time, John Bonham’s son Jason honorably took his father’s place behind the drums for the event.