Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant? No thank you; I'm busy eating razors and chopping off my toes with a jagged spoon.

MSNBC reports that Zepp bass player John Paul Jones is spreading the idea that he, Jimmy Page, and Jason Bonham could tour as Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant. As in, getting a replacement singer for Robert Plant.

Two things I want to pick out from this article. First, they discuss the possible replacements:

Billboard recently reported that Plant-less Zeppelin is leaning toward Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy and that the vocalist has rehearsed with the band on several occasions. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave is another rumored candidate, as is Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.

Excuse me for a second, my spleen just jumped out of my throat and ran screaming down the street. I have to go catch it.


Ok, that's better.

Chris Cornell? Singing "Whole Lotta Love?" Of the three proposed alternatives, he is the one who clearly has the chops. Still, no.

Seriously, though, who in the name of all that is holy and sacred in the world suggested CHAD KROEGER?!!! That guy is such a hack, his band is hackneyed, and I'm hacking up various internal organs just thinking about the prospect of a Zeppelin with Kroeger at the front. Hack hack hack. No.

And I don't know who the hell the other guy is. Didn't Alter Bridge form out of the remains of Creed? Not a good sign.

Secondly, the article discusses other bands that have replaced their lead singer in an "acceptable" manner:

The Who without Keith Moon and John Entwistle? Acceptable, at least judging by the reception they’ve received on recent tour stops. Queen without Freddie Mercury? Acceptable, because Mercury passed away. Pink Floyd without Syd Barrett? He left the band just as it was on its way toward superstardom, so most fans didn’t notice.

Ok, I just want to comment on Queen. I saw the "new" Queen lineup during some stupid rock tribute show on VH1 a couple of years ago. I'm sorry, but that Paul Rodgers cat just isn't Freddie Mercury, and I found the whole thing to be a real disappointment.

Some bands can replace their lead singer without destroying the essential nature of the band and its sound. AC/DC did it after the death of Bon Scott, and Brian Johnson has led the band convincingly ever since. Sometimes, however, a band's frontman is so iconic to the sound of the band that you just can't replace him. I would argue forcefully that both Queen and Led Zeppelin fit into that category.

Let's take a look at a couple of hypotheticals. What would Nirvana have been like if Dave and Krist had replaced Kurt after his suicide, and who could have possibly filled Cobain's shoes? What if Paul and Ringo tried to tour as the Beatles today without John Lennon and George Harrison? What if Mick Jagger died and the Stones hired some unknown pop star to replace him? What would Aerosmith be like without Steven Tyler? Well, the last one might actually be a relief, but that's beside the point.

No, I'm sorry, but I won't see a Led Zeppelin reunion if it doesn't reunite all of the living Zepps.

Give me a real Zepp reunion with Page, Plant, Jones, and Jason Bonham, and I'll do almost anything to be there.