When Led Zeppelin reunited in December of 2007 to play at London’s 02 Arena, they were widely expected to play at least a couple more concerts. Promoters were salivating at the thought of Led Zeppelin returning to stadiums nearly thirty years after they split and the money would have been insane. Sadly, Robert Plant had no interest and a tour never happened. The closest the world got to another Led Zeppelin performance took place at a Foo Fighters gig at London’s Wembley Stadium in June of 2008.
“It’s an honor to be here,” Dave Grohl told the crowd towards the end of the night. “We knew from the beginning this wasn’t just going to be an ordinary show. We’ve been planning this shit for six months. That’s a long time. We knew that this country, you guys, you made us the band that we are today. So we’d like to invite a couple of very special guests: Mr. Jimmy Page and Mr. John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin.”
With that, the Foos plus half of Led Zeppelin launched into “Rock and Roll” in front of 86,000 screaming fans. Dave Grohl couldn’t keep a wild grin off his face as he counted out the intro the song on the drums, and Taylor Hawkins lived out every kids fantasy by taking on Robert Plant vocals. They followed it up with “Ramble On.”
Right around this time, the members of Led Zeppelin not named Robert Plant were secretly contemplating a tour. They jammed with Myles Kennedy, Steven Tyler and at least a few other people that managed to keep the sessions private. For whatever reason, the plug was pulled on the whole thing and Led Zeppelin went back to sleep, probably forever.
Nobody has ever explained exactly what happened, but it’s possible this Foo Fighters gig inadvertently killed the tour. Not long afterwards, Dave Grohl formed Them Crooked Vultures with Josh Homme on vocals and John Paul Jones on bass. It’s quite possible Jones decided to go with a forward-looking band rather than a Plant-less Zeppelin tour, but it’s very difficult to know exactly what went down back then. It was probably for the best since Led Zeppelin without Robert Plant was a dicey proposition at best.