On October 9th, a slightly testy Led Zeppelin met the press at New York's Museum Of Modern Art following the screening of their new concert movie, Celebration Day. Although John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham were respectful to the writers and reporters, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were clearly annoyed that they genuinely wanted to know if the band is considering any new work or concerts. Page and Plant would respond to any reunion questions by staring the reporter down -- Plant alternately pretended to snore and even called a reporter from The Associated Press a "schmuck" for asking about the future of Led Zeppelin. Later that night the band attended the premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre.
Page and Plant -- who, while hawking their five-year-old reunion concert CD/DVD -- couldn't be bothered to honestly answer the press, who tried gamely to play along with the fact that they were supposed to ignore the 300 pound gorilla in the room, which was that Led Zeppelin were right in front of them and NOT making music. At one point Page tersely answered a reporter's reunion question: "Well, look; at this time four years ago, we'd have been rehearsing to get to the O2. In December it'll be five years since the O2. So, that's a number of years that pass in between, so that seems unlikely, if there wasn't a whisper, or a hint that we would get together to do something or other. I'd say even two years ago, or whatever. Seems pretty unlikely, that's what I think."
Rock writer Bill Flanagan, the editorial director MTV Networks, served as the moderator and gently coaxed Plant into finally answering the reunion question with a bit of respect for the reporters in the room: "We were so happy that we were actually gettin' it right (coughs) and taking it beyond what we thought we were about that night. There were moments in it where we just took off and pushed off in some place. The responsibility of doing that four nights a week for the rest of time is a different thing. 'Cause, we're pretty good at what we do; the tail should never wag the dog. If we're capable of doing something in our own time that will be what will happen. So any inane questions who are from syndicated outlets (laughter), you should just really think what it takes to answer a question like that in one second, y'know? We know what we've got."
Out now is one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of the past five years -- Celebration Day -- recorded and filmed at Led Zeppelin's December 10th, 2007 reunion show at London's O2 Arena. The package, which is available on CD, DVD, and Blu-ray disc, commemorates Zeppelin's first full-scale, complete concert since July 7th, 1980 at the band's final show with the late-John Bonham in Berlin, Germany.
The tracklisting to Celebration Day is: "Good Times, Bad Times," "Ramble On," "Black Dog," "In My Time Of Dying," "For Your Life," "Trampled Underfoot," "Nobody's Fault But Mine," "No Quarter," "Since I've Been Lovin' You," "Dazed And Confused," "Stairway To Heaven," "The Song Remains The Same," "Misty Mountain Hop," "Kashmir," "Whole Lotta Love" and "Rock And Roll."
Jimmy Page shed some light on the band's rehearsals for the O2 show: "Actually the period that we rehearsed over, it may have run over six weeks, or whatever, but we weren't rehearsing every day. We had a little block here and a little block over there on the run up to it."
John Paul Jones was asked about how he felt after Zeppelin wrapped its first complete concert in over 27 years: "There was an immediate feeling of relief that we actually got through it and did well. I don't know. That was kind of. . . (laughs) I don't know. I didn't feel much after that, to be honest. It was kind of numbing. It was a really good place we were in, I think."
Jason Bonham, who filled in for his dad, whom he lost when he was only 14 years old, felt as though his whole life had been building up to drumming for Zeppelin: "But for me, as I said, it was a huge, huge honor to play. And all I was concentrating on the night, 'cause I knew there was that many people there -- I was just concentrating who was on the stage. I just wanted to impress my mates here, my dad's friends."
Robert Plant said that performing the band's 1976 Presence classic "For Your Life" for the first time onstage was a definite highlight of the show for him: "Just like Jason, I was amazed I was there playing with Led Zeppelin. And I was just saying, 'Now, where does the vocal come in?' And I know I made a couple of errors -- 'just had to shut up instead of doing too much. But. . . I think that was my favorite part of the show, to be honest. Because we were. . . none of us could bring too much back from ever having ever played it before. It was a great experience and that is flying by the seat of the pants. These guys did such a great job on that. It was very exciting. Great light show, too."
On December 2nd, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones were awarded the Kennedy Center Honor in Washington, D.C.