Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are currently united in an L.A. courtroom as they attempt to defend their songwriting credits on the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven,” but it sounds like they aren’t on the same page when it comes to another issue. According to a report by Showbiz 411, Plant and Page butted heads over the upcoming Desert Trip Festival slated for this fall in Indio, California.
The report reveals that Robert Plant turned down $14 million to play the Desert Trip shows this fall with other classic rock headliners Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, The Who, Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan.
Plant’s longtime bandmate Jimmy Page was all for playing the “Oldchella” shows, but Robert Plant reportedly wouldn’t agree to any kind of Zeppelin reunion.
A source told Showbiz columnist Robert Freidman that “Jimmy went crazy. He really wanted to do it.”
The Desert Trip acts will receive $7 million per weekend for the shows that will run during the two middle weekends in October, and that doesn’t include the mind-boggling merchandise cuts that will also be paid out to the participating bands.
This isn’t the first time Robert Plant, 68, has been rumored to turn down big bucks on behalf of his famous band. After the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in 1980, the iconic band disbanded, saying they couldn’t imagine continuing on as they were. But Plant reunited with Page and fellow Led Zeppelin alum John Paul Jones in 1985 for the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, and again in 2007 for an anniversary performance at the O2 Arena in London.
While fans have been hoping for a full-on Zeppelin reunion for decades, it doesn’t sound like it will ever happen. The New York Post previously reported that Robert Plant once tore up an $800 million contract for a 35-date Zeppelin reunion tour proposed by Richard Branson— after Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had already signed it.
In 2014, Robert Plant told Rolling Stone he has no desire to be a nostalgia jukebox for the legendary rock band again, and he hinted that some other classic rock bands are also past their prime.
“I hope they’re having a real riveting and wonderful late middle age,” Plant said of fellow sexagenarian rockers. “Somehow I don’t think they are.”
That same year, Page told the New York Times he would love to make music with Led Zeppelin again, but he blamed the lack of reunions on Plant.
“I was told last year that Robert Plant said he is doing nothing in 2014, and what do the other two guys think?” Page said. “Well, he knows what the other guys think. Everyone would love to play more concerts for the band. He’s just playing games, and I’m fed up with it, to be honest with you. I don’t sing, so I can’t do much about it. It just looks so unlikely, doesn’t it?”
While he’s currently in court defending his most iconic Led Zeppelin song against plagiarism charges, Plant has moved on to making a different type of music. Last year, Robert Plant told USA Today he no longer wants to waste time when it comes to his career.
“I hear the sound of time roaring past me, and there is no time to lose,” Robert said, describing his new music as a “world music” sound “appropriate for this time in my life.”
Robert Plant has swapped the stadium circus for smaller scale venues with his new band, The Sensational Space Shifters, which pretty much rules out any chance of seeing him at Desert Trip, the “Coachella of Classic Rock.” If he was even asked, that is.
Earlier this year, concert promoter Paul Tollett told Rolling Stone that he created his Desert Trip wish list two years ago and that it only consisted of the six acts currently signed. Tollett said if any of his chosen acts had turned the show down, Desert Trip wouldn’t be happening. Plant and Led Zeppelin apparently weren’t on the Desert Trip short list, so maybe that’s what got Plant miffed.
As for the big payday for the bands that are playing the show, Tollett wouldn’t confirm the $7 million per weekend figure, but he did confirm that the performers are “all getting what they’re worth.” Which pretty much means $14 million.
Take a look at the video below to see Robert Plant explaining while Led Zeppelin can never reunite.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]