Belfast Telegraph

How Led Zeppelin left fan Bill Clinton deflated by refusing to fly again

By Tim Walker

He played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland peace process.

He flew to Pyongyang to personally negotiate the release of US prisoners by the North Korean government. He brokered the first face-to-face agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yet even Bill Clinton could not convince Led Zeppelin to reunite.

According to a report by the CBS television network webcast, 60 Minutes Overtime, Mr Clinton personally approached the British blues-metal megastars to ask them to perform together at last year's benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York.

David Saltzman, of the Robin Hood Foundation, which organised the concert, said he and the film executive Harvey Weinstein flew to Washington DC late last year to enlist Mr Clinton's assistance.

Mr Clinton agreed to cajole the surviving band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, days before the Hurricane Sandy benefit. But he failed.

Mr Saltzman said: “The President was terrific — ‘I really wanna do this, this will be a fantastic thing, I love Led Zeppelin'. And Bill Clinton himself asked them to reunite, and they wouldn't do it.”

The concert at Madison Square Garden without the Seventies rock gods on December 12, 2012.

Led Zeppelin disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, though Page, Plant and Jones reformed briefly for the US leg of Live Aid in 1985.

The surviving trio played their only full-length concert together in London in December 2007, at an event in memory of the music executive Ahmet Ertegun.

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