Robert Plant and Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson have gone public separately to disavow media reports circulating this week that Branson had offered Led Zeppelin’s surviving members anywhere from $400 million to $750 million to reunite, and that Plant had torn up the offer in Branson’s face.
“Robert Plant has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months with any organization or promoters regarding future Led Zep live shows,” Plant said Wednesday through a spokesman. “Robert Plant has neither met or communicated with Richard Branson in the last 50 years, so it was with great surprise to see this reported in the press.”
Branson took to his personal blog to confirm from his end that no such offer had been presented, although it had been reported as fact by the British tabloid the Mirror and picked up by numerous other outlets.
“I’ve been left dazed and confused by a story doing the rounds this week about us apparently offering Led Zeppelin £500 million to reform and carry out a tour,” Branson wrote. “As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story.
“There were even claims that Virgin Atlantic was about to rename one of our planes and include a stairway to heaven in honour of the band,” Branson continued. “However nice an idea, this is also completely untrue. After a week of seeing worryingly inaccurate reports in various publications regarding Virgin, it was sad but not particularly surprising to see yet another fabricated story.”
Plant is currently touring with his latest band, the Sensational Space Shifters, which released an album, “Lullaby…and the Ceaseless Roar,” in September to largely laudatory reviews.
Branson went on to note that in the wake of the reports, he had connected with Plant.
“I spoke to Robert Plant about the story, which he also confirmed is complete rubbish from his side too,” Branson added. “Robert told me he is very proud of his history and the band’s past, and has always had great respect and love for his work throughout his career. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today.”
Plant also included a note to assure fans he is not interested in distancing himself from his work with Zeppelin.
“He is excited and proud of their most recent remastered releases,” Plant’s statement read, “and disappointed with any confusion this current fabricated story may bring.”
Wrote Branson: ";Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful his solo career with the Sensational Space Shifters is going….
“Fellow band members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones also have many exciting projects in the works and should be respected in their own right,” Branson wrote. “I’m proud of how so many artists from my generation, whether it is Led Zeppelin, Mike Oldfield or Peter Gabriel, are still being so creative and inventive. They have all moved on into exciting new phases, while still celebrating their incredible pasts.”
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