We all remember Led Zeppelin reuniting for their infamous 2007 show in London. It was household news. The squeaky clean presenters reporting it on the news in their expensive suits pretending they are fans, were probably wondering why this was their job to report. But for millions of others this was the answer from the rock gods in heaven (or hell) they thought would never become a reality. The prices of the tickets however, were outrageous and over 20 million die hard fans applied for tickets online hoping they would guarantee a place in one of only 20,000 available tickets. Now, the reason for this show was to pay tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, not because the members of the band had a few too many moths in their collective wallets. Led Zeppelin have always maintained their dignity in terms of what legacy they want to leave behind, this is something whilst albeit frustrating to fans, it is something to admire. They have not released the typical “greatest hits” compilation CD to line their pockets every few years hoping that their music will live on through the decades. With the death of their drummer John “Gonzo” Bonham the three remaining members actually did call it quits, the drummer for the 2007 show was in fact the son of their late drummer. Despite the huge anticipation of a full world tour after the London gig, they again stuck to their word and have not played together since.
Now bands reuniting after many years of being on hiatus is not uncommon, and does not only apply to the rock genre. (I have no doubt a Spice Girl reunion would cause world wide chaos). My issue is bands reuniting at the wrong time and if they are doing it for the right reasons. It seems if you do split up for whatever reason, your music will somehow be cherished and then the alloted anticipation grows throughout the music world hoping they will kiss and make up. Band’s who do indeed reunite and come back, seem to come back stronger. Band’s who weren’t getting radio play in their relevant time are now headlining festivals and completing global stadium tours. Does this boil down to their music ageing like a fine wine? Or simply their fan base has grown since the split. Whatever the reason, their does seem to be some sort of niche in this ever growing reuniting business.
This also applies to bands who promise they are on their “fairwell tour” which also seems to draw crowds twice as large due to the bittersweet fact the fans are under the impression they do not have another chance to catch a glimpse of their musical idol’s. Cher has had countless fairwell tours and are extremely successful. The self proclaimed “the world’s most dangerous band” Motley Crue have recently finished their final trip around the world as a band, and whether a tip of the hat to the rock world that this was indeed their final outing, the 4 members of the band signed a contract which would not allow them to tour again when all is done, this also applies to the remaining members not being able to use the name Motley Crue later on in life and simply changing the band members which is something again which is becoming more common.
Guns & Roses are the most recent band to be coming out of retirement and although the band has been touring using the Guns & Roses name, it was only lead by frontman Axl Rose. The original members of Guns & Roses have all gone on to having successful solo careers. So why the need to rekindle their musical relationship? Should they have taken a leaf out of the book of integrity Led Zeppelin have religously followed? This tour is and will be exciting. I simply hope it is not too late for them, and they are doing it for the right reasons