By Jon Wiederhorn
Being a former president just doesn't come with the clout it used to. Bill Clinton may still have some sway when it comes to brokering peace between warring nations, but as a rock 'n' roll powerbroker, he recently fell flat.
According to the CBS "60 Minutes Overtime" webcast, which ran May 6, Clinton was recruited to encourage Led Zeppelin to reunite for the Superstorm Sandy benefit concert last year and failed to convince the British rock royalty to give it one more go onstage.
Robin Hood Foundation executive director David Saltzman told the webcast that he and film executive Harvey Weinstein flew to Washington to ask Clinton if he would personally make the request, since the surviving members of Led Zeppelin--vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, and bassist John Paul Jones--were in Washington right before the benefit show for the Kennedy Center Honors.
Considering the love the members of Zep have historically had for the ladies, maybe they should have sent Hillary instead.
That Clinton was unable to motivate Led Zeppelin to perform for the first time since their one-night reunion show in London in 2007 shouldn’t exactly surprise anyone. During a press conference in London in September 2012 to promote the release of their Celebration Day DVD, which came out at the end of last year and captured the 2007 concert, the members of Zeppelin deflected questions about a possible reunion.
When asked, "At any point, did you think, 'That was great. I can fancy doing more of this'--and if not, why not?" Jimmy Page replied, "Actually, can I ask you all a question? You’ve all been to see the film. Did you enjoy it? Then we’ve done our job, haven’t we?"
The following month in New York, the band was even more direct. When an AP reporter asked, "Is this in anticipation for something even bigger for the band?" Plant joked, "We’d been thinking about all sorts of things, and then we can’t remember what we were thinking about..." before pausing and directing a single expletive at the journalist, "Schmuck."
Toning the mood, Page added, "This time, four years ago would have been rehearsing to get to the O2 [reunion]. In December it will be five years since the 02. So that’s a number of years of passing between. So it seems unlikely if there wasn’t a whisper or a hint that we would get together to do something or other, even two years ago, or whatever. Seems pretty unlikely, doesn’t it?"