The old British curmudgeons in Led Zeppelin were asked to reunite for last year's star-studded Hurricane Sandy benefit concert -- by former President Bill Clinton, no less -- and they said no.
On Monday's episode of CBS's 60 Minutes Overtime, the Robin Hood Foundation's David Saltzman said the two bands they really wanted to book for the concert were the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. Things were looking promising: Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page were all set to receive awards at the Kennedy Center in Washington a little more than a week before the proposed benefit concert. So Saltzman and Harvey Weinstein came up with a seemingly fool-proof plan. They'd fly to Washington and convince Bill Clinton to approach the guys in Zeppelin with the idea. Never mind that Zeppelin hadn't played together since 2007, everyone was on board with the idea. Clinton was into it. He wanted to make it happen. But, incredibly, not even he could convince Zeppelin to reunite again.
Why Led Zeppelin said no is never explained in the end. That they said no to Clinton is surprising, considering he's used to booking major bands for his benefit concerts. He organized a ten year anniversary party for his foundation two years ago and got U2, Lady Gaga, and Usher to headline. Clinton was also involved in the major "Hope for Haiti" telethon that happened after the earthquake there. If anyone could do organize a Zeppelin reunion for a Sandy benefit concert, it should have been him. Apparently the quick turnaround was too much for them.
Things worked out in the end, though. Saltzman "literally bumped" into Ketih Richards at the airport, he told CBS. "You can tell Harvey Weinstein to go fuck off," Richards said initially before storming off. Thankfully Richards' publicist came up behind him and said the band would love to perform.