Led Zeppelin Pulls a Van Hagar

As Gomer Pyle used to say, well surprahs, surprahs, suprahs. Billboard and several other news outlets reported yesterday that Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham (son of John) will tour next summer as Led Zeppelin, which was pretty much guaranteed when last year's reunion at an Ahmet Ertegun tribute concert sold out in the blink of an eye and crashed the Web site of London's O2 Arena in the process.

The only catch is Robert Plant wants no part of it, leaving the other three Zeps in an awkward position. Or does it? Page doesn't seem too worried, telling BBC Radio the trio is "trying out a couple of singers." He doesn't name names, and the only person Billboard lists as rumored to be in the hunt is Alter Bridge's Miles Kennedy. That band, in case you've forgotten, is what happened to the other three guys from Creed after Scott Stapp went bye-bye.

Rocks Off polled his contributors for their picks for the new Plant, and wound up sparking a spirited email discussion. Personally, he'd go with Allison Krauss, just to stick it in Plant's craw a little more. Or Scott Stapp. Who else came up?

Brett Koshkin: I'm gonna say it, I don't give a damn what they think, Roky Erikson.

Michael D. Ayers: "Kevin Barnes [Of Montreal], but mostly it's sacrilege just thinking of it!"

Doug Freeman: "I'll say Sarah McLellan [lead singer for Lez Zeppelin] or Matt White from Earl Greyhound. I'm not sure if I'm serious or not."

Michael Hoinski: "Axl Rose."

Daniel Mee: "The ghost of Howlin' Wolf. Kate Moss."

Brigitte B. Zabak: "I bet Joe Lewis from Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears would tear it up. Or going the completely opposite route with emo-boy extraordinaire Conor Oberst. He did a pretty mean cover of Simon and Garfunkel at ACL."

Dusti Rhodes: "Little Joe Washington. H-town represent!"

Mee: "Speaking of people who played at ACL, I'm surprised the most obvious choice has thus far escaped attention: Jack White."

Troy Schulze: "Eh. Raffle it?"

Ernest Barteldes: "I actually don't like Axl Rose, but I'd say he'd be the perfect guy for the job."

Alex Begley: "This idea is terrible, and it will inevitably end badly. So I’m guessing they’ll pluck Scott Weiland based solely on the fact that he didn’t butcher 'Dancing Days' with STP."

Craig D. Lindsey: "I'm shocked that no one has brought up Terry Reid, the dude who Page originally wanted to lead Zeppelin (and who suggested Plant to Page). And you guys call yourselves music geeks!"

William Michael Smith: "I saw Terry Reid open for Chuck Berry and the Stones at Moody Coliseum in Dallas, 1969. Reid could play. It's amazing how unknown he is."

Brian McManus: "Terry Reid would make the most sense, which is exactly why it won’t happen."

Barteldes: "Oh, yeah - that guy has great vocal chops, I almost forgot about him."

Begley: "Marky Mark."

Doug Wallen: "Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and "Ted" Theodore Logan."

Now, dear readers, it's your turn. - Chris Gray

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray