Published October 10, 2012
NEW YORK – If you happen to run into Led Zeppelin at your local Applebees, or while picking up your dry cleaning, do not ask them if they are getting the band back together.
No really. Don’t.
The first reporter at a press conference in New York City who dared inquire about a possible reunion tour was called a "schmuck" by lead singer Robert Plant. Another was given an icy stare by the whole band: Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bass player John Paul Jones, and drummer Jason Bonham, sitting in for his late father, John Bonham. Any subsequent reporters trying to elicit a response with trick questions were given obtuse answers or openly mocked by Plant and/or Page.
So it looks like “Celebration Day,” the film of Led Zeppelin’s reunion performance at London’s 02 arena in 2007 that the band is now promoting, will have to suffice for Zeppelin fans who want the biggest band of the 1970s to give the world one more spin.
Luckily, “Celebration Day” is great. Really great. Roaring through 16 mostly classic, but sometimes obscure, Zeppelin tunes, the band is tight, polished and powerful, probably more so than on many nights in the 1970s when they were the biggest touring band the world had ever seen. Recorded in 2007 after six weeks of rehearsals, “Celebration Day” can be seen as something of a statement concert following much looser/not-so-great reunion sets for Live Aid in 1985 and Atlantic’s 40th Anniversary concert in 1988.
“The ["Celebration Day"] rehearsals were going from strength to strength,” Page told FOX411, looking back on the experience. “Each day’s rehearsal had its own character, which was quite exhilarating, because we were working towards this one point. We put enough time into it, certainly for Jason and myself and John playing together, so we could be tight knit come the day of the show. ”
“Should something go really wobbly, we had a musical communion between us to be able to sort of straighten it out,” Page explained. “Fortunately we were really lucky on that night.”
“It’s something we’ve always known how to do, to be honest,” Jones added. “It was just a matter of getting back to that point.”
“We used to call ourselves ‘The Band of Nods,’ because if you miss a cue, you just wait a bit, and nod. And that was nothing to do with opiates, it was just to do with the fact that we were just nodding!” Plant laughed, adding with a smile. “[Now] those nods have turned into middle aged grins.”
Page called “Celebration Day” a “sort of a retrospective of our work,” but Jones told FOX411 the press tour promoting the DVD/CD/vinyl release was a new experience altogether. “[It] wasn’t really like this in the old days,” he said. “We never really did this sort of thing. It’s all very Hollywood.”
Another aspect unlike the old days is playing with Jason Bonham, son of Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who choked to death after a drinking binge in 1980, effectively putting an end to the band.
“Fortunately, [Jason] knew everything. Anytime we would say, ‘How does this go?’ he would say ‘Well in ’71 it went like this and ’73 it went like this,’” Jones explained. “So he’s like the band archivist.”
“And he loves the music,” Page added. “And it’s in his DNA.”
Bonham said his father’s presence was felt during the "Celebration Day" show.
“Oh, he was definitely there. I mean whenever I am with them, I feel a sense of closeness,” he said. “Especially when they are all together.”
- FoxNews.com’s Meghan Baker contributed to this report.