Nov 212008

About a week ago, MSNBC reported that the main contenders to replace Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin are:

  • Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy
  • Chris Cornell of Soundgarden
  • Chad Kroeger of Nickelback

I was never that big a fan of Plant’s voice but I can’t imagine someone else filling in for him.

I don’t know who the first guy is, but if Chad Kroeger is on your shortlist of potential bandmates, things must be pretty dire. And imagine this from John Paul Jones’ perspective: after 15 years or so of getting snubbed by the very outfit that you co-founded, you finally get back in, only to have the douche from Nickleback fronting the band. So what are Jimmy Page and JPJ to do? Possibilities:

  • Give Terry Reid a chance to not blow it this time
  • Hold auditions on an American Idol style TV show like INXS did
  • Try to get the Devil to take their phone calls so they can plead with him to give their souls back

Any other suggestions?


  30 Responses to “Who to replace Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin? Does it matter?”

  1. pudman13

    The only way to actually make them interesting at this point would be to replace him with a woman.

    I vote for Josephine Foster. That should make things REALLY interesting.

  2. Mr. Moderator

    There’s NO WAY Plant can be replaced. He’s the hippie soul of the band. A few singers might be able to match his vocal contributions, but I’m serious: his dimestore Eastern wisdom is one of the things that make listening to Led Zeppelin so much more pleasurable for me than any other hard rock band, all of which with the exception of Black Sabbath, lack self-deluded enlightenment.

  3. BigSteve

    Rod Stewart needs a job.

  4. dbuskirk

    They won’t call themselves Led Zep when it is Plant and Page but they will when it is Plant and John Paul Jones? Why don’t the just get the guy from Kingdom Come?

  5. Hold auditions on an American Idol style TV show like INXS did

    They should definitely not do this. I was thinking about this show recently, how at the time it must’ve seem to INXS like they’d managed to defy the odds and get back onto the zeitgeist. What resulted proves just how far rock has fallen in the pop culture spectrum: it doesn’t inspire the old levels of dedication, it’s more just background noise. Of course, part of that is because INXS weren’t terribly significant in the first place.

  6. mockcarr

    Replace him with a clarinet. The lyrics to those songs suck anyhow.

  7. Tim “Ripper” Owens might be out of work, and he’s had a movie made about him and everything. He might even have a bit of back pocket eastern wisdom… or maybe not.

  8. alexmagic

    They should have Page call up Scott Weiland and tell him they want him to come in and audition, just so he’d have to go tell the other guys in Stone Temple Pilots that they were fired again. As soon as he did it, Page could call back up and say he was just joking, so Weiland would have to call back the STP guys and say the band was on again.

    The solution for Zeppelin is simple, though. Only one man can front a band of that size, wail near Plant’s range when called for, be shameless enough to sing about the Lord of the Rings when it comes up and deliver stage patter like “does anybody remember laughter?”

    Paul Stanley, Led Zeppelin frontman.

  9. sammymaudlin

    Too bad Willie Dixon isn’t around to step in and sing some of his own tunes to the huge arena that he deserved.

  10. I like Paul Stanley, but a lot of recent possibilities are disqualified due to the Yarl factor. You have to have Plant/Zep’s enunciation down in order to make it convincing. Beyond that, Chris Cornell’s voice is actually closer to Brian Johnson than Robert Plant, just slowed down. Fact!

    Mr. Mod pretty much nails it, though. Led Zeppelin might as well break up if Plant is not involved in this project.

  11. Mr. Moderator

    Sammy, don’t you go crying’ about how Buddy Holly ripped off Bo Diddley again!

  12. I’d say the only guy who could pull this off is Chris Robinson (Black Crowes) his Crowes + Page CD is strong, he can give the songs the bluesy swagger they need and he can hit most of the notes (and way better than Plant can nowadays)

    Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy – I saw his video on VH1, it’s all footage from Rock Star Rehab, kinda gay. Word is that he has an 8 octave range (as if that makes him “good”)thought he sounded like…Chad Kroeger of Nickelback…aka crappy Nu-rock.

    Chris Cornell of Soundgarden – in the early 90’s I went into a super-hip record store in Athens, GA and they were playing Soundgarded. I asked if this was the new Coverdale-Page and they asked me to leave. Cornell has part of the Plant thing but is missing the folk-blues part. Plus he has been in too many bands, at that point just get Paul Rogers to be the singer(The Firm reunion??)

    With any of these Keep in mind, this would be another “Doors of the 21st Centrury” thing — one of the VERY FEW concerts that I have walked out on. (funny enough opener Chris Robinson was freakin’ great)and I like Ian Asbury / The Cult and LOVE the Doors, it was just not cool to have a fake front man up there doin his Jimbo routine.

    Word on the street is that Steven Tyler tried out and it went very poorly

  13. At the risk of sounding like the PC police, I thought we were going to try to refrain from using words like “gay” and “queer”.

    I sure that these words are being used in the 7th grade sense (not that it particularly justifies the use), and I’m certainly as guilty as anyone of using them from time to time, but I think that we should honor the recent request of a fellow Townsman and try not to use them around here.

  14. Mr. Moderator

    Good reminder, cdm. I think Jungleland2 joined following that request. It’s worth respecting and easy enough to do.

    Now let’s get back to citing popular songs that have dirty lyrics!

  15. …not my intent to offend anyone

  16. sammymaudlin

    Did Jungleland2 use queer? I know I did.

    Didn’t know that a request had been issued.

    For the record: I worked in Hollywood for 15+ years and just might have more gay friends than some of the gay people here. I have marched for gay rights and was one of two best men at a gay wedding. And just today was invited to a predominantly gay holiday party being thrown by several of my gay clients.

    Gay, gay, gay, gay, gay. All around me and I could care less.

    Living in Southern California for so long, its just a way of life. It surprises me that anyone is offended by it’s common, non sexual-orientation use. But I recognize that I live in a bubble out here. I think that’s why the passage of Prop 8 was such a shock to so many that live here. I blame central California. Nasty place.

    But in talking about our life and rock experiences, in the 70s especially, it seems like these terms might be hard to avoid sometimes.

    For instance, I got called “fag” every time I wore my Split Enz shirt to high school. I got called “fag” for about 2 years for getting my ear pierced in 1986. (By guys whom I bet got their ears pierced in 1996 leading me to take mine out.)

    And my standard reply to these guys was “Yeah I’m gay, but I’m not interested in you.” Which nearly got me pummeled time and time again.

    There really was a joke at my school. Q: “Which Wilson sister would you do?” A: “Nancy” Response: “Wrong. The answer is ‘both’, fag.” Note in my posted version I opted for the the softer “queer.” I should get partial PC credit for that.

    And for the record, I’m not gay. (Or not at least enough to take the plunge.)

    Pretending to be gay in the face of those that would sneer at me because I was different, was inspired by Rock and Roll baby.

    So, long story, no offense was intended and I’ll do my best to watch my mouth.

  17. I’m not offended and I’m really not trying to be the RTH scold. I just wanted to remind folks that someone made a specific request that we take it easy on that front, that’s all.

  18. sammymaudlin

    I hear you and that’s cool. I over reacted. I’m not really keen on having to tip toe around anything.

    Given that, I certainly wouldn’t tolerate any bashing around here, gay or otherwise.

    Point I was trying to make is that there are certain instances where using those words is appropriate for the discussion and certainly there are other times when it is unnecessary and another word will do just fine.

    Just would hate to put a “ban” on any word. It’s not the words it’s how they’re used.

  19. Mr. Moderator

    I hope everyone’s cool and that we can focus on finding Led Zeppelin a new singer:) Later tonight I’ve got a sensitive story from my youth to share. At that time, I hope you’ll understand that the joke is on me.

  20. BigSteve

    David Lee Roth needs a job.

  21. saturnismine

    Plant hasn’t been able to hit the notes on the early Zeppelin material since ’72.

    Can’t they just have a very savvy dj with a laptop and scads of samples of his vintage vocal tracks at the ready?

    this solution would give page the chance to act all up-to-date in the press, as if he’s hip to sampling and dj culture (kind of like plant’s ‘tall cool one’ and its supposed indication of his extremely hip interest in sampling back when that was cutting edge).

    pagey, if you read this, and you run with this idea, you fucking owe me ALOT of dough, man!!!

  22. PJ Harvey would be a good choice. I would enjoy the reversal of gender politics of some of the Led Zep songs.

  23. Mr. Moderator

    I’ll second PJ Harvey! Bravo, Dr. John!

  24. hrrundivbakshi

    Go for something that brings together the gear-head guitar nerd subsection of the Zep audience and also establishes a truly avant-weird cred for the band:

    Buckethead with a Plant mask, playing all of Plant’s vocal parts on guitar.

    I’ve been drinking.


  25. solution: not tour.
    how ’bout that?
    this is so dumb.
    who is it that failed to come up with enough $$$ for mr plant to get on the bus?
    i’m sure singing with allison kraus is really rewarding and all that, but really? he can’t swing it? hard to believe. can his son sing?

  26. duh.

  27. Even higher on the irrelevancy scale: Chinese Democracy finally drops on Nov 23rd! Axl is the only G’nRer on the record. 3 1/2 stars according to the Philly Inquirer. The record for longest incubation period for an album ends at 17 years. Welcome back to the jungle.

  28. BigSteve

    Ann Wilson needs a job.

  29. I think we should list all of the singers who need a job and then write their “hot jobs” listings for them. That way when a big name band is looking for a new big name singer they will HAVE to come to Rock Town Hall to read the resumes.

  30. Mr. Moderator

    Brilliant idea, jungleland2! We should talk about making this happen.

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