The “Mod father” Paul Weller and bandmates reliving their punk/new wave glory days: surely this is a reunion that everyone would want to see? Didn’t even David Cameron, Prime Minister and Old Etonian, name “Eton Rifles” as one of his favourite songs in 2008?
Weller pointed out that the 1979 song was actually rather hostile to Etonians. So presumably Ed Miliband would back a Jam reunion too. Weller, though, seems slightly less keen, judging by his 2006 comment: “Me and my children would have to be destitute and starving in the gutter before I’d even consider that.” Given Weller’s post-Jam success, therefore, a reunion tour seems somewhat unlikely, to say the least
Another reunion that the Prime Minister would love. His 2010 admission to being a Smiths fan prompted a hostile response from Morrissey, who insisted in March this year: “I don’t know a single person who wants a Smiths reunion.” Another slight obstacle is drummer Mike Joyce suing Morrissey and guitarist Jonny Marr for unpaid royalties in 1996 and winning about £1m in damages.
In his autobiography, Morrisey called his ex-bandmate “a flea in search of a dog”. Still, in January Joyce said he would never read Morrisey’s book, but would “of course” be up for a reunion. So provided Mr Joyce is still avoiding the autobiography section of bookshops, there is perhaps a chance of a get together. A very, very slim one.
So eager are some to see Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Frida back together, that in 2000 it was reported that the Swedish foursome had been offered $1bn (£603.3m) for a 100-city reunion tour. Alas for those who can’t get enough of spangly jumpsuits and live renditions of “Waterloo”, selling 380 million records gives you a lot of financial independence. They said no. The fact that Frida and Benny, and Björn and Agnetha are now divorced probably helps explain why the 1983 Abba break-up has remained permanent.
What fan of Nineties Britpop could resist? Here would be the chance to relive the onstage fights (Liam v Noel, New Zealand 1998); the offstage fights (Liam v Noel, wielding a cricket bat, London, 1994); the fights with the press (Liam v photographers, everywhere). Oasis even played a bit of music – Definitely Maybe was the UK’s fastest-selling debut album. Statements from Liam, however, have not been altogether encouraging. “F*** Oasis,” he confided last year. “F*** Noel Gallagher. F*** that.” So any reunion might just need a little work.
The appetite has been there since the Seventies rock legends split in 1980 after drummer John Bonham choked on his own vomit following a drinking binge which began with a “breakfast” of four quadruple vodkas and a ham roll. When they briefly reunited for a one-off concert at London’s O2 arena in 2007, they set a world record for the highest demand for a single concert, with 20 million people trying to get online tickets. But in April, singer Robert Plant told the BBC that the chance of him wanting to return to the stage with his surviving bandmates again were “zero”. For now, therefore the best hope of catching a live performance of “Stairway To Heaven” might be to visit a guitar shop that hasn’t banned it.
In May fans thought they had received the news that they had been awaiting for 29 years. A countdown on a Pink Floyd commemorative website suggested that the surviving members – who were last seen on stage for a full-length gig together in 1985 – were about to embark on a reunion tour. Alas, it was not to be – there would be no psychedelic rock concerts, no inflatable pigs floating over the audience (or Battersea power station).
David Gilmour later insisted it wasn’t because of the bitterness of the lawsuit-filled Eighties break-up. “It’s just that I’ve been there, I’ve done it.” Cue desperate online pleas from fans, including: “a whole generation has not had the pleasure of seeing Pink Floyd live. Reconsider!!!”