The peace deal even Bill Clinton couldn’t broker – a Led Zeppelin reunion - News - Music - The Independent

The peace deal even Bill Clinton couldn’t broker – a Led Zeppelin reunion

Former President’s appeal for heavy metal legends to play benefit gig fell on deaf ears

He played a crucial role in the Northern Ireland peace process. He flew to Pyongyang to personally negotiate the release of American prisoners by the intractable North Korean government. He brokered the first face-to-face agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet even Bill Clinton could not convince Led Zeppelin to reunite.

According to a report by the CBS television network webcast, 60 Minutes Overtime, Mr Clinton personally approached the British blues-metal megastars to ask them to perform together at last year’s benefit concert for the victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York City.

David Saltzman, of the Robin Hood Foundation, which organised the concert, said he and the film executive Harvey Weinstein flew to Washington DC late last year to enlist Mr Clinton’s assistance.

Mr Clinton agreed to cajole the surviving band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, who were all in Washington to attend a celebration of their work at December’s Kennedy Center Honors gala, just days before the Hurricane Sandy benefit. But they could not be persuaded to perform.

“Harvey Weinstein had this great idea that we could enlist Bill Clinton to convince Led Zeppelin to reunite,” Mr Saltzman said. “The President was terrific – ‘I really wanna do this, this will be a fantastic thing, I love Led Zeppelin’. And Bill Clinton himself asked Led Zeppelin to reunite, and they wouldn’t do it.”

The concert at Madison Square Garden was co-produced by the Democrat donor Weinstein and went ahead without the Seventies rock gods on 12 December 2012.

The show raised around $50m (£32m) to help those affected by the superstorm, which devastated large swaths of the North-eastern US and Caribbean in October 2012. Broadcast live across six continents, the event featured several British Led Zep contemporaries, including The Who, Eric Clapton and Roger Waters of  Pink Floyd.

The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear, reunited for the first time since the death of frontman Kurt Cobain in 1994, appearing alongside  Paul McCartney as he closed the show.

Performing a pair of songs with the Rolling Stones, 69-year-old Mick Jagger joked: “This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden.

“I’ve got to say, if it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us, OK?”

Led Zeppelin disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, though Page, Plant and Jones reformed briefly for the US leg of Live Aid in 1985.

The band’s surviving members played their only full-length concert together at the O2 Arena in London in December 2007, at an event in memory of the music executive Ahmet Ertegun. Bonham’s son, Jason, played drums in his place.

Mr Clinton, himself a proficient jazz saxophonist, is known as the most musical of ex-presidents. In 2011, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his William J Clinton Foundation, stars including Bono and the Edge, Lady Gaga and Kenny Chesney appeared on the bill for the “Decade of Difference” concert at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Before the event, Mr Clinton released a list of his 20 favourite songs of  all time.

Though none of Led Zeppelin’s tracks appeared, Mr Clinton did  name some favourite rock and  pop acts from the same period, such as Van Morrison, Carly Simon,  Simon and Garfunkel and  Elton John.

Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman stars as the Time Lord's companion Clara in Doctor Who

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Time and time again: the popular daytime quiz has been a fixture on Channel 4 since 1982

TV
Arts and Entertainment

To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthday

books
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams is reportedly competing with Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss for a major role in True Detective

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sam Smith returned to the top spot with his album 'In The Lonely Hour'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Backshall is set to dance with Ola Jordan on Strictly Come Dancing. 'I have a friend who's a dancer and she said to me 'You want Ola because she's a fantastic dancer and she can make anyone look good' meaning 'even you'!' he said.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Sting and Paul Simon on stage together at Carnegie Hall in New York

music
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Strictly Come Dancing 2014 contestants and their professional dance partners open the twelfth run of the celebrity ballroom contest

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week