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19 ноя 2014|
RICHARD BRANSON: ''There Is Absolutely No Truth To' LED ZEPPELIN Reunion Rumors
Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson says that "there is absolutely no truth to the story" that he had offered LED ZEPPELIN's surviving members nearly $800 million to reunite, only for singer Robert Plant to tear up the offer in Branson's face.
According to the original report published by the UK tabloid newspaper The Mirror, Branson, a die-hard fan of the band, pitched Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Jason Bonham the record-breaking offer in exchange for 35 dates in three cities: London, England (at the O2); Berlin, Germany; and New Jersey, USA. In addition to the initial shows — which would net the band $397 million — ZEPPELIN was offered an additional $111 million by Branson for the merchandise for the tour and an option to play 45 additional shows at five separate venues. The lion's share of the money would have been earned by the founding members, with Jason Bonham — son of the late John Bonham — being paid a fee for each show.
Branson, reportedly was prepared to "re-brand" one of his jumbo gets "The Starship" for the band's personal use on the tour, with the back row of the jet's seats being sold as "special LED ZEPPELIN" seats four nearly $160,000 each.
Branson took to his personal blog to deny that any such offer had been presented. He wrote: "I've been left dazed and confused by a story doing the rounds this week about us apparently offering LED ZEPPELIN £500 million to reform and carry out a tour. As much as I love the band, there is absolutely no truth to the story. There were even claims that Virgin Atlantic was about to rename one of our planes and include a stairway to heaven in honour of the band. However nice an idea, this is also completely untrue.
"After a week of seeing worryingly inaccurate reports in various publications regarding Virgin, it was sad but not particularly surprising to see yet another fabricated story.
"I spoke to Robert Plant about the story, which he also confirmed is complete rubbish from his side too. Robert told me he is very proud of his history and the band's past, and has always had great respect and love for his work throughout his career. However, he really believes he must move on with his life and career today.
"Making up this story is very disrespectful to how wonderful his solo career with the SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS is going. He is setting out on a sold-out tour today and they released a brilliant album last year. Fellow band members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones also have many exciting projects in the works and should be respected in their own right.
"I'm proud of how so many artists from my generation, whether it is LED ZEPPELIN, Mike Oldfield or Peter Gabriel, are still being so creative and inventive. They have all moved on into exciting new phases, while still celebrating their incredible pasts.
"As Robert told me: 'Look, Richard, I just do things because I love them and I want to do more new things that I love.' I couldn't agree more."
A spokesman for Plant issued a separate statement denying that any dialog between Branson and LED ZEPPELIN had taken place. The statement read: "Robert Plant has not been in receipt of any offers in recent months with any organization or promoters regarding future LED ZEP live shows. Robert Plant has neither met or communicated with Richard Branson in the last 50 years, so it was with great surprise to see this reported in the press."
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