Led Zeppelin will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. If that makes you feel old, you aren’t alone. The band is timeless, however, and they will celebrate the milestone with an illustrative book. The book is in collaboration with Reel Art Press, which includes contributions from the three surviving members of the band.
The band is dropping hints about more to come in 2018, with Jimmy Page alluding to “surprises” in store with the book. The Academy of Achievement recently released a 50-minute video examining the genesis and influence of Led Zeppelin. Page said “There’ll be Led Zeppelin product coming out, for sure, that people haven’t heard, because I’m working on that. Next year will be the 50th year, so there’s all manner of surprises coming out.”
Page has indeed been hard at work. In 2015, he completed his work on remastering all of the band’s studio albums. They have now been released with bonus discs chock full of unreleased material. Page said most of the band’s outtakes have now been released, but anything leftover would probably surface in 2018.
For fans who are hoping for a reunion, Page and John Paul Jones have not commented on the possibility. The band last reunited in 2007, with Jason Bonham taking his father’s place on the drumset. Robert Plant, however, commented in October that he did not foresee a reunion. “You can’t ever really go back. It’s tough enough repeating yourself with something that’s a year old, never mind 49 years old. I’ve got to keep moving.”
The group’s last non-musical reunion was in 2016, when the band won a bizarre lawsuit which alleged that they plagiarized “Stairway to Heaven” from the instrumental song “Taurus.” The lawsuit was brought by the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit. All three members attended the entire trial.
The wild civil trial featured the plaintiff’s attorney, Francis Malofiy who one observer described as “if Cersei Lannister were to have a child with Saul Goodman, who arrived in court each day carrying a guitar-shaped briefcase. Malofiy’s strange case often found him telling stories about how the members of Spirit were with Jimi Hendrix, along with discourses about how Malofiy’s mother wouldn’t let him go to Hendrix concerts. These strange arguments didn’t have anything to do with copyright, and the jury returned a verdict for Led Zeppelin after less than one day of deliberation.
Led Zeppelin’s testimony featured plenty of fanciful facts, such as Page’s contention that one of his key inspirations for the song was from Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Cher-ee.” The song was played in the courtroom, prompting Page to grin from ear to ear. Page was all over the place during the testimony, frequently playing air guitar and air drums during playback of songs like “Stairway” and the band’s cover of Spirit’s song “Fresh Garbage.”
Despite the band’s claim to have no reunion plans, a betting man or woman might well place money on at least some sort of reunion concert.