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Zeppelin Takes Flight Once More A.K.A. THE REUNION

Hard rock giant Led Zeppelin is reforming, but for one night only.

The British band will play a one-off show at London's 22,000-capacity O2 arena Nov. 26.

The O2 show is a tribute to Atlantic Records co-founder and chairman emeritus Ahmet Ertegun, who died Dec. 14 2006, aged 83. Led Zeppelin's heavyweight manager, the late Peter Grant, signed the band to Ertegun's Atlantic in November 1968.

The Who's Pete Townshend, former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Foreigner and Paolo Nutini will also perform on the night. Profits will benefit the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which provides scholarships to universities in the United States, United Kingdom and Ertegun's homeland, Turkey.

Tickets costing £125 ($254) will be allocated on a lottery basis through the http://www.ahmettribute.com/ web site.

The O2 show was first tipped in Billboard's Aug. 4 issue, but industry sources acknowledge standing offers have been on the table for a Led Zeppelin tour for more than a decade.

Confirmation of the date, putting an end to several months of speculation, came at a press conference at the O2 today. The three surviving members of the band, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones confirmed they are to reunite onstage for the third time in 27 years. The drummer for the evening will be Jason Bonham, son of the band's original drummer John Bonham, who died from a heart attack in 1980.

The show will follow the release of a new Atlantic/Rhino two-disc, 24-track best-of set, Mothership, in the United States on Nov. 13 in the United States.

The original band split shortly after Bonham's death. Page, Plant and Jones initially reformed with Genesis' Phil Collins and Chic/Power Station sticksman Tony Thompson sharing drum duties, for a performance at Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985. And in May 1988, Jason Bonham joined the three originals for another "one-off" reunion at an Atlantic Records 40th-anniversary concert in New York City.

Post-Zeppelin, Plant has released a string of solo albums, while Page has collaborated with other vocalists, including David Coverdale (Deep Purple, Whitesnake) and Paul Rogers (Free, Bad Company) and also scored two of the successful Death Wish action movie franchise in the early 1980s. The pair re-united in 1994 for an MTV special, toured globally and released the live set No Quarter (Mercury, 1994). Jones has released two solo albums, although his post-Zeppelin work has largely concentrated on production and arranging.

Led Zeppelin was assembled in 1968 by Page, who at that time, was one of the United Kingdom's most in-demand session guitarists and a member of successful but newly-folded British Invasion act the Yardbirds. The latter act had been managed by former wrestler Grant. Page recruited the other three members initially as the New Yardbirds, but the band swiftly adopted the Led Zeppelin moniker.

Zeppelin was an immediate success, particularly in the United States, where its 10 albums, including the live film soundtrack The Song Remains The Same and the posthumous out-takes collection Coda all made the Top 10 of the Billboard 200. Industry sources suggest the band's total sales to date exceed 300 million albums. The act was also a huge live draw throughout the 1970s, equally famed for its lengthy, much-bootlegged, live sets and a reputation for off-stage excess.

Led Zeppelin formed its own Warner-distributed label, Swansong in 1974, signing Scottish Blues-rock vocalist Maggie Bell and 1960s survivors the Pretty Things. Its own first release on the label was the 1976 double set "Physical Graffiti," a Billboard chart-topper.
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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