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The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin are reuniting next month for their first full concert since disbanding 27 years ago.

What everyone wants to know, though, is this a precursor to a world concert tour? Or a new CD of original material? Or both?

Neither guitarist Jimmy Page nor bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones ruled out anything Tuesday, in separate telephone interviews with Sun Media.

Page, Jones, singer Robert Plant and drummer Jason Bonham, son of the fourth member of Zeppelin, John Bonham, who died in 1980, are playing a two-hour set Nov. 26 at the 02 Arena in London, England, as part of a tribute concert in aid of the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund. Ertegun was the forward-thinking Atlantic Records executive who signed Zeppelin to a record deal in 1968.

So is this show actually a, well, trial Zeppelin for a full-blown reunification?

"Basically, we are concentrating on this show," Jones, 61, said. "That's where all the energy is going. I mean, who knows, but one step at a time."

Page, 63, was much more circuitous in answering the tour question. He said that all three surviving band members, as well as Jason Bonham when he tours with Foreigner, always play Zep material whenever they perform live.

"So you've got the four individual members playing Led Zeppelin in four different capacities," Page said. "When they unite, you've got the key members. You can't play it any better, as they're the people who actually played it and wrote it in the first place ... (The Nov. 26 concert) is what we're working toward. At the moment, we're still on our way toward that, although we feel very confident about it. That's what we have on our horizon at this point. I know you want to hear other answers, but I'm afraid that's all I can give you."

Page, though, was less vague as to the prospects of new material from the new Zeppelin lineup.

"Look, I'd be really surprised if there wasn't. you know, I mean I just know the way we are," the riffmaster said. "We're musicians. It's a good observation, and very true, that as we're playing we'll probably be coming up with all manner of things. And that will be fun. And that's part of being musicians on a collective scale. I mean, that's what it's all about. But as far as it going any further, I don't know. Let's do the 02 show, shall we? And then we'll speak to you afterwards.

It was at a jam session back in June, yes, those reports back then were accurate after all, that the four musicians gathered to see if they could make a go of it.

"We had a very, very secret tryout in June, just to see if a) it was possible, and b) if anyone wanted to do it, to see if the will was there," Jones said. "And it was pretty exciting, I have to tell you. We made all the musical cues, and we were pretty hot."

Page said it was the crucial moment.

"The hardest step, or the most tentative step, was to actually be able to get together, the four of us, in a rehearsal room to actually play with the instruments, to kick it over, and just fire up that machine, play the music, and keep The Whole damn thing under wraps. Which can be kind of tricky, because the minute anyone even sees two of you together on the street, there's stories of reunions or tours. And there has been for (decades). So this was the trickiest part of The Whole operation.

"(Then it was) really hoping that for each of us, individually, that it was going to be a really, really good experience. And if it wasn't, then we'd all shake hands and nobody would hear about it ... As it was, we did manage to pull it off, and we didn't have to shake hands and say, ‘Well, at least we sort of know that it might not be a good idea.' It was quite the opposite. It was really exhilarating, it was really thrilling to be playing together again."

New Zeppelin reissues will soon hit stores: a two-disc best-of CD titled Mothership (Nov. 13), and bolstered CD and DVD reissues of their 1976 film The Song Remains The Same (Nov. 20). This week, the band also announced that its entire catalogue will be available for full-album or singe-track download on Nov. 13, and that ringtones and wallpapers through Telus are available now.


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