The three surviving members of Led Zeppelin regrouped in London today for a press conference to mark the launch of “Celebration Day,” the upcoming film of the band’s 2007 one-off reunion concert at the 02 Arena here.
“Celebration Day” will premiere in London, New York, Los Angeles and other major cities ahead of a worldwide theatrical release by Omniverse Vision on 1,500 screens in more than 40 territories Oct. 17. Swan Song/Atlantic will then release the concert on DVD, CD, Blu-ray, vinyl and digitally Nov. 19.
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones were in jovial form at the event, which followed a media screening of the two-hour concert movie, directed by Dick Carruthers. But they sidestepped any and all questions from the floor that made reference to future reunions, apart from one moment near the end of the conference, when Plant answered the shouted question “Will you do it again?” by simply saying: “With you?”
“We don’t see each other too often,” Plant said earlier, “but we’ve just spent about an hour together…and no sooner we start talking, than some little innuendo creeps in. It’s just what happens when you’ve spent a lot of time together.”
Responding to a question about why it has taken five years for the concert film to be released, Jones got one of the biggest laughs of the occasion by saying drily: “Five years is like five minutes in Zeppelin time. I’m surprised we got it out so quickly.”
Page described the contribution of drummer Jason Bonham, who took the place of his late father John at the concert, as “monumental, from the very first rehearsal right through to the 02.” “We’d played with him before, at his wedding,” added Plant. “Sadly, he decided to go to bed during the reception, and because I was a friend of the family from way back, I was the one that had to go up to his room and get him to get out of bed. Then he played with us.”
The film is a faithful, sequential record of the show, which took place in memory of Zeppelin’s mentor and Atlantic Records supremo Ahmet Ertegin. It has few special effects beyond effective use of multiple camera angles, and no speech except for what was said on stage on the night. Carruthers placed some Super 8 cameras in the crowd to add an occasional “bootleg” feel, as he put it, “and no cranes.”
November’s release of “Celebration Day” will be as a 1 DVD/2 CD set, also available in Blu-Ray; deluxe 2 DVD/2 CD and 1 Bluray/1 DVD/2-CD editions which add film of the band’s rehearsals for the gig at Shepperton and BBC news footage; a music-only 2 CD set; a music-only Blu-ray in two high-resolution formats; a 3-LP vinyl version; and in digital from all digital retailers.
Before the screening, Carruthers told the assembled media that the film was something of a “well-kept secret” for a year and a half, and that the decision to release it came “only several years later” after the much