What Ever Happened to Led Zeppelin?
Widely regarded as one of the greatest groups of musicians of all time and a hugely influential hard rock band, Led Zeppelin's members and lineup have changed over the years.
Robert Plant Then
As the singer and main songwriter from Led Zeppelin, Plant embodied the '70s front man bravado with perfect flair and a signature cascade of curly blond hair. Though his songwriting was a major contributing factor to the band's legendary status, he actually didn't start writing until the band started working on their second album. His personal life and his interest in myths, especially the stories of J.R.R. Tolkien, became an influence in his songs.
Robert Plant Now
Now regarded as one of the best rock singers of all time, Plant is still an active musician with a robust solo career that includes international tours. Plant still also collaborates with a number of musicians, including Alison Krauss, with whom he's appeared at major events like the Bonnaroo Festival in 2008.
Jimmy Page Then
Page had already had some success as a member of the Yardbirds when he decided to start his own band, hiring John Paul Jones, a bassist and keyboardist he'd worked with in studio, and Robert Plant, who recommended John Bonham as a drummer. After having gotten the band together in the late '60s, Page was a major creative force behind Led Zeppelin's commercial success in the '70s.
Jimmy Page Now
Guitarists across many generations often view Page as an exemplary musician in rock, or any genre, and though he swore off music after his friend and bandmate John Bonham died at his house in 1980, Page did eventually make his way back to music. His post-Led-Zeppelin career has been interesting and varied, focusing heavily on collaborations with artists such as former Yardbirds bandmate Jeff Beck and even Puff Daddy.
John Paul Jones Then
Though he primarily plays bass during Led Zeppelin's live shows, he contributes various aspects of his considerable musical talent to the band, including playing the recorder on 'Stairway to Heaven.' Though not as famous for his offstage antics as his bandmates, Jones is widely regarded as one of the more mature members of the band, thanks to his ability to pursue debauchery with discretion.
John Paul Jones Now
After Led Zeppelin disbanded, Jones went on to play with bands and solo artists such as Lenny Kravitz, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel and Paul McCartney. A multi-instrumentalist, Jones is still seen playing the bass but also records and performs on ukelele, steel lap guitar, cello, and mandolin.
Another extremely talented musician, drummer John Bonham was in many ways the literal and figurative backbone of the band, though his substance abuse problems did cause problems. His death in 1980 was a result of an alcohol overdose, and caused the band, which had been very tight knit, to break up for good. Bonham's legacy is largely one of respect and, in some limited cases, a focus on his monumental substance abuse problems.
Though Page, Plant, and Jones decided to dissolve the band rather than continue without John Bonham, his son, Jason, plays his father's drum parts on the few occasions when the remaining three original members have played live in public since their 1980 breakup. Jason is a drummer in his own right, playing with bands such as Virginia Wolf, Foreigner, and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience.
Page and Plant
The two most famous members of the band, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, collaborate a little bit since Led Zeppelin disbanded, but nothing serious. In 2014, Page said something vaguely supportive of a reunion tour, but Plant quickly shot that idea down, essentially saying that he thought Page was just desperate for attention.
Led Zep in the 21st Century
Though Led Zep reunions are usually an impossibility, the band's remaining members, plus Jason Bonham, have reunited just a few times in recent years. Their only full-length concert reunion came in 2007, when Plant, Page, Jones, and Jason Bonham played London's O2 arena during a tribute concert for music executive Ahmet Ertegun.