In an interview with Rolling Stone, legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page revealed why the band broke up in 1980 after the death of John Bonham at age 32 and haven’t regrouped for more than one-off performances.
According to Page, “Led Zeppelin wasn’t a corporate entity. Led Zeppelin was an affair of the heart. Each of the members was important to the sum total of what we were. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn’t there, the others would have made the same decision. And what were we going to do? Create a role for somebody, say, ‘You have to do this, this way?’ That wouldn’t be honest.”
“There were attempts at reunion that didn’t work — trying to push it together in a hurry. That’s why the reunion show had to be done with such intent — rehearsing as much as we could so [Jason, John’s son] felt he was part of the band as opposed to a novelty. He was filling big shoes, and we needed all of that.”
The band had one-off reunion performances in 1985, 1988, 1995, and 2007. When frontman Robert Plant opted out of a full fledge reunion tour with Jason Bonham in 2009, Page, bassist John Paul Jones, and Bonham were reportedly courting Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy alongside other vocalists like Steven Tyler.
“It wasn’t just Robert going, ‘I don’t want to do it,’ there were other things going on. He told me, ‘It doesn’t matter how great you are on the drums, Jason. I love you to bits, and you play absolutely amazing. But John was the drummer in Led Zeppelin, and John was part of me and Jimmy and John Paul. We shared something very, very special. I struggle sometimes just thinking about trying to create some magic again when he’s not there. He was a very, very dear friend of mine, that I miss every day.'”