Led Zeppelin legends reunite

The three surviving members of the hard-rocking British band will play together for the first time in 19 years in tribute to Ahmet Ertegun, the late founder of the Atlantic Records label, who signed the group in 1968.


VIDEO: Benefit concert

The rock giants split in 1980 following the death of drummer John Bonham, who famously choked on his own vomit following a drinking binge.

Singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones, with Bonham's son Jason on drums, will headline the gig.

"During the Zeppelin years, Ahmet Ertegun was a major foundation of solidarity and accord," said Plant, 59.

"For us he was Atlantic Records and remained a close friend and conspirator – this performance stands alone as our tribute to the work and the life of our long-standing friend."

Other greats to join

The Who's Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, rock band Foreigner and Paolo Nutini will also play at the concert, a tribute from British artists who worked with Istanbul-born Ertegun.

He founded Atlantic Records in 1947 and died last year at the age of 83.

The 125-pound ($AU301) tickets are certain to be hotly sought and will be distributed by ballot.

It seemed "the fairest way to do it," said promoter Harvey Goldsmith.

"I have the feeling this is going to be the largest demand for a one show in the world."

Page and Plant reunited in 1994 for an album and world tour – leaving out Jones, much to his annoyance.

Since Bonham's death, the remaining three have got together only twice before, to play the 1985 Live Aid concert in Philadelphia and the Atlantic Records anniversary gig in 1988, with Jason Bonham on drums.

Proceeds to go to charity

Led Zeppelin has sold more than 300 million albums worldwide and in 1995 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The band were not keen on releasing singles, but their best-known songs include "Stairway to Heaven", "Kashmir", "Whole Lotta Love", "Rock 'n' Roll", "Nobody's Fault but Mine" and "Communication Breakdown".

Mr Ertegun's widow Mica said: "He would be very proud that Led Zeppelin have chosen to re-unite and headline a benefit concert in his name featuring so many of his friends."

Profits go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which pays for student university scholarships.

Mr Ertegun signed the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, The Drifters and Solomon Burke, before moving into rock with artists like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Cream and Genesis.