Led Zeppelin to reform for tribute to Atlantic founder

ROCKERS Led Zeppelin yesterday announced a one-off comeback gig in memory of “a giant of music”.

The band will perform for the first time in 19 years in tribute to the late founder of Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun, who signed the band in 1968.

Three of the group’s four original members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones — will headline the November 26 concert at London’s O2 arena with late drummer John Bonham’s son Jason on drums.

The Who’s Pete Townshend, Bill Wyman and the Rhythm Kings, rock band Foreigner and 20-year-old Scottish star Paolo Nutini will also play on the tribute night.

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

“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 longstanding friend.”

Nutini was the final British artist that Istanbul-born Ertegun, who founded Atlantic Records in 1947, mentored before he died last year at the age of 83.

His label signed names like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and The Drifters, and Ertegun became a mentor to some of the biggest names in music.

He made his first move into rock in 1968 when he signed Led Zeppelin, followed by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Cream and Genesis.

Tickets to see Led Zeppelin play will cost £125 (€183), and fans will have to enter a ballot with the winning names chosen at random.

Profits from the show will go to the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund, which pays for student scholarships to universities in the UK, US and Turkey. It will also be used to establish a music scholarship at Ravens-bourne College in Kent.

Led Zeppelin split when Bonham died in 1980 after a drinking binge.

Led Zeppelin have sold more than 300 million albums and in 1995 were inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame.

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