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Led Zeppelin lost a key piece of the original lineup when drummer John Bonham died in 1980. Singer Robert Plant came to admire and then miss Bonham’s antagonistic attitude. Aside from a couple of one-off shows and two Plant-Jimmy Page collaborations, Zep laid dormant for nearly two decades. Still, the band considered regrouping in 2008 without Plant. The singer tapped to replace him gave the self-professed “dumbest answer of all time” when Page and John Paul Jones asked him a simple question.

Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page (left) in 1975; Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy. Kennedy gave 'the dumbest answer' when Jones and Page asked if he'd like to form a band.
(l-r) John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page; Myles Kennedy | Lester Cohen/Getty Images; Didier Messens/Redferns

Led Zeppelin entertained the idea of reforming, but their first attempt crashed and burned

Page once said there was no way to replace Bonham in Led Zeppelin, which was why the band broke up. Still, nearly five years after they disbanded, Page, Plant, and bassist John Paul Jones reassembled to play at Live Aid in 1985.

It did not go well. A lack of rehearsal time, poor sound on the PA, and two drummers unable to handle Bonham’s parts made the show a disaster.

Jones roped in Page and Plant for rehearsals in early 1986. That hoped-for Led Zeppelin reunion crashed before it took off.

The trio eventually enlisted Jason Bonham, John’s son, to play a one-off show in 1988. They did it again in 2007 with fine results. Plant rejected the idea of a Led Zeppelin reunion in 2008, and a singer asked to replace him gave what he called the “dumbest answer of all time.”

Myles Kennedy gave the ‘dumbest answer’ when asked to sing with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones

It took nearly 30 years, but Led Zeppelin’s surviving members finally reunited to play a show that lived up to their standards. The 2007 concert in London whetted fans’ appetite for a full-fledged reunion, but that show remains the last time Page and Plant played together.

Still, Page, Jones, and Jason Bonham started tinkering with a new project in 2008. With no Plant, they needed a singer. One of the options they considered was Alter Bridge frontman Myles Kennedy.

Bonham reached out to Kennedy. He jammed with the trio in a London studio in June 2008. Jones and Page then took Kennedy to the train station after the session, which was when the singer gave the dumbest answer of all time (per Louder):

The show that had Led Zeppelin thinking about a reunion

“On the drive, Jimmy and John Paul told me what they were considering. It was a new project, it wasn’t going to be Led Zeppelin, and would I be interested in perhaps singing with them? My answer — and this is the dumbest answer of all time — was, ‘Well, yeah, you guys are pretty much the s—.’ I cannot believe I said that.”

Myles Kennedy

Kennedy’s nervous dumb answer makes sense. Few people meet their heroes, let alone come close to working with them. Jones and Page didn’t think any less of him, though, as they brought Kennedy back for an extended rehearsal stint in September 2008.

In the end, however, the new project, just like the post-Live Aid Led Zeppelin reunion, never got off the ground.

Page and Jones played together again in 2008


Jimmy Page Had a Plan on ‘Led Zeppelin I’, and the Plan Succeeded in More Than 1 Way

The Led Zeppelin-like reunion with Kennedy taking Plant’s place never happened, and a Jones-Page-Plant return seems less and less likely as time goes on.

But Led Zeppelin’s guitarist and bassist shared the stage again in 2008. They joined Foo Fighters when they performed at Wembley Stadium and played “Rock and Roll” and “Ramble On.”

Foos frontman Dave Grohl played drums while Taylor Hawkins sang “Rock and Roll,” and they switched places for “Ramble On.”

Myles Kennedy’s “dumbest answer of all time” didn’t put the kibosh on the 2008 Led Zeppelin-style reunion; it fizzled out on its own. Several thousand lucky fans saw the next best thing when Page and Jones jammed with the Foo Fighters.

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