First this, from a Google alert at 4.42 AM my time:
Plant-less Zep to tour and record:
Peter Mensch, Led Zeppelin’s manager, has said that Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham are likely to record and tour with a new singer. Mensch told the BBC’s 6music,“People don’t really understand it. Jimmy Page has been playing guitar professionally since he was 16 years old. Jimmy Page likes being a musician. That’s what he does! He doesn’t want to be a race car driver or a solicitor. “They decided that if they could find a singer that they thought would fit their bill – whatever their bill was at this stage in their career – that they’d make a record and go on tour… That’s what Jimmy Page does”.
“I can’t comment on any rumours right now,” said the manager, “It’s gonna be a long and difficult process. And we’re not soliciting people! So don’t call me about it!”
There was an associated podcast from Mensch, here. (Plays sound.)
Then mid-afternoon, I was told about this, also dated today:
Led Zeppelin are over, says Jimmy Page's Manager.
MusicRadar spoke exclusively with Peter Mensch, Jimmy Page's manager, who stated categorically, "Led Zeppelin are over! If you didn't see them in 2007, you missed them. It's done. I can't be any clearer than that." There are absolutely no plans for them to continue. Zero. Frankly, I wish everybody would stop talking about it."
"They tried out a few singers, but no one worked out," says Mensch. "That was it. The whole thing is completely over now. There are absolutely no plans for them to continue. Zero. Frankly, I wish everybody would stop talking about it."
When asked what new projects Jimmy Page was going to be involved with in 2009, Mensch said, "Fuck if I know. I'm waiting to hear."
We have three theories. (By 'we' I mean teh intarwebs):
1. Music Radar made it up.
2. Mensch was talking about "Led Zeppelin" - and we all know already that Jimmy Page is not planning to tour as "Led Zeppelin", so it has no bearing at all on the earlier reports.
3. Mensch gave an interview in good faith to BBC6, was phoned up and bollocked mightily by a pissed off Jimmy Page, and so when he was contacted by Music Radar he blew his stack and uttered imprecations.
Your guess is as good as mine. More info at the indomitable Steve "The Lemon" Sauer website.