Steven Tyler turned down offer to replace Robert Plant after auditioning for Led Zeppelin
“Was I gonna be in Jimmy’s band? No. But what an honour.”
Steven Tyler Image: Joe Scarnici/Getty.
Led Zeppelin Image: Chris Walter/Getty
Steven Tyler has recalled what it was like to audition to become Led Zeppelin’s new vocalist and explained why he ultimately turned down the role.
In an interview with Classic Rock, Steven Tyler describes how he declined the offer to replace Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin due to the emphasis he wanted to place on his pre-existing projects.
The event, Tyler recalls, happened during the summer of 2008, just a year after the band’s one-off reunion for 2007’s Celebration Day concert at London’s O2 Arena.
With both John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page wanting to reform for more live performances following the event, Robert Plant refused, stating he wanted to focus on his solo projects; it was here when Steven Tyler recalls auditioning for the role.
“I went over and played with Jimmy. It wasn’t an audition to be in Zeppelin, it was an audition to play with Zeppelin. We were gonna do a couple of stadiums. And then while I was there, Jimmy spoke to me about maybe doing an album,” Tyler states. “I went home and thought about it for a couple of days, and I got back to him and said: ‘Look, Jimmy, you’re in an iconic band and so am I. I can’t, in good faith, leave my band and be in your band.’”
He recalls the event further, stating how the two initially began playing together purely as a hobby but were considering taking it one step further following the great relationship they formed:
“We played all day for a week. It started out with: ‘Jimmy, you have no idea how grateful I am to have the chance to come over and jam with you guys.’ And he goes: ‘Well, maybe we can play some shows together.’ And I said: ‘Stop right there. I’m playing in a band with John Paul Jones?’” the Aerosmith frontman explains. “They let me sing every song I wanted – Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven. But it was just a week. Jimmy asked me to do some stuff with him [but] I figured in the time it would take to do that, I could rally my own band together. So, was I gonna be in Jimmy’s band? No. But what an honour.”
Find the full interview on Classic Rock’s website.