MusicRadar vs the BBC on the demise of Led Zeppelin

'Zep-gate': a timeline of critical events

Led Zeppelin

It was only yesterday that, according to BBC 6Music, Led Zeppelin were going to tour and record again. Today, however, they're not. We know this because Jimmy Page's manager Peter Mensch told us.

So how did such a contradiction come about? Allow us to show you via a timeline of every critical, crucial and some minor events leading up to what someone just labelled as "Zep-gate." Or "Led-fence", perhaps…

7 January 2009

9:00am GMT
The MusicRadar office – despite Arctic commuting conditions - opens for business as usual.

An interview with Jimmy Page's manager Peter Mensch pops up on BBC 6Music. Apparently Led Zeppelin will tour and record a new album without original frontman Robert Plant.

Someone with an eager eye notices that the article in question was published on 7 January 2008. This fact is dismissed as irrelevant. Perhaps the millennium bug is finally catching up with the BBC's web operations.

Our man in New Jersey, Joe Bosso, puts in a call to Led Zep's people. He wants a word with Peter Mensch. A Plantless Led Zep is, after all, big news.

The news spreads like wildfire, with the NME, MTV and Rolling Stone (to name but a few) quoting the BBC interview.

Joe Bosso finally makes it through a barrage of ice-tongued receptionists to the offices of Peter Mensch. The conversation went something like this:

JB: "Hey Pete, nice interview with the BBC, who's replacing Robert Plant, then?"
PM: "What interview? I haven't spoke to those guys for like four months or something."
JB: "So Led Zeppelin are not going to tour and record?"
PM: "No chance."


Realisation hits that the BBC – and everything else on the interweb – has been quoting old news. Perhaps the previously dismissed and ridiculous 'millennium bug' theory was, in fact, not so ridiculous. Or perhaps it was a slow news day and that four-month-old 'I'll-get-around-to-writing-it-up-later' interview with Peter Mensch suddenly seemed like a good idea.

The real story is posted on MusicRadar: "Led Zeppelin are over."

8 January 2009

Norwegian newspapers, New York City's 'premier rock station' Q104.3, Kerrang! Radio and Rolling Stone discover the contradiction.

The BBC and NME are contacted with the updated news. The NME removes the old article from the homepage. The BBC agrees to check its facts.

Still no retraction from the BBC.

9 January 2009

Overnight, the rest of the internet is, quite rightly, rather confused. MusicRadar's exclusive hits the mainstream including The Guardian, LA Times, Teletext's Planet Sound, XFM, Undercover News, Blabbermouth, Gibson and Idolator, to name but a few.

The NME adds a brand new story, acknowledging the latest interview on MusicRadar.

Still no retraction from the BBC.

MTV see the light.


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