Chris Cornell surprised at Led Zeppelin rumors

He looks surprised, doesn't he?
He looks surprised, doesn't he?

Former Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell says he's surprised at the rumors that he's been asked to fill in for Robert Plant on a proposed Led Zeppelin reunion tour.

"I have not been approached so far to fill in for Robert Plant on the upcoming Zeppelin tour, but that isn't to say I won't be," Cornell told MTV."I've heard that from about 200 people now, and it might be one of those situations where it's just an online rumor or it might be true. But if you see anyone from Led Zeppelin around, let me know. I think I should actually fill in for Jimmy Page on the Robert Plant/ Alison Krauss tour." (Can you say, "Huh?")

In what is becoming a mixture of rumor and truth, Cornell is one of several singers that have been floated - along with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar, the White Stripes' Jack White and Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy - as a potential Plant fill-in.

"If you see anyone from Led Zeppelin around, let me know" - Chris Cornell

Plant has already said that he wouldn't take part in the 2009 tour which would feature original guitarist Jimmy Page, original bassist John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham taking over on drums for his late father, John Bonham.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio, John Paul Jones said that a new singer was definitely being sought to take over for Plant. "We are trying out a couple of singers," he said. "We want to do it. It's sounding great, and we want to get on and get out there."

Band isn't seeking a Plant clone

However, Jones insisted that a Plant clone is the last thing the band is interested in. "It's got to be right," he said. "There's no point in just finding another Robert. You could get that out of a tribute band, but we don't want to be our own tribute band. There would be a record and a tour, but everyone has to be onboard."

Regardless of whether Chris Cornell receives that 3 am Led Zep phone call, he might have too much on his plate to sing with the band: His upcoming Timbaland-produced solo album, Scream, will be released soon, and he plans on touring to promote it.

Even so, like the man said, should you happen to see a member of Led Zeppelin around, let him know.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.