Barbara at Layla's Classic Rock blog posted tonight about the possibility of Led Zeppelin touring without Robert Plant. His heart just isn't in playing it loud anymore, but Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones sure would like to make some noise playing the old faves and why not bill it as Led Zeppelin with or without Plant? It just doesn't seem the sacrilege to me that it might have fifteen years ago. It would have bugged the heck out of me back then, but I didn't blink an eye at those "old" bands like The Four Tops, The Temptations, or any other Motown band touring with maybe only one or two of the original members in the lineup. But then I didn't feel like I was raised on their music like I was Led Zeppelin.
Anyway, Journey doesn't need Steve Perry to fill arenas and Styx doesn't require the vocals of Dennis DeYoung to play "Babe" and "Mr. Roboto" to those of us nostalgic for those hits. Yes is touring without the aid (but with the blessing) of Jon Anderson this year. Found their guy on YouTube in a Yes tribute band much like Judas Priest did when they replaced Rob Halford for a short period. I guess if I wanted to, I could even buy the new Queen album featuring Paul Rodgers at the mic.
At least with that one, it's a bit easier to bear as its own artistic endeavor because they're not merely replacing Freddie Mercury but rather moving on and making new music together. Still, I wouldn't go to that show and feel like I really and truly saw Queen in concert.
But fun is fun and I'd see all of these bands for whom introducing their singer isn't just a formality but indeed an answer to a crowd's honest query. I think I'm pretty laid back about it all. Call the band what you're legally allowed to call the band and if you play the hits then I'm happy to just roll with it and enjoy the songs. Just don't get me started on the whole Pink Floyd-Roger Waters thing. I'm holding onto stubborn and saying that Waters was right.