LED ZEPPELIN: Meet The Man Who Nearly Became Their Lead Singer
Turned Down The Chance Of A Lifetime
Imagine a world where golden god Robert Plant isn’t the lead singer of Led Zeppelin; difficult, yes, but at one point in time that was very nearly the case! When The Yardbirds officially disbanded, Jimmy Page was in the process of putting together another band – then tentatively called The New Yardbirds – when he developed a keen interest in Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers guitarist Terry Reid for his new lineup.
Reid, whose singing ability was widely praised and whose resume boasted opening for The Rolling Stones at only 16 and later working with The Hollies and CSNY’s Graham Nash, was tapped by Page to sing for The New Yardbirds but in a move he’d later come to regret, turned down the offer in favor of touring as Cream’s opening act and instead suggested Birmingham based singer Robert Plant for the job.
“Terry was probably the best singer of that period.”
– Robert Plant
This wouldn’t be the first time Reid turned down the opportunity to work with a band that would later become inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame: a year after turning down Jimmy Page’s job offer, Terry declined an invitation to replace Deep Purple singer Rod Evans, giving way for Ian Gillan to step into the spotlight. These days, Terry is working with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry on his latest solo effort and rubbing elbows with Johnny Depp – will this be the career move he’s been waiting half a century for? Time will only tell, but in the meantime, see what he’s been working on in the footage below!