LONDON (Reuters) - British rockers Led Zeppelin are looking at the possibility of touring and recording without frontman Robert Plant, who has resisted pressure to reunite with his former bandmates, the BBC reported.
The band, which sold an estimated 300 million albums and is considered one of the most influential in rock music, briefly regrouped for a one-off charity concert in London in December, 2007, leading to calls from fans for a full reunion tour.
Guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist/instrumentalist John Paul Jones are both understood to be keen to return to the stage, as is drummer Jason Bonham, the son of original member John who died in 1980, reportedly after a bout of heavy drinking.
But Plant, who has forged the most successful solo career of the surviving band members, has always appeared reluctant and last month issued a terse statement confirming his intentions. "Contrary to a spate of recent reports, Robert Plant will not be touring or recording with Led Zeppelin," he said.
Jones told the BBC's Radio Devon that the band had already tried out possible replacements for Plant.
"We want to do it. It's sounding great and we want to get on and get out there," he said at a guitar show in Exeter, southwest England.
"It's got to be right. 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," he added.
Jones said Led Zeppelin, which broke up in 1980, planned a tour and a new record.
Other big pop acts have re-formed with new performers brought in, most notably Queen which has been working with Paul Rodgers on lead vocals in recent years replacing Freddie Mercury who died in 1991.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato