He can't be supplanted
Sad news, guys.
Led Zeppelin broke up.
In fact, they broke up 34 years ago, on Dec 4, 1980.
The English rock band rampaged through the 70s like mad Noldorin elves on a quest for jewel-fire before finally calling it quits following the death of their beloved drummer John Bonham.
They have performed together only a handful of times since then.
Unlike Queen, The Eagles and a bunch of other heritage acts you could name, Led Zeppelin didn't try to capitalise on past glories.
While guitarist Jimmy Page (below) - who was recently named GQ magazine's Rock God Of The Year - clings to his memories of Zeppelin and aches to re-establish the band and get back on tour, lead singer Robert Plant will have none of it.
The trouble for Page is, what man could possibly replace Plant? No man, is the answer. Then how about a woman?
In a recent interview, Ann Wilson of US rock band Heart said she would be willing to step in for the erstwhile Plant, if Page ever wanted to take Led Zeppelin on tour.
Indeed, she delivered a blistering rendition of Stairway To Heaven a couple of years back, at The Kennedy Centre Honours, a prestigious awards ceremony.
The performance brought a tear to Plant's eye. Given all that, she's still not the answer.
Led Zeppelin would not be Led Zeppelin without Plant.
Just like Queen isn't Queen without Freddie Mercury. Just Like Guns N' Roses isn't Guns N' Roses without Slash.
One of the most fascinating things about rock, pop and rap music is how the songs can't really be transferred effectively from one artist to another.
The original performance from the original artist is THE definitive version.
These tunes contain some mysterious aural alchemy that simply can't be replicated.
Classical music is the opposite - if you can read the sheet music, and if you've got the chops, you can reproduce what Bach or Beethoven did.
No one but Led Zeppelin can do what Led Zeppelin did.
The formula for rock is so simple (verse-chorus, verse-chorus) that all the songs have basically the same overall structure.
What sets one tune apart from the next aren't the straightforward chord progressions or simple melodies, but the unique textures of the sounds.
The thing that defines a rock song is the ineffable atmosphere created by the fusion of distinct musical personalities.
There are few more distinct than Robert Plant. Take him out of the Zeppelin equation, and you're left with a cheap imitation.
Anyway, there's really no point in Led Zeppelin getting back together.
Their music lives on through their superlative albums, re-mastered versions of which have been released over the past few months.
Unlike the work of many of their contemporaries, these albums remain pristine and unsullied.
They haven't been degraded by years of overuse.
Can the same be said of the U2 catalogue?
If Zeppelin kept touring and creating new music, all their treasures would be buried under mountains of crap.
Just ask fans of The Rolling Stones.
I admire the way Plant climbed onto his swan ship and sailed into The West.
It's dignified. It's beautiful.
As a recent convert to Led Zeppelin, I'm grateful I wasn't sick of them before I even got around to loving them.