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Led Zeppelin Starts Tour in Croatia

February 20, 1998

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) _ They have a whole lotta years on them. But Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, kicking off a new Led Zeppelin tour, are assuring Croatians they’re not too old to rock ‘n’ roll.

``We’ll be just as good, or bad, as ever,″ Page, the legendary band’s 54-year-old guitarist, told a concerned fan on a radio call-in show early Friday.

Revered by hard-rock fans for such quarter-century-old hits as ``Stairway to Heaven″ and ``Whole Lotta Love,″ Led Zeppelin is giving a Saturday night concert in Zagreb to start its second world tour since Page and Plant reunited in 1995.

The band, which with 68.8 million records sold is one of the best-selling groups of all time, broke up in 1980 with the death of drummer John Bonham.

Reconstituted version or not, Croatians snatched up 10,000 tickets for the concert at Dom Sportova sports hall soon after they went on sale.

But in the live radio interview which began at midnight Friday, the age issue was a constant theme.

``I’m very happy to see you here,″ a listener said on Zagreb’s Radio 101. But he said he saw them on TV upon their arrival, ``and I’m not so happy to see that you are so old now.″

Page and Plant, the 49-year-old vocalist, both burst into laughter.

``You mean we would do things slower?″ Page asked.

``Yeah, I’m afraid so.″

``No, we won’t, don’t worry,″ Page responded. ``We’ll try to be as fast as we can.″

What makes them popular even today?

``Maybe because ... the music that we created was not studied so desperately as a sort of contemporary music-business-fashion-oriented piece of music. It was just a very natural moment,″ Page said.

``Maybe that certain sincerity and accidental technique or gift is timeless.″

They said they plan to play a couple of songs from their new album, ``Walking Into Clarksdale,″ to be released in March or April, as well as their hits.

``It’ll be like the first concert,″ Plant said, seemingly acknowledging more concern than his partner. ``You know, we haven’t done something for a while, and we’ll need a lot of help from people.″

After Zagreb, Led Zeppelin is scheduled to give concerts in Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; Katowice, Poland; Bucharest, Romania; Sofia, Bulgaria, and Istanbul, Turkey.

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