Ed Miles/Nonesuch RecordsLed Zeppelin was offered a whole lotta loot to play a series of reunion shows, but Robert Plant reportedly tore up the contract in front of the promoters.

According to U.K. tabloid The Mirror, British business mogul Richard Branson was going to pay the rock legends 500 million pounds — about $800 million — to re-form for 35 concerts in three different cities, and all of the band’s members quickly agreed — except for Plant.

A source close to Led Zeppelin told the newspaper that signing the contract “was a no-brainer” for Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham, “but Robert asked for 48 hours to think about it. When he said no and ripped up the paperwork he had been given, there was an enormous sense of shock. There is no way they can go ahead without him.”

The source also said that Plant’s band mates “have tried to talk him round but there is no chance…His mind is made up and that’s that.”

The paper reports that proposed shows were to have been held in New Jersey, Berlin and at London’s O2 Arena, the same venue that hosted Led Zeppelin’s last reunion concert, in December 2007. Branson, the founder of Virgin Airlines, is said to have planned to re-brand one of the company’s jumbo jets “The Starship” and use it to fly the band to the shows. During its 1970s heyday, Led Zeppelin had its own plane with the same moniker.

The source told The Mirror that Branson, who’s a huge fan of the band, “tried to pull out all of the stops. But even his money was not enough to get Plant to sign up. He is gutted.”

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