Bill Clinton made a dramatic behind-the-scenes bid to reunite Led Zeppelin last year, but the famed rock band turned him down, according to CBS News' 60MinutesOvertime.com.
In a move that, if successful, would have earned him a spot in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, Clinton asked the rockers to appear at the "12-12-12" concert to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The show, at Madison Square Garden, raised $50 million with performances from such artists as The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Joel.
"There were two bands that we were trying desperately to recruit, one was Rolling Stones, the other was Led Zeppelin,'' David Saltzman, executive director of the charitable Robin Hood Foundation told the "60 Minutes" website.
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"[One of the concert producers] Harvey Weinstein had this great idea that we could enlist Bill Clinton to convince Led Zeppelin to reunite to perform.
"So, Harvey and I got on a plane to fly down to Washington to meet with President Clinton who was going to be seeing the members of Led Zeppelin, who were being honored at the Kennedy Center.''
Clinton, who plays saxophone and is a rock fan, was instantly intrigued by the idea.
"The president was terrific. He goes, 'I really want to do this. This would be a fantastic thing. I love Led Zeppelin,"' Saltzman said.
"And Bill Clinton himself asked Led Zeppelin to reunite. And they wouldn't do it."
Saltzman added that organizers wanted one big seminal, sing-a-long number to end the show — and turned to Paul McCartney with an idea.
"McCartney was going to close the night. And one of us said 'Hey, Jude. That's a pretty good sing-along,'" he told 60MinutesOvertime.
"And Paul said, 'No, no, no. That's too, too predictable. But you know what we should do? We should ask Alicia Keys to close with my band, and sing Empire State.'"
And that's what happened.
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