Exit Robert Plant, enter…

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding but the current word out of the Led Zeppelin camp is that the group (co-founders Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, as well as new drummer Jason Bonham) don’t much feel like waiting around for Robert Plant anymore and will take to the road without him.

Jones also stated that this new singer will not simply be a Plant sound-alike, in order to avoid seeming like a tribute band.  So the big question is: Who will be the one to step into Plant’s skin-tight bell bottoms?  While the safe choice would be someone with some strong pipes and a decent hard rock pedigree (but not necessarily a big name), a new contest by the good people at Popdose has given me inspiration to think outside the proverbial box.

So indulge me for a moment, while I spitball a few names that may provide just the jolt this new version of Zep needs to stay popular and relevant…

William Shatner – In addition to being the greatest living entertainer, Shatner is of course an accomplished vocalist.  I can just hear it now:  “And she’s…buying…a staiiiirway….to Heaven!”

Clay Aiken – Kinda gives a whole new meaning to “cock rock” doesn’t it?  (oh yes, I just went there.)

Rick Astley – “It’s been a long time since I’ve been Rickrolled…”

Jack White – OK, you may have picked up on the last few suggestions being somewhat less than serious, but I think White would actually be an interesting pick.  He’s got the vocal chops even though he’s not a prototypical hard rock frontman, and having a second guitarist playing Zeppelin would be pretty sweet.