Led Zeppelin first formed in 1968 and have sold an estimated 300 million albums worldwide, making the band the fourth best selling band of all time! Jason Bonham, the son of the late John Bonham who happened to play drums for one of the greatest bands ever created is headed to Australia as part of The Led Zeppelin Experience.
There was of course the legendary Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and John Paul Jones, but the one in the background and the quiet achiever was John Bonham who belted it out on the drums and was hailed as he greatest drummer of all time.
Joining Led Zeppelin after Robert Page saw Bonham play at a club he knew he was the perfect choice for the band. Sadly Bonham passed away at the age of 32 years leaving a legacy, a statement and of course the title of being the greatest drummer of all time.
I was fortunate to talk to Jason Bonham ahead of his Australian Tour
How did the idea of bring the Led zeppelin experience coming to Australia come about?
Ive been to Australia a couple of times but only played there once. I was there in 2006 with Foreigner; we did two shows … Melbourne and Sydney. I was back there again for the Australian Open to watch the tennis and visited some friends on the Gold Coast and Sydney. It was the first time my wife had been there. Now we have the chance to come down and play Zeppelin. Everyone kept asking, when are you going to come down and play? I kept saying, when somebody asks me! It was through social media, somebody asked me on Facebook and said they had an offer for me. I looked into it and he didn’t seem to be a lunatic, it all seemed legit so I’m pleased to be finally coming.”
Carrying on the legacy of his father , Jason first picked up a set of drumsticks at the age of four and playing on a scaled down drum kit.
“ I was so young when I started to play, it was more of an attention seeking way of getting my fathers attention to play or getting any form of attention from anybody by banging the drums. I’ve watched the videos which appear in the show, it was in the movie and I never knew what I was playing in the end, only now when my mum sent me the footage, so the stud that we put in the show is stuff we have never heard, you would see the images, but you never knew what we were actually playing. Using it as a way to get a day off school, Dad would come and wake me up and I would get up and come and play the drums for his friends and I would say ill do it but can I have a day off school tomorrow, Dad would say yeah that’s fine come and play! He was very proud of his kids.”
Being around such influential musicians, who created their own success by producing some of the greatest songs still listened t today what could you learn of them?
“Its take a long time to realise it, but what I learnt was that everyone had a place in that band, it wasn’t just about playing at the same time, there was a moving that engine ran, no matter who played drums whether it was me or someone else, it was a living breathing thing when those four gentleman played together uniquely, and in there short time together they managed to do the most amazing creating and writing. Even though my father didn’t write as much as the others, the songs that he played on were some of the biggest of all time, there was Cashmere and a Whole Lotta of love, when he did have an idea or a vibe, he would then copy the song and play it on the drums, you just have to have the right person, if you are a drummer and you cant play, then you take what you are given an turn it into music. Everyone had a part in that band and even the fundamentals, there are three instruments and John Paul Jones was the anchor, Dad would play off Jimmy and Robert would play off jimmy and Jimmy would play off everyone and Jonesy was the solid bit.”
Did your Dad pass on to you any advice about the music industry growing up?
Own everything, don’t give up anything, the greatest advice I was ever given was don’t give up anything. If we knew what we did then we would have never given anything away. Keep everything and own everything its not about having a record deal anymore, when you have a record label and when you have a deal and you prove it now with these shows, you have the Voice and Idol, all of these people are so talented and when you get the deal that is the beginning, the starting points, its then continuing on and then you’ll find you are working for nothing, royalties are taken, own everything yourself, self promote get an education and learn everything about what is going to get you out to the most people.
Who was your musical influences growing up?
“Phil Collins and Genesis have almost been an inspiration of mine, he filled the void for me in 1982 when my father passed away, the Mama album came out and I got to see Phil, at the point I worked a little bit with Robert on his demos and the albums that Phil played on, I got to meet Phil instantly he made me feel very welcome, he said that he loved the way I played on the album, that was it, from then on I instantly became a Phil Collin stalker. But I got to know Phil quite well. In 2014 I got a call on Thanksgiving Day in America, and said would you to play drums for him, to be the drummer for one of your heroes is the greatest compliment of all. I was completely speechless”.
Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience 2018 Australian Tour
Wednesday, 23rd May — RESCHEDULED DATE
State Theatre, Sydney
Thursday, 24th May — RESCHEDULED DATE
Palais Theatre, Melbourne
Saturday, 26th May — RESCHEDULED DATE
Concert Hall, Perth
Tickets: Perth Concert Hall
Tuesday, 29th May — RESCHEDULED DATE
The Tivoli, Brisbane