Catching Up With Jason Bonham and His Led Zeppelin Experience
Bonham’s “Led Zeppelin Experience” is more than “just” a concert: rather, by incorporating film footage from his family’s archive along with commentary by Jason, it’s also an homage to the late John Bonham, his father and Led Zeppelin’s legendary drummer. For a big Zep fan, it was a really fun show to experience. Among the many highlights, Jason plays along with footage of his father on the famous Moby Dick drum solo from the concert film The Song Remains The Same.
I had a chance to catch up with Jason after the show, and he shed light on a few topics.
Interviewed by: Ilya Mirman
Some bands try to play Zeppelin note for note; others strive to mimic the mannerisms, the theatrics of The Song Remains The Same. How do you approach it?
I play it like I played it with the boys [Led Zeppelin]. As Robert Plant told me, “stop trying to be like your Dad – be like Jason, and it’ll come naturally.” So I play from the heart, and it works.
What’s the most enjoyable song for you to play?
“When the Levee Breaks” – because of just how we all sound together. The Moby Dick solo [playing along with the film footage of John Bonham] is also great to do, but it’s the most focused I am during the set.
When did it sink in that your childhood was different from others – playing with Jimmy Page, members of Bad Company, etc…
It never sank in! Well, maybe not until much later – when I was 24 or so.
Do you line your drum with tinfoil, like your Dad?
That’s rubbish! He never did that.
What are the projects you have in the works, beyond the Led Zeppelin Experience?
With Black Country Communion, we have a DVD out at the moment, doing very well in the charts – debuted at #8 in the US, #1 in Norway, Sweden, etc. We’re also planning to record album #3.
I’ll also be recording more with Joe Bonamassa; Joe Walsh [of Eagles fame] called me up inquiring about my schedule, so we’ll be doing something as well. So really, quite a busy schedule!
Ever had the urge to throw a TV set out of a hotel window to honor your old man, and if so, how much less satisfying are today’s flat screen TVs compared to the CRTs of yore?
[Laughs] Yeah, it’s much less fun – no big explosion anymore! The glass is thicker these days, and it’s liable to bounce back and hit you! I’m kidding – never actually tried it. But I did stay at the Hyatt in where Dad stayed [and threw a TV out the window], and nowadays you cannot open the windows – for that very reason!
OK, my bass player is making me ask: next time you’re in town, maybe you’ll sit in with our band?
Ha! Sure, why not…if I’m around!
LZE covered a rich swath of Zeppelin’s catalog:
Rock n Roll
Your Time Is Gonna Come
Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
What Is & What Should Never Be
Dazed and Confused
Over The Hills and Far Away
Since Ive Been Loving You
In The Light
When The Levee Breaks
Stairway To Heaven
Whole Lotta Love
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience has tour dates through November 18th, check their official site for the remaining dates.