The rumors and speculation were flying around about a Led Zeppelin reunion following the performance at London’s O2 arena towards the end of 2007. The show that featured the surviving members of the group who were joined by Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham.
Report after report all but promised a Led Zeppelin reunion tour following the success of the O2 show. After a while it became clear that frontman Robert Plant had no desire to recreate Led Zeppelin. There were various reasons for Plant’s refusal depending on what news source was reporting it.
I suppose only Plant knows the real reason he decided to let Led Zeppelin retain it’s place in history as it existed decades ago. Maybe he was just determined to stay true to the original Led Zeppelin and not perform as Led Zeppelin without John Bonham, even though his son was on board for a tour.
After it became clear that Plant would not be a part of a tour, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham agreed to continue with the plan without him. It’s hard to keep things like that under wraps, so once again, the rumor mill began producing reports that the trio was auditioning singers to take Plant’s place.
In a recent conversation with Music Radar, Bonham cuts through the rumors and provides a glimpse of what was going on after Page, Jones and himself had decided to tour without Plant. “It got real close,” Bonham says. “It got as close as you can possibly get.”
He stops short of saying exactly what put a stop to the tour plans, but admits that there was some kind of disagreement between Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, although it does not sound like the type of dispute that caused a falling out between the two. “I think…basically, they agreed to disagree. After a while, it was just time to move on,” according to Bonham.
It was after a year of writing and rehearsing before the whole tour plan finally fell apart. There was a belief that Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy was the guy selected to stand in for Plant, but Bonham says that was not so. “There was somebody else,” he reports. “Somebody else was involved – and that’s all I’ll say to that. But as I said, I’ve always love the time we had together. I can’t even explain it, it was just great!”
It must have been a big disappointment for him when the whole thing fell apart, but that isn’t going to sideline Bonham. He’s going ahead with his own tour project which he is calling “Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.” The plan is to meld the legacy of Led Zeppelin with his own life. The show will include film clips and photos, creating what he calls “quite a multimedia spectacle.”
Bonham’s thirty shows (commemorating the 3 decades since his father’s death) includes musicians that have already been selected, but he has refused to identify them until opening night, not wanting to create a lot of buzz about what they have done previously. The tour is set to begin this fall.