Jason Bonham: Why Led Zeppelin Reunion Didn’t Happen

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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.

8 Comments

  1. Dan July 12, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Can’t wait! I will be first in line to pick up these tickets. I trust Jason will do a great job commemorating his Father’s legacy. Thanks for the info. Please publish the schedule as soon as you know it.

  2. G.Esquivel July 13, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I was really hoping to see this tour to happen no matter the cost.

  3. Joe J. August 19, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I said I would not RIP until I went to a LZ concert in my lifetime…I may get to that stairway to heaven after all.

  4. Fakename70 September 3, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    We got a glimpse of this tour during his performance at the Guitar Center drum-off finals in L.A. back in January. It’s going to be awesome!

  5. ed j jody September 7, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    JASON IF YOU READ THIS PLEASE!! I HOPE YOU RFMEMBER ME I MET YOU AT NORTHPORT LI NY IN78 OR79 I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST ON THIS TOUR AND HOPE TO SEE IT MAY GOD BLESS YOU ON YOUR EXPRESSIONISM AND YOU WERE TAUGHT BY THE VERY BEST WHEN I MET YOU GUYS IT WAS LIKE A DREAM HAVE FUN AND IM VERY SURE YOUR DAD GIVES YOU HIS BLESSING HE IS ONE OF A KIND KEEP UP THE EXCELLENCE YOUR DAD GAVE YOU THANK YOU ED

  6. Joe J. November 4, 2010 at 10:45 am

    BOSTON CONCERT WAS THE BALLS, TO JASON AND THE GUYS YOU ROCKED!

  7. keepkool November 11, 2010 at 8:36 am

    saw the show last night 11/10/10.what a show it was jason and the band did one hell of a job about as close as you can get to LZ without being there.would love to see the show again? hope he comes back agian with new songs from LZ.

  8. trsobo June 7, 2011 at 12:07 am

    the other vocalist was Steven Tyler. Good decision to bag it !!

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