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strombringer101

The Trouble with Bonham. 1978-80

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Jimmy got sober in stages 

heroin quit in late 83 

coke probably stopped late 80s early 90s

quit booze early 2000s

 

 

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29 minutes ago, WhatWas said:

When did JP finally get clean?

Squeaky? After the page and plant reunion I think. I remember Robert saying that Jimmy was drinking a lot at that time and how he’d sorted himself out by 2007. I think he’s said before that he gave up heroin and cocaine in the early eighties. 

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20 minutes ago, babysquid said:

Squeaky? After the page and plant reunion I think. I remember Robert saying that Jimmy was drinking a lot at that time and how he’d sorted himself out by 2007. I think he’s said before that he gave up heroin and cocaine in the early eighties. 

Makes sense. Recently I watched an interview where JP said he quit drinking in his fifties. He looked healthier at Knebworth than in 77, but didn't think he was done chasing the dragon at that point.

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20 hours ago, ledrim said:

Interesting thought about them going into a longer hiatus after Karac's death. In hindsight, it surely was the move they should have made. But it was a relatively turbulent time for Classic Rock bands around 1980. They were already being labelled a Dinosaur and to further retreat from the public may have been considered a career suicide. There would have been a new generation of "competition" with the Metal bands and Hair bands gaining in popularity. Could they have survived and thrived in this new environment. Not sure if the 1980 version as we know it could have. If indeed they could have sobered up and get their chops back, then it would certainly would have been interesting to see how they approached the new metal and hair band scene.

A thorough and honest interview with the surviving members would perhaps shed some light onto what their attitude and direction in the 80's would have been. I don't recall ever reading anything in depth about this. Of course, they probably have no clue to what the band would have been beyond the next album, which Jimmy said would have been a more rocking album than ITTOD. 

 

Shortly after Knebworth, JJ Jackson interviewed both Plant & Jones and Plant clearly states that if he is going stay with LZ,  "its gonna have to get more mellow". Juxtaposition that with Page saying the next album would be "more rocking than ITTOD" and one can see that Plant wouldn't be sticking around unless he himself was  now steering the direction of the band. That was never gonna happen, so it was basically over. Maybe they would have put out 1 more album if the ill-fated 1980 North American tour had went well,  but Plant was already movin' on down the road mentally either way. 

Wish I could find this interview but can't locate it. Plant elaborates on this quite a bit...

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2 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Shortly after Knebworth, JJ Jackson interviewed both Plant & Jones and Plant clearly states that if he is going stay with LZ,  "its gonna have to get more mellow". Juxtaposition that with Page saying the next album would be "more rocking than ITTOD" and one can see that Plant wouldn't be sticking around unless he himself was  now steering the direction of the band. That was never gonna happen, so it was basically over. Maybe they would have put out 1 more album if the ill-fated 1980 North American tour had went well,  but Plant was already movin' on down the road mentally either way. 

Wish I could find this interview but can't locate it. Plant elaborates on this quite a bit...

It could be that Plant said that but his first solo album is not too mellow, even has a few pretty heavy rockers.

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2 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Shortly after Knebworth, JJ Jackson interviewed both Plant & Jones and Plant clearly states that if he is going stay with LZ,  "its gonna have to get more mellow". Juxtaposition that with Page saying the next album would be "more rocking than ITTOD" and one can see that Plant wouldn't be sticking around unless he himself was  now steering the direction of the band. That was never gonna happen, so it was basically over. Maybe they would have put out 1 more album if the ill-fated 1980 North American tour had went well,  but Plant was already movin' on down the road mentally either way. 

Wish I could find this interview but can't locate it. Plant elaborates on this quite a bit...

Did he mean musically or personally? If the whole gangster style of the LZ crew and some members where pissing him off I can understand completely. However musically, as stated above, Pictures at Eleven was not exactly mellow, in fact it was a pretty rocking album as was Principal of Moments. Manic Nirvana is a very hard album, easily as hard as anything Zep ever did. Though both PAE & POM had more overall diversity in styles.

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3 minutes ago, IpMan said:

Did he mean musically or personally? If the whole gangster style of the LZ crew and some members where pissing him off I can understand completely. However musically, as stated above, Pictures at Eleven was not exactly mellow, in fact it was a pretty rocking album as was Principal of Moments. Manic Nirvana is a very hard album, easily as hard as anything Zep ever did. Though both PAE & POM had more overall diversity in styles.

I think he must have meant in terms of the band + entourage atmosphere rather than the music. According to Aubrey Powell, Bindon was still around Grant at times post Oakland. (specifically where a bike was ordered for delivery for Grant's son at Horselunges and fell off the bottom of the helicopter it was being delivered from, causing Grant to go apeshit). The atmosphere must have been pretty foul at times when that much drugs being done.

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3 hours ago, 76229 said:

I think he must have meant in terms of the band + entourage atmosphere rather than the music. According to Aubrey Powell, Bindon was still around Grant at times post Oakland. (specifically where a bike was ordered for delivery for Grant's son at Horselunges and fell off the bottom of the helicopter it was being delivered from, causing Grant to go apeshit). The atmosphere must have been pretty foul at times when that much drugs being done.

Not to upset the apple cart here but I place 90% of the blame regarding these issues squarely on the shoulders of Peter Grant. He was the bands manager, it was his job to manage the band and all aspects of the groups business including staffing. Cole was the tour manager who was supposed to manage the day to day of the tour, dealing with promotors, venues, etc. Neither one of these guys were even close to managing anything in a professional capacity after 1975, and I would argue possibly after 1973 knowing some of the boneheaded decisions made in 75'.

Grant did a fantastic job with Zeppelin up to 73' and then started to go off the rails until he jumped the rails and fell off the damn train itself by 77'. When one looks at the 77' tour it is simply amazing it did not implode right after the first leg, it really is a miracle.

I understand loyalty, however Grant needed to be gone after the 75' tour as did Cole, a change in management would have made all the difference IMO. I do not wish to be cold but by 75' Zeppelin were the biggest and they no longer needed someone in the shape Grant (and Cole) were in by 77'. A good manager, a sober and in control manager would have immediately sacked Cole and most of the road crew and started fresh. Then, he / she would have told, not asked Page & Bonham to clean up their act or find another manager. Grant for such a powerful guy, was essentially Jimmy's enabler and the absolute worse guy for the situation by 77'. If I were Robert or Jones, as soon as a piece of shit gangster like Bindon showed up, I would have threatened to quit the band and then I would have sacked Grant and Cole for being quite obviously so fucked up that they could not manage a book of the month club much less a band such as Zeppelin. As a manager it is your sole job to MANAGE, not join the party. Managers must be able to make the tough decisions, to place a band on hiatus if necessary so members can get there shit together so there is a future for the band.

The really weird thing is once Swan Song came into being, Grant should have never left the office as his primary responsibility should have been Swan Song and managing Zeppelin. A manager is not supposed to go on the road with the band, that is the job of the tour manager. The manager maybe shows up for the first and last gigs and that's it. The way Zeppelin were managed once Swan Song came into being was simply wrong, wrong for Zeppelin, wrong for Swan Song.

You know your ass is Tony Montana level out of control when you have a stupid fucking bike airlifted to your house via helicopter. Too bad the damn thing did not fall on Grants head, maybe it would have knocked some sense into him.

Edited by IpMan

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30 minutes ago, IpMan said:

You know your ass is Tony Montana level out of control when you have a stupid fucking bike airlifted to your house via helicopter. Too bad the damn thing did not fall on Grants head, maybe it would have knocked some sense into him.

The incident would've been hilarious were it not so sad. The pilot said "sorry the chain broke and it's in a field two miles away. The insurance will cover it, anyway I'm leaving". Grant forced him to phone his boss from Horselunges and the bloke came back in and said "yes he's confirmed, insurance will cover it". Actually the bloke's boss had told him to get stuffed, but the only reason Grant knew this was his phones were recorded in his own house.

There's coke paranoia, and then there's tapping your own phone. Tony Montana stuff indeed, "Say 'ello to my leetle friend!"

Aubrey Powell had some incredibly funny tales in the Barney Hoskyns Zeppelin book. Truly the music industry in the 70s was another planet.

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6 hours ago, IpMan said:

Not to upset the apple cart here but I place 90% of the blame regarding these issues squarely on the shoulders of Peter Grant. He was the bands manager, it was his job to manage the band and all aspects of the groups business including staffing. Cole was the tour manager who was supposed to manage the day to day of the tour, dealing with promotors, venues, etc. Neither one of these guys were even close to managing anything in a professional capacity after 1975, and I would argue possibly after 1973 knowing some of the boneheaded decisions made in 75'.

It's not that I disagree with your take on the management team, but ultimately people need to be responsible for their own choices. It's nobody's fault but theirs imo.

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22 hours ago, WhatWas said:

When did JP finally get clean?

If you're talking about heroin, according to Benji LeFevre - as recounted in Barney Hoskyns' definitive Zep bio Trampled Under Foot - Jimmy didn't finally get the monkey off his back until mid-way through the second Firm U.S. tour in 1986...

 

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12 hours ago, 76229 said:

Actually the bloke's boss had told him to get stuffed, but the only reason Grant knew this was his phones were recorded in his own house

If I remember that story correctly, the guy's boss told him to get the feck outta there... quickly... 😀

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13 hours ago, IpMan said:

Not to upset the apple cart here but I place 90% of the blame regarding these issues squarely on the shoulders of Peter Grant. He was the bands manager, it was his job to manage the band and all aspects of the groups business including staffing. Cole was the tour manager who was supposed to manage the day to day of the tour, dealing with promotors, venues, etc. Neither one of these guys were even close to managing anything in a professional capacity after 1975, and I would argue possibly after 1973 knowing some of the boneheaded decisions made in 75'.

Grant did a fantastic job with Zeppelin up to 73' and then started to go off the rails until he jumped the rails and fell off the damn train itself by 77'. When one looks at the 77' tour it is simply amazing it did not implode right after the first leg, it really is a miracle.

I understand loyalty, however Grant needed to be gone after the 75' tour as did Cole, a change in management would have made all the difference IMO. I do not wish to be cold but by 75' Zeppelin were the biggest and they no longer needed someone in the shape Grant (and Cole) were in by 77'. A good manager, a sober and in control manager would have immediately sacked Cole and most of the road crew and started fresh. Then, he / she would have told, not asked Page & Bonham to clean up their act or find another manager. Grant for such a powerful guy, was essentially Jimmy's enabler and the absolute worse guy for the situation by 77'. If I were Robert or Jones, as soon as a piece of shit gangster like Bindon showed up, I would have threatened to quit the band and then I would have sacked Grant and Cole for being quite obviously so fucked up that they could not manage a book of the month club much less a band such as Zeppelin. As a manager it is your sole job to MANAGE, not join the party. Managers must be able to make the tough decisions, to place a band on hiatus if necessary so members can get there shit together so there is a future for the band.

The really weird thing is once Swan Song came into being, Grant should have never left the office as his primary responsibility should have been Swan Song and managing Zeppelin. A manager is not supposed to go on the road with the band, that is the job of the tour manager. The manager maybe shows up for the first and last gigs and that's it. The way Zeppelin were managed once Swan Song came into being was simply wrong, wrong for Zeppelin, wrong for Swan Song.

You know your ass is Tony Montana level out of control when you have a stupid fucking bike airlifted to your house via helicopter. Too bad the damn thing did not fall on Grants head, maybe it would have knocked some sense into him.

All of these are fair points and very true but the entire music industry in the mid 70s was out of control. The amount of drugs and money that was around was insane and the combination of mounds of cocaine and being super rich is deadly. In Grant's defence, this was the new normal. There were no previous eras to look back on and learn from. Everything was big. Record sales, concert attendances, egos, hair, clothes. It was a crazy, crazy time but if I'm honest, it must have been a fabulous time to live through and I'm not sure any decade has been so productive artistically as the 1970s, whether that is musically or film. There was such freedom of expression compared to the very sterile now.

With regards to Bindon, it is pretty indefensible to argue against his hiring by Grant, but in Grant's defence by 1977 the number of death threats and sheer amount of people wanting to get near Zeppelin was vast, as was Grant's paranoia. I remember reading (but I'm not too sure where) that Bindon amongst others was taken on the US tour because he literally would have taken a bullet to protect Robert and Jimmy.

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20 hours ago, IpMan said:

Did he mean musically or personally? If the whole gangster style of the LZ crew and some members where pissing him off I can understand completely. However musically, as stated above, Pictures at Eleven was not exactly mellow, in fact it was a pretty rocking album as was Principal of Moments. Manic Nirvana is a very hard album, easily as hard as anything Zep ever did. Though both PAE & POM had more overall diversity in styles.

He meant 'musically'. Found the interview. Go to 37:00 - 39:00 

 

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On 9/19/2018 at 6:17 PM, blindwillie127 said:

He meant 'musically'. Found the interview. Go to 37:00 - 39:00 

 

Great listen

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On 9/18/2018 at 8:46 AM, WhatWas said:

When did JP finally get clean?

Not particularly scientific, but from his look and appearance, I'd say he got clean sometime between Page & Plant's 94 and 98 tours.  I have no doubt that he had kicked the junk long before, but was still heavily drinking to at least the 94 tour, where he had the look of a drinker.  By 98, and now doing guitar duties alone, he looked, and played, terrific. 

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Concerning Bonzo state of mind I think he just wasn't keen on doing another tour. These young men had been thrust into a whirlwind for 10 years and that takes a toll on people. Hard drinking and hard living are common in than life. Suddenly you are a superstar and that isn't a normal thing in real life, and many people do not deal with that well, so who am I to judge?

 

 

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