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Jason Bonham vs. Michael Lee?


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Jason Bonham? Michael Lee?

I thought at the time of the Page/Plant stuff, Lee was a far better drummer. But that was also 9 years ago at the latest.

Anyone think that Lee would be the perfect MUSICAL choice (excluding the keeping it in the family thing)? Or do you think Jason has matured and grown, and could blow Lee off the stool?

Let's hear it.

Edited by Rock Action
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  • 3 months later...

I know before I even start, the answer is obvious in my sig, but even so, imo Jason has matured incredibly and has begun to believe steadfastly in his own abilities. The O2 was definitely a big turning point for him...from the beginning of rehearsals to the actual night. He had suggested to Robert, Jimmy and JPJ that towards the end of the set a film be played of Bonzo and he would "duet" with him...to give his father the recognition he deserved. But this idea was rejected, Jimmy saying it was Jason's turn to shine and that he had every confidence in him to carry the torch so to speak.

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I think it depends if you're talking in general or as the drummer for Led Zeppelin. If it's the latter then I don't think musical ability is the issue and you cannot disregard the family connection. I agree with Miss Honeydripper, Jason was superb at the O2.

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If Outrider was the only thing to go on, I would say to go with Lee. But when I saw Page/Plant in '98 I kept missing John Bonham. He's a tough act to follow. It sounds like Jason has kicked it up a few notches since Outrider. I would say to go with Jason.

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Jason Bonham? Michael Lee?

I thought at the time of the Page/Plant stuff, Lee was a far better drummer. But that was also 9 years ago at the latest.

Anyone think that Lee would be the perfect MUSICAL choice (excluding the keeping it in the family thing)? Or do you think Jason has matured and grown, and could blow Lee off the stool?

Let's hear it.

I like both but no way does Jason blow Lee off the stool. Lee is a solid technical drummer but i agree with you that Jason has come a long way in 9 years. Those pre 02 rehearsals alone improved his chops big time.

Like them both and would be happy with either.

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Well, it's been nearly 20 years since Outrider. Furthermore, Jason was self-medicating back then. His sobriety and maturity have really let his talent shine. I saw him on the Outrider tour, with Bonham, doing drum clinics, and with UFO. He's a great drummer. So is Michael Lee. So was Steve Gorman of the Black Crowes when Jimmy did his thing with them. They've all brought great things to Zep's music.

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Well I've said it before and I'll say it again, Michael Lee is a great drummer. The boy took the mantle and made it his own on the Page/Plant tours. Jason sounded good at O2 and has improved in leaps and bounds since Outrider but, IMHO he would have to be far more consistant to be considered a better drummer than Lee

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Well I've said it before and I'll say it again, Michael Lee is a great drummer. The boy took the mantle and made it his own on the Page/Plant tours. Jason sounded good at O2 and has improved in leaps and bounds since Outrider but, IMHO he would have to be far more consistant to be considered a better drummer than Lee

I once had a similar discussion with Charlie Jones a couple of years ago.....he told me that the best drummer he had ever worked with was....Clive Deamer.

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Why compare at all? They both have brought the chops to the table. Why not a mutual admiration of all who've taken up the mantle (well, maybe not Phil Collins, but that's another story, innit? lol!)?

Agreed! From what I've heard Michael Lee is a spectacular drummer, and I loved his playing with Page and Plant, but Jason at the O2 was just truly great, - certainly no need to replace him if the band goes on to do work together.

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I once had a similar discussion with Charlie Jones a couple of years ago.....he told me that the best drummer he had ever worked with was....Clive Deamer.

Clive is a great drummer. As Ev said, there have been some excellent drummers take up the mantle.

Michael Lee seemed to embrace it more than some others

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  • 4 weeks later...

I never really did weigh in on my own question, so here goes:

Honestly, I still think Lee has the better overall chops. But the distance between the two has narrowed considerably. Jason has gotten much better since 1988, to say the least.

If they DO go on as Led Zeppelin, the right thing to do is have Jason on drums. He's proved himself worthy of his place in the band. But if Page/Plant were to start up again as a separate entity though, I'd prefer Lee on drums.

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  • 5 years later...

Michael Lee (RIP) for me. I have heard him more than Jason, so I guess I can't make a fair choice. I always loved Michael with Plant/Page. Great drummer. No one can ever meet the standard of the Greatest of all, John Henry Bonham.

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Thats a tough one for me. The only time I got to see Lee live was at the Page/Plant Tampa show 1998. I thought he was damn good behind the kit, with lots of energy and often sporting a spit eating grin. I also thought Lee's technique was solid over all.

Have never seen Jason live, but Ive watched and heard a lot of his drumming on videos including some of the Outrider tour. Back then I thought he had his fathers energy, he could bang the hell out of those drums. But at the same time his technique seemed sloppy here and there. He had the fire for sure, just not the technical chops yet. IMO that has changed big time in more recent years, JB has certainly refined his style and I think is now one of the better drummers out there (he's in demand a lot for sure).

1990's Michael Lee, slight edge over pre 2000's Jason Bonham

Post 2000's Jason Bonham gets the edge over Michael Lee

But either way I think they both rock. Thankfully we still have Jason out and about perfoming. To bad Michael Lee past away in 08, way to damn young. (RIP)

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Thats a tough one for me. The only time I got to see Lee live was at the Page/Plant Tampa show 1998. I thought he was damn good behind the kit, with lots of energy and often sporting a spit eating grin. I also thought Lee's technique was solid over all.

Have never seen Jason live, but Ive watched and heard a lot of his drumming on videos including some of the Outrider tour. Back then I thought he had his fathers energy, he could bang the hell out of those drums. But at the same time his technique seemed sloppy here and there. He had the fire for sure, just not the technical chops yet. IMO that has changed big time in more recent years, JB has certainly refined his style and I think is now one of the better drummers out there (he's in demand a lot for sure).

1990's Michael Lee, slight edge over pre 2000's Jason Bonham

Post 2000's Jason Bonham gets the edge over Michael Lee

But either way I think they both rock. Thankfully we still have Jason out and about perfoming. To bad Michael Lee past away in 08, way to damn young. (RIP)

I read that Michael Lee died following a seizure at the age of 39. I remember wondering at the time what could have caused such a severe seizure in someone his age.

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I know, DD. I read about that in the Hoskyns book and I cried. I really loved Michael Lee with P/P - always with that smile and really playing those drums. He was so young. There is a picture some where here on the forum of Jimmy at the funeral and he looks so sad. I know that Jimmy and Robert thought a lot of Michael. RIP Michael Lee.

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