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Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience (Tour)


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Sound Check: Jason Bonham learns to embrace father's legacy

Published: Thursday, October 28, 2010

By GARY GRAFF

Of The Oakland Press

Notes from the music beat ...

Jason Bonham considers his Led Zeppelin Experience show to be "a personal story."

And he's certainly the guy to do that.

Bonham was just 14 when his father, Zep drummer John Bonham, died in 1980. The shadow of that legacy has been considerable as he's pursued his own musical career with bands such as Bonham, Airace, the TV supergroup Damnocracy and Foreigner and the younger Bonham even struggled with substance abuse. But since his stint in his father's chair for Led Zep's 2007 reunion show in London, Bonham feels his path has been righted, and the Led Zeppelin Experience show is an expression of what both is father and the band have meant to his life.

"It's really a celebration," Bonham, 44, says of the multimedia show, which includes footage of Led Zeppelin and his father as well as narration to "give a little background on (the songs) and the reason why I'm playing them, and stories about growing up with dad and how Zeppelin has been part of my life from the beginning.

"It's a good musical journey; it'll be sad at times ... but it will really be a celebration of everything my father gave to me."

Bonham, who in 1996 released a tribute album called "In the Name of My Father: The Zepset," acknowledges that it took a long time for him as a drummer to come to terms with his dad's legacy whenever he got behind the kit. "When your father is The Man ... you've got a lot to live up to," says Bonham, who has two children of his own. "A lot of drummers have high expectations of you or they're ready to criticize you.

"I always did feel a lot of the pressure. Dad was god to me. Every word he said was the gospel, so I've really held him on such a high pedestal all my life. But being sober for nine years, you really accept 'I am who I am.' If you want to get quirky about that, it's going to be a bitter life, so I just enjoy it. And I'm proud. When my name now usually gets Googled, Zeppelin comes up that ain't bad."

Bonham's endeavor has received a thumbs-up from Zep frontman Robert Plant, and he says that approval is also very important to him.

"I'm not going to hide it from them," says Bonham, who's also a member of another all-star group, Black Country Communion. "I will invite them to every show I can, because my goal and dream is, wouldn't it be cool if I did something that they thought was cool or something they'd at least say 'Y'know what? You did that very well. That was a good thing.' and they would get up and play with me?

"That's what I'm doing it for. I'd love it."

Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience plays at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $68, $48 and $38.

Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

http://theoaklandpre...64298954407.txt

Edited by SteveAJones
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LV MUSIC: See what else Led Zeppelin drummer's son shares with his father

October 28, 2010, By John J. Moser, The Morning Call

Jason Bonham, the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, plays so much like his father that when Zeppelin's three surviving members — singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bass/keyboard player John Paul Jones reunited for shows in 1988 and 2007, he filled his father's seat.

And Jason Bonham says that Plant told him if Zeppelin were to reunite, he would be the drummer.

Now, Bonham is on the road with the Led Zeppelin Experience, a tribute to his father and the band's music. It stops Sunday at Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

But Bonham and his father share something else: Both were alcoholics.John Bonham's addiction caused his death after a day of drinking in September 1980.

But Jason Bonham, in a recent telephone interview, said he has been sober nine years.

"When you grow up in a family situation like in England - we call it pub culture, and it is, really," Bonham says. "You grow up, you literally come home from work, everyone goes to the pub at 6:30, you drink till 10:30, go home and go to bed. That was our entire life – all my aunts and uncles and my grandfather drank till he was 85.

"You grow up in that type of environment, and it was never a kind of point a finger at you, because when everybody else is doing it, you're just the one that has that one too many.

"With me, I was that same way. It wasn't take it past the fun part -- I'm nuts without it. So then what I've become is uncontrollably nuts. And I would push the boundaries, too. Then it wasn't going to be funny anymore."

Bonham says he knew he needed help when it crept into his home life.

"I'd been able to hide my addiction through touring so much from my wife and home life," he says. "When I wanted to go out and party and drink, I could just go on tour, do it, and then come back and say, 'I didn't drink every day.'

"So it was a long time for me to realize that I had a problem, because my thoughts of an alcoholic were very different. I hadn't lost my home, I hadn't lost my wife and children. I hadn't yet. And everyone said, 'There's a yet to everything.' I hadn't killed anybody yet.

He said it was a particular incident that led him to rehab.

"I remember having an argument and then stormed off in the car, drove drunk," he says. "Lucky that I managed to survive that. Went into a bar at like 10:30 in the morning and sat there till 12. And then this woman turned up with a child for this guy who sat in the corner. And she said, 'There's your dad,

sit with him. I'll see you on Monday.'

"And I looked at myself in the mirror [and said] 'That's going to become me if I do not stop now. I'll be a lonely old guy sitting there and just making my kid sit with me in a pub on the weekends.

"So I rang my wife up and said, 'I need help.' And she drove me to the treatment center and I've been nine years sober."

Bonham says "it was time."

"Everyone has a point in their life," he says. "And for me, I went in there with open arms. I didn't go in there fighting it. I said, 'I've got to stop, and I want to stop.' Some of my friends, they get taken in with interventions. And then they just end up resenting everybody that did it to them. So it's a tough one. It's not an easy path."

Visit http://blogs.mcall.c...highvalleymusic for a video of Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience playing "Kashmir." For a story on Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, see The Morning Call on Sunday. And read the entire interview at Lehigh Valley Music.

http://articles.mcal...bonham-lv-music

Edited by SteveAJones
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"It's a good musical journey; it'll be sad at times ...but it will really be a celebration of everything my father gave to me."

Bonham, who in 1996 released a tribute album called "In the Name of My Father: The Zepset," acknowledges that it took a long time for him as a drummer to come to terms with his dad's legacy whenever he got behind the kit. "When your father is The Man ... you've got a lot to live up to," says Bonham, who has two children of his own. "A lot of drummers have high expectations of you — or they're ready to criticize you."

"I always did feel a lot of the pressure. Dad was God to me. Every word he said was the gospel, so I've really held him on such a high pedestal all my life. But being sober for nine years, you really accept 'I am who I am.' If you want to get quirky about that, it's going to be a bitter life, so I just enjoy it. And I'm proud. When my name now usually gets Googled, Zeppelin comes up — that ain't bad."

But Bonham and his father share something else: Both were alcoholics. John Bonham's addiction caused his death after a day of drinking in September 1980.

"When you grow up in a family situation like in England - we call it pub culture, and it is, really," Bonham says.

"I remember having an argument and then stormed off in the car, drove drunk," he says. "Lucky that I managed to survive that. Went into a bar at like 10:30 in the morning and sat there till 12. And then this woman turned up with a child for this guy who sat in the corner. And she said, 'There's your dad, sit with him. I'll see you on Monday.' "

"And I looked at myself in the mirror [and said] 'That's going to become me if I do not stop now. I'll be a lonely old guy sitting there and just making my kid sit with me in a pub on the weekends.' "

Steve - I want to thank you for the excellent job that you've been doing on keeping us up to speed with Jason and the tour and interviews! I've reposted a few on my website but the one's I read today were some of the best I've read so far, in my opinion. The fantastic solo he does with his dad that Guitar Cener posted has always been one of my favorites and shows just how much respect he has for his dad. I have gained so much more respect for Jason than I ever had during his "BONHAM" years because of his recent endeavors! Anyways... Thank you once again! Please keep up the good work! We really appreciate all of your efforts!!

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I saw last night's show at the Sony Centre here in Toronto and the show was simply amazing. The musicians are incredible and the music was top notch. Everyone was firing on all cylinders, especially the guitar player. Hearing 'When the Levee Breaks' live was an experience to say the least. The videos of his family were quite interesting/emotional to watch. You could certainly see the effect his father and the band has on him. I feel bad for the guy that nothing happened after the 02 as you could almost feel how badly he wanted it to continue, (in my opinion). If you have a chance to see this show, don't pass it up.

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I found this quote really intriguing. Page, Jones, and Jason wanted to proceed. Surely Robert is the party who did not want to proceed. But if it's not as simple as "Robert didn't want to do it," then what really happened? Business reasons? Something else? Curious...

This was taken from an interview with Jason Bonham at Calgary Sun:

How has it all been for you emotionally?

It’s been very tough. I’m going to sound like a crybaby, but I get choked up trying to explain it. This is very dear to me. And one of the reasons I won’t be telling stories live is I don’t think I’d get through it, especially with people cheering. I’d be in bits. I’m choking up now just talking about it. It’s just the way I am. Even when we were rehearsing Stairway to Heaven for the (London show), we came to the drum part and I kinda got choked. Robert saw I was sad, so he joked, ‘Erm, you’re not going to do that on the night, are you? Because there’s nothing worse than watching a fat bald drummer cry.’ Jimmy went, ‘Have some compassion, Robert.’ And he said, ‘Well, he’s stupid, blubbering over a bloody song.’ But it was just his way of lightening the load. Robert felt the heaviness — he just recently said the whole thing was too heavy for him, and that’s part of the reason he couldn’t go on with it. Now I get it.

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Was at the Sony Centre in Toronto last night for Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience show. Got to meet him prior to the show at the meet and greet and he signed a drum skin for me and my wife and signed his fathers photo on the "Treasures of Led Zeppelin" hard cover book that my wife brought. I felt a little funny when my wife took the book out to have him autograph it. He paused just a few seconds as he looked at the photo and signed the cover, was a heavy moment. He is a good man and thanked us for coming and did a little spech prior to the meet and greet.

We were sitting second row centre stage and got some good photos and video. They started the show similar to TSRTS with Rock n Roll, Celebration Day, intro into Bring it on Home and into Black Dog. Loved the drum solo. It brought the house down

Not the real thing but it was a great show and they really rocked. You can feel the true passion that these musicians have for the music, like they are living a dream come true. Loved the drum solo. Hope to be posting photos soon.

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Great show last night in Kitchener. Here's some snapshots:

I brought my JP Telecaster which Tony used for How Many More Times:

....and I bought my Jimmy Page Magazines, all in his Glory, the White Dragon Suit'77 :wub: !! Right here in this Town, immortalized forever with my Zep Years '74-'81

Thanks you for extra extra beautiful photos!!!!

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Here are some photos that I had previously promised from Friday's Toronto show, including the autograph Jason placed on his father's photo.

Hi Deborah, I don't see myself but I sort of recognize the blond hair of the lady sitting in first row.

I actually have a bit of video to load on youtube. Its good quality but I have shaky hands.

Sorry Computer crash while downloading Trying again. I love Windows Bloddy Hell.

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Edited by The 4 Runes
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Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

Montreal, October 23rd 2010

Whole Lotta Love/Tom Sawyer finale

"Tom Sawyer was a collaboration between myself and Pye Dubois, an excellent lyricist who wrote the lyrics for Max Webster. His original lyrics were kind of a portrait of a modern day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the world wide-eyed and purposeful. I added the themes of reconciling the boy and man in myself, and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be - namely me I guess."

-- Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart

Edited by SteveAJones
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That was awesome!! Thanks for sharing that one, Deborah J!! :thumbsup:

I went to the show at the fox in detroit last night (no i didn't see any fires..lol) and it was awesome. Do yourself a favor and if you can go see this show ..go see it!!

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Great pics! "The 4 Runes", did you have to pay extra for the meet and greet?

Yes I did. VIP tickets for me and my wife. They even had a table with some sandwiches, sweets and refreshements.

I just wish they had given us a little more time to talk but overall a good experience. This will be the closest I will probably ever get to any member of Zeppelin.

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Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience

Montreal, October 23rd 2010

Whole Lotta Love/Tom Sawyer finale

"Tom Sawyer was a collaboration between myself and Pye Dubois, an excellent lyricist who wrote the lyrics for Max Webster. His original lyrics were kind of a portrait of a modern day rebel, a free-spirited individualist striding through the world wide-eyed and purposeful. I added the themes of reconciling the boy and man in myself, and the difference between what people are and what others perceive them to be - namely me I guess."

-- Drummer and lyricist Neil Peart

Too cool!!! :D

R B)

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