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Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience (Tour)


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Bonham rolls out Zep Experience

When Led Zeppelin’s reunion plans crashed and burned in 2008, Jason Bonham's spirits plummeted with them.

“I don’t think I really believed it was going to end,” admits the 44-year-old son of Zep drummer John Bonham, who took over for his late father at the band’s legendary 2007 reunion concert. “I’d worked so hard to get there and really thought everything was working in the right away. The planets had aligned and I was living that moment — and it suddenly came to a halt.

“It took me a good 18 months to pick myself up. I fell into the bin of self-pity and thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’”

Three years after that magic night, Bonham finally has his answer.

He's about to launch his own mothership: Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, a massive multi-media production that will visit 30 North American cities this fall — including more than a dozen Canadian stops (see full list below) — to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his father's alcohol-related death in 1980.

In the midst of a press blitz to promote the tour — I was his 17th interview of the day, and it wasn’t even noon — Bonham spoke emotionally and candidly about Zeppelin, his father and being called fat and bald during rehearsals. Here’s some of what he had to say.

Where did the idea for the Led Zeppelin Experience come from?

It came after I played the show with Jimmy (Page), Robert (Plant) and John Paul (Jones). Once that all stopped and people knew it wasn’t going to happen, the company that did The Beatles show Rain contacted my management and said, ‘Would Jason be interested in putting together a Zeppelin show?’ And I said, ‘No, not at all.’ They said, ‘At least come and see Rain before you make your final decision.’ So I went — it was the least I could do without being rude — and a light bulb went off. I thought, ‘I could do this, but in a way that makes it a personal thing.’ I have lots of memories of Zeppelin. And I know the joy it gives fans when I tell them stories. I see their faces light up. And it went from there.

What can you tell me about the show?

It’s more than just a band going on. There will be no wigs, no outfits, no dragon suits. We’re not trying to emulate anything. We’re trying to convey my life and my experience with Led Zeppelin. So without giving away too much about the whole thing, there’s a certain amount of music and some storytelling. You’ll see old movies of me as a child with Dad, playing the drums. There are some funny moments, some sad moments — just a personal trip into my life. And it celebrates Dad’s life. It’s just a little reminder that it’s been 30 years since he went.

Are you going to play Moby Dick?

Dad and I are going to do it together. We’re creating it from the two main video and audio choices we have, which are the 1970 Royal Albert Hall show and The Song Remains the Same movie. It’s going to be a challenge, making sure everything runs smoothly in sync. I’ll also play with him on When the Levee Breaks. That’s one of the hardest songs to replicate, so rather than fight it, I thought, ‘Come on Dad, let’s play this one together.’ We’re editing footage of him playing and cutting it so that he’s looking at me. I’m really looking forward to that.

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.

Were you concerned about what they would think of this?

I was fearful. But Robert was really supportive. He said, ‘Listen, you don’t need an excuse to do it. But do it with a smile on your face.’ When he said that, that was it.

What about Page and Jones?

I haven’t heard from Jimmy or John for quite some time. I’m sure they know about it.

You’ve said you rehearsed with them for months after the reunion show while you tried to find a singer — but it ended with a disagreement between Page and Jones. What happened?

It wasn’t so much a disagreement. It was that they agreed to disagree about what the direction should be and what we should be doing. But it was a very respectful, mutual kind of thing. I just had a great time jamming with them. Just playing those songs, I could do that for the rest of my life.

You must know you’re going to get grief from the purists for the show.

On yeah. But it’s my father and the music he created. And if I thought this was being done in a disrespectful manner, I wouldn’t do it. If Jimmy or John Paul Jones or Robert said, ‘Please don’t do it,’ I would stop immediately. I would respect their wishes. But it would have to come from them.

http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/music/2010/08/16/15038311.html

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Bonham rolls out Zep Experience

Were you concerned about what they would think of this?

I was fearful. But Robert was really supportive. He said, ‘Listen, you don’t need an excuse to do it. But do it with a smile on your face.’ When he said that, that was it.

What about Page and Jones?

I haven’t heard from Jimmy or John for quite some time. I’m sure they know about it.

You’ve said you rehearsed with them for months after the reunion show while you tried to find a singer — but it ended with a disagreement between Page and Jones. What happened?

It wasn’t so much a disagreement. It was that they agreed to disagree about what the direction should be and what we should be doing. But it was a very respectful, mutual kind of thing. I just had a great time jamming with them. Just playing those songs, I could do that for the rest of my life.

You must know you’re going to get grief from the purists for the show.

On yeah. But it’s my father and the music he created. And if I thought this was being done in a disrespectful manner, I wouldn’t do it. If Jimmy or John Paul Jones or Robert said, ‘Please don’t do it,’ I would stop immediately. I would respect their wishes. But it would have to come from them.

http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/music/2010/08/16/15038311.html

Why wouldn't Jason pick up the phone and talk to Page and Jones about his "Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience" tour???

He got the ok from Plant: "Listen, you don’t need an excuse to do it. But do it with a smile on your face.’ When he said that, that was it."

Really, "thats was it", no need to consult Page & Jones about using the name Led Zeppelin to sell your tickets? Wow!

Obviously, something ($) went down between them other than the "they agreed to disagree about what the direction should be and what we should be doing. But it was a very respectful, mutual kind of thing" story. Nope, not buying that, never did.

"If Jimmy or John Paul Jones or Robert said, ‘Please don’t do it,’ I would stop immediately. I would respect their wishes. But it would have to come from them"

Hey Jason, sometimes silence speaks louder than words...much louder.

I don't know, the 'Robert said I could' line just seems to fall a little short and to be quite honest is rather disrespectful to Page & Jones.

Edited by snapper
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Bonham rolls out Zep Experience

When Led Zeppelin’s reunion plans crashed and burned in 2008, Jason Bonham's spirits plummeted with them.

“I don’t think I really believed it was going to end,” admits the 44-year-old son of Zep drummer John Bonham, who took over for his late father at the band’s legendary 2007 reunion concert. “I’d worked so hard to get there and really thought everything was working in the right away. The planets had aligned and I was living that moment — and it suddenly came to a halt.

“It took me a good 18 months to pick myself up. I fell into the bin of self-pity and thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I going to do?’”

Three years after that magic night, Bonham finally has his answer.

He's about to launch his own mothership: Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, a massive multi-media production that will visit 30 North American cities this fall — including more than a dozen Canadian stops (see full list below) — to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his father's alcohol-related death in 1980.

In the midst of a press blitz to promote the tour — I was his 17th interview of the day, and it wasn’t even noon — Bonham spoke emotionally and candidly about Zeppelin, his father and being called fat and bald during rehearsals. Here’s some of what he had to say.

Where did the idea for the Led Zeppelin Experience come from?

It came after I played the show with Jimmy (Page), Robert (Plant) and John Paul (Jones). Once that all stopped and people knew it wasn’t going to happen, the company that did The Beatles show Rain contacted my management and said, ‘Would Jason be interested in putting together a Zeppelin show?’ And I said, ‘No, not at all.’ They said, ‘At least come and see Rain before you make your final decision.’ So I went — it was the least I could do without being rude — and a light bulb went off. I thought, ‘I could do this, but in a way that makes it a personal thing.’ I have lots of memories of Zeppelin. And I know the joy it gives fans when I tell them stories. I see their faces light up. And it went from there.

What can you tell me about the show?

It’s more than just a band going on. There will be no wigs, no outfits, no dragon suits. We’re not trying to emulate anything. We’re trying to convey my life and my experience with Led Zeppelin. So without giving away too much about the whole thing, there’s a certain amount of music and some storytelling. You’ll see old movies of me as a child with Dad, playing the drums. There are some funny moments, some sad moments — just a personal trip into my life. And it celebrates Dad’s life. It’s just a little reminder that it’s been 30 years since he went.

Are you going to play Moby Dick?

Dad and I are going to do it together. We’re creating it from the two main video and audio choices we have, which are the 1970 Royal Albert Hall show and The Song Remains the Same movie. It’s going to be a challenge, making sure everything runs smoothly in sync. I’ll also play with him on When the Levee Breaks. That’s one of the hardest songs to replicate, so rather than fight it, I thought, ‘Come on Dad, let’s play this one together.’ We’re editing footage of him playing and cutting it so that he’s looking at me. I’m really looking forward to that.

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.

Were you concerned about what they would think of this?

I was fearful. But Robert was really supportive. He said, ‘Listen, you don’t need an excuse to do it. But do it with a smile on your face.’ When he said that, that was it.

What about Page and Jones?

I haven’t heard from Jimmy or John for quite some time. I’m sure they know about it.

You’ve said you rehearsed with them for months after the reunion show while you tried to find a singer — but it ended with a disagreement between Page and Jones. What happened?

It wasn’t so much a disagreement. It was that they agreed to disagree about what the direction should be and what we should be doing. But it was a very respectful, mutual kind of thing. I just had a great time jamming with them. Just playing those songs, I could do that for the rest of my life.

You must know you’re going to get grief from the purists for the show.

On yeah. But it’s my father and the music he created. And if I thought this was being done in a disrespectful manner, I wouldn’t do it. If Jimmy or John Paul Jones or Robert said, ‘Please don’t do it,’ I would stop immediately. I would respect their wishes. But it would have to come from them.

http://www.torontosun.com/entertainment/music/2010/08/16/15038311.html

Thanks for posting Sam

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Why wouldn't Jason pick up the phone and talk to Page and Jones about his "Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience" tour???

He got the ok from Plant: "Listen, you don’t need an excuse to do it. But do it with a smile on your face.’ When he said that, that was it."

Really, "thats was it", no need to consult Page & Jones about using the name Led Zeppelin to sell your tickets? Wow!

Obviously, something ($) went down between them other than the "they agreed to disagree about what the direction should be and what we should be doing. But it was a very respectful, mutual kind of thing" story. Nope, not buying that, never did.

"If Jimmy or John Paul Jones or Robert said, ‘Please don’t do it,’ I would stop immediately. I would respect their wishes. But it would have to come from them"

Hey Jason, sometimes silence speaks louder than words...much louder.

I don't know, the 'Robert said I could' line just seems to fall a little short and to be quite honest is rather disrespectful to Page & Jones.

Thats one perspective

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Initially I also found this comment to be perplexing, but come to think of it yes, it be cool indeed if they all did join Jason one night along the way on Four Sticks, for example, to pay tribute to his father, John Bonham. However, this is highly unlikely.

oh yes, highly unlikely, but ya never know! :)

in light of the interview that sam has just posted ( thanks for that sam ), it seems even odder .... seems he has not even spoken to jimmy or john paul about this new show :o only to robert, which seems really strange to me. i would have thought it was among the first things to do when deciding to do this show, as well as talk to his family. i hope everything is sweet with all concerned, i love the idea of this show, just wish it would come to oz so i could see it! i dearly hope it will be filmed and put onto dvd soon.

jason says he is going to play along to levee with film of his dad .... kinda reminds me of how natalie cole and her father seemed to be singing together after he had passed. i can see how he may get choked up doing that kinda thing, and his mum and his family will probably be moved ( that's an understatement ) i imagine.

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Glad these dates are finally posted. Temecula is not on the list as I was led to beleive, but no worry, I am just as happy with the Riverside location. The venue had the event on their site today but the tickets are not on sale yet. I called to find out when they may be going on sale, but they did not know. The lady was kind enough to take my name and number so as to call me when they have more information. Hopefully she will ,but to be safe I will be checking every day.

The anticipation of seeing the show is exciting.

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Somehow the other day I was able to get tix to riverside, CA. I bought ten tix in the VIP section in the front. I cannot believe how lucky I am. I think so anyway.

What's weird is that now Ticketmaster doesn't even list the show, and the jblze.com website lists tickets sale date TBA.

I've got confirmations by email, but they still haven't charged my cc.

They are on the myticketmaster tab for shows I have tickets to.

TM must've screwed up is all I can figure.

This reminds me of the zeppelin reunion where harvey was going to cancel the tickets of anyone who got theirs from ebay.

Am I going or am I not???

:smiley_pray:

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November 29th, 2010 | The Centre PAC

Vancouver, BC

November 27th, 2010 | WaMu Theater

Seattle, WA

November 26th, 2010 | Schnitzer Concert Hall

Portland, OR

November 24th, 2010 | Regency Ballroom

San Francisco, CA

November 23rd, 2010 | Pantages Theater

Los Angeles, CA

November 21st, 2010 | Fox PAC

Riverside, CA

November 20th, 2010 | The Joint

Las Vegas, NV

November 18th, 2010 | Fairpark Music Hall

Dallas, TX

November 17th, 2010 | Spirit Bank Centre

Tulsa, OK

November 16th, 2010 | Verizon Theatre

Houston, TX

November 14th, 2010 | King Center

Melbourne, FL

November 13th, 2010 | Florida Theater

Jacksonville, FL

November 10th, 2010 | Buckethead

Atlanta, GA

November 8th, 2010 | Nokia Theater

New York, NY

November 6th, 2010 | Merriam Theatre

Philadelphia, PA

November 4th, 2010 | Bergen PAC

Englewood, NJ

November 3rd, 2010 | Count Basie Theater

Red Bank, NJ

November 2nd, 2010 | The Orpheum

Boston, MA

October 30th, 2010 | Auditorium Theater

Rochester, NY

October 29th, 2010 | Sony Centre

Toronto, ON

October 28th, 2010 | Centre in the Square

Kitchener, ON

October 27th, 2010 | Hamilton Place - Great Hall

Hamilton, ON

October 25th, 2010 | Grand Theatre

Quebec City, QUE

October 23rd, 2010 | Metropolis

Montreal, QUE

October 21st, 2010 | Star Plaza

Merrilville, IN

October 20th, 2010 | Riverside Theatre

Milwaukee, WI

October 19th, 2010 | State Theatre

Minneapolis, MN

October 17th, 2010 | MTS Centre

Winnipeg, MB

October 16th, 2010 | Brandt Centre

Regina, SK

October 14th, 2010 | Southern Alberta Jubilee

Calgary, AB

October 13th, 2010 | Enmax Centre

Red Deer, AB

October 12th, 2010 | Northern Alberta Jubilee

Edmonton, AB

October 9th, 2010 | CN Centre

Prince George, BC

October 8th, 2010 | Encana Events Center

Dawson Creek, BC

So glad Rochester gets a date, we never get concerts anymore

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If Atlanta is not on the list?...looks like Jacksonville on the November 13th!!

One list has Atlanta (Buckethead) and another doesn't.

It may be the New Buckhead Theatre (the Old Roxy Theatre) in Buckhead/Atlanta, GA.

http://www.thebuckheadtheatre.com/

Also, there is a Buckethead (ticket seller) that offers tickets for Atlanta in three different venues : Variety Playhouse, Chastain Ampitheatre and The Tabernacle).

Perhaps, it is at one of those venues?

http://tickets.oakwebworks.com/CONCERTS/ALTERNATIVE/Buckethead/BucketheadAtlantaTickets.asp

http://www.livenation.com/The-Tabernacle-tickets-Atlanta/venue/115031

http://www.variety-playhouse.com/index.html

Waiting for confirmation.

Sam, do you know if Atlanta is confirmed as part of the 30+ dates?

R B)

Edited by reids
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One list has Atlanta (Buckethead) and another doesn't.

Sam, do you know if Atlanta is confirmed as part of the 30+ dates?

R B)

Not sure. The "tour" section is maintained by the production/tour company, so that should have the most up-to-date & correct info, as far as I know.

http://www.jblze.com...x.php?page=Tour

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Not sure. The "tour" section is maintained by the production/tour company, so that should have the most up-to-date & correct info, as far as I know.

http://www.jblze.com...x.php?page=Tour

ok. Thanks, Sam. I contacted them directly. Awaiting their reply.

There are also some other dates on Pollstar.com that are not on JBLZE.com tour page.

We'll see. :)

R B)

Edited by reids
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Hmmm, according to the most recent "Lemon Squeezings" e newsletter, Jason will not be telling who all is in the band before the first show of the JBLZE! I was kinda waiting to see who all would be playing with him before buying my tickets for the Merrillville, IN show.

http://www.ledzeppelinnews.com/2010/08/30-some-tour-dates-announced-for-jason.html

There is some information about the shows and dates that have been listed but now aren't listed. From what I read, all will be sorted out by this Thursday as to what dates and towns he will be hitting.

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It's sooooo easy to judge someone from outside...

...I remain respectful to all posters, for they have opinion, but I think you have captured my feelings on this Board, that includes the fans who "think" they know what to say, based on merely someone's posts, not realizing that they are real human beings who come from different walks of life and different cultural experiences....never ever make a "assumption" about anyone, and that includes our Musician Jason".......truly, only he knows the real truth...Peace, and I truly mean it....

I won't names here, that is not my intention, but I think they know who they are...

....We the fans, along with Jason, are all here to celebrate Led Zeppelin and their music...really, that's what it's all about...anyways, I am too old for arguments :)

Edited by PlanetPage
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hmm, i am not sure i like this idea. Jason should just leave Led Zeppelin alone and not try to revice it, and probably not as well.

I'm getting a little tired of Jason milking this 'experience cover tou' because he is a Bonham? so what? that doesn't make him Led Zeppelin.

my 0.02

give the kid a break. He lost his father when he was 14. He's been living in the shadow of, and is endlessly compared to his father. He loves Led Zeppelin and wants to see both his father and Led Zeppelin and himself in the spotlight. There is nothing wrong with that IMO, especially since there is little collaboration between any of the other bandmembers other than the plant/page 95, 98 tours, then the reunion.

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The Dallas gig has now disappeared from the jblze site. :huh:

I tend to trust the list of concert dates and venues posted by johnroxx, as I called the Music Hall at Fair Park today, and spoke to Jayne Basse, and she said they just singed the papers for the JB LZE to be there on Nov. 18th. Jamie said she though the tickets would likely go on sale Sept. 2nd (Thurs.)..... but that part is unconfirmed. And, any pre-sale date, would obviously come before that.

Just keep Checking TM every day. I will post here when I find out more . . .

Here's a Seating Chart for the 3,420 seat Music Hall at Fair Park:

http://www.liveatthemusichall.com/seatingchart.shtm

I've been to several events at the Music Hall, and sitting in the balcony was good, only if you are at the front of the first section.

On the Floor, you would not want to be more than half way back in the first section.

Acoustically, the Music Hall is fine, no problem.

The Dart Green Line Light Rail serves Fair Park, and currently, the last train out from that station is at 11:51pm, but I'd take a car, it's on a Thursday night, and traffic shouldn't be too bad going and coming.

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