Jason Bonham has described the moment during rehearsals for Led Zeppelin’s 2007 reunion show where Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones ran through a short acoustic set.
Bonham told Q103 Albany that “the planets aligned for that event.”
“For me, not only the event, for me it was the six weeks prior being around them for that amount of time,” he said. “That was the greatest moments of my life just being one of the guys with them, hanging out with them, talking about music, whatever.”
“One of the highlights for me, just for me, there was nobody else in the room. I said ‘Why don’t you guys do an acoustic bit in the O2 show, for the anniversary?'”
“They said ‘No, no,’ and I said ‘Oh man, I’d love to hear you guys do like Tangerine or Going To California’ and they went and grabbed the acoustics, sat on a couch, me sat in front of them and they did ‘Tangerine’ and ‘Going To California.’ I was like, it was surreal. I was the only person there.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Bonham discussed changing his band name after Led Zeppelin told him that they have plans for the term “Led Zeppelin Experience”:
“This year [is] very special,” he said. “That’s why I was asked if I could allow the boys to change the name because they have something planned.”
“I don’t know what it is so I can’t answer that but I said ‘of course.’ I just wanted to keep the JBLZE so I said ‘OK, what could I say – extravaganza? No, that doesn’t sound right. So it became Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.”
And Bonham hinted that he doesn’t believe there’s any chance that Led Zeppelin will reunite again: “Things couldn’t be better for me right now. Well, they could in one … but that isn’t going to happen.”
You can listen to the full interview below:
I bought the backstage-endorsement on my ticket when Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience played my hometown (Austin, TX) on August 20, 2017. Ironically that also happened to be Robert Plant’s 69th birthday. Before the show a group of us audience members with the endorsed tickets got to chat with Jason Bonham backstage. Among many other anecdotes he told the story mentioned here, of watching Page, Plant, and Jones do an impromptu guitar-and-mandolin acoustic set, all three sitting on a dressing-room couch, during rehearsals for the O2 show in 2007. Bonham said he felt thunderstruck at his good fortune in life, to be in that dressing room watching a private Led Zeppelin acoustic set performed by these men who also just happened to be his dad’s best mates and his own extended-family “uncles.” In reply to the inevitable question about the possibilites of an LZ reunion, Bonham said a reunion was not likely as things were then, but as a huge grin quickly came over his face added that, as Sean Connery had learned after saying he would not be Bond again, one should “never say never.” As a fan and audience member I have to say Jason Bonham is very much a regular guy, outgoing and immediately likable, gracious and well mannered, and completely unpretentious. He is also a terrific storyteller and m.c. Feel lucky to have met him, heard his stories, and to have seen him perform. And on Robert Plant’s birthday no less.
Nice story, Sean, thanks for sharing! 🙂