JASON BONHAM: Playing 2007 LED ZEPPELIN Reunion Show 'Reinvented Me As An Artist And Rejuvenated Me As A Person'
August 31, 2019
In a recent interview with Steve King of Albany, New York radio station Q105.7, veteran rock drummer Jason Bonham shared what it was like for him to take part in LED ZEPPELIN's December 10, 2007 reunion show at the O2 Arena in London, England. Jason assumed the drum throne for his late, legendary father John, who passed away in 1980, subsequently leading to LED ZEPPELIN's breakup. The 2007 show — ZEPPELIN's first full-length gig in nearly three decades — was eventually released as a live DVD set in 2012 titled "Celebration Day". Since then, vocalist Robert Plant has resisted numerous calls for LED ZEPPELIN to play more shows, making it very likely the O2 date will be the band's last.
"At the time, it was one of those things that I had to remind myself just to enjoy it," Jason said (hear audio below). "'Don't get trapped into the whole thing of it because this might never happen again.' For me, it was one of the only times I've really…it really was nice and long. It didn't feel short. I enjoyed every moment and got into the groove a bit. I always said if we could get to 'Black Dog' and I could tell even on 'Ramble On' that I started to go for it, so I was feeling okay. Then 'Black Dog', I started to do some of the things I hadn't done before. You could tell by that point I was okay. I still think one of the best versions for a long time, I love the version of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' and 'In My Time Of Dying', and 'Kashmir', of course."
Bonham then shared his reaction to Plant's quote that one of the reasons for the one-off show was to do it for Jason. "Which was wonderful," he said. "It kind of reinvented me as an artist or just rejuvenated me as a person at the time. For me, it proved that — I'd been sober for 18 years, this was back in 2007, so it was pretty early on in my sobriety when at the time when I was told when I was getting sober to let go of things that would always hinder me. Eventually, when I let go, that happened. When I let go of ever thinking it was ever going to happen, that's when it happened. [Laughs] It was very special. Just to be around them, not just the playing, but to be around them for six weeks. We went out for dinner a few times together. I'd spend time with Robert up in the Midlands where he lived. I'd spend time with Jimmy [Page] when I was in London and driving him around. I couldn't ask for a cooler environment to be in. I was now a grown man hanging out with them, not this little kid. But I still felt like the little kid.
The 53-year-old drummer currently leads JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING, and also plays in THE CIRCLE, which is rounded out by Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Vic Johnson.
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