Jason Bonham, whose father is drummer John Bonham, one of the original members of the legendary rock band LED ZEPPELIN, spoke to Joe Rock of Long Island, New York's 102.3 WBAB radio station about the recent passing of FOO FIGHTERS drummer Taylor Hawkins. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "When we lost Taylor, it open[ed] a floodgate of memory for the day that I found out my father passed. And to [Taylor's] family and to his friends and his children, my love and best wishes go to them with every ounce of me. He was a wonderful person. I got to hang with him on several occasions and Dave [Grohl, FOO FIGHTERS frontman], and the whole band are just amazing guys."
Referencing his March 25 performance with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE at The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod in Las Vegas, Jason continued: "For me, that was one of the hardest shows I've ever had to play, was 10 minutes after finding that out [that Taylor died]. As I said, it's not just because of him. At that time, for me, and I think for a lot of us, when somebody like that passes, if we've lost somebody close to us, it brings back all of that. But we have to remember it brings back also the joy, the smile, the laughter. I'm fortunate — my dad, there's enough clips on YouTube and the Internet that you can go to, and I can say to my children who never met him, 'This is your grandpa...' So for us, we're blessed — there is footage always there to show them what he was like. And some people don't have that. So I feel very fortunate."
John Bonham died suddenly in 1980 at the age of 32 after choking on his own vomit, following a night of heavy drinking. Within the previous 24 hours he had consumed around 40 shots of 40 percent ABV vodka.
Hawkins was found dead on March 25 at the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel in Bogota, Colombia while FOO FIGHTERS were on tour. An official cause of death for Hawkins hasn't yet been released, but on March 26, Colombia's attorney general's office issued a preliminary toxicology report, saying that medical examiners found evidence of 10 types of substances in Hawkins's body, including opioids, benzodiazepines, marijuana and antidepressants.
Jason is currently promoting the spring 2022 U.S. tour from his band JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING. Bonham and his band will perform music from throughout LED ZEPPELIN's career on the 16-date trek which will kick off tonight (Thursday, April 7) in Fort Wayne, Indiana and conclude on April 30 in Austin, Texas.
Bonham spent nearly a decade touring as JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE before changing the band's name to JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EVENING. Bonham later explained that the switch was prompted by a request from the LED ZEPPELIN camp, who wanted to use the "Experience" name for a project involving the archive of ZEP live recordings.
Jason launched JASON BONHAM'S LED ZEPPELIN EXPERIENCE two years after taking part in LED ZEPPELIN's one-off performance in 2007 at London's O2 Arena tribute concert for friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. The rare live set, which saw Jason behind the drums in place of his late father, was released in 2012 as "Celebration Day".