Like Father, Like Son: Jason Bonham
Led Zeppelin disbanded in 1980, upon the death of drummer John “Bonzo” Bonham. In his post for the LA Music Blog, reviewer Anthony Marks writes, “Sad as it is, Jimmy Page and Robert plant decided that Bonham was important enough to the group’s sound that they could never recreate the same vibe or momentum. I appreciate that.”
The one exception, in his opinion, is Jason Bonham, John’s son. Summarizing his review of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience show in LA in 2015, Marks writes, “Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience at The Greek Theatre Sunday night was nothing short of excellent. You can tell Jason was channeling his father and, in some spiritual way, jamming with him, too.”
Children learning a musical instrument, or perhaps a discipline of dance, are often asked to perform when company’s visiting. For Jason, though, his company often included Jimmy Page. Already showing some skill at age 5, Jason was a member of the band Air Race by 17.
Over the years, Jason has played with various Led Zeppelin members. In 1988, he joined Jimmy Page for his Outrider album and tour and performed with all three surviving members at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert. When he married Jan Charteris in 1990, his wedding even included a jam session with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones.
However, he’s also recorded his own albums, too. For example, forming his own band, appropriately called Bonham, he earned a gold record with “Wait for You,” the first track from his first album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, in 1989. Three years later, he completed another album, Mad Hatter.
In 1993, he teamed up with greats like Paul Rodgers, Slash, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck, and others to record a full album tribute to Muddy Waters. The group received a Grammy nomination for the successful record. Then, in 1994, he appeared in Woodstock II, along with Rodgers and Slash.
Even just this year, Jason released an album in September with Black Country Communion, called BCCIV. The members? None other than music greats Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian, and Joe Bonamassa.
But Jason has never been too far from his father. When Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 195, Jason and his sister, Zoe, stood in John’s place. And in 2007, he played drums in his father’s place at the record-breaking Led Zeppelin reunion concert, which was part of the Ahmet Ertegün Tribute Concert at the O2 in London. (Record-breaking, because there were reportedly 20 million entries in the lottery to win one of 20,000 tickets.)
Jason Bonham will bring his Led Zeppelin Experience to the Centre In The Square on December 5. Get your tickets now for the closest you’ll ever experience to a Led Zeppelin concert.