Bonham Jr didn’t want to be drummer
Racing ambition: Jason Bonham
Jason Bonham says he had no plans to become a full-time drummer when he was young.
The son of Led Zeppelin icon John was far more interested in becoming a motorsport star.
He tells Noisecreep: “Growing up, my heroes were American motocross riders. I didn’t want to be a drummer – I wanted to me a motocross rider.”
Those plans never came to fruition, and Bonham settled into a career behind the drumkit, playing with his own bands along with Led Zep and Black Country Communion.
Now sober for 14 years, he admits it was a challenge to prove himself against his father’s reputation. “At some point I got sick of people calling me Bonzo junior,” he explains. “But now I’m older and wiser, I’m just honoured to be mentioned in the same breath.”
After Zep’s 2007 reunion show – released last year as Celebration Day – the drummer started work on his touring show Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. It was planned to be a one-off set of gigs but has continued into 2013 to positive reviews.
But he says he’d never have taken part if Robert Plant hadn’t given his consent. “When I started I had a big discussion with Robert. He said, ‘Do it because you want to, not because you have to.’ As long as you do it well and do it with a smile on your face, you have my blessing.”
During the shows he performs the band’s classic tracks, interspersed with family home video from his childhood years. One of his aims is to hint at the person John Bonham really was: “Everyone knows these stories about a wild and crazy guy,” he says. “But at home he was just like any other father. He might have been in Led Zeppelin – but to me he was just Dad.”