Guitar Aficionado

Led Zeppelin “Will Play Together Again!” Says Jason Bonham

The drummer talks about the group's reunion efforts and behind-the-scenes activities.
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By Christopher Scapelliti

Jimmy Page recently announced he’s putting together a brand-new group to record and tour in 2016, but that hasn’t stopped Led Zeppelin drummer Jason Bonham from speculating on Zep’s chances of reuniting in the future.

In a new interview with Vanyaland, Bonham says he believes the group will get back together at some point. “In my heart of hearts… I do believe we will play together again,” he says. “It remains to be seen if it will be in public or privately, but I do think we will play again.”

Led Zeppelin—Page, Bonham, singer Robert Plant and bassist John Paul Jones—last performed together in 2007 at London’s O2 Arena in tribute to Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Though Page, Bonham and Jones were interested in keeping the band together, Plant could not be convinced.

Bonham told Vanyaland that he and Plant spoke about his decision at the time, noting that their discussion was private and “very special, and I totally respect his wishes.

“Then I got a call from Jimmy’s manager at the time, and we were going to get together and do a side project,” Bonham continued. “So basically me, Jimmy and John Paul Jones got together on a few occasions to see if we could do something. We started writing together, and there was a possibility of a couple of different singers—which has all been documented now.”

That lineup included both Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Myles Kennedy, singer for Alter Bridge and Slash’s group, the Conspirators. The group nearly toured—Jones confirmed as much to Rolling Stone in October 2008—but the project never got out of the gate.

“As Jimmy said, ‘We were never gonna call it Led Zeppelin,’ ” Bonham told Vanyaland. “We had a great time; I love Steven and I love Myles—they were both great. It’s a very special memory in my life.”

(Page was less charitable in his recollection of that period, referring to the band’s attempt to find a new singer as “a total nightmare.”)

Time will tell if Plant comes around. He has continued to perform Zeppelin songs onstage, which shows he’s not completely ignoring his past.

Page for his part has moved ahead with his post-Zeppelin plans now that he’s wrapped up his reissue project of the band’s studio albums. He recently told Classic Rock that he’ll tour in 2016 with a band that’s “totally different” from Led Zeppelin.

“There will be all sorts of material from different eras,” Page said. “Right across the board; that’s the way I’m seeing it. But like I said, there will be surprises. It won’t be entirely what people might be expecting.”

Speaking of surprises, Page did the unexpected last month when he performed “Rock and Roll” with Paul Rodgers, Duff McKagan, Krist Novoselic and other rockers at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. He had previously performed the song live with John Paul Jones and the Foo Fighters a few years ago, and you can watch a video of that performance below.