The son of John Bonham has been touring his tribute show since 2009, after he’d taken part in Zeppelin’s one-off reunion concert two years earlier. Despite that, he said he never found the opportunity to talk personally about Plant’s feelings on the legendary band’s legacy.
In a recent episode of The Eddie Trunk Podcast, Bonham recalled that he was in Nashville recording with Sammy Hagar when Plant happened to arrive for a visit. “I was still working with Sammy and the Circle in the studio, and then in the evening I’d go sit with Robert, just the two of us with my wife, and just go over old stories and laugh and cry,” he said.
“We hadn’t had any interactions like that in a very long time. … He said, ‘What are you up to?’ I said, ‘Well, I play with this guy, Sammy Hagar,’ and he was like … ‘OK, and … ?’ ‘And of course I’’ll be doing my other thing.’ And he goes, ‘Don’t look at me with those eyes and go, “The other thing.” You mean with Zeppelin? … Good on you. Just make sure you do it with honesty and love, because that’s how you have to do it.’”
Bonham said it was “a very cool moment” and led to the chance to discuss Zeppelin in a way they never had before, “because there were always people around.” “He goes, ‘All you have to remember is … some of these songs bring back a time in my life which wasn’t great. I was in a wheelchair after almost dying in a car crash … I was in pain.’ … I remember being there and seeing him being wheeled in. He goes, ‘I couldn’t do anything for myself, but I still was going to do another album, and there I was in a wheelchair with my leg straight.’ And he sang the way he did on those songs, so God bless him for that.”
The drummer said he asked Plant about his favorite Zeppelin song and believed the answer was “Achilles’ Last Stand,” from the 1976 album Presence. “[Plant] said, ‘If I ever play somebody something … this is it. Listen to this – this is what we had.’ He was very proud of that [song].”
He added that he’d been told about a compliment Plant paid him in his absence when the singer said: “Anybody saw Jason? OK, that’s how Led Zeppelin used to sound.” “It was very nice of him,” Bonham said.
Listen to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Achilles’ Last Stand’
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