In 2009, Led Zeppelin was on the verge of touring and recording without singer Robert Plant. But how close were they? “Real close,” says Jason Bonham, the son of the late Zeppelin member John, who replaced his father on drums.
“It got as close as you can possibly get,” the 43-year-old rocker tells Music Radar. “We did a year of writing and putting stuff together. I loved working with [guitarist] Jimmy Page and [bassist] John Paul Jones. It was so much fun.”
But it’s the “we” part that’s in question. Led Zeppelin reunited for a special one-off concert in London in 2007 with Plant, but he wasn’t interested in going further, so Bonham, Page, and Jones began auditioning singers to fill his incredibly big shoes. Reports placed numerous crooners at the mic, including Chris Cornell. But Myles Kennedy, the lead singer of God-rock Creed offshoot Alter Bridge, seemed to be a constant in the running.
However, Bonham says “no,” Kennedy wasn’t the man pegged to sing hits like “Black Dog,” “Communication Breakdown,” and more. “There was somebody else. Somebody else was involved — that’s all I’ll say to that.”
In the end, Page and Jones couldn’t agree on the direction of the project, says Boham, and Jones left to join rock supergroup Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and Josh Homme. But Bonham still plans to honor the Brit band’s music. In October, he’s launching a tour called Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, a multimedia event that will tell the history of the band from his perspective.
“We’re going to have huge screens showing old footage of my dad when he was young, as a kid, footage of me playing with him, along with some film of me when I was growing up,” he said. “Musically, we’ll cover all the periods of Led Zeppelin, so fans will definitely get their money’s worth there.”