Joanie Cox-Henry of Sun-Sentinel.com recently conducted an interview with Jason Bonham, son of legendary LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham.
Asked about sharing the stage with Ann and Nancy Wilson of HEART to perform “Stairway To Heaven” during the LED ZEPPELIN tribute at theKennedy Center Honors, Jason said: “When I was asked to do‘Stairway’, I was, like, ‘Really? ‘Stairway’?’ There are some songs you just don’t touch. But the arrangement with the choir, orchestra and way the whole band played was very special. Both Robert [Plant] and John Paul [Jones] were blown away by the arrangements. It was cool and different. The respect to the original was incredible and Ann and Nancywere fantastic. There were 50 people bobbing up and down wearing top hats. The hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you see something like this.
After the performance was viewed more than five million times onYouTube, “The demand became so great it got released on iTunes,”Bonham said. “I later got a call from Live Nation asking how we could put something like this together for a show.”
Regarding how this summer’s Heartbreaker Tour with HEART came about, Bonham said: “I started talking to the girls from HEART and we came up with an idea of taking my band and doing a shorter version of what I normally do and then they would do a shortened version of their show. Then, we could be together and end with my guitar player and do a 45-minute extravaganza of performing some of the greatest music fromLED ZEPPELIN that there is. It’s going to be a fantastic summer.”
Jason also spoke about his father’s enduring influence on the current crop of rock drummers, saying: “Every drummer I’ve ever spoken to or read an interview with — my dad is always in their top three. I’m honored to share his name and represent him all these years after he’s gone. It’s been fantastic.”
He added: “I don’t think he even realized that 33 years after he died, he’d be an icon in the drumming world and the band became what they did — bigger than ever. He’s such an icon and yet he was such a simple, regular guy when he was at home.”
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