Jason Bonham performing at The Roxy, West Hollywood, California on 11 October 2009
15 July 1966 |
Dudley, West Midlands, England
Jason John Bonham (born 15 July 1966) is an English drummer. Bonham is perhaps best known for being the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and Patricia "Pat" Bonham (born Phillips). After his father's death in September 1980, he played with Led Zeppelin on different occasions, including the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at The O2 Arena in London in 2007.
Biography and musical career
Bonham first began playing drums at the age of four, and appeared with his father in the film The Song Remains the Same, drumming on a scaled-down kit. At 17, he joined his first band, Airrace. In 1985, he joined Virginia Wolf, making two albums and touring the US supporting the Firm.
In 1988, Bonham joined former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for his Outrider album and tour. In May of the same year, Bonham appeared with the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin for a performance at Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert in New York City.
In 1989, Bonham appeared as a special guest at the Moscow Music Peace Festival, performing the song "Rock and Roll" with many major rock stars of the day. That same year, he formed his own band, Bonham, whose Zeppelin-inflected first release The Disregard of Timekeeping had a hit single, "Wait for You" and the music video for the subsequent single "Guilty" did get some play; however, after a lukewarm reception for their 1992 release, Mad Hatter, the band was dissolved, and Bonham concentrated on session work and guest appearances.
On 28 April 1990, Bonham married Jan Charteris, in Stone, Kidderminster. His wedding reception included a jam with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones. The Bonhams have two children: a son named Jager and a daughter, Jaz (born 1993).
Bonham drummed for Paul Rodgers on the Grammy nominated Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters project. A year later with Slash and Paul Rodgers, he appeared at Woodstock II in 1994. Bonham reformed his band with a new lead vocalist, Marti Frederiksen, replacing Daniel MacMaster. Renamed Motherland, they released the album Peace 4 Me later in 1994; however, his down-to-earth nature always showed—on one occasion making an encore drumming appearance for local Led Zeppelin tribute bands Fred Zeppelin and Led Zepagain.
In 1995, Jason represented his father when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with his sister Zoe by his side. Bonham soon put together another solo project that culminated in In the Name of My Father - The Zepset, which featured the songs of Led Zeppelin. Proceeds from the album went to charity. The album followed up with When You See the Sun.
Jason Bonham also appeared in the movie Rock Star, 2001. Bonham played drummer A.C., of the fictional band Steel Dragon. The film also featured performances by musicians such as Zakk Wylde, Jeff Pilson, Myles Kennedy, Jeff Scott Soto, Brian Vander Ark, Blas Elias and Nick Catanese. He also played on the film's soundtrack.
Bonham starred with Ted Nugent, Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), and Scott Ian (Anthrax) on the VH1 reality television show, Supergroup, in May 2006. The musicians formed a band called Damnocracy (after ditching the names FIST, God War, and Savage Animal) for the show, during which they lived in a mansion in Las Vegas for twelve days and created music. Jason also played drums live with Foreigner from 2004 to 2007 and part of 2007 to 2008.
Bonham joined the group Black Country Communion late in 2009 and stayed with them until they broke up in March 2013. He rejoined the group when they reformed in 2016.
Participation in Led Zeppelin reunions
On 12 September 2007, it was announced that Jason Bonham would step into his father's shoes and play drums for a Led Zeppelin reunion concert. This took place on 10 December 2007 at London's O2 arena as part of an all-star tribute to Ahmet Ertegün. His performance was described as "flawless" by music critics.
Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience and other experiences
In February 2009, Jason Bonham and James Dylan began working together in what would become Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, a live homage to his father's band. In autumn of 2010, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience embarked on their first North American tour and toured worldwide during 2011.
Bonham more recently played drums, along with sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of the group Heart on vocals and guitar respectively, for a performance of Stairway to Heaven during the Led Zeppelin tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2012 while band members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones looked on.
In 2014, Bonham joined Sammy Hagar's supergroup The Circle. The band featured Led Zeppelin tracks along with songs from Hagar's various career projects, such as Montrose, Van Halen, and Chickenfoot.
From early March to late May 2015, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience toured extensively North America. On 4 December 2015, the band kicked off their North American Winter Tour in San Jose, California. In early May 2016, they embarked on a one-month / 22-date North American tour.
Jason Bonham endorses DW Drums
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Bonham has produced his own line of signature series drumstick with Pro-Mark. The SD531W is made of American Maple with acorn shaped, wooden tips. The taper is relatively short and the sticks have considerably large dimensions, being 16.75" (42.5 cm) in length and 0.595" (1.5 cm) in diameter. The sticks also feature the symbol used by Bonham's father, John Bonham, of the three interlocking rings – they are printed next to Jason's signature on the side of the stick.
- Shaft of Light by Airrace (1984)
- Virginia Wolf by Virginia Wolf (1986)
- Push by Virginia Wolf (1987)
- Outrider by Jimmy Page (1988)
- The Disregard of Timekeeping by Bonham (1989)
- Mad Hatter by Bonham (1992)
- Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters by Paul Rodgers (1993)
- Peace for Me by Motherland (1994)
- In the Name of My Father: The Zepset by Jason Bonham Band (1997)
- When You See the Sun by Jason Bonham Band (1997)
- Born Again Savage by Little Steven (1999)
- Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture as Steel Dragon (2001)
- Enormosound by Healing Sixes (2002)
- 100% Live by The Quireboys (2002)
- You Are Here by U.F.O. (2004)
- Extended Versions by Foreigner (2005)
- You & Me by Joe Bonamassa (2006)
- No End in Sight: The Very Best of Foreigner by Foreigner (2008) (Tracks 12-15)
- Can't Slow Down by Foreigner (2009) (Track 9)
- Black Country Communion by Black Country Communion (2010)
- Black Country Communion 2 by Black Country Communion (2011)
- Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin (2012)
- Afterglow by Black Country Communion (2012)
- California Breed by California Breed (2014)
- At Your Service. by The Circle (2015)
- BCCIV by Black Country Communion (2017)
- "www.jasonbonham.net – official website". Led-zeppelin.com. Retrieved 2010-05-18.[permanent dead link]
- "News Article". Metal Hammer. Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
- Elizabeth Goodman (12 September 2007). "Led Zeppelin to Play Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert on November 26 in London". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "Led Zeppelin return to the stage". BBC News. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
- Local_Hoosier. "Zeppelin: Thirty years after last concert, 'Song Remains the Same' : Music : Evansville Courier Press". Courierpress.com. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
- "James Dylan Biography". James Dylan Official. 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
- "Heart and Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience wow crowd at Cruzan on opening night of tour," Sun-Sentinel, 22 June 2013
- Greene, Andy (3 April 2015). "Watch Sammy Hagar and the Circle Tear Through 'When It's Love'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 April 2015.