Jason Bonham, son of late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, sat down last week with The Vinyl Guide podcast to discuss his father's lasting musical legacy, which we learned may include a box of old recordings still to see the light of day.
Led Zeppelin's late drummer John Bonham is best known for his wild style and lightning-quick triplet technique, rightfully landing him on every 'Best Drummers' list ever created. His son, Jason Bonham, has since kept up his father's legacy becoming a notable percussionist in his own right, performing with the surviving members of his late father's band over the years, as well as with his own group, Bonham, and Sammy Hagar's supergroup The Circle, among other projects.
During their chat, which also touches on Jason's impromptu and somewhat inebriated jam session with Led Zep members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones at his 1990 wedding, Jason also revealed that he has in his possession a box of his dad's old reel-to-reel tapes.
After finding a box of John's old recordings at home, he realized that they were likely from old sessions that his father brought back from the studio to listen to. “We've got his old Revox two-track and that was literally just to be able to play mixes when he came back from the studio... Believe it or not, Dad didn't like to play at all at home... He had no recording equipment," Jason explains. "I need to get the machine up and running and hook it up,” he says. “Let's find out if we've got anything that hasn't even been released yet."
One major problem is, Jason is concerned that the tapes may have been damaged over the years spent in storage. "You put them in the machine,” he explains, “and it just erases them the moment you press start."
In the past he explains, baking tapes with low-temperature heat has proven to be a way of making this type of media playable again. So that, as crazy as it sounds to purposely put possibly unheard Led Zeppelin music in an oven, that may be Bonham’s only option. Let's just hope he keeps a close eye on the window, or else these good times can turn into bad times real quick.
Listen to the full episode of The Vinyl Guide with Jason Bonham above, and join host Nate on his journey to discuss, share and review all things related to vinyl records. The Vinyl Guide features stories about and interviews with musicians, artists, and people of knowledge in the area of vinyl records. Additionally, they share information on desirable pressings of records, how to tell a $5 pressing from a $500 pressing, and care and maintenance for your cratedigging hobby. Subscribe and share with your record-nerd friends.
Listen to Led Zeppelin Radio and more on the free Audacy app
Browse and follow more of Audacy's all-new stations like Classic 70s, 80s Guitar, Rock N’ Road, Freedom Rock, The Canyon, Arena Rock, Wake Up and Rock, and The Roots of Rock for those who crave the early days.