5 Drummerszone artists - Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham
* July 15, 1966
United Kingdom, United States
For what turned out to be his first public appearance, Jason Bonham was dressed in a romper suit. He can be seen in the Led Zeppelin movie, 'The Song Remains The Same', playing a scaled-down drum kit for a very proud father, John Bonham, the legendary drummer of Led Zeppelin. Jason was five years old and son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Jason recalls many such appearances.
"Sometimes I would be woken up at 2 o'clock in the morning to come down and play that scaled-down kit. The audiences ranged from family mends to the biggest names in rock of that period. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, members of YES, Bad Company, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer would often drop by our house after shows in the area and a major party would follow. After being woken up for a few of these nocturnal performances, I was able to negotiate my first fee, a much needed day off school."


While Jason continued to play the drums at home, his first love became motor cross riding. John Bonham was an enthusiastic supporter of the sport in England and, at the age of 14, Jason was a factory rider for Kawasaki and was placed second in the British Junior National Championships, losing by 1 point. "I won the last race of the season and my competitor had to come in 5th or better to place ahead of me in the Championship. He was Iying 8th on the last lap and three people crashed right in front of him allowing him to secure that last vital point."

That year Jason made a decision to follow in his father's footsteps, and become the best drummer that he could be.

At the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary party in 1988, Jason joined Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones for an epic Led Zeppelin reunion. The atmosphere in a sold-out Madison Square Garden was electrifying and the performance was televised in no less that 60 countries. Later, Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones remarked, "It was uncanny, Jason had every nuance of his father's approach to the group's music, it was as though we'd played together for years."

Jimmy Page was the first to fully grasp Jason's potential and, immediately after retuming to London, asked Jason to record an album with him. The Page "Outrider" tour followed in 1988 and Jason's drum solo was acclaimed as a high point in the show.

In 1990, Jason's debut album, "The Disregard of Timekeeping" topped the rock airplay charts and the success of the single, "Wait for You", helped Bonham garner a gold record. The band toured extensively for 2 years, but the impact of such early success on it's young members, caused a great deal of internal friction. Jason decided to concentrate on session work and writing new music, and in 1993 recorded the Grammy nominated album, "Muddy Water Blues, A Tribute to Muddy Waters", with such musical luminaries as Paul Rodgers, Slash, Jeff Beck, Steve Miller, Ritchie Sambora, Buddy Guy, Brian Setzer, and Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour. Jason toured substantially with this project culminating in a superb performance with Slash and Paul Rodgers at Woodstock II in 1994.

In 1995, Jason Bonham returned to his first love and once again played with Page, Plant and Jones at Led Zeppelin's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In March this year, Jason began touring with his new group, The Jason Bonham Band, this time incorporating his love of Supercross with his musical talents. As part of a national tour, Jason appeared at Supercross events in Dallas, Houston, and Tampa where the band presented "The ZepSet" to an overwhelming response.

The Jason Bonham Band has toured extensively across North America since forming their new line-up. Their current show features songs from "The ZepSet," a one-and-a half hour onslaught of Led Zeppelin's finest songs driven by a man who is focused on presenting his father's legacy the best way he can. "I grew up in a home filled with the spirit and music of Led Zeppelin. It's a joy for me to be able to play a substantial number of these songs at every date. I'm also very proud of our own music, songs from the Bonham albums, like "Wait For You" and "Change of a Season" always get a great reaction.

Several appearances on the syndicated radio show "Rockline" in 1997 featured amazing live performances. They were joined by Debbie Bonham, who also remained for some of the tour dates. Their great new CD of original material, "When You See the Sun" is in stores now and has received critical praise.

Jason is currently playing in a new band, Healing Sixes.
In 2005 Bonham also teamed up with Forgeinger guitarist Mick Jones and bassist Jeff Pilson (ex-Dokken and Dio) for the project Foreigner v2.

In 2006 Jason Bonham joined former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, basist Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), guitarists Scott Ian (Anthrax) and Ted Nugen for a new VH1 reality TV show, titled "SuperGroup". The musicians dubbed their project Damnocracy.

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From the Jason Bonham Fans Myspace

Jason Bonham (born July 15, 1966) is an English drummer and son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Jason Bonham was born in the town of Dudley, Worcestershire. He first began playing drums at the age of 4, 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 1987, Bonham joined former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page for his Outrider album and tour. The following year, Bonham appeared with other members of Led Zeppelin for a "reunion" at Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary concert in New York. John Paul Jones believes Bonham's performance was outstanding that night. His first solo album, The Disregard of Timekeeping appeared in 1989. The single "Wait for You" taken from the album, was a major success. After a lukewarm reception to his 1992 second solo album, Mad Hatter, Bonham concentrated on session work and guest appearances.

A young Jason Bonham in the film The Song Remains the SameIn May 1990, Bonham married Jan Charteris, in Stone, Kidderminster. His wedding reception included a jam with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones. Bonham drummed for Paul Rodgers on the Grammy winning 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 singer, Marti Frederiksen, replacing Daniel McMaster. 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 Zep tribute band Fred Zeppelin.

In 1996, Jason represented his father when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bonham soon put together another solo project which culminated in the In The Name of the 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. Bonham drummed for Healing Sixes from 1999-2003 and appeared in the film Rock Star which starred Mark Wahlberg. Following an album and tour with Debbie Bonham, the younger sister of John Bonham, Bonham was invited to drum for hard rock group UFO. In 2006, he will be recording with Joe Bonamassa. He has also become involved with the band Foreigner.

Jason stared with Ted Nugent, Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Scott Ian (Anthrax) on the VH1 reality tv show, "SuperGroup", as of May 2006. The musicians formed a band called Damnocracy (after ditching the name FIST and God War) for the show, during which they lived in a mansion in Las Vegas for twelve days and created music.

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 Ertegn. By many accounts, he was more than up to the task, and superbly carried on his father's tradition.