On Friday morning, mere hours before he was due to take the stage with classic rockers Foreigner at Detroit’s GM Renaissance Center, drummer Jason Bonham — the son of late Led Zeppelin kitman John Bonham — told Jim Johnson and Lynne Woodison of local rock station 94.7 WCSX that he’d be an ex-member of Foreigner as of September 1. But that’s not the only thing he said.
Much to the delight of Led Zeppelin fans everywhere, Bonham revealed that he’s been meeting up with Led Zep guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones in recent months and that they’ve been “trying to do some new material and writing.”
It was the first time since Led Zeppelin announced they would re-form for a single performance (which happened late last year at London’s O2 Arena , in honor of the late Ahmet Ertegün , who signed the band to Atlantic Records in 1969) that anyone connected to the band has confirmed publicly that new music could be on the horizon for the iconic rockers. While the bandmembers have stopped short of definitively ruling out such a reunion, singer Robert Plant insisted in the wake of last year’s show that he intended to focus on promoting and touring behind his critically lauded album with bluegrass artist Alison Krauss, Raising Sand.
Not that Bonham knows what — if anything — will happen with the new material he’s been working on with Page (who collaborated with pop singer Leona Lewis on an uneven version of Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” at the Olympic closing ceremonies in Beijing on Sunday night) and Jones. He said he just shows up and takes his seat behind the kit.
“I’ve been over [to England] a couple of times,” Bonham said. “I’ve been working with Jimmy and John Paul and trying to do … some new material and some writing. I don’t know what it will be, but it will be something. At the moment, all I know is I have the great pleasure to go and jam with the two guys and start work on some material. When I get there, I never ask any questions. If I get a phone call to go and play, I enjoy every moment of it. Whatever it ends up as, to ever get a chance to jam with two people like that, it is a phenomenal thing for me. It’s my life. It’s what I’ve dreamed about doing.”
He said it’s still too early to tell what will become of these “jam” sessions, but admitted that the “possibility of doing something is in the cards. I really felt it was in the cards from the moment we walked offstage at the O2.” Bonham also explained that, before there could be a Led Zep LP, “lots of politics [would need to] get ironed out,” but added that recording with Zep is “something I’ve always wanted to do.”
Bonham noticeably didn’t mention frontman Plant’s name during the discussion. A spokesperson for Page’s management had no comment on the matter, and a spokesperson for Jones’ management could not be reached by press time.