The Led Legacy
I saw Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience (son of Led Zeppelin drummer the late John “Bonzo” Bonham) recently and while often children of celebrities try to go out of their way to separate them from their celebrity parents and make their own mark (which I totally understand) I was very pleasantly surprised to see him totally embrace his father’s legacy. Not only did he embrace it, it was apparent he genuinely wanted to carry it forward which I thought was very impressive.
I have always been a big Zeppelin fan and they are one band that is seems like the more I listen to them, the more I respect them. Yes, there are a few guitar solos where Jimmy Page is a bit sloppy but when I see live footage of him and how he replicates the multiple guitar parts he over-dubbed in the studio live it more than makes up for those recordings. John Paul Jones is very much a hidden gem in the band as his bass and keyboard lines seem so subtle most don’t realize how brilliant they are til you listen close. Robert Plant to me is (arguably) the very first REAL frontman of Rock and Roll but they are also one of the 1st bands where the drums had a HUGE Impact on the sound. I really hadn’t realized this til a few years ago when I had purchased a sample pack of “Bonham Beats”. Basically just the drum beats to some Zeppelin songs, recorded by another drummer … although spot on! Just by the drum beat alone I could exactly what song each was. A rarity by most accounts. Many songs the drums for the most part are a basic beat but not Bonham’s. Every single beat stood out and the song was easily recognizable while not being over-kill as to take away from the song. The sign of not just a drummer, but a “Musician”.
People have often posed the question to me…The Stones or The Beatles? To which I always reply, Led Zeppelin. Nothing against the other 2 bands as they are awesome and most definitely a part of Rock and Roll history and have very much influenced 10s of thousands as well as, by my assumption, probably outsold Zeppelin. But, while The Stones are more “raw” and in the more “garage band” type sound and The Beatles were a little more “Pop” and polished, Led Zeppelin, to me anyway, always seemed to bridge that gap and up the musicianship, versatility, and experimentation a bit more. Not that the other 2 were not experimental but Zep just seem to have a certain chemistry to them and while Plant and Page were always the main focus, they are one band that would have not sounded the same had they replaced any member. Perhaps that’s why when Bonzo died they decided not to carry on? While many drummers are able to play Led Zeppelin and many bands can cover it, there will only be ONE Led Zeppelin