When John Paul Jones Described John Bonham’s Real Role In Led Zeppelin, ‘He Wasn’t The Drummer’

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Led Zeppelin is mainly known for influencing the music industry by developing album-oriented and stadium rock. With a career spanning around 12 years, the band has become a legendary icon in the rock and roll music industry and influenced many other bands that came after them. The band members were also quite tight with each other, and thus, after a tragedy hit them, they couldn’t continue as a band.

Their drummer John Bonham died in September 1980, which marked Led Zeppelin’s end. Although the band reunited for a few performances by replacing John with his son Jason, they never officially reunited. There was a lot of encouragement coming from their fans and Jason Bonham to continue making music. However, the remaining members couldn’t continue without John, and they didn’t want to push it.

Why Was It So Hard For Led Zeppelin To Reunite?

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Following Led Zeppelin’s disbandment, John Paul Jones, the band’s bassist and keyboardist, continued his music career as a solo musician and collaborated with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl. In a 2003 interview on a Swedish TV show, Jones talked about his time in Led Zeppelin and about how he felt when the band ended the way it did.

He stated that his bandmate and friend’s death was a terrible shock to him. The band immediately knew that it was the end for them, and they should cease to exist as a band. He continued and revealed that Bonham wasn’t just a drummer, he was a quarter of the band. It was impossible to replace him with someone else, and they didn’t even try to.

Here is what he said about Bonham’s death and its impact on the band:

“It was terrible. A terrible shock. We knew immediately that that was the end of Led Zeppelin. John Bonham wasn’t the drummer of Led Zeppelin, he was a quarter of Led Zeppelin, and you couldn’t just say, ‘I’ll get another drummer.’ A, I would never find anybody like him, and B, it wouldn’t be the same band in the slightest.

It wasn’t a song-based band. The way the music was created was on a continual basis. On stage, there was a lot of improvisation, and even in the studio, the way it was played was what it was about. It wasn’t an arrangement of a song where you could have any musicians come in and play, and it would sound still like the same song.”

You can watch his interview below.