Lead Zeppelin’s Robert Plant on the death of band member John Bonham
Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant reflected on his friendship with bandmate John Bonham, whose sudden death caused the British rock band to disband.
The eight-time Grammy Award-winning singer recalls first meeting Bonham at age 16, who approached him after performing with a local band in 1965.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Plant said: “He’s big, he’s got that kind of perspective on him and he said ‘look you’re going somewhere really special’ , but you would never have gotten there without me’ and he was right.
“John and I have walked millions of miles together.”
The Black Country-born lead singer says he was “threatened” when guitarist Jimmy Page recruited him and drummer Bonham to join bassist John Paul Jones in rock band Led Zeppelin.
“I knew when Led Zeppelin started, John Bonham and I were coming from the Black Country.
“We were the big fish out there, but we were unexpectedly next to John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, who have really done a great job, are a lot more mature and pretty well versed in all the elements. different tone and construction and things like that, so it’s kind of frustrating in a way.
“Even though I really wanted to be outstanding, when I faced it, I was really intimidated.”
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Speaking of his first rehearsal with the band, Plant added: “We just started with a performance in a small room and it was really overwhelming.
“It was like all the doors and windows in the house of cards were open, we just had to blow through the walls of the cellar and through the world.”
While on tour in the US with the band in 1977, Plant discovered her 5-year-old son Karac had died after contracting a stomach virus.
Speaking of bandmate Bonham’s kindness in helping him with his grief, Plant said: “I’ve come back, collected what’s left of my family and tried to put them together, I don’t want to do anything after that.
“But time is time, motivation, encouragement and kindness from everyone, especially John Bonham. He and his wife have been really good for me and Maureen.”
In 1980, Bonham died of alcohol poisoning, at the age of 32.
“I drove down with him on rehearsal day and I drove back without him,” Plant said.
“He is an incredible character and very encouraging to me despite the fact that he always takes mickey away from me and I desperately love him.
“We were really kids and we grew up with no clue about anything, just the two of us, loud, confident and mostly wrong and that was really good.
“We covered most of the squares on the chessboard as time went on, I miss him.”
Plant added that it was “absolutely” inevitable that the band disbanded following the news.
“For days and weeks, I never came close to hearing the past again and then suddenly I turned a corner and in the midst of it all, I found myself completely glued to a piece of music for which I was solely responsible. part and I am completely on the side. myself with pride, to be able to be inside that huge mind bomb is the creation of the whole team,” he added.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/led-zeppelins-robert-plant-on-death-of-bandmate-john-bonham-41440643.html Lead Zeppelin’s Robert Plant on the death of band member John Bonham