It remains difficult to avoid labelling Led Zeppelin as one of the most important rock bands of all time. Regardless of whether you rate their music or not, objectively, the impact they had on the development of rock, in taking it down a much more atmospheric and heavy direction, has been incredibly influential.
We’re not talking about bands like Greta Van Fleet either, we’re discussing how, without Led Zeppelin’s huge impact on the world of rock, everyone from Black Sabbath to Joy Division and even Nirvana wouldn’t have existed in the way that they did.
This is the legacy of Led Zeppelin. Their back catalogue is a varied and extensive realm, covering blues, folk, jazz, country and in the early days, proto-punk. This dexterity is what has given their music a timeless quality and a universal appeal, where the demand for their reformation is as alive as it was when they originally disbanded back in 1980.
Notably, for the four brief reunions that Led Zeppelin have had over the years, Bonham’s son, Jason, has joined them on the drums. The sonic spitting-image of his father, Jason is an adept rhythmic mastermind who’s made a name for himself as one of the best out there. With that, he’s also a sage voice on the history of the band, given that he was there for it, just not in a band member capacity.
Now, during a recent chat on The Eddie Trunk Podcast, Jason revealed which Led Zeppelin son is Robert Plant’s favourite. This year, as part of the supergroup Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Bonham spent some time with his old friend Robert Plant when The Circle were recording in Nashville. Bonham recalled: “It was a very cool moment… You know we were talking about certain albums, and I’ve never sat and talked Zep songs with him because there’s always been people around. But I said, ‘What was your favourite song? What about this song? What about that?'”.
He explained: “And he goes, ‘What you have to remember is sometimes some of these songs bring back a time in my life that wasn’t great. I was in a wheelchair after almost dying in a car crash at the time. So I was in pain.'”
Famously, as Plant was in recovery from his severe injuries, Zeppelin were starting work on their seventh studio album, Presence. A classic amongst Zeppelin fans, Plant has often discussed the bleak memories that the album conjures, even if it does feature some of the band’s best moments. He spent the recording in a wheelchair, which encapsulates the very real pain he was suffering from whilst laying down his tracks. It also showed his unwavering dedication to the band – a real hero.
Bonham said: “He [Plant] sang the way he did on those songs, so God bless him for that. His favourite was… ‘Tea for One,’ he still loves, and ‘Achilles (Last Stand).’ He said, ‘If I ever play somebody something from Led Zeppelin… This is it. Listen to this, this is what we had.’ He’s very proud of that. So that was a wonderful thing to have.”