Jason Bonham: First Experience with Led Zeppelin Live was Frightening

SKF NOTE: This is an excerpt from my 1988 interview with Jason Bonham. The first excerpt and background story are posted here

Putting some perspective on this post, Jason Bonham was 10- or 11-years old in 1977.

Jason Bonham

Jason Bonham

Scott K Fish: Did you ever get to go on tour with your dad [John Bonham] when you were a kid? And watch [Led Zeppelin] play live?

Jason Bonham: I went with them on the ’77 tour. A couple of shows. We went down to Florida and played in Florida for a few days. And then we went to Tampa Stadium.

The band was onstage for something like 20-minutes and torrential rain – all of a sudden – came down. You could see the canopies above the stage billowing, full of water. And it was like, Panic Stations!

I think Jimmy [Page] got a short and very quick little shock. So they said, “We’ve got to stop the gig.” And all I remember was we were all in the dressing room, and all of a sudden the guy [body guard?] burst in and picked me up under his arm, and picked Peter Grant’s son up under his arm – Warren [Grant] – and yelled, “GO! GO! GO!

I didn’t even know what was going on.

What had happened was, the band didn’t go back onstage. And the audience didn’t like this. Although it was torrential rain, the audience had broke down all the barricades and there was 87,000 kids running down towards us. And we was running for the limousines.


‘Teenage Riot.’ Led Zeppelin, Tampa 6/3/1977. (Photo courtesy Matt Larson)

I remember just looking around and it was like seeing a riot running towards you.

We all jumped in the cars, and 15- or 20-seconds after we got in the cars, it was like they all piled onto the cars. Police bikes being knocked over. They wrecked something like eight limos.

I remember being thrown onto Jimmy Page’s lap. He was like, “Oh, hello Jason. How are you?”

I was going, “What’s happening, mom?” I was really terrified. And my mom was going, “No, it’s alright. It’s alright.” But, y’know, she was worried to death as well.

My dad was trying to calm everyone down.

But that was the first experience of [Led Zeppelin] live [that] I saw. It was frightening.


About Scott K Fish

This entry was posted in SKF Blog and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jason Bonham: First Experience with Led Zeppelin Live was Frightening

  1. Pingback: Universal Music Truth and Punk Rock Drummers: What Are The Lyrics? | Scott K Fish

  2. Pingback: Drum Pioneers: You Always Wonder Where They’d Heard That Stuff | Scott K Fish

Drop Me a Line

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.