During my set at Ego's Wine Bar in Ludlow last night, I could see a fella at the bar was getting in to some of the slightly more classic song choices, and after one song he came over to me, said he was a drummer, and told me something I hadn't realised. Although I'm a huge Led Zeppelin fan, I was unaware that it was 35 years to the day since Zep's incredible drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham passed away.
This bloke asked whether it was possible for me to play something by Led Zep as a tribute to Bonzo, and requested Ramble On. Great song choice, but one I'm not sure how to pull off (just yet!). Therefore, it seemed a perfect opportunity to bring my full solo acoustic version of Stairway To Heaven back into the set, and I was suitably relieved when it got the 'thumbs up' afterwards!
It was great to meet the guy who'd requested the song after I'd finished my gig, and he told me that he was a childhood friend of John Bonham's son, Jason.
Jason has followed in his late father's footsteps in becoming an excellent drummer in his own right, and fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he played with the remaining 3 members of Led Zeppelin when they reformed for a one-off gig at the O2 in London in 2007. If you haven't seen it, check out the Celebration Day film (click here for a clip). It's wonderful to see someone living out their dream, and making such a great job of it, and seeing that reflected in the faces of Page, Plant and Jones!
The fella I was talking to proceeded to get out his phone, and said "here's where I've been today", and showed me photos he'd taken earlier in the day at John Bonham's grave, complete with cymbals & drumsticks left by fellow fans. Being a local to St. Michael's Church in Rushock near Kidderminster, he'd felt compelled to pay a visit on this anniversary. A little rock and roll pilgrimage.
I always think it's great to meet people who are so passionate about music and the people who make music, because I'm also in awe of true musical giants like John Bonham. It really was a pleasure to share a little 'Zep moment' with someone who helps to keep Bonzo's thunder rumbling 35 years on!