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Jason Bonham Talks Tensions Between Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones

Kevin Mazur, Getty Images

Both by birthright and through work experience, Jason Bonham has a better understanding of the inner workings of Led Zeppelin than most people, and he shared a bit of that knowledge during a recent appearance on Train frontman Pat Monahan’s podcast.

Baited into a discussion of why Zep multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones has been treated like a second-class citizen by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Bonham refrained from offering much comment, but he was more forthcoming when Monahan opined that Jones brought more to the table, musically speaking, than many realize — and he went on to open a window into the decades of tension simmering below the surface when the band reunited for its O2 Arena show in 2007.

“He’s a well-educated — there’s a certain bracket, and I don’t know what the American equivalent is … he conducts, he can chart, orchestra, you know, hands down,” Bonham said of Jones. “So much so that there was a time when we were rehearsing with those guys, and we were doing a part, and Jimmy — Mr. Page — was counting it as guitar cycles. He’d do it and say, ‘That’s 16 guitar cycles. That’s right, isn’t it, John?’ and John goes, ‘Whatever.’ He goes, ‘No, no — John, we’re right, aren’t we?’ and John goes, ‘We’ve never been right. What’s the point of continuing now? You do it your way, and I’ll do it the correct way!'”

That being said, Bonham would of course be willing to step into duty again if the band ever decides to get back together. “I’ll never say never,” he vowed. “Because when I finally came to terms with it never happening, it happened. So I quite regularly go, ‘It’s never gonna happen.'”

To hear more of Bonham’s memories from his career — including his recollections of the night AC/DC singer Brian Johnson gave a 16-year-old Jason his first drink — listen to the entire interview below.

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