Two weeks ago, Jason Bonham went on The Howard Show and relayed a memory about Jimmy Page introducing him to cocaine when he was 16. “We got called to his room,” Bonham claimed. “And there was a woman on the floor with a collar on, meowing, and he had this grinder thing and he turned it over and he went, ‘Here you go,’ and I went, ‘Thanks.’ He’s like, ‘You’ve done this before, right?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course I have.’ So he handed it over and I just did all of it, and he went, ‘Just like your father — y’know, that was supposed to be for all of us.'”
But now Bonham is saying that the story is untrue. “In that interview I made certain untrue and derogatory statements concerning Mr James Page of the legendary band Led Zeppelin,” he wrote in a message on his website. “I unconditionally retract all derogatory and defamatory comments relating to Mr J Page that I made in that interview. In particular it is wholly untrue that Mr J Page offered me any illegal substances either when I was a minor or at all.”
He continued: “I apologize to Mr Page, unreservedly, for making these unfounded and untrue comments about him. Out of my long held respect for Mr Page I will make no further comments on the interview and I agree to make no further comments which Mr Page might view as disparaging, either now or in the future.” (Page did not immediately reply to a request for comment.)
Bonham drummed for Led Zeppelin during their 1988 appearance at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert, his own wedding in 1990 and at their 2007 show at London’s 02 Arena. The latter was their first full set since the death of his father and the band’s original drummer John in 1980. It led to rumors about a full-scale reunion tour, but Robert Plant pulled the plug on the idea.
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“A tour would have been an absolute menagerie of vested interests and the very essence of everything that’s shitty about big-time stadium rock,” Plant told Rolling Stone in 2014. “We were surrounded by a circus of people that would have had our souls on the fire. I’m not part of a jukebox!”
In 2010, Jason Bonham began playing the group’s music under the banner Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. They now tour as Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.