How John Bonham Made It Possible For Led Zeppelin To Continue
John Bonham on Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same concert recording - thespartacus47 / Youtube
The death of his son Karac, was, for Robert Plant, the hardest thing he had to endure in his lifetime. We often assume that celebrities are mere objects for us to see and idolize – immune to the harsh reality of this world. Yet, on all levels, this is not true.
The tragedy in Plant’s family happened in 1977 when Karac died of a stomach virus around the time when Led Zeppelin was in the middle of their American tour. “He was only five years old,” Plant recalled in an interview. “I’d spent so much time trying to be a decent dad, but at the same time, I was really attracted to what I was doing in Zeppelin.”
Plant was at his lowest during this time, and couldn’t think of any single reason to continue being a part of Led Zeppelin. There came John Bonham, the band’s drummer and the frontman’s longtime friend, to revive Plant’s desire to come back and continue being a musician.
Plant explained: So, I was thinking about the merit of my life at that time and whether or not I needed to put a lot more into the reality of the people that I loved and cared for – my daughter and my family generally. So yeah, I was ready to jack it in until Bonzo came along.”
“He had a six-door Mercedes limousine, and it came with a chauffeur driver’s hat. We lived five or six miles apart, not far from here, and sometimes we’d go out for a drink. He’d put the chauffeur driver’s hat on, and I’d sit in the back of this stretch Mercedes, and we’d go out on the lash. Then he’d put his hat back on and drive me home.”
Bonham helped Plant recover from the huge hollow that Plant had on his son’s death. The drummer, along with his wife and kids, was extremely supportive of the Plant family, giving a reason for Robert to pick up the mic and continue doing the thing he loves.