- TheCrow -
How many of you have wondered why LED ZEPPELIN didn't Continue After Bonzo's Death?
Jimmy Page, during many interviews, has explained the reasons why the remaining members of "The Biggest Band in the World" took that decision. Let’s fly back in time, to describe the facts:
Led Zeppelin had scheduled a North American tour, due to commence on 17 October 1980.
On 24 September, during their rehearsals, Bonham reportedly began drinking early in the day, continuing to consume copious amounts of alcohol well into the evening. Not long after the group’s rehearsals had wrapped up for the night, Bonham passed out in a drunken state and would never wake up. At 1:45 pm the next day, Benji LeFevre (Led Zeppelin's new tour manager) and John Paul Jones found Bonham dead. The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit; an autopsy found no other drugs in his body. Bonham was cremated on 10 October 1980, and his ashes were buried in the graveyard of St Michael's Church in Rushock near Droitwich, Worcestershire. A verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on 27 October. The planned North American tour was cancelled, and despite rumours that Cozy Powell, Carmine Appice, Barriemore Barlow, Simon Kirke, or Bev Bevan would join the group as his replacement, the remaining members decided to disband. A 4 December 1980 press statement stated that, "We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were". The statement was signed simply "Led Zeppelin".
Jimmy Page, asked why the band didn't take time to heal and rebuild itself following their drummer’s death, declared: "LED ZEPPELIN wasn't a corporate entity. LED ZEPPELIN was an affair of the heart. Each of the members was important to the sum total of what we were. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn't there, the others would have made the same decision. And what were we going to do? Create a role for somebody, say, 'You have to do this, this way?' That wouldn't be honest."
He continued: "There were attempts [at reunion] that didn't work. John was the drummer in LED ZEPPELIN, and John was part of me and Jimmy and John Paul. We shared something very, very special. I struggle sometimes just thinking about trying to create some magic again when he's not there. He was a very, very dear friend of mine, that I miss every day.'
Apart from a handful of charity shows they have kept their word. The most recent of these events, a full-length 2007 concert at London’s O2 arena, was released as the 2012 live album ‘Celebration Day.’