Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, recently revealed in an interview with The Vinyl Guide podcast that he may have discovered previously unheard Led Zeppelin recordings. According to Bonham, he found a box of unlabeled reel-to-reel tapes at his home, but he hasn’t been able to listen to them yet.
Bonham explained that his father didn’t like playing music at home and only had a Revox two-track machine to listen to mixes when he returned from the studio. The drummer expressed concerns about the tapes being in a degraded state and said that he might have to bake the tapes at low temperatures to make them playable again. He also added that the process of baking tapes was used during the mixing of the Knebworth concert, and it helped to preserve what was on the U-Matic tapes.
“Believe it or not, Dad didn’t like to play at all at home. He had no recording equipment. We’ve got his old Revox two-track and that was literally just to be able to play mixes when he came back from the studio. They’d make another reel [for listening].”
“I know I found a whole bunch, a box of tapes – reel-to-reels – at home, last time I was there,” he continued. “But I need to get the machine up and running and hook it up, which… I’ll save that for YouTube, like, ‘Let’s get this thing up and running. Let’s find out if we’ve got anything that hasn’t even been released yet.'”
“The best of it,” but worried that the tapes might have deteriorated over time: “You put them in the machine and it just erases them the moment you press start.”
Bonham’s discovery has sparked excitement among Led Zeppelin fans, who are eager to hear any previously unheard material from the legendary band. However, it remains unclear whether the tapes contain new Led Zeppelin songs or just unreleased recordings of existing songs.
In the interview, Bonham also shared details about a private jam session that took place at his 1990 wedding, which included Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones. He admitted that the performance was completely unplanned and that if he had known it would happen, he would have made sure that his own drums were on stage. Bonham also joked that he would have stayed sober for the entire night if he knew that the performance was going to happen.
“I think they had to do that when they were doing the Knebworth mixing,” he said. “They only had the U-matic tapes and they had to bake the tape to preserve what was on there.”
“If we would have planned it, I definitely would have made sure that my drums were onstage and not somebody else’s,” he said. “I probably would have stayed a lot more sober if I’d have known that was going to go on at the end of the night.”
The possibility of previously unheard Led Zeppelin recordings being discovered is exciting news for fans of the band. While it remains unclear what the tapes contain, Bonham’s discovery has piqued interest in the band’s history and has brought attention back to their music. Whether the tapes are released or not, the anticipation alone is enough to reignite the passion of Led Zeppelin fans around the world.