In a brand new interview with Tucson.com, Sammy Hagar was full of praise for his THE CIRCLE bandmate Jason Bonham, son of the late LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham.
“Jason sounds like John Bonham,” Sammy said. “He sounds exactly like him to the point that it’s scary when my back is to him and he kicks off LED ZEPPELIN‘s ‘Rock And Roll’. It is not only the exact same feel and same tempo, it’s the sound of every drum and the way he hits the cymbals.”
He added: “You ask any drummer who they admire the most and they all say John Bonham. All of them try to sound like John Bonham.
“[Jason] really understands drums; he’s a great, great drummer and he’s come a long way to become Jason Bonham, not John Bonham‘s son.”
Hagar and Bonham are joined in THE CIRCLE by former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony and longtime Hagar guitarist Vic Johnson.
THE CIRCLE spotlights key songs from throughout Hagar‘s stints in MONTROSE, VAN HALEN and CHICKENFOOT — as well as playing a handful of ZEPPELIN classics.
Jason Bonham said in a 2010 interview that he does not try to copy his dad’s drumming note for note, even when he is performing LED ZEPPELIN material.
“I’m not John, I’m Jason,” he said. “I [am] doing what my dad taught me well, which is how you play with emotion. I never play the same thing twice.”
He added in a 2011 chat with They Will Rock You: “As [LED ZEPPELIN singer] Robert Plant told me, ‘Stop trying to be like your Dad. Be like Jason, and it’ll come naturally.’ So I play from the heart, and it works.”
Jason Bonham explained to The Pulse Of Radio that playing drums is what keeps him tied to his father, who died when Jason was only 14. “I have a helluva lot to live up to,” he said. “A lot of people say, ‘What’s it like, y’know, you’re the son of John Bonham!’ And I say, ‘Y’know, what? It’s kinda cool, ’cause he was such an icon in such an iconic band.’ It just gives me enough get up and go to say, ‘Y’know what, I just wanna make him happy and prove to him and show him that, Dad, you’ve handed me down a business.’ Y’know, like some fathers they hand them down their work — even though he wasn’t there to hand it down to me himself, to me, I feel — if anything — he left me at such an early age, but he gave me a career.”