"If you'd have asked me that about a year go, I'd have said it was going to be a one-time deal," the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham tells Billboard.com. He starts a second JBLZE tour today (May 4) in Wallingford, Conn., after a well-reviewed first run of the multi-media tribute show last fall.
"The stories that people have shared with me over the last 12 months and onward since the first round inspired me. When people say, 'Oh, can you try this one in the show next time? Can you do this?'... I spoke to my mom, and she said, 'Listen, you're representing the family here, and I appreciate you doing it.' She came out to see the show and said, 'You know, I was a little skeptical at first, but the show is so wonderfully put together and it's very special.' She said, 'Please continue this for me as long as you feel comfortable doing it.' "
Bonham does, however, add that "we will only do it while people want to experience it. The last thing I want to do is tarnish something so beautiful that is held so highly in my thoughts. So it's one of those things; I always say come and see it, because it might not be here next time."
Bonham says he's added some new songs for the JBLZE's second go-round, including "Achilles' Last Stand," "The Rain Song" and "In the Light," the latter of which Led Zeppelin never performed live. During "When the Levee Breaks," meanwhile, he'll play with his father, who's represented on the video screens, just as he does in "Moby Dick."
"The song choices will always be a key part of this," Bonham explains, "because I listen to what the fans say. But I also want to keep it as true as I can. We'll never do a song we don't think we can do well, so if for some reason there's certain songs we don't do in the show we probably haven't tried it yet, or we have tried it and it wasn't up to standard. We'll only do the best ones we can so they sound the best."
Bonham, who took his father's drum stool for Led Zep's performances at the 1988 Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert and the 2007 benefit show at the O2 Arena in London, says that he's "hopefully filming one of the shows on the tour" for a possible DVD release in the future. The latest JBLZE trek wraps up May 28 in Las Vegas, and Black Country Communion -- a "supergroup" with singer-bassist Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath), guitarist Joe Bonamassa and Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian -- hits the road June 9 to support its sophomore album, "2," which comes out on June 14.