When Led Zeppelin's iconic, heavy-handed drummer John Bonham passed away in 1980, the band decided to call it quits. No auditions were held to replace Bonham. In a recent interview, guitarist Jimmy Page opened up about why the band never considered to keep going with another person behind the kit.
"Led Zeppelin wasn't a corporate entity," he told Rolling Stone. "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."
Bonham had been drinking during an all-day rehearsal session the band held on September 24, 1980 in advance of their North American tour that was scheduled to begin the following month. He choked on his own vomit in his sleep and was pronounced dead on September 25 at the age of 32.
The band went on to reunite in the '80s twice and at their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1995. For their huge 2007 reunion date in London, Bonham's son, Jason, filled in for his late father.
The younger Bonham shared some of vocalist Robert Plant's thoughts on going on with a different drummer in a 2012 interview. "It wasn't just [Robert] going, 'I don't want to do it,' there were other things going on," Jason said. "He told me, 'It doesn't matter how great you are on the drums, Jason. I love you to bits, and you play absolutely amazing. But 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.'"