Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heredity and Authenticity

Two part post on a piece I'm working on now for the forthcoming Led Zeppelin and Philosophy. The paper focuses on the reunion and why Jason Bonham replacing his father john seems to many to be the most authentic choice.

The same sort of thing went on for years when there was noise made about a Beatles reunion including Julian Lennon. In that case, one might make a genetic case, that being the child of John, he voice resembled his more than anyone else would and this would save the sound. But in this case, that sort of genetic argument does not seem to work since a non-related drummer who studied Bonham's style could conceivably play just as much in his style.

If not nature, what about nurture? Derek Trucks is the nephew of Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks. Here we have someone playing a different instrument, but raised in the atmosphere of the band he would eventually join as a member, playing in Duane's slot. He learned at the feet of the masters, weened on the sound by members of his extended family, both literal and metaphorical. As such, his inclusion seemed natural.

Or does it have nothing to do with the sound? Could it be that with someone who looks like him, we could think that we were seeing the original line-up? Is it a matter of creative self-deception?

So what is it with the younger Bonham behind the drums? Is there any reason to think he's more authentic a choice than any other drummer?