Led Zeppelin, it goes without saying, will never be featured on this site. This is a site for forgotten songs, but a lot of Led Zeppelin songs still get radio airplay.* It was for that reason that so many other bands tried to sound like Led Zeppelin. One of those bands, though, had the added advantage of having the son of a Led Zeppelin member as its founder. Show of hands: who remembers the band Bonham?
Meet Jason Bonham
Jason Bonham started playing drums at age 4, which is not surprising, given that his father was Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. He was in a couple of bands in his late teens and 20s and even played drums on Jimmy Page’s 1988 album Outrider. In 1989, he formed his own band, which, conveniently enough, he named Bonham after himself.
Bonham started out strong with its debut album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, released in mid-1989. Some critics, though, weren’t as keen on the sound of the album; Allmusic, for example, thought it sounded more like a Robert Plant solo album of that time period than a Led Zeppelin album, which is apparently what the critics were hoping to hear from a band named after John Bonham’s son.
(The Disregard of Timekeeping hit #38 on Billboard’s Top Pop Albums chart. Album ℗1989 CBS Records Inc. Photo courtesy Amazon.)
The first single, “Wait For You”, is a straightforward song about the protagonist waiting for the object of his fancy, even though she is “too young” at present. How young she is, we aren’t told.
Quite honestly, the feel of “Wait For You” is much like that of a Robert Plant solo offering of the late 80s. In fact, lead singer Daniel MacMaster even sounds a bit like Mr. Plant on this particular track.
“Wait For You” never really got much airplay on some top 40 stations even when it came out; instead, at least where I lived at the time, it got most of its airplay on AOR-oriented stations. Nevertheless, the airplay, plus the single’s sales, were enough to push it into Billboard’s Hot 100. The single debuted at #91 for the week ending November 25, 1989 (chart) before rising, rather slowly, to a peak of #55 seven weeks later (chart). In an uncommon bit of chart symmetry, it stayed on the charts seven more weeks before dropping off. As might be expected despite its 15 weeks on the Hot 100, it did not appear on the 1990 year-end chart.
Of course, since it was receiving more airplay on rock stations, “Wait For You” did chart much higher on the Album Rock Tracks chart (now called the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart). It spent 22 weeks on the chart, peaking at #9 for the week ending November 4, 1989 (chart).
After “Wait For You”
As it turned out, “Wait For You” would be the only song from Bonham to hit the Hot 100. Two other tracks from The Disregard of Timekeeping would chart on the Album Rock chart, and one further album (Mad Hatter) would come but would not chart. Shortly thereafter, Bonham was no more.
Interestingly enough, though, most of the band’s lineup would reunite just a couple of years later as Motherland, though it didn’t last long either. As for Jason Bonham, he has stayed busy with various bands, including playing live with Foreigner for a few years, and even the very occasional Led Zeppelin reunion, where he filled in for his father.
Whither “Wait For You”?
As far as I can recall, the last time I heard “Wait For You” on American terrestrial radio was back in 1989, before it had even peaked on the charts.** One would think, given that classic rock stations are still heavy on Led Zeppelin tracks, that those same stations might give “Wait For You” a spin or two sometime.
* And deservedly so.
** Luckily, I was ready to tape it off the radio when I heard it.
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