Billy Joel Concert Turns Into Led Zeppelin Covers Show

Joel Was Joined by Jason Bonham on Drums

Billy Joel
Billy Joel in 2016
slgckgc/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / May 27, 2019 9:01 am

File this one under “musical collaborations we didn’t see coming”: on Friday night at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, Jason Bonham joined Billy Joel for a pair of Led Zeppelin songs. Bonham is, of course, the son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham and a talented drummer in his own right. He’s also joined his father’s old bandmates on stage on a number of occasions, including a 2007 concert in London. And, in this case, he’s teamed up with the man who gave us “Captain Jack” and “Piano Man.”

Joel and Bonham played “Whole Lotta Love” and  “Good Times Bad Times,” to an ecstatic reaction from the crowd. And while this team-up might look odd on paper at first, given that Joel’s earliest forays into music were in a much more heavy metal vein — yes, we’re talking about his circa-1970 band Attila — that connection seems far more organic the more you look at it.

In a 2018 interview with Vulture, Joel made his fondness for Led Zeppelin’s music pretty clear.

Clive Davis, when he was at Columbia, said, “Why don’t you cover the great classic-rock songs?” I think he meant [Barry] Manilow stuff but I said, “Okay, you mean Led Zeppelin?” He didn’t like that idea. “Kashmir” would’ve been pretty great to cover. That’s a gorgeous song.

Should Joel ever see fit to record his own version of “Kashmir,” it seems like we might have an inkling of who might play drums on it. Sometimes, the collaborations you least expect can be the most rewarding.

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