Jason Bonham grew up in the rock biz, watching his father John become one of the most iconic drummers in rock history as a member of Led Zeppelin. He also saw a bit of the excess at a young age and during a recent appearance on Howard Stern's SiriusXM show, he relayed being introduced to cocaine as a teenager by one of his dad's bandmates.
According to Bonham, he was just 16 years old when guitarist Jimmy Page offered him the drug for the first time. The incident took place at a hotel while the band was on tour.
"Jimmy was the first one to ever give it to me," Bonham told Stern (as transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock). "We got called to his room. … I was 16 at this point, and there was a woman on the floor with a collar on, meowing, and he had this grinder thing … and he turned it over and he went, ‘Here you go,’ and I went, ‘Thanks.’ He’s like, ‘You’ve done this before, right?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course I have.’ So he handed it over and I just did all of it, and he went, ‘Just like your father – you know, that was supposed to be for all of us.’”
The drummer said he used to view the compliments as a positive thing, but now realizes, "I was taking it wrong. Sometimes when I got really drunk, they'd go, 'He's just like his old man.'"
Jason also shared another story of working with Page, commenting, "I would be doing blow, and they found out. So Jimmy cut his guitar solo short. I was halfway down into the dressing rooms and I suddenly hear [that] I'm supposed to come in now. ... Sow we ran back and Jimmy's just standing there. He was angry because we didn't offer him any!"
Bonham stated during the interview that he's been sober for 17 years now and has learned to co-exist amongst others who still drink or partake in the excesses he no longer indulges.