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Debbie Bonham is the sister of John and Jason Bonham's auntie. She has had a successful solo career since the early 80's and released her latest album earlier this year, with guests including Mo Foster (Eric Clapton), Mick Fleetwood & Jason Bonham.

Debbie Bonham

1. What are you currently up to?

Currently, I have a memorial gig for my brother Michael at the Kings Head In Fulham, London on 29th December. After that I play the Borderline in London 18th Jan, JB's Dudley 25th Jan and then Jools Holland show in April. After that I go on tour in US.

2. What has been the highlight(s) and lowpint(s) of your career?

Highpoint: oh, playing on tour in US with Jason has to be no 1. Doing Cropredy Festival is another no 1. Playing with Van Halen another no 1.

Lowpoints - I could spend time miserying about how I could have made it in the 80's, it was down to the record company/management etc etc. Well it was, but I don't care about that now. I've had/got a wonderful family, a great life even if I don't make it along side Robbie Williams!!! (OK, I don't have Kylie's arse!) I don't spend time thinking about that (yeah right!) The sheer fact is that I'm doing what I love - that's enough with one hell of band that I'm privileged to get on stage with. Thats true!!

3. How has your latest album been doing? Personal highlights on the album?

It's been doing OK. Great reviews but lack of money promotion (we did the record ourselves it's not like EMI put $80 million behind it) we've had no airplay. Such unbelievable reviews - no airplay - don't make sense...

Hopefully Jools Holland show will change that. Personal highlights are: I play this album over and over and marvel and the musicianship. To have Jason play drums - so much like John but with his own formidable style. Mick Fleetood? hello?? The Chain???? Rumours???? All of my band I am so proud of, I now have Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie on drums - what an honour! I listen to my album and think I'm one of the luckiest singers alive. If it never takes off - I DON'T CARE!! I love it and will continue to play it for all time. I think it is timeless and that is down to the fantastic playing and the prodution of my all time great friend and player Mo Foster.

4. You played the Cropredy festival earlier this year? Did you get to play with Fairport at all?

Cropredy was AMAZING! before we went on I thought "Oh my God, they're going to hate us - lets do a few more ballads". Jerry Shirley said to me "Dave Pegg loves what you do, that's why he booked ya, now go do what you do so weeelllll!!" We did and the response was unbelievalbe. Bless him. Dave Pegg loved my brother John and gave me a chance, something I will never forget...

5. Which songs give you the most pleasure to sing live? Any songs you wished you had written?

The Old Hyde from my album is my favourite song to sing live. It's the hardest - just me and keyboards - but it hits home with everyone, no matter where we've played. It's written for John and my Dad and I now sing it to them and my other brother Michael. There's never a dry face in the house!! I'm proud it moves other people as much as me. Songs I'd wished I'd written? Jeez, so many.... can I come back to that one?

6. If you could create a fantasy band line-up who would you have in it?

Everyone who played on this one...

7. Who have been the main musical influences on your career?

Aretha Franklin, Otin Redding, Joe Cocker, Robert Plant, Steve Marriott, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Rait, Joni Mitchell. Bands: Zep, Fleetwoods, CSNY, Police, Van Halen, Bruce Hornsby, Tom Petty, Beatles, and on and on and on...

8. Anything else you would like to achieve in your career?

I guess I would like to be recognised as a singer/songwriter.

9. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Free time, what's that?? I have a business to run to keep me in the 'singing' business - a family to look after, various campaigns I'm involved in. But besides that I love walking on the beach with my dogs, horse riding and having a beer down the pink pub.

10. Message for your fans...

Thank you so much for supporting me - everyday I get a letter I feel honoured. If what I write and sing moves any one of you - then it's all been worth it. Thanks...

Going back to No 5, what songs do I wish I'd written? There are so many great great songs but I do really wish I'd written Ramble On, Don't Stop, Every Breath You Take, Stay With Me Baby, I wish I'd done the arrangement and written the song Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker version).

Buy this CD

Shit Happens (from 'The Old Hyde')
© 2002 HTL Ltd, Deborah Bonham,NMC Music. All rights reserved.

Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

All rights reserved.

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