The influential musician left a legacy of some of Rock’s finest and unique drumming
The legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was born on this day in 1948
John Henry Bonham was born in Redditch, Worcestershire on May 31, 1948. The influential drummer first learned to play drums at the age of five, making a drum kit out of containers and coffee tins. After leaving school in 1964 (his high school headmaster wrote in his school report card: “He will either end up a dustman or a millionaire”), he worked for his father as an apprentice carpenter in between drumming for different local bands. It was during that period, while playing for the Crawling King Snakes that he met Robert Plant, who was the lead singer, and the roots of Led Zeppelin started to take form. In 1968 session guitarist and Yardbird Jimmy Page was plotting to form the ultimate rock band and had already lined up Plant as the singer, who in turn recommended Bonham. In 1969 with Led Zeppelin fully formed, the band released their first two albums, “Led Zeppelin” and “Led Zeppelin II”. Bonham’s now legendary drum solo “Moby Dick” (first entitled “Pat’s Delight” after his wife) was featured on their second album and it was a highlight of their three-hour live shows. “Moby Dick” would often last for half an hour and regularly featured the use of Bonham’s bare hands to achieve different sound effects. Led Zeppelin ruled the 1970’s as the biggest Rock band, with sold out concerts all around the world and a string of hit albums and songs including “Stairway To Heaven” and “Kashmir” that only ended in 1980 when John Bonham prematurely died at the age of 32 after a drinking binge. Bonham remains one of Rock’s most influential and unique drummers. He has a strong legacy that makes him an enduring and legendary figure of Rock N’ Roll history. Today he would turn 71.
Watch John Bonham in action with Led Zeppelin performing “Moby Dick” live in 1973, from the movie “The Song Remains The Same”
Listen to the Led Zeppelin 1976 live album “The Song Remains The Same” on Spotify
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