John Bonham

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John Bonham
Background information
Birth name John Henry Bonham
Also known as Bonzo
Born May 31, 1948(1948-05-31)
Redditch, Worcestershire, England
Died September 25, 1980(1980-09-25) (aged 32)
Clewer, Windsor, England
Genres Hard rock, blues-rock, folk rock
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments drums & Percussion
Years active 1964-1980
Labels Atlantic, Swan Song
Associated acts Led Zeppelin, Band of Joy, Terry Web and the Spiders

John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham (31 May 1948 – 25 September 1980) was an English rock drummer. He was best known for being a member of London hard rock band Led Zeppelin.

John Bonham's career started when he joined the Band of Joy in 1967 with singer Robert Plant. After enjoying some small success, the band broke up. At around the same time, another band called The Yardbirds also broke up. Soon after this, Jimmy Page, the lead guitarist for the Yardbirds, decided to start a new band. This new band, called Led Zeppelin, had Plant on vocals, John Paul Jones on bass and keyboards, Bonham on drums and Page playing guitar.

Led Zeppelin[change | change source]

Soon after playing some small gigs throughout England, the band came out with their first album, named "Led Zeppelin I." John Bonham's talents can be heard on such songs as "Good Times, Bad Times", featuring his single bass drum skip throughout the song. Soon after this the band left for a tour of America on Boxing Day(Dec. 26 1969). After a somewhat successful tour, Zeppelin came out with their second album, naming it "Led Zeppelin II." This album included the song "Moby Dick", which had a famous drum solo by Bonham. Throughout the solo, Bonham showed off his talents by playing hand drums while continuing to use his right foot.

By this time Led Zeppelin was beginning to become more and more well known and with the release of their third album (which was a surprise because it was named "Led Zeppelin III") they had become one of the biggest bands in the world. Bonham's featured song on this album, which he wrote, was "Out On The Tiles".

Led Zeppelin went on to release albums such as "Led Zeppelin IV" (which was originally unnamed), "Houses of the Holy", and "Physical Graffiti". During this time, Zeppelin was touring non-stop and Bonham was amazing audiences around the world with Moby Dick. He also received attention for his work on songs such as "Four Sticks", "The Ocean", and "In My Time Of Dying".

Soon after "Physical Graffiti", the band took time off because of a car crash involving Robert Plant. In this time off, besides spending time with his family and tinkering with cars, Bonham worked on their next album, "Presence".

Death[change | change source]

On 25 September 1980, Bonham was picked up by the manager of Led Zeppelin, Rex King. They were going to a rehearsal for the upcoming tour. During the day, Bonham drank many alcoholic beverages. After the rehearsal the band left and went to Page's house. Benji LeFevre, Led Zeppelin's new tour manager, and Jones found him dead the next day.

The coroner found that Bonham had drunk forty measures of vodka, and his cause of death was pulmonary edema. Bonham had vomited in his sleep, and suffocated on his own vomit.[1]

After Bonham died, Led Zeppelin decided to quit because they felt that Bonham was too good to be replaced.

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]