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Why John Bonham is Great

It is now time for the wise to conspire, to put forth lauditories, and for the uninitiated to be, well, initiated. Granted, the teen years are the best time to be exposed to Led Zeppelin, before the jazz sets in or lyrics need to be good, but I refuse to think it's too late for anyone. So long as you still have it in you to tear all the tabs off a six pack or smoke a big bag of bajooby, or the Lotus Position or wheat grass or prayer, or anything else that gets you rared up and ready to Dance Naked on the Lawn, there is still a chance for you.
So name a song or an album, and tell the peoples why it shows John Bonham is great.
Me first- "Fool in the Rain" off In Through the Out Door. A shuffling monster of a beat, with hammering down beats and whispering intricacies in the triplets. And that step on the high hat, man what a pain to learn. Dynamics? You said it. David


Member Fri, 10/03/2003 - 10:50
As a pro bass player, I have the highest regard for the team of Jones/Bonham. JPJ reeks of James Jamerson in his approach to "painting" chords, playing all around the root, adding depth to Bonham's thunderous kick drum work.

I have always looked for drummers who emulate Bonham. Playing drums in my own project studio, I emulate him myself (altho those off the wall Kieth Moon fills are part of my thing too hehe).

JB was simply the most awesome in a time of awesome dudes.

Member Sun, 10/19/2003 - 19:07
I greatly admire John Bonham as one of the very greatest ROCK drummers of all time. What made him great was not just his awesome technique, but his musicianship. He created things that had never been done before and have been copied countless times and are now carved into the archives of rock rudiments.
A previous poster mentioned the rapid kick triplets in "Good Times-Bad Times" and I think that one simple(?)song is a great example of his genius.
There were things done on that song that had never been done in rock drumming before, and unlike the unleashed animal style of playing that was Keith Moon, with Bonham it was equally high energy
and seemingly spontaneous, yet thoughtful. Even the harshest critics of this new style of rock that was LZ couldn't fault them on using extraneous technique just to be showy. Bonzo served the music and at the same time asserted the drummer as a equal and an important part of the music. Ringo in his way also served the music well, but took the more traditional approach and stayed back. Moon jump out in front too much at times I feel, though I loved his playing, I think the Bonham put a different face on drumming, moreso than any other in the rock genre.
There are other great drummers in other styles of music that have done similarly, that's why I specifically state that Bonham was a great ROCK drummer. Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich and Louis Bellson all pioneered things on drums that revolutionized drumming for jazz and rock drummers. Art Blakey began incorporating different world rhythyms
into jazz combo drumming. Bonzo is in a class with these greats.
As a hand drummer also, I gotta love that drum solo he played on the kit with his hands without sticks.

Guitarman Wed, 08/27/2003 - 18:05
Well... as you can see by my logo I am definately not a drummer. I was weened on Led Zep in my most formative years, and thank GOD(and my older brother) I was.

But as far as this guitarist is concerned no one will ever come close to the man. I know many drummers today in pro circles whose right foot could never duplicate what Bonham's foot or feet could do.

To this day when I ask a drummers influences are if Bonham isn't mentioned, I pass on them.

The rock world suffered a great loss the day he died. And considering his kick drum is the most sampled in the world... well you get the idea.

Best wishes,

JD( o}===;;;

[[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.nowherer…"]Some guitar stuff.[/]="http://www.nowherer…"]Some guitar stuff.[/]

chrisperra Sat, 08/30/2003 - 12:41
for me bonham is so heavy because of his pulse. if you listen to almost all of zeps tunes if he's playing the hihat, the notes are all even. mostly eight notes, this lays a deep trench to fall into that is contagious.

also he's very aware of how long to make hihat notes last.he more often than not, would have his hihat open a bit to create a longer thicker eight note.

this in conjuntion with john paul jones creates a monster road to drive on.

chris perra

Member Fri, 09/19/2003 - 15:07
Bonzo had power, finesse, brute force, taste, soul, speed, control, and a wild apontaneous side that kept everyone guessing. This was all combined into a very seasoned talent with a brilliant drumming sensibility. Drumming genius if there ever was one, and the most copied drummer ever. He was the most spontaneous drummer, yet never dropped tempo or rushed anything (across 100's of bootlegs it still holds true). He never played the same song the same way twice, much like his equals in genius, Page, Jones, and Plant. John Paul Jones was equally amazing and was right there GLUED to Bonzo no matter what the spontaneous jam would ensue. Jones understood Bonzo and where he was going. Jones and Bonham were one, the best of the best. The absolute best rhythm section ever. They even put Lee and Peart to shame and that's saying alot. Jones and Bonham were seemingly infinite together. They both grew up on the great Motown players. This is partly what made Zeppelin the absolute best in the biz. Bonzo was also the fastest, heaviest, and yet played so appropriately during the softer Zep songs like Down By The Seaside, All My Love, Tangerine, etc.

Already during the first 25 seconds of the first song on Zep's first album "Good Times Bad Times", his lighting bass drum triplets sent every drummer wimpering back to their practice room, just to get frustrated. On the new Zep DVD on the song "Sick Again", there is an *inhumanly* fast cymbal/snare roll (right before the guitar solo) that will spin your head.

Now here's the killer: In addition to being the best drummer around (and I don't say that lightly), he also had the absolute best cymbal work and best cymbal sound. He had the most refreshing cymbal work around. His power on the drums, according to Jimmy Page, CAME ALL FROM HIS WRISTS! That's why the Bonzo and Zep clones will never get it right. With Bonzo there was all these little details going on.

Just listen to the brute force thunder of "In My Time Of Dying", and then listen to the impossible-to duplicate genius smooth groove/shuffle of "Fool In The Rain" (what high hat work). Simply stated, he was the best and most drummers know this. As Roger Taylor from Queen stated, "you have to be a drummer to *really* understand why he was the best". As a drummer, I undertand this clearly. He was so good that the best band in the history of recorded music, Led Zeppelin, couldn't continue without him. Bonzo was irreplaceable and he ruled.

golli Sun, 09/21/2003 - 20:58
Since I've been loving you.
If anyone of you have the latest DVD collection, you can see a footage of Led Zeppelin in consert here in Iceland 1972 or 73?? it was the first time a drumset would be miced here, in consert.
I can se the engineers scratching they're head over that one :D
They wrote the Imigrant Song, here.
But he sure drove that band.