Happy Birthday John Bonham!

Today would have been John Bonham’s 70th Birthday.

The legendary drummer for Led Zeppelin was born John Henry Bonham on May 31, 1948 Redditch, Worcestershire, England, He got his first set of drums at age 15 after using anything he could around the house to like pots and pans, to coffee tins. Early drummers such as Max Roach and Buddy Rich had been a huge influence on young Bonham.

He kicked around the early British music scene, appearing in bands such as Terry Webb and the Spiders, The Nicky James Movement and The Senators. He eventually landed in a band called Crawling King Snakes, whose lead singer happened to be Robert Plant. Plant and Bonham stayed in touch and even played in a few other bands before Plant moved on.

After The Yarbirds broke up in 67-68, Guitarist Jimmy Page was in the process of starting a new band, and he immediately recruited Robert Plant. Plant in turn, suggested John Bonham as the drummer. After the addition of John Paul Jones, the rest they say, is rock history: Led Zeppelin was born.

John Bonham is one of the most revered rock drummers of all time, influencing countless drummers after him like Joey Kramer, Dave Grohl, Tommy Lee, and Chad Smith. No one could slam the set as fast and as hard as Bonham, and some say no one ever will again.

John Bonham passed away on September 24, 1980,  being found unresponsive after drinking. He was found to have drank 40 shots of alcohol within 24 hours the day before he died.

Check below for Bonham doing what he did best: shredding drums apart for a living. A couple of different versions of his most famous solo: Moby Dick

Royal Albert Hall 1970:

And of course the legendary version from the song remains the same at Madison Square Garden in 1974:


The Best. Full Stop.

Filed under: 70-years-old, birthday, drummer, drums, john-bonham, led zeppelin, moby-dick, music, rock, solo