John Bonham

Bonzo. In the world of music, the name elicits imagery of powerful, high octane, build to last rock. John Bonham played a whole lot of drums, with deep, fat grooves solid enough to be felt on the back row of the largest arena, yet subtle enough to counter the intricate guitar work and vocals of Led Zeppelin, one of the most successful and influential bands in rock history.

 

From 1968 until his tragic and untimely death in 1980, John Bonham put his head down and called upon his working class roots to sweat out a new kind of rock drumming that has inspired countless drummers and captivated millions of fans. Big drums, big sound, fast feet, imaginative time signatures, even bare hands and crowd pleasing long form solos, these were his trademarks. His pocket-perfect feel and spot-on sense of drama and dynamics were the tools of his trade.

 

The innumerable accolades for his playing, and awards honoring his career, continue to attest to his impact on music. So timeless is his legacy that in 2011, more than 30 years after his death, the readers of Rolling Stone placed him atop their “best drummers of all time” list.

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