Son of John Bonham picks his father’s finest moment

John Bonham

The 1960s saw the rapid development of rock music, particularly in Britain, where bands such as The Yardbirds fused rhythm and blues influences with rock and roll. The dissolution of The Yardbirds, which included Jimmy Page, resulted in the formation of Led Zeppelin. He formed a band with Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham, which went on to become one of the most successful in music history.

Bonham, who began playing drums as a child, was praised for his incredible talent, infusing each track with perfect beats. The drummer could play in a variety of styles. Dave Grohl stated, “He really knew how to put down a groove”.

Grohl continued, “I’ve discovered that keeping the groove is more impressive than playing a hundred fills every four bars. “John Bonham played the drums hard while keeping the groove.”

Bonham appeared on every Led Zeppelin album, some of which constitute seminal works in the history of hard rock. The band had a huge impact on guitar music. And while they were not keen on being labelled as heavy metal, they did pave the way for many metal bands that emerged in the years that followed their success.

Whether you’re a fan of Led Zeppelin or not, it’s difficult to deny that Bonham was an incredible drummer. One of his most well-known drum solos, fills, and grooves comes from ‘When The Levee Breaks’. The song, which appeared on the band’s fourth album, Led Zeppelin IV, debuted in 1929. Written by Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy, the British group put their own spin on the song in 1971.

Bonham’s son, Jason, who has replaced his late father on the drums during Led Zeppelin reunion shows, cited the intro to ‘When The Levee Breaks’ as his father’s finest moment. He once told Q Magazine, “It’s the drum intro of the gods”. You could play it anywhere, and everyone would know it was John Bonham. I never had the opportunity to tell dad how amazing he was. He was just dad.”

Many modern artists use the recognisable drums. For example, Beyoncé and Jack White used them on the song ‘Don’t Hurt Yourself’ from the singer’s seminal album Lemonade. Dr. Dre used the drums in ‘Lyrical Gangbang’, Massive Attack added them to Mezzanine’s ‘Man Next Door’, and The Beastie Boys used Bonham’s beats in ‘Rymin’ And Stealin’. That’s only the tip of the iceberg; it’s one of the most sampled drum sounds in music history.

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