The only drummer John Bonham felt was his equal

John Bonham

John Bonham, the booming beatmaker from Redditch, is regarded as one of the greatest of all time in the illustrious history of rock ‘n’ roll. Before his untimely death in 1980, his unique style and technical prowess helped define the sound of Led Zeppelin throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Like the majority of the greats, Bonham learned most of his skills on his own. His innate talent and boundless curiosity made him one of the most important drummers of his time.

Bonham was known for his approach to the drums, which combined explosive power, dexterity, and groove. His ability to smoothly transition between various time signatures would astound listeners, and he would enhance his trembling bass drum with intricate and choppy fills.

With one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Jimmy Page, to his left, Bonham had a powerful stage presence. Robert Plant’s commanding presence front and center, combined with Bonham’s, creates an enduring legacy that speaks volumes.

When you ask different people, knowledgeable and not, to name the greatest drummer of all time, you’ll get a variety of answers. Some will confidently argue that the best jazz musician is an obscure figure who is lost in the genre’s obscurity, or they will simply name the legendary jazz percussionist Buddy Rich.

Comparing the technical skill of jazz drummers with the unpredictable style of rock is challenging due to their differences. Despite this, some drummers have succeeded in skillfully fusing the two styles. Classic rock legends consistently dominate the ranks of favorite drummers among perceptive rock drummers. Drummers like Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, and John Bonham are often in the spotlight.

In 2018, two legendary musicians, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Stewart Copeland of The Police, concurred that Jimi Hendrix’s drummer, Jimi Mitchell, was the greatest of all time. They shared this opinion as guests on Amazon’s automotive program, The Grand Tour.

When Jeremy Clarkson, the host, introduced Mitchell, Copeland chimed in, “Well, that’s the travesty right there.” “This magnificent, lofty… Jimi Hendrix’s drummer was this monument of drums!”

“Well, how would you characterize him?” questioned a bewildered Clarkson. Copeland argued, “Well, Jimi was Mitch’s guitarist.”

After that, the two decided on a ranking system, with Cream’s Ginger Baker coming in right behind it. We questioned Copeland about Bonham’s influence in a 2022 interview. He responded by mentioning this holy trinity of rock drummers by name.

Copeland stated, “I’m more inspired by him now than I was growing up.” “Bonham joined later, but at first it was just Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell. The fact that Ginger used his tom-toms a lot pleased me. He and Mitch Mitchell, arguably the most inspirational, played more drums than the others in the ensemble.

We regret to inform you that these three great drummers have passed away. In a celestial drum-off, an overall winner emerged, yet we now grasp Baker and Bonham’s perceived solution.

Baker wrote in his autobiography, Hellraiser: The Autobiography of the World’s Greatest Drummer, that he and Bonham believed they occupied the same place in the drumming kingdom. Unfortunately, the ever-humbly Baker’s autobiography’s title sums it all up.

According to Baker, “John Bonham once said that there were only two drummers in British rock ‘n’ roll: himself and Ginger Baker.” This made me think, ‘You cheeky little bastard!'”

  1. MItch Mitchell was a better drummer IMO. The creativity of his drum beats and fills smoke the predictability and ease of dexterity that Bonham used with that extreme power.

    1. Mitch was definitely a better jazz drummer and probably a better fit for the wild improv style like Third Stone from the Sun ( I thought that was Mitchell’s finest moment) but if you need a drummer to anchor a backbeat with perfect timing and super intelligent sounding fills that fit perfectly with a rock style, I still think Bonham has no equal as a straight ahead solid rock drummer. Both were masters of their realms

  2. I am truly disappointed that one of the most legendary drummers, that even Bonham credits some of his techniques to, is always past over is Carmine Appice. Carmine is the epitome of rock drumming.

    1. Carmine Appice is a complete joke, and yet he thinks that he’s a real legend. He’s nothing but a big blowhard with an inflated sense of self-importance.

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