John Bonham 4/19/21

Set for publication on September 7th is the first major biography of Led Zeppelin‘s late drummer, the legendary John BonhamBeast: John Bonham And The Rise Of Led Zeppelin by author C.M. Kushins, will be released via Hachette Books, with Foo Fighters‘ Dave Grohl supplying the 384-page tome’s forward.

According to the press release announcing the book:

John Bonham first learned to play the drums at the age of five, and despite never taking formal lessons, began drumming for local bands immediately upon graduating from secondary school.

Bonham was recruited to join the band who would eventually become known as Led Zeppelin-and before the year was out, Bonham and his three bandmates would become the richest rock band in the world.

To this day, Bonham is posthumously described as one of the most important, well-known, and influential drummers in rock, topping best of lists describing him as an inimitable, all-time great.

Robert Plant recalled the night he first laid eyes on John Bonham — his soon-to-be best friend and closest musical partner: [“I was 16 and I was playing in a group called the Crawling King Snakes. And he came to the gig and he stood there in somebody’s borrowed coat. Uh, it was an orange ostrich skin jacket. Unassuming — he always was (laughs) unassuming. And he said, he said, ‘You’re alright,’ he said, ‘But you’ll never get anywhere unless you’ve got a drummer as good as me.’ I said, ‘I like the sound of this.’ I said, ‘That sounds good, where do you live?’ And he said, ‘Oh, I live in Redditch,’ and I went (like a) calculator, I thought, ‘That’s 30 miles away.’ I said, ‘You can’t do it — you live too far away, we can’t afford the gasoline to get there to pick you up.’ So, that got rid of him for a year.”] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC: . . . for a year)

SOURCE: Press release


  • Set for publication on September 7th is Beast: John Bonham And The Rise Of Led Zeppelin by author C.M. Kushins. The tome marks the first major biography of Led Zeppelin’s late drummer.


  • On September 25th, 1980, Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham died of pulmonary edema, which is fluid accumulation in the lungs. The legendary drummer was just 32-years-old, and found dead by Zeppelin sound technician Benji LeFevre and bassist John Paul Jones.
  • The clinical cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit and an autopsy found no other drugs in his body. Bonham was cremated on October 10th, 1980, and his ashes were buried at Rushock Parish Church in Droitwich, Worcestershire.


THE TOP 20 GREATEST DRUMMERS OF ALL TIME – according to Rolling Stone in 2016:

1. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
2. Keith Moon (The Who)
3. Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith)
4. Neil Peart (Rush)
5. Hal Blaine (legendary session drummer)
6. Clyde Stubblefield and John “Jabo” Starks (James Brown)
7. Gene Krupa
8. Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
9. Al Jackson, Jr. (Booker T. & The M.G.’s)
10. Stewart Copeland (The Police)
11. Benny Benjamin (The Funk Brothers)
12. Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones)
13. D.J. Fontana (Elvis Presley)
14. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
15. Buddy Rich
16. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson)
17. Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa)
18. Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (The Meters)
19. Tony Williams (Miles Davis)
20. Bernard Purdie (legendary session drumme