Thread: John Bonham
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:42 PM
CooManChu's Avatar
CooManChu CooManChu is offline
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Default Re: John Bonham

Yeah, I like where this is all heading. We're getting off the bull of being the fastest and getting towards the more musically complimenting.

Maybe there are quicker drummers or drummers with more chops or whatever, but who out there fits into his/her band as well as Bonham fit into Zeppelin? Actually, the whole band fit so well together, much of what they did and do outside of Zeppelin falls short in my opinion. For instance, and granted is was just a session job and an album I love, but did Dave Weckl's playing with Plant and occasionally Page on the Honeydrippers Vol. 1 album inspire anyone to rush out and pick up some drum sticks, work on vocals, or a buy a new guitar? Who would say that Bonham has more chops than Weckl (not me), but he certainly has chops: there is still alot of clean technique involved in the playing of Bonham.

Zeppelin as a band was one where each member was an excellent musician, but in addition to that, they played well together. Geez, there are so many great drummers, but not all of these guys are playing in groups where the rest of the members take care of their own individual musical business as well as the members of Zeppelin did.

BTW, I saw a post earlier that sort of bashed Plant a little. Plant is an excellent musician. His rhythm, dynamics, his feel for lyrics, the way he chops words and holds phrases out - you can tell he likes to cut his stuff from the same cloth as guys like James Brown. Plant and Bonham gave Zeppelin it's sound and feel as much as anyone has given a band anything.

Another thing I'd add is that Bonham wasn't a drummer who was out cooking a quiche when simple srambled eggs would do. First, he did what the music called for and what his band needed - throwing a little personal spice and taste in at the same time and showing off occasionally just to make sure no one forgot he was back there helping to hold down the fort with Jones.

When I think about a good drummer when compared to someone else, I don't just look at a person's playing. Most of us can move our hands and feet pretty fast in a coordinated effort over our instrument. However, how many of us and how many of the drummers that get mentioned as being "better" than Bonham can help create and sit in a pocket as tightly, be musically supportive, stand out in a group's sound without being completely dominant, and fit into the musical situations in which we find ourselves as well or better than Bonham did. If I could do that, I'd be pretty happy even if I didn't have broken bass drum triplets at quarter note = 180 or a 4 voice polythm going on.

I'm not saying that every person that plays simple stuff necessarily falls into the Bonham category as far as feel and such either. There are alot of professional recordings where the stuff is as simple or simpler than some of Bonham's playing that does not even come close to being as tight or supportive or fit into the group's tapestry of sound as well as Bonham's playing fits into Zeppelin's or give a band such a fat, comfortable, broad base over which to play. Charlie Watt's is play's pretty straight ahead ideas. Can anyone imagine his sound as part of Zeppelin? I can't, but he fits in whith the Stones very well.

Bottom Line
I wonder if a few replies to this post by could possibly give a list of drummers people think sat or sit so well with the band or bands they play/played in? I'd be much more interested in investigating and listening to drummers within groups on that list than I would a list of drummers who have faster feet or the quickest paradiddles or whatever. Who do you think fits in as well as or bettern than Bonham did with Zeppelin? Whose drum sound do you think is as signature as Bonham's and at the same time is backed up by a group where nearly every member's sound is as signature to the sound of the group without a single sound being completely dominant? Hit me...

Thanks in advance for any info you give.
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Last edited by CooManChu; 04-17-2006 at 08:53 PM.
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