Thread: John Bonham
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Old 09-27-2005, 01:52 PM
Posts: n/a

The all purpose Bonham Checklist:

1) Powerful, open sound. This was a rarity in a time of single headed, cardboard box kits. He HIT the drums and got them to ring out. He was *THE* counsummate rock drummer, not a warmed over jazz or bop drummer.

2) Unique, and iconic kits. He made vistalite even cooler to have. You know you want one, or a green sparkle maple kit. He had big drums, and used them all, nothing was wasted or for show. You have to love the gong and that hihat jingle ring.

3) Indulgent, but ground breaking solos. Like them or not, they were a lot groovier and better put togeather than most rock solos of that era. You can keep "toad", iron butterfly and Peter Criss. I'll take Bonzo's force majeure.

4)The groove: he played in a way that wasn't just 2/4 or 4/4. Listen to his swing closely, and it's far from simple robotics. When the leavee breaks is a towering groove, probably the most sampled and influential in history. He spiced his playing well.

5) The foot like castinets. Literally developing the first "power foot" of rock. he could hammer his kick, and play fast doubles and triples that took most drummers two kicks to do. He set a precedence in rock drumming: to really HEAR and FEEL the kick drum. He was a prime mover for the music. He was the perfect ying to Paige and Jones yang.

For all the reasons and above, he remains the godfather of rock drumming, with a nod to Carmine Appice. Bonzo is listed on countless pro drummers "greatest influences" list. It's one thing to have great chops or a solo now, building on what Bonzo started.
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