Originally Posted by aahznightsky
I still think he's an amazing drummer but jfyo, he didn't tune his drums. His drum tech did. Jeff Ocheltree. Look him up. He's been the tech for Lenny White, Cobham and a number of other amazing drummers. It was Ocheltree who started the whole "resonant heads tighter for projection" concept that made bonham's drums sound so great.
Was Ocheltree around teching for Bonham during the fourth album? How about Presence? How about Grafitti?......I don't hear much of a difference in the great sound from the live performances of Madison Square Garden in 73, to Earl's Court in 75 to Knebworth in 79.....it sounds pretty damned good to me all the way through.
Mick Hinton was Bonham's longest 'serving' roadie. Recently he says in a current issue of an English percussion publication, 'Bonham tuned all his snares, himself....' he states he tuned the rest of the drums. THIS, in my opinion and according to MY research is wrong.
What is 'wrong' about the tech statements is the fact that replacing a head, by removing an old one and putting a new one on doesn't constitute 'tuning'. John Bonham tuned ALL his drums prior to shows by checking them and adjusting where necessary, that went for Hinton, Smith and Ocheltree, and I stand by this belief.
"John would sometimes check my bottom head tuning before shows-especially in humid areas." Jeff Ocheltree, Modern Drummer magazine
John Bonham would, in fact, from all my research, check a drum as soon as he discovered a sonic discrepancy and tune to bring the drum back to perfection.
The techs had very little work to do regarding 'changing' heads with Bonham. He HATED new drumheads, and as Ocheltree says, " Bonzo wouldn't change the heads unless it was absolutely necessary- he liked the sound of heads played in."
You have to cross all the comments by those involved with all your other research to get an accurate picture of what really was the situation. Unfortunately, Bonham doesn't rank on your influential drummer list anywhere that would cause you to devote the years studying him that I have.