Originally Posted by Clark
That Buddy Rich and John Bonham story is very interesting. Buddy and Zeppelin
actually played on the same bill once! According to Jason, John's son,
John met Buddy at the show. Elaborate more on Buddy's view of Bonham if you can.
I give you total credit for asking Buddy that question. That was probably the best question Buddy was ever asked.
By the way, Cathy (Buddy's daughter) took Buddy to see Zeppelin in 1973.
Rich was always interested in anyone who was getting attention. But, as one poster already mentioned, Bonham the individual was nowhere near as famous then as he is now.
Yes, Led Zeppelin was a big deal in the 1970s. But in that era the considered headliner virtuoso of that band was Jimmy Page, although Bonham's underground clique was every bit as fervent then as now. Yes, Bonham had his followers. But again I agree with other posts. We thought guys like Carmine Appice were much bigger deals when it came to name recognition.
Bottom line, Rich was irritated if you spoke of any other drummer besides him. He wanted to mention the other guy. But he was aware of Bonham as early as 1970.
With that said, I agree with several others here. Rich could do anything he wanted on the drums, and could play anything that came to his mind, or your mind for that matter.
Look, I really believe too many of our younger colleagues are overly dependant on videos of Rich when making determinations of his greatness. I have never saw a Rich video (including At the Top) that even came close to what he actually sounded like either live or on those rather amazing Pacific Jazz releases, or even his 1939 recordings with Artie Shaw, or his early 1960s work with Harry James.
On the other hand, I also heard Zeppelin several times in the 1970s, and can say with confidence that the Zeppelin DVD going around (that seems to be owned by every 14 to 20 year old drummer on the planet right now) was just about the best I ever heard Bonham in any situation. With these parameters as a yardstick, I suspect it is harder for younger well intentioned and talented drummers to have a higher opinion of Bonham at the expense of the Rich legacy.
Buddy Rich kicked butt for 60 years. You cant make snap judgements about him. His legacy is beyond that.