Originally Posted by MikeM
Yeah, I don't get the "best ever" stuff, either. The guy was a great drummer, no doubt about it. Cool sounding drums: check. Nice strong groove: check. Hugely influential: double check.
But I'll tell you what I don't get: In all my years of drumming I never would have guessed that so many people would one day be using his likeness for their usernames and avatars (obviously wasn't thinking internet forums).
Seriously, I can recall off the top of my head two, maybe three, drummers on this forum using another drummers' likeness on usernames and avatars but probably a dozen who use Bonham's.
Is everyone too embarrassed to admit or remember that Neil Peart was such a huge influence? Because as I remember back on it, Neil Peart was consistently at the top of everyone's favorite drummer list (refer back to MD reader polls from that era). I'm tempted to wonder if it's because he didn't die right after Moving Pictures! Apologies if this is coming across as flippant, but I've been growing increasingly curious about the nature of Bonham's legendary status as it continues to grow.
It also makes me wonder if Bonham would still be so wildly popular if he were still alive and an old geezer trying to live off his glory years. Maybe his drumming might seem a little stale by now and lost some of its luster.
But I really am impressed with Bonham's staying power over the years, even if I don't totally understand it. As a kid growing up playing drums through the late '70s and '80s, Bonham never cracked my top 10 favorite drummers. Perhaps he's higher on my list now, but at this point I have so many favorites, it's not even funny. He's just one among many.
I think there is some kind of cult following developing for all things Zeppelin for some reason. My son is at a worship phase for Bonham right now too, and his guitarists have the same hots for Page and Jones. I don't even try to figure it out - maybe their generation's music sucks so bad that they are reaching out for my generation's mega-bands. Another worship of theirs is Pink Floyd and The Doors - neither band whose drummers were ever on my radar screens back in the day. I am not dissing Nick Mason, or John Densmore, but I think the fact that they played for such legendary mega rock bands gets them much more noteriety than they would have gotten anywhere else. Bonham was a cut above most rock drummers in those days, but so was Ginger Baker, Carl Palmer, Danny Seraphine, Neil Peart, and Bill Bruford. Which one was the absolute best? Ginger Baker will probably scarf that titlle up himself personally - or maybe he and Carmine Appice can duke it out for top dog, lol - who really cares? I personally think it was Neil Peart, but that is my opinion and I am only one of too many. Rush however, was not and probably never will get as popular as the Zep. Jimmy Page deserves most of the artistic credit for every place that band has been, though, and as much credit as Pagey loves to shower on Bonzo, I don't think John Paul Jones will ever dispute that fact. I wonder if Page doesn't have some inner hauntings for all that Allistair Crowley/Black Magic crap and the fact that Bonham died in his house. All I know is that back in the 1970's nobody worshipped Bonham the way they do now. Bill Ludwig didn't even pay him much attention. Still, he was a cut above most rock drummers.