Originally Posted by MikeM
Point one: there can be some doubt about your first sentence; I've never been a Zep fan or even that much of a Bonham fan. I don't know why that is and I may be the only DW member who doesn't list him on my top 100 list of most influential drummers - not that I disliked his playing, but it didn't totally get me off the way many other drummers did and do. But for the purpose of this discussion, it doesn't really matter, except to illustrate that I'm far from one of his fanboys.
Point two: What Bonham failed at was staying alive, and while he was, I guess you could say that he failed to properly manage his demons and all the stress and expectations that dogged him. To opine what a waste is was that he choked on his vomit while leaving the rest of the world, including his family, hanging in a lurch, while perhaps true on some level, seems overly crass and massively insensitive.
Judge away, but what was that about walking a mile in someone else's shoes?
I can walk in someone else's shoes - but I might go in a different direction!
Yes, it is clear Bonham was profoundly weak and unable to control his appetities, as is true with many people and entertainers. One of the consequences of that is being the butt of jokes long after you are gone. On the other hand, if you manage to keep it together, people may appreciate you for decades of inspiring work (see the highly judgmental comments on the Joe Morello thread).