Would Bonham be the drummer he was without the alcohol?
well most importantly he would have been the drummer he was for a lot longer.
i don't think his alcohol improved nor feuled his skill as adrummer. drinking was more a part of his character, culture and family. bonzo was for me more of a studio genious and a great live showman. in the studio the choices and execution of them showed a man with a deep understanding of drumming who was completely on top of things...live he was the wild man of rock with everything that went with it. when i play live i have a few beers for the devil may care mood that puts me on the edge...but in the studio i don't drink (heck who wants to try and stay drunk or even tipsy for those kinds of hours....eeeugh)