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Mook

John Bonham's favourite Drummers

60 posts in this topic

Just thinking of all the books I've read over the years & the Drummers we've heard about receiving compliments from John Bonham (& indirectly from other sources):-

Ginger Baker

Gene Krupa

Buddy Rich

Barriemore Barlow

Bernard Purdie

Alphonse Mouzon

Max Roach

Joe Morello

Simon Kirke

Keith Moon...

are the ones that I can remember off the top of my head, can anyone think of any others or find any anecdotes/quotes attributed to Bonham in this regard?

Edited by Mook

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Great topic! Hope it doesn't turn into which one could play instead of Jason! Ups, better not even mentioning it!

I wonder how much he picked from other very famous rock drummers few years before Zeppelin, not just Moon!

I recall he praised Abbey Road once, but he said he heard, that Paul played some of the stuff!

He could certainly do all that stuff, except for maybe some Cream and The Doors stuff,

but he had jazz influences, so he was really skilled!

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Great topic! Hope it doesn't turn into which one could play instead of Jason! Ups, better not even mentioning it!

I wonder how much he picked from other very famous rock drummers few years before Zeppelin, not just Moon!

I recall he praised Abbey Road once, but he said he heard, that Paul played some of the stuff!

He could certainly do all that stuff, except for maybe some Cream and The Doors stuff,

but he had jazz influences, so he was really skilled!

I don't recall him ever commenting on Ringo's drumming although personally I feel he was influenced by him when you listen to some of his more melodic fills.

I'm a huge Ringo fan just as an aside.

(Can't believe I missed out Carmine Appice).

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I don't recall him ever commenting on Ringo's drumming although personally I feel he was influenced by him when you listen to some of his more melodic fills.

Can anyone confirm please!? SteveAJones?! Thanks!

Edited by Matjaz1

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Bonham could be such a melodic drummer yeah, without actually playing drums that enable notes! He also listened to a lot of motown and funk stuff, that's where all the little details in his drumming come from!

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Check the last page of the 'random newspaper articles' thread in the 'press' section.

There's a 1970 interview with Bonzo where he's asked about the Beatles, it's very good, although brief

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Check the last page of the 'random newspaper articles' thread in the 'press' section.

There's a 1970 interview with Bonzo where he's asked about the Beatles, it's very good, although brief

Yeah, it's a fantastic read. In it Bonzo said he liked Bartholomew "Frosty" Frost-Smith from Lee Michaels, and the drummer from Milkwood who he saw in a Toronto show.

"I walked into Toronto's Pennyfarthing [sic] one night and there was a group (Milkwood) whose drummer was great. He had such a great feel to the numbers. You know things like this happen all the time. You go somewhere and see a really knockout drummer."

http://forums.ledzeppelin.com/index.php?/topic/13008-random-newpaper-articles/?p=811107

The latter is a bit foggy because it could have been either Ron Frankel or Malcolm Tomlinson.

Frankel did voice concern that having another drummer in the group might undermine the internal dynamics, but the issue was easily resolved as Tomlinson could also be called on to play guitar and flute, as well as share lead vocals with Gauthier.

(quote from strangebrew.co.uk link below - part I)

Apparently Hendrix saw Milkwood in TO, too, but with both drummers. So it's not clear which one Bonzo was referring to the night he saw them (more on that below...)

Here's some more info about Milkwood (and some group photos in which Louis McKelvey looks an awful lot like one Charles Manson. I did a double take...)

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/milkwood-part-1

So, apparently, this also happened:

With the recordings done, Milkwood returned to Canada in August and embarked on a six-week tour. At one show at the Penny Farthing, members of Led Zeppelin turned up after their eagerly awaited Rock Pile debut on 18 August. John Bonham even sat in with the group for a few numbers.

http://thestrangebrew.co.uk/articles/milkwood-part-2

The two links have some interesting, detailed insights into Milkwood's promising but brief existence, if you have some time.

Not sure how much of an influence they had, but Mook said anecdotes, so there you have it.

Bonzo seemed like the kind of guy who soaked in everything that he thought was good, regardless of genre or popularity. It was nice getting to read some insights from him and about him in that article badgeholder refers to.

Edited by Patrycja

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Check the last page of the 'random newspaper articles' thread in the 'press' section.

There's a 1970 interview with Bonzo where he's asked about the Beatles, it's very good, although brief

Thanks Sam and badgeholder! It's cool to read, as I like The Beatles a lot, got all their albums, because they further fulfill a melodic side of me,

I like The Rolling stones a lot less, even if they come from the blues, just like Zep basically do!

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Just thinking back to one comment from Robert Plant when he said at the 1995 induction to the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame something along the lines of "John Bonham had been listening to Alphonse Mouzon albums." when Led Zeppelin were on tour (I'm paraphrasing slightly). Looking over Mouzon's discography, I have my suspicions that the album Bonham might've been listening to on the 1975 tour would've been Mind Transplant (1974) which features Tommy Bolin on guitar, I'm a big fan of this album myself & you can hear its influence on the likes of Achilies Last Stand, where Bonham started incorporating more cymbal work into his fills.

Like I say, I'm kinda guessing here but that LP must've been pretty popular amongst drummers in the mid 70s.

I remember reading in one of my books about John Bonham that he'd been to a Billy Cobham gig around this time as well so he was certainly listening to the big hitters in Jazz Fusion.

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Stewart Copeland

I think he admired Copeland, but actually viewed him as a kind of threat. I recall reading that during the band's final years, with the emergence of punk and new wave, Bonham made remarks about Copeland as being the kind of drummer that kids now wanted to hear. Obviously, the band were in their wilderness period, during Plant's mourning, and they questioned their relevance. Bonham, as we know, was fighting his own particular demons and was probably suffering from a sense of low self-esteem. It must have been hard for musicians of their era to keep reading that they represented the "boring old farts" and "dinosaurs".

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Alphonse Mouzon/Funky Snakefoot was the specific album I've read about him playing very loud in hotels. I've also read they used to listen to Little Feat at soundchecks, so maybe Richie Hayward was on his list (?)

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Alphonse Mouzon/Funky Snakefoot was the specific album I've read about him playing very loud in hotels. I've also read they used to listen to Little Feat at soundchecks, so maybe Richie Hayward was on his list (?)

Thanks for that, I've never seen a specific album mentioned so I'll need to check that one out.

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I read that in the book LZ-'75: The Lost Chronicles of Led Zeppelin's 1975 American Tour (chapter 24), and you're right- Mind Transplant was the other album- turns out he was actually playing along to them at 3am in his Riot House hotel room- hilarious.

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I think he admired Copeland, but actually viewed him as a kind of threat. I recall reading that during the band's final years, with the emergence of punk and new wave, Bonham made remarks about Copeland as being the kind of drummer that kids now wanted to hear. Obviously, the band were in their wilderness period, during Plant's mourning, and they questioned their relevance. Bonham, as we know, was fighting his own particular demons and was probably suffering from a sense of low self-esteem. It must have been hard for musicians of their era to keep reading that they represented the "boring old farts" and "dinosaurs".

I just know he was a fan of The Police and of Copeland. Jason Bonham has spoken about it and the topic has come up here before.

I always wondered if he ever remarked about Neil Peart, but nobody has been able to substantiate that.

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I've always been curious what Bonzo thought of Peart as well. Anytime I hear Peart talk about his influences, he never so much as mentions Bonham. I guess that would make sense his not being an influence since they could not have more polar opposite drumming approaches, but he's almost dismissive like he's never heard of Bonham OR Zeppelin.

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Yeah- Peart is another good question- as a drummer, I'd have a million. Hell, I'd never heard the man speak until the LZ DVD came out (I think that's where I first heard it). The book by his brother Mick is another good one (mentioned in other threads)...

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I just know he was a fan of The Police and of Copeland. Jason Bonham has spoken about it and the topic has come up here before.

I always wondered if he ever remarked about Neil Peart, but nobody has been able to substantiate that.

When I listen to Bonzos strait or usual playing I hear "Buddy Rich" very clearly, the attack, the style, the passion etc. We as musicians are all influenced by many things that we hear or like, I'd be willing to bet that Bonzo was like that as well. Zeppelin as a group was exploring some-what new ground (or at least different ways of doing things) so I'd also have to say that the whole band was being innovative to.

I've seen interviews with Rush and they all we’re floored by Zeppelin when they first heard them as teens.... Probably the same way the boys from Zep where aww-struck when they first heard Elvis.

I had the pleasure to chat with Jason many years ago, I asked him how often Bonzo practiced, hes reply was.... "Dad was running a farm and didn't take much time to play unless he was with the rest of the band. Two weeks before they went out on the road they would get together and that was about it."

Bonzo was an exceptionally gifted person so I think that he was mostly doing his own thing but he had to be influenced by and liked other drummers as he stated in interviews.

Edited by BonzoLikeDrumer

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I've always been curious what Bonzo thought of Peart as well. Anytime I hear Peart talk about his influences, he never so much as mentions Bonham. I guess that would make sense his not being an influence since they could not have more polar opposite drumming approaches, but he's almost dismissive like he's never heard of Bonham OR Zeppelin.

You are right.

I've never heard Peart mention Bonham in interviews.

If I had to guess (yet there's no way of ever knowing) Neil wasn't on Bonhams favorite list, simply because of his overkill playing style.

Peart was a machine drummer, not exactly one that played off of emotion and feel. Not saying he had none, but with Rush music in general, there isn't much space for the music to breathe. Think of how much more soulful and groovy Rush would have been with a drummer like Bonham...then again, it wouldn't be Rush.

I do know that he liked several New Orleans based/style drummers. You can hear that influence in some of the later records....from Presence onward. And also on things like Poor Tom.

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Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull), from Wikipedia:-

Barlow is known as a very technical and creative drummer. His drumming on the live album, Bursting Out, is testimony to his creative talents as a drummer, notably on his drum solo in the song "Conundrum". He was called "the greatest rock drummer England ever produced" by John Bonham. In a comment on his drumming for the Jethro Tull albums he said; "I've always admired people who invent – and on a percussion level I admire inventors of rhythm. I tried to strive for that in Tull, but now I go to great lengths to advise the drummers in the bands I'm managing not to play anything like I used to play in Tull, because it was so busy and over-the-top."[5]

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I saw this video....i thought of John Bonham.....i think Papa jo Jones would of been an influence.....He does the hand drumming, and Bonham had a touch of jazz in his playing as well...they both have their own way of playing...but very similar..

https://youtu.be/GrKShqNkcnI

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Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull), from Wikipedia:-

Barlow is known as a very technical and creative drummer. His drumming on the live album, Bursting Out, is testimony to his creative talents as a drummer, notably on his drum solo in the song "Conundrum". He was called "the greatest rock drummer England ever produced" by John Bonham. In a comment on his drumming for the Jethro Tull albums he said; "I've always admired people who invent – and on a percussion level I admire inventors of rhythm. I tried to strive for that in Tull, but now I go to great lengths to advise the drummers in the bands I'm managing not to play anything like I used to play in Tull, because it was so busy and over-the-top."[5]

Barrymore Barlow's a seriously talented monster on the kit!

I listen to Tull weekly and often find new drum pieces he's fitted in to songs where you'd think there was little to nowhere to fit a drum part in.He does it with ease,flair and is spot on time everytime.

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I think it was just a few months ago, there was some interview with Carmine Appice where he says he would be the best fit for any possible Zep reunion.

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