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JiMiHeNdRiX1967

Reaction to Bonzos death

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Wow i haven posted on here in forever .I would like to know what it was like for the fans when they found out he died, like what was the story of when they found out and who told you. I was born 17 years too late and didn't discover zeppelin until 12 years after that. So I was just wondering what the intial shock was like. It must have been horrible especially if they were excited for the upcoming US tour.

Edited by JiMiHeNdRiX1967

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It has always bothered me that Bonzo's death is never mentioned with other rock stars like Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison, etc. When 1980 is spoken about, they always bring up Lennon's tragic death but never mention how John died. It 's almost a forgotten note. The end of one of the biggest bands ever is a big moment imo.

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He died a month before my 16th birthday. I had been a hardcore Zeppelin fan for about two years at that point. I remember coming home from high school and turning on the radio. It was always set to the local rock station, and it was immediately apparent from the announcer's tone that something serious had happened. It took about a minute before he mentioned it was Bonzo who had passed. When he said it, I just went numb. Although I obviously didn't know him, it felt like a member of my family died.

The months after his passing were filled with sadness and speculation. There was a lot of "will they continue with a new drummer" talk at the time. Even the announcement from the band that they could not continue as they were didn't dim my hope that they'd stay together. It wasn't until they released Coda, and I found out what that term meant, that I realized they were done. In hindsight, I believe it was the correct move on their part. There was no way anyone could ever replace John Bonham, and Zeppelin without him wouldn't have been nearly the same.

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I probably heard it on the local rock n' roll radio station and I'm sure my initial reaction was one of disbelief. I remember I kept asking one of my older brothers if he'd heard any new news on the radio in the weeks following Bonham's death. One day he just said,"he's still dead". Of course, I stopped asking after that. A few years prior to that I was looking forward to seeing Skynyrd when they were scheduled to play North Carolina on the Tour of the Survivors but that obviously never happened as history took it's course with the plane crash in Mississippi. I had missed Zeppelin when they played Greensboro in '77 so I was looking forward to them touring the U.S. on the heels of In Through the Out Door. Bonham's death was tragic enough as it was but never getting to see them live was salt in an open wound. That's one reason why I revel in others' experiences, especially one of my older brothers who saw them when they played Dorton Arena in Raleigh in the early 70s (he also saw the Jimi Hendrix Experience there).

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I wrote the following on Sept. 25, 2010...the 30th anniversary of his passing:

30 years ago today my world crumbled.

It was a bright sunny Southern California morning and I had just arrived at school just before 8am when the rumours started swirling about Bonham dying. At first we all felt like it had to be a hoax...no way could the Hammer of the Gods be dead!

I had just started saving up money for the impending Led Zeppelin tour that was sure to come LA's way in 1981, and I intended to take my little brothers to their first concert when Zeppelin next played Los Angeles.

Right after my first class, around 9am PST, confirmation came that yes, indeed, John Henry Bonham had shuffled of this mortal coil. I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under me...the rest of the day was spent under a fog of sadness and despair.

As soon as I got home I immediately holed up in my room and turned my stereo to KMET 94.7 FM, THE premiere rock and roll station in Los Angeles during the '70's. I didn't come out for dinner or anything...just spent the night alone as Mary "the Burner" Turner and then Jim Ladd spent their entire shows paying tribute to Bonzo. There were interviews, press statements, memorials and testimonials from fans and other musicians alike...along with wall-to-wall Zeppelin music.

I wanted it to be some horrible nightmare...that I would wake up and find out it wasn't true, that Bonzo was still alive and that Zeppelin was still in flight.

One of the things I do remember occuring at school in the days after we had official confirmation of Bonham's passing, was some kids speculating about the prospects of Led Zeppelin carrying on. Names of Bonzo's possible replacement were bandied about: Cozy Powell, Carmine Apice, Alan White, Carl Palmer, Neil Peart...and with each name mentioned, it seemed sillier and sillier until I was hit with the sudden realization that THIS WAS IT! There was NO replacing Bonham, which meant that, unlike the Who and the Rolling Stones, Jimmy, Robert and John Paul would honour their fallen comrad and call it a day.

It hit me with the force and clarity of Bonham's right foot: LED ZEPPELIN WAS OVER! No more albums, no more tours...my little brothers would not get to experience what I, and millions of others lucky to have been born earlier did: the incandescent thrill and power of Led Zeppelin in concert.

The next day back at school, I made plans with friends to go see that night's(it was a Friday) midnight screening of "The Song Remains the Same" at the United Artists Theatres at the Tyler Mall in Riverside, CA. First we hit the usual post-game party at the river, drank some beer and smoked some pot...so that by the time we made it to the theatre, we were thoroughly baked.

I remember the line to the movie being humongous...it was even longer than the line to see "Rocky Horror", which also played Friday and Saturday at midnight at this theatre. Eventually they had to cut off the line because it was sold out...we got there just in time.

Just to give you a taste of what screenings of "The Song Remains the Same" were like back then, the theatre would set up big stacks of JBL speakers on both sides of the screen to go along with the Altec Lansings already wired around the theatre and they would crank the sound as LOUD as humanly possible. This was years before THX and DTS Digital and all the surround sound stuff you have now...but it was quite effective.

During Jimmy's bow solo the sound would ricochet around the threatre...when you were stoned it was mind-blowing. And trust me, that night EVERYONE was either drunk or stoned; frequently both. Even before the movie started, the room was filling up with the haze of marijuana and/or hash smoke...and every so often you would hear the clink or clank of beer bottles/cans hitting the floor.

Of course, for that night's screening everyone was there to pay respects to Bonham, and accordingly, whenever Bonham showed up on screen the theatre would explode in applause...and "Moby Dick" got the loudest and longest ovation I've ever heard it receive in the more than 80 times I've seen it in theatres. I was in tears myself for most of the film...I still couldn't believe he was dead and that I would never get to see the band in concert again. Then I thought about his family...the part where little Jason shows up during "Moby Dick", playing along with his dad, was heart-breaking. So sad.

I thought about going again Saturday night...but I just didn't think I could handle it emotionally.

You can laugh...but Led Zeppelin was my LIFE back then! It was the one thing that kept me sane with all the craziness that was going on with my family and school, etc. There were many other bands I liked but there was only ONE LED ZEPPELIN; they were my life-line.

30 years ago today, I was decimated by the death of Bonzo and my optimism for the coming decade took a turn for the worse; suddenly the 80's looked bleak and dreary.

R.I.P. JOHN HENRY BONHAM.

Edited by Strider

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^ Good post Strider, I could feel the emotion come through on that one. You put me there and it sounds like a very sad thing to have heard that news on the radio, and following it up with clips, interviews etc (had to make it even worse). Talk about crushing your dreams......I still miss him, because there will be no other. He was a special drummer, a one of a kind with an unmatched combination of skills.

Damn, I think I'm gonna go jam a tune or two before I hit the sack....God Bless em.

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I remember like it was yesterday.

I was 17, working part time at Montomery Ward in the restaurant, "The Buffeteria" bussing tables and washing dishes....

There was this very nice and attractive blonde girl that worked there. She was married to a Bass player named Mark. He was a cool guy probably in his mid 30's. I got friendly with both of them, talking music, concerts and whatever...

She knew I was a drummer and a huge Led Zeppelin, John Bonham fan.... So she stopped by to tell me.. I hadn't heard the news yet. The first thing I did was call my friend Eric, who was working at McDonalds.... "Are you sitting down man?"

I got through rest of the night working.. As soon as my shift was over, I bought a can of spray paint. and headed towards my high school. I spray painted the 3 circles all over the place. I was not a spray paint artist and it was pitch dark. The circles looked terrible,

I think half the school knew it was me... but I really didn't give a shit.

I was stunned and very sad..... and I had to pay my tribute to the great John Bonham.

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Heard the news on the car radio while on my way home from work. The news headline was announced as something like "member of Led Zeppelin dies" ! No name given until after the commercial break. I have to admit, as weird as it may sound to some of you, my initial reaction was one of shock but not suprise. As I pulled over to the side of the road to fully listen to the news, I was thinking to myself, it's happened, we've lost Jimmy ! When the news came back on and the announcer said it was John Bonham, I turned the motor off, pulled out a cigarette , sat at the side of the road for about 15 min and came to the realization that in one single swipe, what was left of my youth, was gone

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I found out in a rather unusual way. I was 19 then and didn't have a TV in my apt and mostly played albums rather than the radio. I was off work for a couple days and was in the habit of taking a morning jog along Clearwater Beach. Thinking back it was probably Sept. 26th or maybe 27th.

I was having this great early morning jog on the beautiful beach, sun on the rise and my life was looking up at that time. I paused to catch my breath under The Pier on Clearwater Beach. Glancing at the graffiti I saw where someone had etched into one of the the cement column supports, John Bonham 9-25-80, RIP.

I just kept staring at that etched graffiti, stunned and bewildered too. I couldn't fathom the brilliant young drummer of my favorite rock band gone so young! Thanks to some anonymous person who took the time to put a pemanent marker on the cement column, I had a chance to reflect and say a prayer right there while gazing at the clear blue skies, water and sunshine surrounding me. It touched me and I shall never forget........missy

RIP John Bonham.

Edited by missytootsweet

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This might be a good place to also post/paste articles, news reports, videos etc. of his death. (I wanna say it's been done on the site before) I know there are a few low-budget crappy video clips of his death report on youtube...anyone have an actual newspaper article saved through the years?

Thanks to all that have posted here. Although the topic itself isn't anything to be excited about, it's interesting to read the memories of that "day in a life" according to you folks.

Edited by Rock Historian

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i took some mesc downed some jack and tried to glue back togther the smashed ITTOD album that lay beneath a pile of dirty zep t shirts that lay strewn on my bedroom floor ......".how could he just up and die"? i screamed at the top of my lungs ....he puts out a piece of crap album like that and dies?..........well i just couldnt believe that that was to be his last contribution to what once was the worlds best band

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I was 24 and thanks to an older cousin had been introduced to Zeppelin in 71 and saw them 4 times in 73, 75(2) and 77 all in Seattle. Though my life was changing and I was growing up a bit I still lots of anticipation of seeing Zeppelin in 1980 or maybe 81 depending when the defunct tour would have come to the NW. They were my very favorite. I was working over at my parents; in their backyard and had the radio going to KISW FM. All I remember was the broadcaster breaking in mid song with major news from the world of rock and roll. All I heard was Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was found dead. I just froze. It sounded so wrong. I just sat there and was dead to the world. I was really down as if a part of me was taken away and changed forever that day. Looking back I knew it was over. Even at my age I knew they would just stop. THe December announcement confirming that was no surprise. I went to see Robert Plant in 1983 and walked out (I admit it) about 2/3 the way through his set. Robert may have been ready, but I wasn't. It took years to get over Bonham's death and no band has come close to matching what I grew to love about Zeppelin; you all know what I mean. Music has never been the same. Nowdays I enjoy lots of music - most all types; it's just different and always will be.

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^ I saw, watched, listened-whatever you wanna call it-to this video. It's tasteless as you would expect. Howard Stern is a fuckin douche, plain and simple...Stern would make a joke/prank about his own mothers death if he knew someone would pay attention or laugh. Also, this video is in another thread (can't recall which). Not quite on the same level as that scum of the earth Richard Ramirez ( The Night Stalker) thread you created a while back, but it would have been better off without this one, Wolfyboy.

However, I do agree with your post higher up (Bonham is hardly mentioned in Rock deaths, or at least he is over-looked by other artist such as Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, etc) That much is true.

Edited by Rock Historian

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I still have never seen the RS after his death. Anyone have it? If so, what did they say?

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I was at a new job for a week. I actually first heard of Bonzo's death from a co-worker...they had just announce it on the radio. I just remember that I had to take a long walk. According to rock legend, the music died in a plane crash in the late 50's. For me, in a way it died in 1980. It wasn't just Bonzo's death, it was the effect over time of Lennon's and Moon's also. It also came at 20 for me, and it seemed like things were changing a lot quicker than I wanted or expected them too. You can't be 20 on Sugar Mountain....

We had sent in our money for the 80' tour for the Detroit show at Joe Louis. I still vividly remember my friend handing me my money back in his driveway a few weeks later. He said, "Well, at least we got to see them once". I think that was when it hit home the hardest. It had already been 3 years since the 77' tour, and it already seemed like a distant memory from another era.

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I still have never seen the RS after his death. Anyone have it? If so, what did they say?

"John Bonham: 1948-1980", an obituary written by Kurt Loder, was published in the October 30,1980 issue. I'm surprised to find I do not have it on file. Perhaps Roger Berlin does and will kindly post it here.

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If you're a current subscriber to Rolling Stone you have access to all of their back issues online.

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I just looked up the cover and there's no mention of his death on it. How lame.

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By Stacey Anderson

September 26, 2011 1:25 PM ET

main.jpg

John Bonham of Led Zeppelin performs at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Michael Putland/Getty Images

This week in rock history, John Bonham and Cliff Burton passed away,

George Harrison and David Crosby visited Springfield, Courtney Love was sentenced for her assault on Kathleen Hanna

and Don Henley received an award from President Bill Clinton.

September 25, 1980: John Bonham dies

The accidental death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham left the band in ruins and the music world inconsolable.

Bonham was no small factor in Led Zeppelin's arena ferocity. His controlled speed and heaviness were

the clever force of their rock anthems. His keen sense of dynamics and his rhythmic adeptness carried

many of the band's more experimental grooves, such as "Fool in the Rain" and "Immigrant Song,"

and his percussive ideas were inexhaustible: his infamous drum solo in "Moby Dick" was known to clock

in around 30 minutes in concert.

On the day of Bonham's death, the drummer drank vodka heavily throughout breakfast and

continued imbibing during the band's afternoon rehearsal for their upcoming American tour.

After practice, the band decamped to guitarist Jimmy Page's house in the South of England.

By nightfall, Bonham had consumed an estimated 40 shots of vodka;

he passed out and asphyxiated on his vomit. He was 32. Led Zeppelin formally disbanded a few months later.

In 2011, Rolling Stone readers voted Bonham the greatest drummer of all time

Read more: http://www.rollingst...6#ixzz1rNVhhZAE

Edited by the chase

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