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stonefreelee

Sept. 25th, 1980

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I wasn't a Zep fan yet, when Bonzo died. It was just news, nothing personal to me.

I cried for days when Lennon was killed, though. Definitely grieved more for him than I have for some of the people I've known personally who have died. And yes, people around me thought I was weird. Musicians touch such a special place inside of us, if they've been there for you for years, it is like losing a family member. I'd been into Lennon since childhood, literally grew up with him. There's a part of me that will always be bereft at his murder, it was so mean, stupid and unfair. And yes, coming on top of JFK, MLK, Bobby, Janis, Hendrix, Morrison, boy, the world was kind of a black place during those decades... it's probably a good thing I wasn't into Zep then, I don't know if I could've stood it!

I've cried for Bonzo's passing since, after realizing what really is lost, and how random and sad it was. Thank goodness he left behind so much amazing music! Zeppelin disbanding has been the most respectful rememberance of all. Asking his son to play in his place is another.

Ah man, I'm gonna cry now...

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We were in our local pub, the Bridge Inn, It had a large back room separate from the rest of the pub dedicated to the rock crowd. We had our own rock jukebox ( most pubs in UK only had chart records on jukeboxes). Anyway, a friend of mine who wasn't supposed to be out that night sudenly appeared purely to announce "Bonham's Dead". He had a look on his face and we knew he wasn't joking.We were all stunned and couldn't quite take it in.

At just before 9.00pm the whole of the room emptied and we went into the "normal" part of the pub to crowd around the TV to catch the evening news on the pub TV. There was an eerie silence as we waited the opening headline news. It showed film of the latest war that was going on at that time (Middle East or Russians in Afghanistan or whatever).....silence...until a voice from the back shouted "Shit..it must be true. Peter Grant has sent the tanks in !!"

Gallows humour I know...but we all laughed. But it was a breaking the tension laugh...some tears started as it actually got to the news item re Bonzo and then the rest of the night turned into a wake. We all got wrecked in his honour.

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Gosh I remember this like it was yesterday. I was in high school, and I had come in from being out with a group of friends. The first thing I always did was switch on music when I came home - radio or a record, this time I put the radio on. It was just background noise that I wasn't paying attention to when I suddenly heard, ".... of the rock band Led Zeppelin has died" in the news roundup. Immediately I thought it was Jimmy, and I was so shocked I fainted. Dead away. When I came around I ran to the phone and called my friend to ask who it was, and when she said it was Bonzo, the tears just started and we cried on the phone for a long time. I knew it would be awful no matter who it was. Even though we didn't know them, because of all that their music meant to us and had accompanied us through, they felt like family, and it hurt.

I was devastated when Zeppelin disbanded and they all disappeared. It was the right thing to do, but it still felt like the end of the world. As they each began to reappear it felt wonderful, especially when Jimmy finally surfaced. That was like the sunshine coming out after a long dark scary night.

It still hurts, but unless I think about it too much, Bonzo never feels gone. He's permanently there drumming away! I just know he's waiting for us all to get there and preparing everything as Zeppelin surely will be the house band in heaven!

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8th grade. Already had been a major Zep addict for several years. My drummer (sounds funny to call him that now) came up to me in the lunchline and said Bonzo is dead. I thought he meant his dog, who was named Bonzo. He said No, the real Bonzo. We cut school for the day, got really stoned, and played Zeppelin at my friend Lance's house. That night, Jim Ladd, the Lonesome LA Cowboy on radio station KMET, locked the studio doors and played Moby Dick over and over. All night. We wore black armbands at school the next day. We withdrew our deposits on Zep tickets for the hoped for American tour. We shut down. Some of us cried and played guitars, the rest got into metal.

I wasn't born yet... <_< <_< <_<

I wish I was born in 1956...

Jim Ladd is awesome! Tom Petty was right. Jim Ladd is The Last DJ.

Edited by irg82

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I was a 9 year old Adam & the Ants fan at the time, blissfully unaware. I don't remember hearing about it on the radio or TV, yet I can remember John Lennon's death very clearly like it was yesterday when I saw it announced on John Craven's News Round.

The first time I remember being aware of Bonzo's death was when I first got into Led Zeppelin about 2 - 3 years later.

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I'd like to start this thread off with my own personal story. I apologize if this topic is located elsewhere, I searched and could not find it on site...I know this is most probably the most depressing day for most Zep fans...but it is, unfortunately part of our experience...it is life.

I didn't start learning about and getting into zep until late '77/early '78...they played my hometown on April 15th, 1977. I do remember seeing on the local news all the hub-bub concerning the ticket situation for zep tickets...I dont have a clue when tickets actually went on sale in STL for the '77 show, but i DO remember seeing on the news how fans camped out at the STL arena for three DAYS and when tickets went on sale they sold out in less than three hours! Amazing! I was a late bloomer and couldn't see what the big deal was....

Waited for 2 years and 9 months (since i became a fan) for my heroes to come again...Got the good word Sept. 18th, 1980, a friday. I got home from school (i was a junior in hs) and heard the news that LZ had announced 1st leg of US tour with last four nights (of 1st leg) in Chigaco...I was bummed but excited...no STL date announced...yet. The anticipation and exitement were in the air...In Through The Outdoor had been out a year already...

Sept. 25th, 1980. Another friday. Took the bus (public trasit) home from school. Received a call not long after getting home...hadn't turned the radio on yet...a friend from school (not even a Zep fan) informed me of the situation...totally, totally blown away....

The oddest memory of that horrid day is that I had tickets to see Yes at the St.Louis arena that night, "In the Round"...almost didn't go due to the total devastation and uncertainty of the events that had unfolded...but ended up going so as not to wallow in the misery of the day...it didn't matter, who could escape that? I sat through the concert in stunned silence, hoping at the VERY LEAST that these musicians would at least acknowledge what had happened...and they never said a fucking word. Not a single word about their fellow englishman, fellow musician, brother-in-arms....I stopped liking Yes immediately after that...they KNEW, the FUCKING KNEW! HOW COULD THEY NOT SAY ANYTHING?!?

Nothing would ever be the same...

I was only 4, but I barely remember. Definately remember when Lennon was shot. :(

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Who are you referring to? Not me, I hope.

Twinkle in Daddy's=Not Born Yet :wacko:

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Twinkle in Daddy's=Not Born Yet :wacko:

Yeah, I've heard the expression, dude. Just that I've only heard that expression used when the kid is coming, I was born 2 years later. Not quite a twinkle at that point, wouldn't you say?

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It still hurts, but unless I think about it too much, Bonzo never feels gone. He's permanently there drumming away! I just know he's waiting for us all to get there and preparing everything as Zeppelin surely will be the house band in heaven!

That's a really lovely thought! :D

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My brother was in the womb at that point in time. I had to wait in line for my turn, which was six years and three occupants later.

Too funny! Sorry I had to comment. I picture it all in my mind. :hysterical:

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Wow, sad topic. And I remember it all. Having seen them in 77, my excitement and lucidity throughout that concert was just over the top. And although Jimmy was my idol, the real surprise of that evening was that Bonzo WAS the show. He seemed indestructible, didn't he? Like a god when he played.

But I was back home at mom and pop's for dinner that evening, and the national news came on TV and my dad turned it up. They said it all right there. At first I thought "Jimmy"? Then no, John Henry Bonham. Still seems unreal. I guess I may have teared up, but time kind of stood still and I guess I went outside to stand on the precipice and ponder the mystery.

It wasn't that I was so sad at that moment, that would emerge later as I understood the loss to his family and close friends ... and to us. When a great soul sails away to other days, you sort of face the sunset and offer a kind of toast, in celebration for a king. A sacrament to he who treads the air above the din. An acknowledgment of the days that he shared with us, bathed in eternal summers glow.

They say he was the backbone of the group. But we, the real fans, know that he was much more than that. Unfortunately there are no words for us to express how we feel, or how he empowered us. We only have some song titles, little phrases that bring it all back home to us in an instant: "Whole Lotta Love". Feels good saying that to all of you who understand. A Whole Lotta Love!

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Wow, sad topic. And I remember it all. Having seen them in 77, my excitement and lucidity throughout that concert was just over the top. And although Jimmy was my idol, the real surprise of that evening was that Bonzo WAS the show. He seemed indestructible, didn't he? Like a god when he played.

But I was back home at mom and pop's for dinner that evening, and the national news came on TV and my dad turned it up. They said it all right there. At first I thought "Jimmy"? Then no, John Henry Bonham. Still seems unreal. I guess I may have teared up, but time kind of stood still and I guess I went outside to stand on the precipice and ponder the mystery.

It wasn't that I was so sad at that moment, that would emerge later as I understood the loss to his family and close friends ... and to us. When a great soul sails away to other days, you sort of face the sunset and offer a kind of toast, in celebration for a king. A sacrament to he who treads the air above the din. An acknowledgment of the days that he shared with us, bathed in eternal summers glow.

They say he was the backbone of the group. But we, the real fans, know that he was much more than that. Unfortunately there are no words for us to express how we feel, or how he empowered us. We only have some song titles, little phrases that bring it all back home to us in an instant: "Whole Lotta Love". Feels good saying that to all of you who understand. A Whole Lotta Love!

What a beautiful post Skydog.

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I was only 9 when JB died and therefore cannot remember where I was that fateful day. It was a little while later before I really got hooked into Led Zep. However, I have been a massive fan since I was 11 or 12. John Bonham's drumming style mesmerized me and encouraged me to start playing at the age of 12.

Recently in 2005 I became aware that Ludwig had released a replica John Bonham, Led Zep Kit in green sparkle. I jumped at the chance at owning one of those kits and bought one from DrumWright in Reading, England.

A few weeks later I looked at my receipt and recognised the date for some reason, but did not know why. It was 25/09/05, I later realised that it was on the day of the 25th anniversary of Bonzo's death.

I thought that if nothing else that's a sign of good karma! Although my wife, kids and friends don't seem to bothered and think that I'm nuts!

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What a beautiful post Skydog.

Thanks SunChild. I'm not ashamed to show genuine affection for these lads amongst friends. I used to wear Led Zeppelin T-shirts in high schools and would catch flak from the jock/cheerleader types for it. Their music was/is timeless and I always felt it was a great loss when others didn't hear what we "Led Heads" hear (some 1970s terminology there). I studied Kabalah and Tarot back then and had the time of my life transcribing the lyrics into their mystical counterparts. And I had just as much fun transcribing the guitar solos! Amazing just how timeless that music is still today isn't it? And how many drummers Bonzo influenced (and not just drummers, either!)? That's why I feel so good when they release a How the West was Won, or DVD I. We all get reminded how good they were/are...

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A few weeks later I looked at my receipt and recognised the date for some reason, but did not know why. It was 25/09/05, I later realised that it was on the day of the 25th anniversary of Bonzo's death.

I love meaningful coincidences. Although there is no direct linkage to Bonzo as in your case with buying the drums, I got married on Sept. 25th out of happenstance and yes, we did play some Zep. Also, several years earlier, my daughter's mother died on Sept. 18th, the anniversary of Hendrix's passing. Both of these musicians have been very meaningful to me and have intersected my life in more ways than one.

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Wow, sad topic. And I remember it all. Having seen them in 77, my excitement and lucidity throughout that concert was just over the top. And although Jimmy was my idol, the real surprise of that evening was that Bonzo WAS the show. He seemed indestructible, didn't he? Like a god when he played.

But I was back home at mom and pop's for dinner that evening, and the national news came on TV and my dad turned it up. They said it all right there. At first I thought "Jimmy"? Then no, John Henry Bonham. Still seems unreal. I guess I may have teared up, but time kind of stood still and I guess I went outside to stand on the precipice and ponder the mystery.

It wasn't that I was so sad at that moment, that would emerge later as I understood the loss to his family and close friends ... and to us. When a great soul sails away to other days, you sort of face the sunset and offer a kind of toast, in celebration for a king. A sacrament to he who treads the air above the din. An acknowledgment of the days that he shared with us, bathed in eternal summers glow.

They say he was the backbone of the group. But we, the real fans, know that he was much more than that. Unfortunately there are no words for us to express how we feel, or how he empowered us. We only have some song titles, little phrases that bring it all back home to us in an instant: "Whole Lotta Love". Feels good saying that to all of you who understand. A Whole Lotta Love!

Wow SkyDog your words are really from the heart and have brought a lump to my throat. I agree that Bonzo was so essential to the band, Robert was so right when he said that Led Zep could never carry on without him. Even today I feel quite down when I think of what a waste his early death really was. I even went to visit his grave a couple of times, to pay my respects to a true Legend, maybe I'm just a bit morbid.

Edited by bonzoisgod

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i was 13 my best friend came over for the walk to school he told me about it. i remember listening to wplj in new york and they were running the story all day. sadly 3 months later we lost lennon as well.

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my daughter's mother died on Sept. 18th, the anniversary of Hendrix's passing. Both of these musicians have been very meaningful to me and have intersected my life in more ways than one.

that's so sad, my condolences for your loss...

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