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Re-discovering Bonzo’s greatest beats / Clarksdale’s OK / Footballs not…(again!)

16 March 2008 2,059 views No Comment

What a week as I got well stuck into a major appreciation of John Bonham’s drum craft that will be a feature in the next issue of TBL 20 (April) as we approach what would have been his 60th birthday. This meant digging out loads of Zep stuff to listen intently to his contributions. What an enjoyable process that has been. A welcome opportunity to marvel again at his percussive skills.

He really was such a driving force – a few examples that I rediscovered:

We’re Gonna Groove at the Albert Hall, Gallows Pole (that entry at 2 minutes 04 -what power!), Bring It On Home from Blueberry Hill,  Four Sticks, The Rover, Kashmir, In My Time Of Dying at Earls Court, the opening snare burst on The Song Remains The Same on Listen To This Eddie, Fool In The Rain, Sick Again and In The Evening at Knebworth – as Plant once observed “One or two of us might have been struggling at that point but Bonzo still had it”

Did he ever…More on this in the new issue which will be out in mid-April.

As mentioned last time I’ve also got around to assessing the merits of Walking Into Clarksdale ten years on. It’s held up pretty well. Blue Train still sounds like one of the pair’s most impressive compositions in or out of Zep, Upon A Golden Horse wonderfully bizarre, When I Was A Child and Heart In Your Hand still wistful and melancholy. Can’t say Burning Up, Sons Of Freedom or the title track have stood the test of time too well sounding a little hackneyed. Lined up side by side I’d take the album’s version of Please Read The Letter over Robert and Alison’s new re-work mainly for Jimmy’s effective slashing chords.

Overall Clarksdale’s wearing well….but would I prefer it to Fate Of Nations? That’s another debate…

Nearly got through all this without mentioning Spurs torturous exit on penalties from the UEFA Cup. Enough to make a man think football’s a load of…which is where we came in.          

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