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JOAN BONHAM 1926 – 2011

10 February 2011 6,394 views 13 Comments

It is with immense sadness that we have learned of the death of Joan Bonham.

Joan had been unwell in the past few weeks and died in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Joan was the wife of the late John Henry Snr and mother of Deborah and the late John and Michael.  Her zest for life and in particular her family, was admired and loved by so many.

Myself and Gary will personally never forget the enthusiasm and empathy the whole Bonham family brought to the 1992 Led Zeppelin Convention we co organized. Joan was in attendance over the weekend and spent time with many fans recalling her memories of John. I can vividly remember watching the Knebworth footage of John performing Sick Again on the big screen and Joan turning to us and saying ‘’They still love him don’t they….’’

Joan was often to be seen at Zep related events. In 2003 Joan was in attendance at the New York premiere of the Led Zeppelin DVD and naturally the 2007 O2 reunion show.  In 2009 Joan attended the Classic Rock Awards with Deborah accepting the Tommy Vance Inspiration award which was given posthumously to John. She also supported many of Deborah’s gigs and celebrated her 80th birthday in 2006 at a Deborah Bonham gig at the Bein Inn in Perth, Scotland

TBL contributor Lorraine Robertson attended that show and recalls:

‘’We were delighted and honoured to be present at Joan’s 80th Birthday celebration here in Scotland . I will always remember Joan’s rendition of Rock and Roll that night sung with Debbie and Pat Bonham…it was magical. Joan had the special gift of making you feel at ease and I felt I had known her all my life.
Another very distinct memory of Joan was in Malta where we stood together watching the Deborah Bonham Band’s amazing performance. She stood in the crowd with the people and enjoyed it as much as we all did. After Deborah’s performance Robert Plant came on stage and paid tribute to Joan referring to her in the sweetest way possible by proclaiming her the “Queen of the hop’’

Last October Joan attended the Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy show at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. The Robert Plant feature in a recent issue of Rolling Stone reporting on the show, noted how having seen a lady fan leaping on stage to kiss Robert, backstage after the show Joan pinched Robert’s cheeks and said ‘’I see you’re still up to the same tricks’’.

The high esteem and huge lasting affection Joan commanded amongst the entire Bonham family, the ex members of Led Zeppelin, her many friends and the countless admirers of her first born musician son, says everything about this truly remarkable lady.

Our thoughts go out to her family at this sad time.

Dave Lewis February 10th, 2011

Joan at the Celebration Days Led Zeppelin Convention – London  May 1992 – below the Deborah Bonham Band perform

The Old Hyde…four lives now sadly gone…


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13 Comments »

  • jonny b said:

    Our thoughts go to the Bonham family at this difficult time. God bless Joan.

  • Graham Glover said:

    Spoke to Joan at the Celebration Convention, a lovely lady, sorry to hear the news.

  • HOWARD MYLETT said:

    A VERY SAD LOSS-THE BONHAMS WERE LIKE A REAL OLD FASHIONED CLOSE FAMILY AND WHEN JOHN AND MICK DIED IT WAS A SHOCK-I JUST HOPE HER DEATH WAS PAIN FRESS-GOD BLESS HER.

  • fitzy said:

    Sad news i see your picture has Mrs Bonham sat at the drums.
    a friend of mine told me a while back that Mrs Bonham played drums on the Zimmers version of my generation can anyone confirm this for me.
    my thoughts are with her family.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    So sad to hear of her passing, my heart goes out to the Bonham family, and to all who knew and loved her. She is home now with John Sr., Bonzo and Michael. God Bless.

  • ledhed58 said:

    God bless you, Joan and rest in peace…Hug Bonzo for us..

  • Gary Davies said:

    Sincere condolences to the family, very sad news indeed.

  • Kevin Tubby said:

    Very sad news indeed. My thoughts are with her family at this very difficult time.

  • Marcel Gootjes said:

    My condolences go out to the Bonham family and friends.

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    My heart goes out to Deborah, Pete and the Bonham family..there will be a new twinkling star in the sky tonight….xx

  • STEVE WAY said:

    HOW THIS LADY ENRICHED OUR LIVES….
    Joan gave us the greatest drummer in the world,
    Joan gave us a daughter who has a spirit as big as her stunning voice
    Joan gave me one of the dearest friends i had (Michael)
    Joans grandson isnt too bad in the music world either…
    this is before we take in -in how high esteem everybody who met the lady felt…
    quite a legacy Joan…RIP…
    Deborah….be proud, very proud….

  • Jim Sloane said:

    RIP Joan

  • Jez said:

    Very sad news indeed. My Wife and I were some of the fortunate ones to have met her. She was absolutely delightful.
    Our thoughts go to her family at this difficult time.

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