Email This Post Email This Post
Home » Featured, TBL News

JOHN BONHAM 33 YEARS GONE…

25 September 2013 6,411 views 23 Comments

Bonham

John Bonham 33 years Gone…

Along with millions of fans worldwide, today I will have some quiet reflection on the tragic events of September 25th 1980 – but as I always say…so much has gone but so much remains…

In keeping with recent posts,  here’s some further personal DL Reflections – this piece originally appeared in TBL 27.

JOHN BONHAM REMEMBERED 33 YEARS ON –  

The Optimism, the Irony and the Agony

Dave Lewis reflects on the personal impact and aftermath of the events of  Thursday September 25th, 1980 

I was just turned 24 years old and so far 1980 had been a rollercoaster year for me for many reasons.

Back in the early autumn it’s fair to say Tight But Loose, the Led Zeppelin magazine I had established in late ’78 was on something of a roll. It was turning into a very exciting year on all things Zeppelin. Issue 4 had been issued in April – the first A4 size issue with professional printing. I’d built a strong rapport with their Swan Song office managed by Unity Maclean and in the summer I’d been lucky enough to view five of the Over Europe shows at very close quarters.

I’d spoken to John Bonham a few times during the tour – and on our last night in Munich as we all revelled in a night club, John wrote down his phone number and told me to call him when we got back in the UK (That piece of paper written on a German hotel note pad page with his name and number on remains one of my most treasured possessions). I remember vividly him giving Tom and I  an affectionate big bear hug as we left the club that night.

On Thursday July 24th, I phoned him at Cutnall Green. We had a long conversation. John was very happy with the way the Europe tour had gone and was now looking forward to a holiday. He told me there was a group meeting due the next day to discuss what was to happen next. He said to call during August for more news. During that second call in late August, John strongly hinted they would be returning to America in the autumn.

When the first dates were announced in early September I’d already made up my mind to go. I was planning on the Landover/Philadelphia dates. I was constantly in touch with Swan Song that month and on Thursday September 18th I visited the office to take in some early text of the forthcoming Tight But Loose issue.

Jimmy Page was at the office that day and I spent over half and hour with him one on one in the inner sanctum of their plush interview room. He talked enthusiastically of their plans and showed me a model set up of their new lighting and stage rig. The model was complete with a miniature representation of each of them on stage. I asked him about the ongoing chronological live project and he told me he had been looking at some footage to go with the tracks. He also said that the outtakes from the last album were still under consideration to use in some format. An album and UK dates in 1981 were also planned.

I wrote down hurriedly the content of our conversation that early evening and one quote stands out: ”I feel there is a lot more to do simply because this band thrives on a challenge – you’ve only go to look at Presence for that”

The following Tuesday I phoned Unity at Swan Song for the latest news. Unity informed me they were commencing rehearsals in Bray Studios later in the week. Excitedly I took down notes on a piece of paper as she told me all this. I still have that note – a reminder of the optimism of that time. Unity told me there may be a possibility for me to attend rehearsals the next Tuesday. Now that would be something very special.

Tight But Loose 5 was to be an Over Europe special with a 10,000 word report of the tour formulated from the five gigs I’d witnessed. I’d been working on it fairly non stop since August and it was nearly complete. I spent the next two days finishing up the lay out – these were the days when I cut it all in myself scrapbook style to be printed. On Thursday September 25th (with huge irony), I finalised the opening editorial which I’d written on September 22th – it was the last piece of the magazine.

”By the time you are reading this” it stated, ”Zeppelin will be mid way through a 4 week trek across the US”

It was already to go. I was ecstatic and with good reason.

The mag was ready to print, there was a chance I may even get to see them in rehearsal the next week and America beckoned in October.

All that optimism and hope would evaporate over the next few hours.

The first call came just after 7pm. Carolyn from Newcastle, one of the initial Tight But Loose subscribers told me the shocking news she’d just heard. John Bonham had been found dead at Jimmy Page’s Windsor home. I refused to believe it. ”How can it be?” I explained ”They are in Bray rehearsing” .

I said I’d make some calls. I was in my bedroom so I turned on the radio and waited for the 7.30 news on Radio One. Surely if it was true it would be a lead item. It wasn’t and for a few seconds I hung on to the hope it was all a mistake. Then it happened:

”This news just in. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham has been found dead….”

I just couldn’t believe it. I rushed down to my Mum and Dad in a state of shock.  The phone was constantly ringing from other fans and even a couple of radio stations in America wanting confirmation.  Later I met up with my fellow Bedford Earls Court vets Dec and Tom also both shocked and stunned. I spent the night at Dec’s finally going to sleep around 4am.

In the morning, in a daze I walked the two miles home stopping in a newspaper shop (further irony – the shop is a stone’s throw from the house where years later I would move to). There in all the papers was the devastating news in cold hard print. The Daily Mail had a picture of Bonzo on stage at Earls Court on the front ….

I sat on a nearby bench and cried.

The next 48 hours passed in a blur. I was too upset to go to work until Monday. I did somehow manage to turn out for soccer on Sunday morning. I couldn’t let my team mates down and got through it (we won 10-1 but it mattered little). My world had turned upside down. Zeppelin had been so much a part of it for so long and it was gone.

There was no way it could continue without Bonzo. I did not consider them carrying on from the moment I heard the news.

The was grief from all quarters. Obviously for John’s family, the group and their entourage. Selfishly I guess also for myself – matters were further compounded on a personal level as I was undergoing the aftermath and fall out of an intense love affair that had dominated the last few months. The lady concerned re appeared that weekend worried after the catastrophic news knowing I’d be upset. It gave me false hope we might rekindle the affair. That was definitely not on her agenda. Not good….

I rang Unity at Swan Song on Monday. She was very supportive and informed me they all felt the magazine should go out as soon as possible. I wrote a new editorial which was one of the most painful things I’ve ever written. I did think about going to the funeral but decided against it. It was just all too much. At that time I’d never attended  funeral in my life. The press reaction was another difficult factor to deal with. I had several calls to give quotes out. There was a terrible story in the Evening Standard stating Page’s occult interest as the reason for their bad karma. They ran a picture of road crew member and future Plant tour manager Rex King captioned as Bonzo which showed their ignorance of it all.

Overall the press coverage in the music weeklies was somewhat muted. There were no big four page tributes or special supplements. I think it gave them the opportunity to brush Zep under the carpet and concentrate on the new wave acts they were now all championing.

Bonzo 9

 

Above -special notices sent by fans to Sounds…

Looking back there was little sharing of grief with other fans. This was of course pre Internet days and even though I was in contact with a lot of fans, I think we all found it hard to take in. I also initially found it difficult to play any Zep at first. It was all too painful but eventually there was solace in the music. That above everything still remained.

Life for all of us had to go on.

The next few weeks saw the distribution of the magazine and I was in constant contact with   the Swan Song office. I visited a few times over the next few months – one very weird afternoon on Friday November 14th when they had just come back from Jersey.  All the roadies were in the office having been informed it was over though that was all being kept secret for the moment. Everyone there just seemed without a purpose.

And of course officially on Thursday December 4th came the inevitable statement.

Looking back to that bleak September day all these years later, it was a life changing turn of fate for all of us. Looking at my diary from those times I think I went through something of a minor breakdown during the weeks and months afterwards. There were some dark days – though gradually things got better.

The positive reaction to TBL 5 did motivate me to continue with the magazine into 1981 but it was very hard to keep the enthusiasm going knowing the very subject matter of the magazine was now history. It was never going to be the same and dealing with fragments of solo careers, separate entourages etc – ultimately that wore me down. Issue 6 came out in the August – I didn’t plan to stop producing it and looking back I dearly wish I’d kept going.

Motivation levels were low and though it’s hard to believe now, surprisingly Zeppelin became very unfashionable in that era. The magnitude of just what they had created would not become apparent until much later in the decade and beyond- by which time I’d produced the A Celebration book and got the magazine back in print for the very belated (ten year interval!) issue 7.

I tried to find something to fill the void before all that – turned my hand to playing in a band as I’d long harboured a notion to become a drummer myself (more irony!) but it never really got off the ground.

By the time Robert had got his solo album together in 1982 it was evident my desire to chronicle their work separately was still very strong.

This thing wasn’t going to go away. There was Coda, Pictures At Eleven, The Firm, JPJ’s Scream For Help etc to assess. My first book, a best of Tight But Loose compendium The Final Acclaim was published in the autumn of 1983. Within all that I got married. Luckily the good lady knew what she was coming into!

The real turning point was perhaps again ironically Live Aid. While it was so apparent by the performance that it could never be Led Zeppelin without Bonzo – the whole chaotic drama of the occasion threw the whole Zep legacy back into the spotlight.

I think that was the moment we all knew it still meant something – and would continue to mean something to subsequent generations. And of course part of the reason it does so is the contribution of John Bonham. In the intervening years his ground breaking percussive skills have been rightly acclaimed, imitated and sampled.

Much has been written about John’s life in recent years. Perhaps too much of it in my view on the ugly side of his character. He was no saint for sure but his insecurities were often fuelled from a deep desire to be with his family.

It’s the immense musicianship that he brought to Led Zeppelin that will ensure his legacy.

Take a look at the official DVD footage of John…. on stage tearing through Moby Dick at the Albert Hall, the pure joy of his intro and sparring with Jimmy during The Ocean at the Garden, the intense concentration during In My Time Of Dying at Earls Court, the smiles and sheer percussive drive  of Sick Again and Rock And Roll at Knebworth.

…and remember him this way

John Bonham was the driving force behind the sound of Led Zeppelin and he will never be forgotten. 

Dave Lewis – September 25th.

(Extracts from Music Is Life To My Ears –The Dave Lewis Memoirs (TBL Publishing – work in progress for future publication) 

……………………

Emotional Update….Wednesday September 25th 2013 –  11am

I have to say I’ve been in tears again this morning after reading this piece sent to the TBL comments by Deborah Bonham…..

Dave

This is so beautiful – for all the years I’ve known you I had no idea you’d shared a night with John and talked to him regularly – I’m sure you must have told me but for some reason I had not retained it. I am so glad you got to hang out with him and see that loving caring side to John – he really was a beautiful man it’s just that continual touring, the industry, depression on missing his family on very long tours and alcohol got the better of him sometimes whilst he was away and as you say there have been very ugly things written – maybe some if it warranted, much of it not though and I question what any of us would be like at that age with that responsibility constantly away from home.

I can tell you that at home he was very very different and loved nothing better than to get on the tractor on the farm and have a pint in his local pub, he would also always get on the drums during any family parties which were regular – when he was home we always had big family get togethers.

As you know, everyone who met him like that will say what a beautiful unassuming friendly man he was. I am so happy you saw him like that and it’s brightened my day reading this. I want to take this opportunity to thank you personally from my heart for all your support to Led Zeppelin – their music, the band over the years and now the memory.

But especially for the support you’ve shown me personally and in my music with my band and all of John’s family – it’s so easy for us to get caught up in our own grief – please know that I’m with you with yours – I know how much you loved him too.

Much love to you and all at Tight But Loose

Deborah xxx

………

It prompted me to give Debbie a call and I’ve just spoken to her to thank her personally for the above…..on this day of all days, to read those comments is emotional; immensely heart warming uplifting and inspiring…

As I just explained to Deb, whenever I have been lucky enough to be in the company of the Bonham family over the years – be it John, the late Michael and mum Joan…Pat, Jason, Zoe  and of course Deb, there I always this incredible warmth  – it was there at the Led Zep Conventions Debbie and her family came to way back. It’s always there with Pete and co at Deb’s gigs…especially when Deb sings those beautifully plaintive words in the song The Old Hyde…

“I will be waiting with my arms open wide… for when I see them, when I see them again…”

That warmth for me is intrinsically linked to what John’s personality brought to Led Zeppelin…

They are a very special family…

As I said, so much has gone and so much remains….

… and what remains is a deep love for what has gone before and continues to flourish in so many ways…despite the passing of the years since that bleak September day 33 year ago.

Sincere thanks again to Deborah for taking the time to comment on this day when all our thoughts are of  her brother John Bonham who continues to bring such joy in the music and memories we hold so dear…

 Always loved…always remembered…

 Dave Lewis

………………………………………

Here’s some visual reminders of John Bonham’s percussive brilliance…

Moby Dick

The Ocean

Sick Again


John Henry Bonham 1948 – 1980 – Always loved…always remembered….

…………………………………

Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary FoySeptember 25 , 2013.

if you are reading this and have yet to link with the Tight But Loose Facebook page be sure to request/add us.

The TBL Facebook is another key part of the TBL set up with updated stories/additional pics etc to keep you on top of the world of TBL.

To view additional photos and TBL info be sure to hook up with the Tight But Loose Facebook page (add us as a friend)

at http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1611296783

Also follow Dave Lewis/TBL on Twitter – LedzeppelinTBL

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...

23 Comments »

  • Kurt said:

    Dave, well done. Just wanted to mention that I’m one of the “Zep Heads” out there. When Bonham passed away in 1980, was 15 and only knew Zeppelin as Stairway, Kashmir, and Black Dog. I became an obsessed fan when I was 19 at university. Now ALL these years later, the song remains the same! (one of my mottos, not a big change guy). My latest trick is to watch four or five songs off an excellent DVD bootleg of Knebworth, then switch to the Zeppelin DVD and watch a couple in full quality! I’ve been with you online from the start, but have never got the mag, tried a couple of times but couldn’t figure out the paypal thing. Thanks to you (and others) I believe there is very little about Zep that I do not know. I’ll be listening and reading the rest of the way, cheers!

  • Bernie said:

    Good job Dave. You have done the great man justice there.

    I live only a few miles away from where John lies. Go up there once in a while. It really feels like a special place. Kinda timeless.

    Heard Whole Lotta Love twice on the radio yesterday (bless you Planet Rock) and that bit where John comes back in… THAT is why I love Zeppelin so much. Sure, I wish I could sing like Plant or play the guitar like Page, but it was Bonham for me – first, last, and always.

    RIP.

  • Lori Spencer said:

    Dave, I’ve been reading your work for more than 30 years and I just gotta tell you, I think this is the best one you’ve ever written.

    Thank you for that sincere remembrance of Bonham, and for sharing your memories of him. Soul to Soul, brother.

  • Ian Coe said:

    I wasn’t born until long after Bonzo had passed — almost a decade later, halfway through 1990. Led Zeppelin has, however, always been an incredibly important part of my life — it’s so much more than musical enjoyment or escapism — and so much of that is owed to a man who died well before his time. It’s depressing, but I know that any sadness I feel can’t compare to the loss felt by his family and friends.

    I’m thankful for the wealth of recordings that have survived, studio and live, official and unofficial, and all the people who have kept the flame alive throughout all the years.

    R.I.P. John Bonham.

  • Tim C. said:

    The thing about Bonzo is his sound is instantly recognizable. I was in a pizza joint a couple of weeks ago, and there was some muted music being played over the PA. Before I knew what the song was, I heard the drums and thought, “That’s Bonzo.” The song turned out to be “Hey Hey What Can I Do”. There’s not many drummers that have that instantly recognizable sound.

    He died when I was too young to go to concerts, so I never got to see Zeppelin. But thank God for bootlegs. Cue up “Achilles” from the first Knebworth show; proof positive he’s the greatest rock drummer of all time.

  • Hiroshi said:

    On 25th of September, 1971, Led Zeppelin were on their way from Tokyo on the bullet train for a short break in Kyoto during their first Japanese tour. They arrived at the old capital in late afternoon, and reportedly enjoyed a quick sightseeing before it got dark. No way did the group as well as fans know then, that John would be with us less than ten years. Sad…

  • Paulo Alm said:

    Thanks Dave, for such beautiful, heartfelt insights that you’ve shared. Never realized how ‘close’ you were just before his passing. Bonzo is more alive than ever in the music of Zeppelin, his drumming eternal…

    33 years gone and he only lived 32… It’s such a shame he had to go though.

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    Thank you Dave for this wonderful piece. With tears in my eyes I managed to read what must have been agony for you to write. Loved and remembered for sure and such a wonderful musical legacy left to the world. Much love to the Bonham family and hats off to you for keeping the magic alive ♥

  • Chris Wright said:

    This sad anniversary seems to gain more significance as each year passes. You can never tire of those fills, the sheer presence of his playing. It is the fulcrum of the entire Led Zeppelin sound.

    With a few exceptions, the role of the drummer is perceived as something of a background role in a lot of bands, but with Led Zeppelin Bonzo was an equal member of that remarkable quartet and, in his own musical sphere, he was, and still is, without a serious rival.

    The wonderful exchange between yourself and Deborah has also served to remind us of what a great family man he was. This is a very timely reminder that, to paraphrase the fabulous Roy Harper’s new album title, we should always take care to separate the man from the myth.

    What an impact John Henry Bonham continues to make on all our lives on a daily basis. Can there be a better tribute to a legendary musician.

  • Cauê Larrubia said:

    I’m from Brazil. 22 years old , every single day i have to listening zep songs. But in special, the sound from Bonzo drumm’s leave me high. Just impossible to explain . Love zeppelin , maybe a sad or Just one more happy day in our lives .thanks to keep all of this alive . And RIP my heroe JHB . You change my way to live !!

  • Paul Aspey said:

    Reading this has just brought so many memories flooding back from that night back in 1980, At just 18 years old, and having the I know Led Zeppelin’s music swagger about me we had Just returned to a friends house after rehearsing our band and on the 10 o clock radio news Bonzo had died

    The sun refused to shine but I would still be loving them,

    This really is a way of life, keep believing ,keep rocking
    we did not choose we were chosen

    Keep Rockin !!!!

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Thank you all for these amazing heartfelt comments…

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    The dreaded afternoon phone call in my kitchen in Clinton, Maryland, just down the beltway from Landover, from a Zeppelin fan whom I respected, is where I first heard the news. Heresy, was my initial impression. Who could say such a thing?

    Again, in those pre-internet days, it was very difficult to separate fact from rumor.

    It didn’t seem possible, that a man as John Bonham of such vitality and strength, could leave this world so suddenly and with such immediacy.

    I’ve always maintained that the seventies ended right there with that phone call, and that everything that happened in the seventies went with it.

    Often when I view the cover shot of In Through the Out Door, with the lonely disconsolate bar patron burning his Dear John note in an ash tray, it occurs to me that this is how every Zeppelin fan must’ve felt upon hearing of the great John Bonham’s passing.

    We never saw the likes of him before and never will again.

  • VHP said:

    Dave,

    A really good piece and it is nice to hear the quiter side of John that so often gets forgotten. Kind words from Deborah on what is no doubt a difficult day for the Bonham family.

    Re his death, I remember being just 16 at the time & seeing the newspaper bill boards on my way home that evening saying something like ‘does the death of local drummer mean the end of the Midlands supergroup’. When I got home my Mom showed me the Birmingham Evening Mail and John’s death was front page news. Like many fans i read it in disbelief. Gutted would be an understatement. As all Zep fans knew, no one could replace John.

    When the USA dates were anounced I too remember the rumors regarding a UK tour in 1981, and having not gone to Knebworth thought that would be my chance to see them for the first time. Sadly that was not to be.

    Re Live Aid – not there best I agree, but when you have stayed up till what ever time in the morning they came on stage (UK time) it was worth the wait to see Page / Plant & Jones on stage again (even if they wernt introduced as Led Zeppelin if my memory is correct). The noise from the Philly audience as the curtain was pulled back told everyone they were still important & still mattered. I still have their Live Aid set on vhs video!

    As ever Dave, the web site is brilliant. Keep up the good work.

  • Nigel Castle said:

    Hi Dave.I was 18 when John passed away. I vividly remember it being the Friday morning when my friend telephoned. “Record Mirror” had been delivered through my letter box and I had just finished reading the article that said Zeppelin were to tour the States. “Have you heard?” my mate said “John Bonham is dead”. “What” I answered “What are you on about, they are going to tour America”. “No he’s died in Jimmy’s house”. The radio confirmed this news and I rushed to my friend’s house where for the next X amount of hours we continually played Led Zeppelin. We spent all day in each other’s company right up until the day ended in fact with us listening to the Friday Rock Show’s tribute.Obviously I’m 51 now and 33 years have gone and although I appreciate a lot of music much like yourself, I find that there still is only one band that has everything for me LED ZEPPELIN.

  • Larry said:

    Thanks for sharing this Dave and also Deborah for those heartfelt comments. I agree, far too much has been made of this or that about John Bonham. He was only a human being, and none of us are perfect.

    I only saw him play in concert once, but the impact of his music has been with me for many years and will be for the rest of my life.

    I was fortunate enough to see Jason play recently with the JBLZE and it was a terrific show, I urge anyone to go see it if they have an opportunity. It’s so clear that Jason carries his dad and his music in his heart. That evening Jason said to the audience (paraphrasing) “We’re not up here trying to pretend to be somebody that we’re not. We just love playing this music, and we’ll keep playing it as long as you keep wanting to hear it.” You can imagine the audience’s response to hearing the music of Led Zeppelin so lovingly and brilliantly played…

    I’ll never forget that terrible day in 1980 (sadly I can recall it all too well)…but I guess what sticks with me more now is that after all this time, Bonzo’s loss still feels so utterly painful.

    When he passed, we lost our favorite drummer and band. But his family lost much more than that. They lost a father, a husband, a brother, a son. The surviving members of Led Zeppelin, who lost their friend and colleague, are still free to continue to practice their craft in any fashion they see fit. We fans will always have the music. The loss to John’s family however is of course far more profound.

    Rest easy, Bonzo. And thanks for the music. We still hear you…

  • Andrew Tipple said:

    What a beautiful piece, I’m sitting here with a tear in my eye.
    A year ago today I buried my Father so this day will be painful for many reasons a d many emotions.
    I’m now going to play Achilles Last Stand and When The Levee Breaks to take me back to my Dad yelling to “turn that racket down” and enjoy the greatest drummer of the greatest band.

    Once again thank you for the beautifully written piece of work.

    Andrew T.

  • Wolfgang Seidel said:

    I was 20 years old, when I heard on the radio that John Bonham died. His death (and the death of Frank Zappa) moved me more than the passing of some not-so-loved relatives. He is still one of the few rock drummer I really like, along with Bill Bruford and Michael Giles, and one of the very few rock drummer who had a groove . Definetely, there was, and still is no drummer who could replace him in Zeppelin, although Jason did a very good job in 2007.

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Dave,

    It wasn’t easy keeping the tears at bay as I read both yours and Debbie’s poignant words. I think back on that day too. Since the first time I heard Led Zeppelin, my life changed as well. They were always on my mind. Anxiously awaiting each new album, wondering what it would bring. Though I never saw them in person their music is always in my background.
    I never thought of one band member as being more important than any other. They all were integral to the entity we know as the greatest band ever. But as the years have passed, it has become so much more apparent what Bonzo brought to, not just the band, but to the music world in general. Mere words cannot express all this, but your words have certainly packed a punch over the years.

    So thank you most profoundly from the inner depths of my soul, all that you have brought to the world in your chronicles of Led Zeppelin.

    And in the case of 10 Years Gone referenced above, it is so blatantly obvious the you and the Lovely Lady Janet have something so special together that you two were meant to be, just as much as Jimmy, Robert, Jonesy, and Bonham were meant to be.

    Ever Onward.

    Mike

  • Rob Spedding said:

    For some reason I remember watching that episode of Mork & Mindy at the time too. This was possibly before I even knew anything about Zep but it really stuck in my mind.

    Back on topic though, I was only 7 when Bonzo died and every passing year emphasises to me what a sad loss he was for so many reasons. Will crank a bit of Zeppelin tonight in his memory. RIP Bonzo.

  • andrew johnson said:

    I was 16 when John died. A mate had a party that night and I remember standing in a circle as my mates and I just stood around and bemoaned the fact that we had lost the greatest bloody drummer the world had ever seen while the Song Remains the Same soundtrack kept the neighbourhood awake. As you say Dave , this was pre internet and no one had a clue what was going on , all we had was the announcement from the front of the paper. Hell , we’d had to wait 3 months to see what theyd worn at Knebworth , let alone see a setlist. Now all we had was a press release on the front page. Would they pack it in? Would they try and find another drummer? This idea was roundly dismissed by the circle of friends , as to a man we all agreed that here was a man who was irreplaceable and that Zeppelin would no longer exist. I didnt stay long at the party…….

  • Deborah Bonham said:

    Dave

    This is so beautiful – for all the years I’ve known you I had no idea you’d shared a night with John and talked to him regularly – I’m sure you must have told me but for some reason I had not retained it. I am so glad you got to hang out with him and see that loving caring side to John – he really was a beautiful man it’s just that continual touring, the industry, depression on missing his family on very long tours and alcohol got the better of him sometimes whilst he was away and as you say there have been very ugly things written – maybe some if it warranted, much of it not though and I question what any of us would be like at that age with that responsibility constantly away from home. I can tell you that at home he was very very different and loved nothing better than to get on the tractor on the farm and have a pint in his local pub, he would also always get on the drums during any family parties which were regular – when he was home we always had big family get togethers. As you know, everyone who met him like that will say what a beautiful unassuming friendly man he was. I am so happy you saw him like that and it’s brightened my day reading this. I want to take this opportunity to thank you personally from my heart for all your support to Led Zeppelin – their music, the band over the years and now the memory. But especially for the support you’ve shown me personally and in my music with my band and all of John’s family – it’s so easy for us to get caught up in our own grief – please know that I’m with you with yours – I know how much you loved him too. Much love to you and all at Tight But Loose Deborah xxx

  • Ian from France said:

    God, the early 80’s were grim weren’t they? It may have been Live Aid for you Dave as the ‘still meant something’ moment but for me it was something much more bizarre and trivial. It was an episode of Mork and Mindy – something I never normally watched – and there was a light dimming as part of the show which prompted Robin Williams to say ‘Wow, are Led Zeppelin playing in the next town?’ It was then that I knew I wasn’t alone!

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.