Email This Post Email This Post
Home » TBL News

JOHN BONHAM CELEBRATED IN SUPERB BBC 6 MUSIC DOCUMENTARY / PLUS GREATEST BEATS ON THE OCCASION OF HIS 62TH BIRTHDAY

31 May 2010 496 views 7 Comments

Just listened to the John Bonham Story on BBC 6 Music. A Brilliantly put together documentary with moving and perceptive comment from a variety of family, friend’s and fellow musicians.

Dave Grohl’s no frills narration allowed the story to flow easily. From John’s early days there were comments from Bill Harvey, Dave Pegg and Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward.  Robert fondly recalled his first meeting -‘’You are pretty good but you would be better with me as drummer’’, and the hilarious story when the door handle fell off the Band Of Joy’s van as Keith Moon turned up at the Speakeasy club –‘’He threw the spade at me, drummers should not be trying to force the door handle!’’.

Jimmy remembered the first time he saw him play with Tim Rose – ‘’He was tremendous’.  Journalist Chris Welch acknowledged John’s drumming influences such as Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich as did sister Deborah. Jason revealed how he cherished family moments such as being on holiday with the likes of Lulu and Ringo, spotlighting the love John had for his family which was echoed by comments from Paul Rodgers and Harvey Goldsmith.  Carmine Appice spoke humbly of his influence on the young Bonzo on the early Zep tours. Robert humorously relayed John’s wife Pat reticence in letting him work again with him when joining Zeppelin – ‘’Whenever you go with Planty something always go wrong ’’

We heard John’ own comments on their success extracted from the Nationwide TV clip when they toppled The Beatles in the Melody Maker.  John Paul Jones told of his musical empathy with John – ‘’He was a great listener and we listened to each other- he had such a groove’’.  His down to earth attitude to life at home on the farm and his love of cars was relayed by Debbie and Jason.

The rigours of touring and John’s Jekyll and Hyde persona were also discussed. As Dave Pegg wryly put it ‘’You had to go off in the van and do it or in their case the private plane’’. Debbie also revealed a lovely story of her attending the Knebworth show despite John’s protests.

Robert spoke movingly of John’s support after the death of Karac and of his prowess on latter era epics – ‘’With Achilles Last Stand and For Your Life he created so much excitement’’

Throughout the hour long special, the comments and recollections were accompanied by a non stop array of classic key Zep soundbites – this inspired a range of emotions for me: ranging from wide grins at moments when we heard the double bass drumming in Good Times Bad Times or that riff in Black Dog, to a lump in the throat as the chorus of All My Love drifted in. This often barely believable story can still have that effect.

The last word came from Jimmy Page: ‘’His legacy is all encompassing, it goes way beyond ….I feel very fortunate to have played with him’’

We are fortunate that all involved in this superb radio documentary took the time to pay tribute to John Bonham on what would have been his 62nd birthday.

A fitting celebration of John Bonham the man and his music.

Dave Lewis –  May 31st 2010

To listen to this documantary and the John Paul Jones and Jimmmy Page interviews on BBC6 Music go to

http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music

To mark what would have been his 62nd birthday today, here is the TBL John Bonham Greatest Beats listing.

This was compiled from a TBL online/magazine poll conducted two years ago.  It remains the definitive fans opinion of the percussive favourites of this much missed special musician. These 20 selections unanimously reflect the remarkable standards he set.  I’m sure we won’t be the only ones searching out these performances to play today (and many a day) in celebration of the greatest drummer of all time.

For John Bonham at 62,  this is his Greatest Beats…remember him (always) this way…

1    WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS

*No real surprises here. Still the most infectious drum pattern ever committed to tape…and boy does it keep getting committed…

2    IN MY TIME OF DYING

* The most intense of percussive performances – and fittingly Jason also did it justice at the 02.

3    ACHILLES LAST STAND

*How he pulled off those apocalyptic drum fills only his fellow musicians and the four walls of Musicland studios would know …

4    GOOD TIMES BAD TIMES

*Doing things with a bass pedal that it took two of James Brown’s drummers to try and emulate…and they knew a bit about rhythm…

5   THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME

(Live LA Forum ’77 Listen to This Eddie version)

*From the ten second torrent of speed at the opening to the breathless finish – this is an absolute Bonham live on stage tour de force.

6    FOOL IN THE RAIN

*The dexterity remains the same…

7    POOR TOM

*A New Orleans shuffle par excellence.

8    KASHMIR

*The pride of Zep and Bonzo too…

9    WHOLE LOTTA LOVE

*Listen at how cleverly he drives against the riff dropping and stitching amongst the beat at will.

10  ACHILLES LAST STAND  (Knebworth ’79 DVD version)

*One of Bonzo’s finest gigs…he knew they had a reputation to restore and he wasn’t going to let anyone down.

11  HOTS ON FOR NOWHERE

*Once an underrated percussive swing fest from John Henry. Not anymore.

12  MOBY DICK (Royal Albert Hall ’70 DVD version)

*Drumming skills faster than the speed of light on another famous night.

13  ROCK AND ROLL

*What air drumming is all about. Thanks John (again).

14  OUT ON THE TILES

*A riotous percussive extension of the man’s own exuberance

15  KASHMIR (Knebworth ’79 DVD version)

*The esteem of his performance at this gig amongst fans is more than evident. Here’s another one he led by example.

16  NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE

*The disregard of time keeping as his son once observed.

17  SICK AGAIN (Knebworth ‘79 DVD version)

*And yet more from out on the field…marvel at how he pummeled his fellow band mates into an inspiring romp through the backwaters of side 4 of the Graffiti

18  HOW MANY MORE TIMES

*The spirit of Gene Krupa lives on…

19  D’YER MA’KER

*That expansive Ludwig sound drove this one from beginning to end

20  THE CRUNGE

*Could anyone do The Crunge?

Could anyone replicate John Bonham’s percussive perfection?

It’s a no to both of course – his influence and legacy remains undimmed.

DL/GF May 31st 2010

*The John Bonham Story narrated by Dave Grohl airs on BBC 6 Music at 3pm on May 31st 2010.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

7 Comments »

  • Ledhed58 said:

    He was simply the BEST… I miss you, Bonzo

  • jonny b said:

    Great selection of tracks-what a fantastic tribute to the greatest rock drummer ever. JB

  • russell ritchin said:

    Thought program very well put together with some very astute comments from people who appreciated what bonzo brought to the table also as
    When the levee breaks one of my favourite tracks cannot complain about selection either

  • Ian Andrews said:

    Great program on 6 Music – highly recommended.

    (Reckon his ‘Call me the Hunter’ drumming on How Many More Times is his best!)

  • steve hurd said:

    dont forget the ocean

  • Dan Terrell said:

    Sounds like a great playlist to help get through this day…and celebrate it.

  • Chris Wright said:

    Some fine choices there Dave. I do heartily agree with the Knebworth selections – Bonzo was simply outstanding and pretty much in the best form of his incredible but all too short career. A colossus.

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.