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2 June 2016 2,899 views 7 Comments

bonzo 77

John Bonham – on the occasion of his birthday…

Tuesday May 31 marked the 68th birthday of John Bonham…

Over the past  couple of year the Led Zeppelin Reissue programme has only gone to heighten John’s s percussive contribution and lasting legacy – as Jimmy remarked ”Listening to John Bonham, well that always makes me simile…”

The listing below are prime selections from throughout the Zep catalogue that unanimously reflect the remarkable standards he set. I’m sure I won’t be the only ones searching out these performances to play this weekend in celebration of the greatest drummer of all time.

For John Bonham at 68, these are some of his Greatest Beats…remember him (always) this way…


*To quote from my review of Sugar Mama last year: ”Then there’s drummer John Bonham – long time friend of the aforementioned Plant and drafted into this new line up at the recommendation of the singer who had performed in the Band Of Joy with him. John had more recently forged a reputation touring with Tim Rose – Jimmy Page duly checked him out at a Tim Rose gig in Hampstead the previous July and saw the immense percussive potential. That potential is all over this track, most notably from 1 minute 23 to I minute28 -in that space of time, Bonzo as he will become known, delivers one of those seemingly impossible bass drum shuffles that will became a unique part of the Led Zep sound.”


*The bass and drum syncopation between JPJ and Bonzo is just outstanding as he puts to good use his best New Orleans shuffle ala Poor Tom.


*Before the gargantuan delivery that would end up on Zep IV, this early run through had a groove all of it’s own -Bonzo’s drumming is funky as hell with a distinctive snare sound…


*Still the most infectious drum pattern ever committed to tape…and boy does it keep getting committed…


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


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


*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…


(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.


*The dexterity remains the same…


*A New Orleans shuffle par excellence.


*The pride of Zep and Bonzo too…

bonzo may 31


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

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.


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

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

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


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


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

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.


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

SICK AGAIN (Knebworth ‘79 DVD version):

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


*The spirit of Gene Krupa lives on…


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

THE OCEAN(Madison Square Garden 1973 DVD version):


*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…



TBL 41 Latest: Out On The Streets…

mail out royal

The new TBL issue 41 is out on the streets – and I counted them all in , I counted them all out. All subscribers UK, Europe, USA and overseas copies and single issue orders are now in transit.The pic here shows the scene at the main Bedford Royal Mail sorting office as I dropped the bulk of them off early on Tuesday morning. The rest have been taken to the local post office via frequent trips on the trusty old TBL bike.

Let me know what you think of it….






LZ News:

Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook.

Led Zeppelin:

The “Stairway To Heaven” trial is approaching on June 14, and there’s no sign of a settlement being reached any time soon. Led Zeppelin’s lawyers have criticised the plaintiff’s lawyer for suggesting that Robert Plant and Jimmy Page won’t attend the trial in person. The lawyer suing Led Zeppelin has been accused of launching “a PR stunt in the hope of tainting the jury pool” by asking Judge Klausner to try to force Page and Plant into attending

Robert Plant:
Robert Plant cancelled his performance at “The Boat We’re In,” a show raising money for refugees on June 19 in London. Plant was the star attraction, and the entire evening of music has now been cancelled. A statement released on Plant’s Facebook page makes it clear that the decision was taken to make sure that Plant will be able to attend the “Stairway To Heaven” trial in Los Angeles, which starts on June 14 and is expected to last around five days.

John Paul Jones:
•The Them Crooked Vultures Facebook page changed its profile picture on May 27. The Facebook page sees sporadic activity from time to time, but there haven’t been any signs that new music is on the way.
•A new John Paul Jones interview can be seen in TBL issue 41. He spoke to Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis for the new issue of his magazine, which is out now.

Upcoming events:
June 14 – The delayed “Stairway To Heaven” trial will start in Los Angeles.
July 1 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Rock Werchter music festival in Belgium.
July 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Beauregard Music Festival in France.
July 4 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Le festival des Nuits d’Istres in France.
July 7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the NOS Alive Music Festival in Portugal.
July 14 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at Festival Noches del Botánico in Spain.
July 20 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Street Music Art Festival in Italy.
July 22 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 24 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Italy.
July 27 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in the Czech Republic.
July 28 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Austria.
July 30 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Croatia.
August 2 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform in Germany.
August 4/5/6/7 – Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters will perform at the Wilderness Festival in the UK.

The Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:


Bad Company UK Tour:

bad co tickets

Bad Company have announced a UK tour for later this year. Here’s the info:

Bad Company will return to the UK for the first time in four years with the ‘Swan Song’ tour.

“With mean riffs that took no prisoners, smoldering grooves and THE voice of all British voices, these guys brought home a special unique angle to the scene. “I’m excited to see them make their way back on the road, town to town.” – Robert Plant.

Bad Company burst upon the rock’n’roll scene in 1973, and was immediately dubbed a super-group by fans and press alike, as its members all came from very successful popular bands: Free (Rodgers and Kirke), Mott The Hoople (Ralphs) and King Crimson (Burrell). They continue to live up to that hype and are one of the strongest successful touring bands today. “Returning to the UK with Bad Company where it all began 40 plus years ago is full circle for the band and the fans. It’s always a pleasure to play in the UK,” remarked Paul Rodgers.

“So looking forward to be playing in the UK for all our great fans– gonna be great!” Mick Ralphs added.

“The British fans are special and we’re going to give them a treat. There’s nothing like playing in my home country…” Simon Kirke added.

Special guests Richie Sambora + Orianthi (RSO) will open every show along with Steve Rodgers or Jasmine Rodgers as the first act.

Despite their reputation as one of the most exciting live bands to ever rock an arena, Bad Company never released a live album during its meteoric rise to the top of the charts until last month.’Live In Concert 1977 & 1979′ was released in 2016 via Rhino Records and also debuted on the UK album charts.

More details at:


DL Diary Blog Update:

barn may 27

A couple of nice finds at the Vinyl Barn last Friday. I will miss Betty saying ”Did you get any bargains today?”….

Some difficult days here as we lead into next Wednesday’s funeral for Betty. There is a lot to organise and co ordinate and both Janet and I have been pretty exhausted with it all – but it has to be done – and we want it to be a true celebration of her life. Like I said last week, we swing from laughter and joy in remembering Betty to deep sadness.

Its been great having Sam back for a couple of days this week. Her birthday is this weekend and it will be a welcome tonic as we get together this weekend to celebrate her 26th birthday.

In between all that, there has been the not inconsiderable task of a TBL magazine to distribute. Sticking on stamps, labelling the envelopes, inserting the 10 v 8 print, packing the magazines and then physically getting them to the post office. I’ve been through this process many times and know the score – the objective being to shift them on their way as soon as possible. It’s all worth it of course as spreading the Zep word via the magazine is central to the TBL remit. It’s in my DNA simple as that.

June is upon us and ever there is a lot to do. it’s also a good month for Zep anniversaries – with the Kezar performance all of 43 years ago today – and later in the month it will time to pull out the likes of For Badgeholders Only and Listen To This Eddie – as we recall those heady LA dates of 1977. A welcome prospect.

One again many thanks for all your kind wishes and support.

Dave Lewis, June 2, 2016.


You Tube Clip:

The pure joy of John Bonham….

Until next time…

Have a great weekend,

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – June 2  2016.

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!/profile.php?id=1611296783



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  • Dave M said:

    Yes. RIP Bonzo, indeed. To think he’s now been dead longer than he lived ages us all.

    As a long-time (pub) drummer myself, and an avid reader of drum mags and forums, it’s clear his influence extends to players born long after he passed away.

    Rather like another recently departed legend, Bonham remains undisputedly ‘The Greatest’ in his own particular field.

    Dave, as ever, is spot on with his selection, but one track that’s usually overlooked as an example of Bonzo’s best playing is, in fact, Stairway To Heaven.

    The light, almost jazzy, approach of the opening section; the guitar solo section with its two shattering, genre-defining fills; then the trademark funky approach during the vocal outro are the stuff of rock drumming genius, and a good cross-section of Bonham’s playing style.

    The fact this was recorded when he was only 22-23 in 1970-71 at a time when pop and rock drumming was still relatively unsophisticated was a stunning feat. Bonham really was years ahead of his time.

  • VHP said:


    Re Jimmy, yes I know about `jimmy repeating the same line’, its easy to find interviews from him as far back as 2006 when he talks about his ‘quite radical new music’ he was going to record, and then in dec 2009 when he stated that it had been 2 years since the O2 and he was ready to record & play again. If he doesn’t make good on his promise to record & tour then the ‘boy who cried wolf’ springs to mind.

    Dave Lewis, I wish you & your family all the best for this difficult week.

  • Peter said:

    Cracking piece from Larry Bergmann in the latest TBL. Worth the piece of admission on its own.

  • David Linwood said:

    Hope it all goes as best it can this coming week Dave.

    re: Bad Company. Saturday night at the O2. Any chance of a TBL pre-gig meet up?

  • Ian D said:

    Dave, thinking of you and your family at this time.

    With JPJ taking centre stage in TBL, it feels appropriate to quote the other quiet one; “All things must pass” as the loss is announced of two of “I am the Greatest.” While Mahomed Ali used the moniker, it could equally be applied to violinist and sometime mandolin player, vocalist Dave Swarbrick.

    Supremely talented, and with a personality to match, Swarb could put his heart and soul into a project, then walk away when the feeling took him. Like Jimmy, he had the mercurial touch, there was so much light and shade in his playing and hearing him live bought out another dimension.

    Swarbrick played solo, in a duo with Martin Carthy, his own group Whippersnapper and various ad hoc scratch bands. But he will be best remembered for his time, often centre stage with Fairport Convention (69-79.) He was part of the infamous jam and shenanigans with Zep at the LA Troubadour and opened Knebworth 1 in 1979.

    Check out Byker Hill with Carthy, Sailors Life, Sloth and Rosie with Fairport and The Ace & Deuce of Pipering solo.

    Farewell, Farewell

  • Stephen said:

    VHP, I wouldn’t get your hopes up about Jimmy touring or producing new music. He’s been wheeling out the same line about playing new material next year for, well, umpteen years. He’s now got the perfect excuse with his this STH court case to say he couldn’t do it. He has nothing to prove, but I wish he would stop with the annual teasers. It has now worn thin and irks fans. He’s effectively retired and all we can hope for is perhaps another Zep live release, Earls Court full is the most likely given that multi-tracks exist.

  • VHP said:

    Hi Dave,
    All the best to you & your family for Betty’s funeral next week. They are never easy, especially for someone who has had a special place in your life.

    Re Bad Co, I was thinking about going – but last time at the Birmingham’s LG Arena in 2010 – although it was very good – it was only about 80 minutes! With their back catalogue a few more songs would have made a great gig into a fab gig. (I bought the CD from Concert Live and it runs on 3 disks for 33 mins, 31 mins & 14 mins.)

    I wonder how Jimmy’s new recording is going? In an interview late last year he did say to ask him in the middle of the year to see how its going? One for you D.L. i think? I see that Jeff Beck has beaten him out of the blocks with a new CD and tour dates in America already on sale.

    Its interesting that bands like Bad Co & Black Sabbath have all announced final tours and Rush have said that they will not do another big major tour (but have not ruled out some on off gigs) as the last tour hurt Neil Peart too much & Jimmy is saying he is itching to go out on the road properly for the first time in about 15 years (wasn’t the last time with the Black Crows?) I think that sadly, when the dates are announced they will be on sale instantly on the secondary ticket market at vastly inflated prices!

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