Talk:John Bonham

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Weird Star question[edit]

Looking at my Dad's old 1975(?) Song Remains the Same guide, I noticed that every picture of Bonham had a strange star shape over his right eye, kind of like this shape. Any explanations? (No it wasn't put there afterwards, it's printed in the leaflet)


Can anyone cite evidence (as opposed to fan-site hearsay) that Bonham's early bands were from Birmingham, as opposed to one of the outlying towns, please? Andy Mabbett 09:34, 15 August 2005 (UTC), Need any more? -- 15:35, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

I have added the following true sentence: "The cause of death was asphyxiation caused by choking on his own vomit." Stating that he died of a "tragic accident" without revealing the unfortunate truth of what the accident actually was is against the philosophy of NPOV.


I think the list of gear would look a lot better in a table format or something similar. If anyone out there is familiar with that, please give it a shot. dfg 18:38, 24 February 2006 (UTC)

Why does this section even exist? I am sure other drummers can find this information elsewhere, and it seems irrelevant to anyone else.Catnapgirl 00:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC) The Early B/W Photo of John says, to the right of Equipment area, "... playing a Ludwig Drum Set." WRONG!!!!! In that photo he is playing a Snare that is Ludwig's Supra-Phonic 400 (NO DOUBT not a model 402) and THAT SET LOOKS LIKE A PREMIER OR A GRETSCH SET. CAN SOMEONE CHANGE THE CAPTION please. Def not Ludwig here.-Steve Hart L.I., NY, USA —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:42, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

New Section[edit]

I chopped a paragraph that was a little out of place and put in near the end where it seemed to have a better fit. Anger22 15:14, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Bonham's drinking[edit]

I am not sure Bonham drunk simply because he was homesick. He drank all the time, even when he was back in the U.K. Bascially, Bonham was an alcoholic. I am sure life on the raod contributed to this, but I don't think it is the sole cause. (unsigned)

Agreed. "He drank because he was homesick" is speculation. He drank at home, too, after all. Bcarlson33 04:31, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
According to Jimmy Page in MOJO magazine, Bonzo drank because he was homesick. Not while he was at home. Grymsqueaker 16:36, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

If Bonham "didn't drink at home" do you explain the fact that he died in the UK after consuming 40+ measures of vodka!!!

Because his home was his family home and he didn't drink around his family. the night in question was one where he was away from home at Jimmy pages house practicing and therefore missing his wife and kids, so homesick.

Nick Name[edit]

I do not think that the nickname "bonzo", used towards the end of the article, is appropriate for an encyclapedia such as this and i think it should be changed back to Bonham... anyone else agree?

He was referred to as Bonzo often by the band members and fans. It seems like a logical thing to say.

He should be referred to as "Bonham" throughout the article, for consistency. Also, a regular encyclopedia wouldn't refer to him as "Bonzo"; neither should this one. Otherwise, it looks amateurish. 05:47, 17 September 2006 (UTC)Deej I agree. This is an encyclopaedia and therefore should aim to conform to professional editorial standards. Edelmand 02:29, 7 April 2007 (UTC) Those statements are ludicrous. Would you never refer to Billy Bonney as "Billy the Kid"? Any and every encyclopedia would. The same would go for the nickname "Bonzo". It was widely used to refer to Bonhm. Has nothing to do with professionalism. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 04:29:39, August 19, 2007 (UTC)

No, "Bonzo" was just an informal nickname and not professional at all, and therefore non-encyclopedic. I have no problem with calling him John "Bonzo" Bonham at the very top of the article; otherwise, "Bonham" should be used throughout the remainder of the article. Just like in the "Billy the Kid" article, which calls him "'Henry McCarty, better known as "Billy the Kid'" in the first paragraph, and uses "McCarty" throughout the balance.Vonbontee (talk) 07:11, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Bonham's death[edit]

I think there is something odd with the article: It says "On September 25, 1980, Bonham was picked up ..." and later "... After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and ..." and more later "... John Paul Jones found him dead the next morning."

So, if the official date of his death is September 25, wasn't he "Picked up" on September 24?

Guaruba 17:41, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

In that image of Bonham's gravesite, what is that little thing in front of the headstone called? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

"Despite rumors saying the cause being asphyxiation from vomit, Bonham actually died from liver failure."

I don't know about that. I have never read anythign that said he died of liver failure. I think that is rubbish. "Hobbs left Bonham lying on his side, propped up with pillows, and turned out the lights. When Bonzo hadn't appeared by the next afternoon, Robert Plant's assistant, Benji LeFevre, went in to wake him and found him apparently dead. The ambulance was called but John Bonham, aged 32, had died several hours earlier and was far beyond resuscitation.

Weeks later at the coroner's inquest, it emerged that in the 24 hours before he died, John Bonham had drunk forty measures of vodka which resulted in pulmonary edema - waterlogging of the lungs caused by inhalation of vomit. The death was ruled accidental."

Bonham was buried on October 10, 1980 at Rushock parish churchyard, near The Old Hyde farm." xpat73 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Xpat73 (talkcontribs) 02:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC) (talk) 21:34, 10 October 2010 (UTC) No no, Bonham was murdered by George Harrison, and he hired Bruce Springsteen to bury the body.

drum kit player[edit]

a "drum kit player"? that's fairly awkward phrasing, isn't it? Tremspeed 04:32, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Also it is proper terminology to call a person a drummer rather than a "drum kit player."

A: I fully agree. Drummer, Percussionist - when applies.

I choose to disagree with citing him as "arguably rock's most influential drummer." That would be Neil Peart. He influenced WAY more people. Bonham was an average unexceptional drummer.

The question is: Who influenced WAY more people, John Bonham or Neil Peart? A: Absolutely, John Bonham.

''' Whoever thinks that John Bonham is an average unexceptional drummer, is wrong. Might be an person or persons with an average unexceptional WAY of offense, I am straight forward.'''

Best Regards,


People, everybody is arguably good at what they good at.[edit]

if you put "arguably" in this article, then we should put how every other musician who is regarded as very good at what they do, do it "arguably" 22:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

What a daft thing to edit war over. I removed the sentence. War is over! Theresa Knott | Taste the Korn 22:27, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Regarding references and Bonhams recognition[edit]

I reverted back to an earlier version of the article and made some minor sentence changes as I feel that, currently, the three references provided in the lead section are sufficient and accurately reflect what is claimed. Does anyone disagree? Wisdom89 22:56, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Private life, marriage, children?[edit]

Shouldn't this article say something about his private life? There isn't even a mention that he is Jason's father. If I had the info I'd write it, but... Djiann 00:38, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

OK, I added a note about being Jason's father under Trivia. Djiann 22:26, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

yes, and who was the long suffering wife that presumably penned the headstone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


There is an inconsistency between this article and Led Zeppelin. One states he was cremated on 10th October, the other 12th October. Can someone please verify either way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:02, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Tribute Kit[edit]

Is there a source for this? I'm pretty sure there have been more than 100 produced; Musician's Friend has them in stock as we speak: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rambis (talkcontribs) 07:36, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Legacy Section[edit]

This page *really* needs a section on his legacy and how he influenced latter drummers and music in general.--Shniken1 (talk) 00:50, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Feel free to add one yourself. --Scieberking (talk) 14:00, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Relationships with other bands[edit]

This article should talk about Bonhams early days in Birmingham and how he and the members of Black Sabbath as well as various other bands were good friends as clearly stated in Martin Popoffs book Doom let Loose. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Also, according to Stephen Davis, how he broke into Deep Purple onstage and promoted Zeppelin's new album... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:05, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

No, that's irrelevent. I'm sure he had many friends as a schoolboy, and throughout his whole life; and they don't belong here either.Vonbontee (talk) 07:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Contradiction between Gear and Tribute Set[edit]

The Tribute kit section says he played a stainless steel snare while the Gear section states he played a Supraphonic 402 during that time; a brass shell with chrome plating. The Supraphonic wasn't even made in steal. what's the deal? Can anyone clarify or correct this information? (talk) 20:58, 9 January 2009 (UTC)John Collins

John Bonham never played a brass snare drum. He thought the sound was too muddy. He preferred the Supraphonic 402 through-out his entire career, which is nickel. He used to scratch the inside of the drum to make sure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:56, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

The Supra was never a nickel drum. The Supra was originally made in brass, until the early 60s. At that point they changed to Ludalloy, which is aluminum. It was always chrome over metal. And the 400/402 difference was not about material, it was the size. 400 is the 5" deep drum, 402 is the 6.5" deep drum. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Rolling Stone's best drummers[edit]

No reliable sources seem to reference this. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:37, 24 May 2010 (UTC).

Me too thinks it's a forged list. What month in 2003? I can't find any such list... Scieberking (talk) 19:48, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

There you go. Here's the official list, actually a readers poll, published on the RS site:;kw=[blogs,rsstaffblogpost_2016,117447,98169]

1. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
2. Neil Peart (Rush)
3. Keith Moon (The Who)
4. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Them Crooked Vultures)
5. Stewart Copeland (The Police, Oysterhead)
6. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
7. Ginger Baker (Cream, Blind Faith)
8. Jimmy Chamberlin (Smashing Pumpkins)
9. Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones)
10. Carter Beauford (Dave Matthews Band)
11. Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)
12. Danny Carey (Tool)
13. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
14. Buddy Rich
15. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)

Scieberking (talk) 19:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

OK, wasn't aware that Rolling Stone had polled its readers. I made a minor change to the article to indicate this, so people aren't confused by the other thing that was previously linked. (talk) 20:43, 21 June 2010 (UTC)

John Bonham is not dead, people![edit]

I don't understand why people think John Bonham is dead. He is truly alive and well. I just saw Led Zeppelin perform at the 02 Arena in London back in 2007. I saw John Bonham play and he is STILL ALIVE, PEOPLE! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Yeh, I was there too! Some guy called Elvis Presley was the opening act. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:50, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

S0673253 (talk) 15:20, 3 November 2010 (UTC) I have not seen his death certificate, so I cannot be 100% accurate on whether he is legally dead or alive. However, the article links to a page on, so it should be decided whether this site is a reliable source. If it is decided that it is, then he is dead. It states on the website that "John Bonham died by Asphyxiation on September 25, 1980." (

Unfortunately, and I stress I am not undermining the two above comments, but there is much more information on the internet that says he is dead, compared to two people who have seen him play. I would add that his son Jason has played in his place in most of the Led Zeppelin concerts since his fathers death. Depending on how reliable you think the BBC is, the coverage regarding the abovementioned O2 gig states that "Original band members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were joined on stage by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham." ( So I think it is fair to say that he is dead and just because you have seen Led Zeppelin in concert recently doesn't mean it was him that was fact I would put large weight behind the assertion that it was his son Jason Bonham. I hope this clears everything up. (talk) 04:35, 27 February 2011 (UTC) Now that I come to think of it, you're right! John Bonham is NOT dead.


Shouldn't we also include that John Bonham was the drummer for Cream? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:44, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps we could, but then, that would be false, as the drummer for Cream was always Ginger Baker.Rodney420 (talk) 16:31, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I actually have to disagree with that. I am sure he was the drummer for Cream. You're insane, dude. (talk) 00:19, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Jason Bonham references[edit]

S0673253 (talk) 15:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Just something to add about Jason Bonham's career.

He currently plays in a band called Black Country Communion which includes Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian, and Joe Bonamassa. They recorded an album called Black Country in 2010.

Tributes and accolades[edit]

I changed the the first sentence of this section, and it now reads: "Bonham is widely considered to be one of the greatest drummers in the history of rock music by other musicians and commentators in the industry." It previously read "Bonham is widely considered to be the greatest drummers in the history...", leaving one to wonder if the original author of that ambiguously flawed section meant to say "one of the greatest", or that he was "...widely considered to be the greatest drummer in the history..." . If the latter, that would be a personal opinion (POV), no matter how many sources might be listed to back it up. Other sources and polls can be found that cite a different drummer as the greatest, and in fact it should be obvious that drumming is not like the pole vault, and that there is no objective way to measure "greatest", certainly not objective enough to present it as a fact in an encyclopedia. Also, the word "greatest" is undefined, and as such is a huge problem. How does one measure "greatest"? Most creative? Fastest? Most influential? Some unspecified combination of these? As it now reads, I think it is properly encyclopedic.

The following sentence appears in the first paragraph of the article: "He is considered to be the greatest drummer in the history of rock music by many drummers, other musicians, and commentators in the industry." While I am not thrilled with this sentence, I let it stand because, despite the minor difference in wording, it is significantly different to state that someone is "...considered the greatest by many drummers, etc." vs. stating that he is "...widely considered to be the other musicians, etc." - the latter sentence implies a certainty not implied in the former sentence. Rodney420 (talk) 16:41, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Son of Dracula[edit]

I cleaned up a few pieces of redundant text in the John Bonham article today. His appearance in the 1974 film "Son of Dracula" was previously mentioned in two places. One statement said that he was on the associated soundtrack album, and the other statement said that he wasn't. Does anyone know for sure? I left the statement that said he WAS on the soundtrack, but added a "citation needed" tag. --DOOMSDAYER520 (Talk|Contribs) 15:54, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

This is Spinal Tap - Reference[edit]

Probably difficult to include? Still great to mention here!

Marty: And he was replaced by...uh.... David: Stumpy Joe - Eric Stumpy Joe Childs. Marty: What happened to Stumpy Joe? Derek: Well, uh, it's not a very pleasant story..but, uh, David: He's passed on. Derek: he died. uh...he choked on..the ac- the official explanation was he choked on vomit. Nigel: It was actually, was actually someone else's vomit. It's not.... David: It's ugly. Nigel: You know. There's no real.... Derek: You know they can't prove whose vomit it was...they don't have the facilities at Scotland Yard.... David: You can't print, there's no way to print a spectra-photograph Nigel: You can't really dust for vomit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:55, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Cheap Imitations[edit]

Lately there have been a number of cheap imitation John Bonhams such as the Indonesian John Bonham and the Kenyan John Bonham and the best all-American John Bonham. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:00, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Inconsistancy in the article...[edit]

Here's an inconsistency:

In the section Early years it states "He received his first proper drum kit from his father at fourteen, a Ludwig kit."

But then, in Led Zeppelin: "Appice introduced him to Ludwig Drums, which he then used for the rest of his career." And in Drums: "in the late 1960s was introduced to Ludwig drums by Carmine Appice"

So when was he first introduced to Ludwig drums? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks a lot for pointing out. He was 15, not 14, and it was a Premier Percussion set. Scieberking (talk) 20:46, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Chad Smith[edit]

The source in this section is wrong. Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers never played with Anacrusis, that's another drummer with the same name. I think that a more reliable source is needed. --Born Again 83 (talk) 10:30, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Right. Not to be confused with the Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer. I will replace Allmusic with this book source. Scieberking (talk) 11:53, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Christopher Rouse[edit]

My entry on Christopher Rouse's work Bonham, under 'Influences on notable musicians' was removed because it was considered 'unnotable'. I have put it back in. Christopher Rouse is a notable composer - he has won the Pulitzer Prize. One need only go on to You Tube to see the various performances of the work. Rouse's tribute is certainly more notable, articulate and important than the rather excessive series of quotes from various rock musicians which appear under this heading. Helical gear (talk) 01:11, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Aggravated assault, attempted rape, alcolohism[edit]

Nary a mention here? They are well documented: see for example the following from the Independent:

... the most unsettling member of the band itself was Bonham, whose other nickname was The Beast. The American journalist Ellen Sander describes how on the last night of Zep's second America tour, band members, led by Bonham, ripped her clothes off, "shrieking and grabbing". She goes on: "They were in a frenzy. I was absolutely terrified that I was going to be raped..." Zep's former-nightclub-bouncer manager, Peter Grant, bodily pulled Bonham off her. She describes life with the band as like being inside cages at a zoo where "you get to smell the shit first-hand".
Another terrifying Bonham incident occurred aboard the Starship, the Boeing 720 passenger aircraft that the band fitted with luxurious bedrooms for their 1973 and 1975 tours. Plant says his fondest memory of the craft is "oral sex in turbulence", but one stewardess will have a different take. Stephen Davis describes how Bonham, after drinking a bottle of whisky, appeared in a robe, grabbed the attendant, bent her over forwards in an arm lock and announced that he was going to "have her from the rear". He then threw open his robe. At the girl's screams, Cole and Grant appeared and dragged him off.
Maddox said Bonham was the nicest guy in the world when sober, but a maniac when drunk. Once, in a Los Angeles bar, a woman looked at him and, apparently recognising him, smiled; he went over and punched her in the face. And in 1977 he, Cole, Grant and a former London gangster called John Bindon were arrested in San Francisco after a security man was beaten unconscious and left in a pool of blood. A $2m legal action ensued, and the night lives in Led Zep legend as "The Oakland Incident".

A balanced article about a deceased subject these matters should be mentioned. ElectricRay (talk) 12:56, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

You are free to add this material yourself, as the only way to do something right is to do it yourself. This goes for any article on this project. Step up to the plate! Doc talk 05:47, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Influence on notable musicians and tributes[edit]

I noticed you recently made an edit to the John Bonham page. You recently said, per Ringo Starr, that an abundance of quotes should be avoided. I've noticed that the Bonham influence section is packed full of quotes. Doesn't this need reducing? Rodericksilly (talk) 05:52, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

My edit was more about reverting a serial genre warrior than about examining the Bonham bio. Taking a look at it now...
The lead section is too short. The gravestone inscription should be deleted as unimportant; it should in any case not be using the pull quote style. The Charlie Watts quote says nothing helpful and should be removed entirely. The other quotes might be trimmed but I would have a hard time figuring out which ones. Binksternet (talk) 14:08, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. It seems to me that there is a serious overload of quotes on this section, even if we all accept Bonham is the greatest and most influential rock drummer ever. It seems fair to me to say Charlie Watts called Bonham "the best" and leave it at that. I'm also concerned about the sources of these quotes. I've no doubt Roger Taylor said what he said, I think it was from a radio interview, but is imdb an acceptable source? Also, Chad Smith is a Youtube video, and Eric Carr's quote looks like it's from a self-published source similar to that which was unacceptable for the Ringo Starr page. Am I right? Rodericksilly (talk) 17:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Notice that Watts did not actually say that Bonham was the best drummer in the world; rather, he said Bonham was the best at being Bonham, which is sentimental nothingness. (You are the best at being Rodericksilly and I am the best at being Binksternet. We're all the best.)
The Roger Taylor quote is pesky—impossible for me to track down the original. I would dump it because of its poor sourcing.
The Chad Smith bit is from a 2010 BBC documentary, so that's good enough. It just happens to be hosted on Youtube, with possible copyright violation.
You're right, the Eric Carr quote is hosted on a self-published website, so it cannot be used to describe a living person. Since Bonham is not living, the quote could be argued as okay. It's still not a great source, and we have better ones. Binksternet (talk) 19:21, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Interesting points, thanks for that. I didn't think Youtube was ever acceptable as a source? Don't we need to use the name of the documentary and its broadcast date instead? Rodericksilly (talk) 19:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
There are times when Youtube is acceptable, for instance if a video segment is uploaded by the copyright owners. Something found on the BBC official channel could be used to support whatever it said. That said, the Chad Smith quote should be cited to the actual BBC documentary title and whatever else that identifies it. Binksternet (talk) 20:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Those interested can have a look at the guidelines on citing video WP:CITEVIDEO. There are citation templates for radio and TV shows and other AV media. Hzh (talk) 21:50, 1 September 2014 (UTC)