What Legendary Rock Band had a Drummer Nicknamed “Bonzo”?

July 14, 2023

Drummer nicknamed Bonzo

Oh yeah, that’s right! This band is more than a legendary crew, it is an institution, and yes, John Henry Bonham “Bonzo” is the legendary drummer of this epic rock band. The band is called Led Zeppelin.

For many drummers, this guy represents a way of life and is the most iconic idol for all of them.

The drumming with Led Zeppelin is a narrower specialization of this incredible artist who also possesses song and lyric writing talents.

Bonzo was an irreplaceable member of Led Zeppelin’s family and left behind him the whole institution of drumming and significantly rough life battling with depression.

Overwhelming depression has inducted alcoholism, which led to fatalities, one of the heaviest fundamental impacts that have changed the band forever.

When was John Bonham born?

Three years after the Second World War’s historical event, on 31 May 1948, John Bohnam was born in Redditch, a town and local government district in north-east Worcestershire, England.

Many world impactors have been born just a few years after the most significant world battle outcome and brought a unique shine to the world’s future.

Bohnam also had a younger brother Mick Bonham (190–2000), a disc jockey, author, photographer, and a younger sister Deborah Bonham (born 1962), a memorable singer and successful songwriter.

How did John Bonham die?

After a long three years of touring-pause throughout the world, Led Zeppelin is preparing for a long-waited American tour, which was supposed to begin on October 17 in 1980, in Montreal, Canada.

Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios.

The Journey took on September 24. Bonzo asked for a quick breakfast stop during travels, where the plan was almost half a vodka bottle (around ten standard American drinks).

This was one of the regular warm-ups from Bonzo when a yellow alert is on.

Upon arriving, the drinking ritual has continued but even more heavily through the whole rehearsal day.

After a long rehearsal day around midnight, Bonzo and the band stopped with music for the day and went to Page’s house in Clewer, Windsor.

Someone has gently tucked him up, and Bonham fell asleep.

The next morning and afternoon, a sorrow site to be seen.

John Henry Bonham “Bonzo” was found unresponsive and later on pronounced dead at the age of 32.

When did John Bonham die?

The exact pass time is estimated around midnight in between 24. and 25. of September 1980.

The exact time can’t be tell, but the cause of death is suffocation, and that estimation may vary an hour up and down around midnight.

The pretty young age of 32 years to finish such a tremendous career is just premature horrid destiny.

The most souls close to him were indeed shocked but still had in their mind the amount of struggling with Bonzo’s depression.

They surely did not expect that.

Where is John Bonham buried?

It was no a traditional funeral. 

Instead, John was cremated, and his ashes and remains were interred in Rushock parish church in Worcestershire.

Cremation was his choice which is a lot of common burial wishes among rock stars. It was on October the 12th 1980-mid-autumn rainy clouds but a no-rain day.

A very thoughtful and heartbreaking speech from the band crew radiated with sadness and adage that nothing will be the same again

john bonam son

Who replaced John Bonham?

Many big names of that time start to pop out in the most significant discussion on who will ever replace Bonzo.

Some of the tendering names are Cozy Powell, Carmine Appice, Barriemore Barlow, Simon Kirke, or Bev Bevan, who was supposed to replace Bonzo on the American tour.

The band decides to disband with a strong feeling that it would never be the same as before

On 10 December 2007 Jason Bonham joined forces with Led Zeppelin for their reunion concert in at London’s O2 arena.

What kind of drums did John Bonham use?

The most associated brand of drums that will tag along with John Bohnam Bonzo’s name is the Ludwig.

He Used two kits, first one is Ludwig Super Classic Green Sparkle kit consists of a 22″x14″ bass drum, 13″x9″ rack tom, 16″x16″ floor tom, and a 14″x5″ Supraphonic 400 metal-shell snare drum.

What kind of drums did John Bonham use?

Second kit is orange Ludwig Vistalite made of acryl. The dimensions he used were 26″x14″ bass drum with 16″x16″, 18″x16″, 14″x10″ toms.

drum set john bonham played

I must mention the very first setup which predestined his future life.

Their first earnestly touch with drumming rhythm instrument was when his mom bought him a snare drum for his 10th birthday. 

While mom was the initiator, dad purchased a severe first drum kit, which was in real rust and dust, but still was a crucial upgrade that Bonzo needed.

This is drum equipment John Bohnam most commonly used:

  • Drum Set – Ludwig
  • Snare –  Ludwig Supraphonic 14″
  • Cymbals – Paiste Giant Beats & 2002 series
  • Bass Drum Pedal – Ludwig Speedking
  • Hardware – Swiv-O-Matic
  • Drum Heads – Remo & Ludwig
  • Percussion – Cowbell, Timables, Tambourine
  • Drumsticks – Promuco Hickory
  • Timpani – Ludwig Universal Series
  • Gongs – Symphonic Paiste Gong
  • Microphones – Shure Professional Series SM57

For people who have the most severe interest in the slightest details about equipment and drumsets and drum kits that John Bohnam Bonzo used, there is a book that is a must-have.

The book is written by Welch & Nicholl, and it is a fantastic book filled with all the details about Bonham gear.

The book is called ‘’John Bonham A Thunder Of Drums’’. Every new burning fan of Bonzo will find what he is looking for in that book.

What snare did John Bonham use?

What snare did John Bonham use?​

It seems John Bonham consistently used the Ludwig Supraphonic 14inch x 6½ 402 snare drum on stage throughout his career by most of the time.

This drum attribute chrome plating on Ludalloy shell.

Bonam is straightforward about using more expensive brass-shelled drums, and his preferences were distinctive. Ludwig Atlas Snare Stand is also always in the inventory.

A lot of credit Bonham put in this snare and rarely separating himself from it.

On rehearsals, his ritual was to run the snare, put it in the loop, and pitch it to perfection even everybody was way satisfied minutes ago.

His built-in ear-sonar is optimized correctly to his taste, which is said by those closest to him.

John Bonham's legendary drum solo in Moby Dick

Denis Loncaric
Denis Loncaric

My name is Denis. I am a drummer, percussionist, music enthusiast, and blogger. Drums have been my passion for 15 years now. My idea is to write about the things I like and I am interested in. I want to share my drum passion with fellow musicians who walk, talk, and breathe drums.

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