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John Bonham
Old 18th April 2006
  #1
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John Bonham

I dunno, just because.



John Bonham


Quote:
Asked to leave one Birmingham studio because he was too loud for the owner, he was told that there was no future for a drummer as loud as him. Ten years later, the owner received a note reading "Thanks for the career advice..."; and accompanied by a Led Zeppelin gold record.
Old 18th April 2006
  #2
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Cool thread

Loud drummers are a challange to record. Don't cut their emotions when a session doesn't work like in your schoolbook. It's not always the drummer it may also be the engineer or producer who kills a session... remember John Bohnham!

Andreas
Old 18th April 2006
  #3
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I'm with ya, I had a Bohnam appreciation moment this morning listening to "Hey, Hey, What Can I Do?" before going to work. I was loving the ridiculously long sustain on the cymbals, with Plant singing over the ringing. Then on the next song I had a Brian May guitar tone appreciation moment.
Old 18th April 2006
  #4
C/G
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Bonham is my hero. So is bacon, lettuce and tomato, but Bonham sounds way better and I'm always up for a Bonham thread. By far he is my favourite drummer ever and was/is an influence on my style of playing for sure. I never took drum lessons, I just listened to Led Zeppelin.
Old 18th April 2006
  #5
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Bonham and Bacon?

FAT!

I love his playing and thank god there were engineers smart enough to capture it.

Mr Bonham we salute you!
Old 18th April 2006
  #6
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John Bonham! John Henry Bonham!

What a beat what a back beat
What a Drummer. Bonham is the best rock drummer hands
down no comparison no argument......................................

well keith moon was the shiznit too
Old 18th April 2006
  #7
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JB is the man!!!
thumbsup
Old 18th April 2006
  #8
Smile

Hey, thanks - I'm JB, too heh

ON the topic of great drummers once criticized, a similar story with a native nyc drummer friend/musician Zach Danziger, who was apparently told by an ex music dept head at our music high school (along with Zach's parents) that he didn't have the talent to attend.

3 years later, when he was 17, he was on tour with Eddie Gomez (Chick Corea, Miles, etc.) He has since performed and recorded with:

Blood Sweat & Tears
Tim Lefebvre
Boomish
Jamie Saft
David Holmes
Jim Beard
U2
Bill Evans
Manic Street Preachers
Dave Fiuczynski
Primal Scream
Henry Hey
Pete Mc Cann
Matt Wilson
Bruce Huron
Chuck Loeb
Leni Stern
Wayne Krantz
Common Ground
Nelson Rangell
Donald Harrison
Intrique
Larry Coryell

....and many more


While he does not have the rock star recognition JB has, needless to say, Zach is one UNBELIEVABLE DRUMMER.

for those of you not hip to the nyc jazz fusion scene, etc. - here's a link.

http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Zach_Danziger.html

Disclaimer:

FWIW, I heard this 2nd hand, not from Zach, but from my guitar teacher at the time, Alan Schwartz who was playing in a band with him.
Old 18th April 2006
  #9
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undeniable when it comes on the radio
Its the way he hits the drum that makes it sing so much
I dont think its hard or loud playing , just fantastic touch .
Old 19th April 2006
  #10
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I was Listening to John all day at work . In a tape op article it said they just used 2 U87's as overheads and a kick mic . I also really like Dave Grohl poundn' away
Old 19th April 2006
  #11
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another huge prop to Zach. he is an amazing drummer- but don't forget his most important work to date- "the Over the Ear Look" Hilarity.
david
Old 19th April 2006
  #12
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Does this mild mannered tea sipper look like a skin beating animal to you..??
Attached Thumbnails
John Bonham-bonzo_pose2.jpg  
Old 19th April 2006
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gevermil
undeniable when it comes on the radio
Its the way he hits the drum that makes it sing so much
I dont think its hard or loud playing , just fantastic touch .
I agree. My girlfriend bought me the "How the West Was Won" DVD for Christmas.... he's definitely not pounding the living crap out of the kit. It's mainly wrist movement with Bonham, very little arm movement. Ya can't groove like he does if you're slamming like there's no tomorrow.

Sublime technique + large diameter, double-head drums tuned high with little dampening = gut-wrenching drum sound. Bonham + Ringo: love 'em.
Old 19th April 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

he also used some damn big sticks....
Old 19th April 2006
  #15
Jai guru deva om
 
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He did it all so well...but man what a foot on that guy. Nobody was doing that stuff back then, and many can't do it now with trick pedals.

War
Old 19th April 2006
  #16
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i still can't believe i lost my speedking years ago (let alone how i destroyed my '67 Ludwig jazz kit...it was highschool, who knew???).

RIP Mr. Bonham.

better yet, come back as another drummer!
Old 19th April 2006
  #17
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Yep...and he did it all with a crappy speed king pedal. I still have one around here and I laugh every time I rig it up and give it a shot instead of my usual Pearl Eliminators which are much smoother and just run circles around the action and everything that the speed king has to offer. But I still can't get those same bass licks as he had...even with my much upgraded pearls....I'm sure it's just that I haven't found the right pedal combination.....haha.....

m
Old 19th April 2006
  #18
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and some great, big, giant, drums didn't hurt either
Old 19th April 2006
  #19
Gear Nut
 

Thing about Bonham, is he hit very hard SOMETIMES. Most of the time, as people on this thread have pointed out, it was WRIST and GROOVE.

DYNAMICS!!! That was his weapon of mass hugeness. That's why when Page compressed the crap out of those room mics, it sounded AMAZING.

No rock drummers play dynamicaly any more. They say (and as we know, they ALL say) "Iwanmydrumstosoundlikebonham." Then they get behind the kit and start pulverizing those cymbals and hitting the shells so hard that the poor things choke and don't get the chance to RESONATE. That's why a couple of overheads on Bonham gave you the FULL PICTURE. The man new how to HIT A ****ING DRUM. He was never, ever mindlessly bashing. It was all GRACE, TONE and BALANCE.

So many of these newfangled drummer guys don't get that, first and foremost, Bonham was a MUSICIAN. He PLAYED MUSIC. Drummers barely play MUSIC anymore. They play DRUMS. That might sound stupid, but it's the reason why the John Bonhams are so few and far between. If they stopped obsessively reading Modern Drummer and just listened to some freakin' records, the world would be a much better place.
Old 19th April 2006
  #20
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the reason i started playing

check out these Bonham ,ringo,charlie watts mini kits here:

http://www.smalldrums.com/
Attached Thumbnails
John Bonham-john-bonham-rd-front-md.jpg  
Old 19th April 2006
  #21
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Fool in the rain is one of he greatest drumbeats of all time. If I ever get that beat down I will feel like I have climbed Mt Everest. Check out this link from drummerworld.com. It is Jeff Porcaro showing how he came up with the Rosanna beat. It is JB and Bo Diddley combined. Pocaro was amazing also. One of my all time faves is Steve Smith of Journey.

http://drummerworld.com/Videos/jeffporcaroshuffle.html
Old 19th April 2006
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MushroomKingdom
I was Listening to John all day at work . In a tape op article it said they just used 2 U87's as overheads and a kick mic . I also really like Dave Grohl poundn' away
I think those where U67....
Old 19th April 2006
  #23
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dig these overheads ..RE 20's
Attached Thumbnails
John Bonham-bonzo75_earlscourt.jpg  
Old 19th April 2006
  #24
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if any of you have checked out zep boots like i have you can tell that over the years bonham was more than 1/4 of this band.

even when things are so ragged it is nearly unlistenable bonham makes it all come together and rock.

all hail bonham. listening to him tear up kashmir live in '75...wooo!
Old 19th April 2006
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burntrax
Fool in the rain is one of he greatest drumbeats of all time. If I ever get that beat down I will feel like I have climbed Mt Everest. Check out this link from drummerworld.com. It is Jeff Porcaro showing how he came up with the Rosanna beat. It is JB and Bo Diddley combined. Pocaro was amazing also. One of my all time faves is Steve Smith of Journey.

http://drummerworld.com/Videos/jeffporcaroshuffle.html
I agree... I was listening to "Fool In The Rain" earlier and I couldn't believe how hard that beat grooves. It's so sweet! BTW, the bass drum in that video clip is freakin' awesome sounding... are those 251's on the tom's ?
Old 19th April 2006
  #26
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Bonham hit plenty hard on the backbeat but was gentle with the grace notes and the hats/cymbals. The greatest. David
Old 19th April 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead
He did it all so well...but man what a foot on that guy. Nobody was doing that stuff back then, and many can't do it now with trick pedals.

War
Good point War. Ian Paice, imho, also had a magic, SpeedKing-fuelled foot. For mine, Ian's jazz influences were more visible/audible than Bonham's. I liked Ian's playing very much when I was a youngster, but he just doesn't have the awesome power and groove of Bonham...

Speaking of which, maybe some groove connoisseurs can help me understand something that's loooooonnnnnng been a point of interest for me.... it's the question of a certain kind of groove that has... I dunno exactly how to describe it, a "push/pull" kind of feel, almost in an industrial sense. A steam train kinda thing. Think of say, most of Bonham's work, and very definitely Mr. Jim Keltner. The drums on "Stayin' Alive" are another example. I find that kind of groove infectious, nay irresistable, and am constantly amazed by its ability to invoke an involuntary response in we humans. I've been playing for 30 years and, from my POV, maintaining that kind of groove is damn difficult.

Any insights groovers???
Old 19th April 2006
  #28
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gooch
Thing about Bonham, is he hit very hard SOMETIMES. Most of the time, as people on this thread have pointed out, it was WRIST and GROOVE.

DYNAMICS!!! That was his weapon of mass hugeness. That's why when Page compressed the crap out of those room mics, it sounded AMAZING.

No rock drummers play dynamicaly any more. They say (and as we know, they ALL say) "Iwanmydrumstosoundlikebonham." Then they get behind the kit and start pulverizing those cymbals and hitting the shells so hard that the poor things choke and don't get the chance to RESONATE. That's why a couple of overheads on Bonham gave you the FULL PICTURE. The man new how to HIT A ****ING DRUM. He was never, ever mindlessly bashing. It was all GRACE, TONE and BALANCE.

So many of these newfangled drummer guys don't get that, first and foremost, Bonham was a MUSICIAN. He PLAYED MUSIC. Drummers barely play MUSIC anymore. They play DRUMS. That might sound stupid, but it's the reason why the John Bonhams are so few and far between. If they stopped obsessively reading Modern Drummer and just listened to some freakin' records, the world would be a much better place.
AMEN BROTHER!!!!!!! It's not about hitting hard. the Bonham thing is about treating the kit as a single, unified instrument and for it to happen the player needs to balance the kit himself. If you're hitting the hat as hard as the snare, it aint gonna happen. And, oh yeah, THE GROOVE.

Does anyone still have the link to those soloed Bonham tracks that were around a while ago? On "Fool", the bass drum has a different pitch on the downbeats than the other hits. Sounds like he's snapping the beater off on the downbeats and letting it lay on the others. While playing a kick-ass Purdie shuffle. That's control and subtlety.
Old 19th April 2006
  #29
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One time I broke down and stuck some Zepplin songs on a grid to see if it would shed any light on what exactly he was doing that made it rock and groove like it did. I didn't figure out much except what I could already hear. He played pretty consistently behind the beat but it definately was not to a click and the fact that it stays behind the beat makes me think the guitars would have probably been live. I guess being scientific about music can be overthinking it.
Old 19th April 2006
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuntz
One time I broke down and stuck some Zepplin songs on a grid to see if it would shed any light on what exactly he was doing that made it rock and groove like it did. I didn't figure out much except what I could already hear. He played pretty consistently behind the beat but it definately was not to a click and the fact that it stays behind the beat makes me think the guitars would have probably been live. I guess being scientific about music can be overthinking it.

zeppelin....playing to a click...hehehehe
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