The Enduring Legacy Of John Bonham

john bonham

Virgil Donati

Allan Holdsworth

First Impression: “I was a kid when I was getting into the rock thing. I was nine, ten years old. I was already listening to Deep Purple. And then Zeppelin I came out. I saw it on the Record Club Catalog and I thought, I’m going to buy that. It has an interesting cover. I was just a kid; I didn’t know. I bought it and I didn’t like it. That first record, it bent my ear — which is a good thing, actually. But I just couldn’t handle it at the time. And then, with the successive records, I really got into it. It was a little more, for lack of a better word, melodic, and a little more understandable for my ear. And I really got into it then. And then the rest is history.

“I was inspired by so many drummers as a young student, but in terms of the rock drummers, it was Bonham and Paice for me. I think they kind of summed up everything you needed as a rock drummer. Paice was more fluid and a little more technical, whereas Bonham was just solid, driving, so that combination just appealed to me, and I think I drew from both of them.”

Most Important Bonham Influence: “Unwavering time. It’s just, his concept of groove — that’s what he’s known for, just that solid, fat sound, and it’s just right on the money. I think the combination of the groove and the sound is the legacy that he left us.”

Tribute Song: “Kashmir” off Physical Grafitti

“All of Zep’s catalog is all killer. ‘Kashmir’ had that really fat huge heavy medium-tempo groove, and I like the thought of that so I went for it.”

If you have a spare eight-and-a-half minutes today, treat yourself to this polymetric masterpiece. The guitar and string parts play a 3/4 phrase for four bars while the drums play a 4/4 phrase for three bars so these two differing patterns cycle hypnotically against one another realigning ever 12 beats. The bass drum pattern was played with single hits on 1 and 3, the doubling you hear on the e's of those beats was created by an early echo unit applied to the bass drum track.

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