Stanton Moore On John Bonham’s Influences
Earl Palmer/Charles Connor
The opening to “Rock And Roll” is directly “borrowed” from Charles Connor’s intro to Little Richard’s “You Keep A-Knockin’” (1956). Bonham was a huge Earl Pamer fan. Earl played on most of the early Little Richard studio sessions, But Charles Connor played on this one. I’m pretty sure Bonham thought it was Earl. The “Rock And Roll” intro is also very similar (maybe even more so) to Earl Palmer’s intro to the Eddie Cochran tune “Somethin’ Else” (1959).
It’s obvious that Bonham drew inspiration from Bernard Purdie’s famous shuffle from Steely Dan’s “Home At Last” off the Aja album (1977) for “Fool In The Rain.” But check this out, in 1968, before he joined Led Zeppelin, Bonham toured with a UK artist named Tim Rose. The album that they were touring on was recorded in 1967 with who on drums? Bernard Purdie! Check out “Whole Lotta Love” off Led Zeppelin II (1969) for some other specific “Purdie-isms.”
Also, to me “Whole Lotta Love” is very similar to the second bar of Clyde Stubblefield’s groove on James Brown’s “Cold Sweat” (1967).