John Bonham: Heavier Than Hell
Who is the prototypical hard rock drummer of all time? While we’re certain that our readers will offer scores of conflicting answers to that question, we think it’s none other than the late John Henry Bonham, whose incredibly creative grooves and fills with Led Zeppelin — not coincidentally, the prototypical hard rock band of all time — earned him that notable distinction in the pages of drumming history books. Though he was a very aggressive drummer, his playing often possessed a surprisingly laid-back feel. Employing technique that raised the bar for generations that followed, he grooved with tons of attitude and invention. It’s hard to say if he was more admired for his remarkable right foot or the massive sound he always coaxed from his drum set. Regardless, when you put all the pieces together, you can’t miss the fact that he was one of a kind. Sadly, Bonham died a premature “rock-and-roll” death, a loss that touched musicians around the world. It’s painful to think how much of his genius we’ve been denied. The following song excerpts will prove it.