5 Times John Bonham Proved His Timeless Chops
John Bonham with Led Zeppelin live in 1970 - Kaushal Bajracharya / Youtube
John Bonham’s behemothic presence is undeniable in Led Zeppelin’s arsenal, and it’s not hard to tell in their songs either. While he was mainly tasked with driving the band’s rhythm, Bonham also showcases his chops via epic solos that would rival Jimmy Page’s own. Sadly, the titanic drummer was taken away too early in 1980, leading to Led Zeppelin’s break up shortly after. That being said, relive some of Bonham’s timeless moments in this list of five.
“Fool In The Rain” (1979)
While most people know Bonham from his heavy, lumbering playstyle, the drummer also proved his versatility on the song, “Fool In The Rain”. Adopting a lighter feel and touch, “Fool In The Rain” has Bonham dishing out a fresh groove with exotic percussion influences in between, even getting a solo section of his own to emphasize the musical change of heart of the drummer.
“Trampled Under Foot” – (1975)
Who would’ve expected Led Zeppelin to seek inspiration from somebody like Stevie Wonder? That’s what happened when they wrote “Trampled Under Foot”, which was influenced by “Superstition”. Bonham rose to the occasion with his funky groove, vivid flourishes, and impeccable timing. What’s not to love about him?
“Moby Dick” – (1969)
This instrumental is one of the best representations of Bonham’s drumming prowess: possessing power, groove, and rhythm like no other. But more than the studio version, Bonham bared it all out with extended jams during Led Zeppelin’s live shows, his limbs naturally driving through the song like clockwork.
“Achilles Last Stand” – (1976)
Bonham’s playing aged like fine wine, as evidenced by songs later in the band’s career like 1976’s “Achilles Last Stand”. It still possessed most of Bonham’s notable playing qualities, but things are taken to another level with his machine-like precision and an even heavier feel.
“When The Levee Breaks” – (1971)
Blues was quickly falling out of favor with other big names in the industry by the time “When The Levee Breaks” was released, but Led Zeppelin directed their attack with a fresh execution built around Bonham’s chugging rhythm. His drum tone was extraordinary on this one, as his parts were recorded on a stairwell that gave it a booming echo.