- Born on May 31, 1948 John Henry Bonham became very serious
about drumming at age ten.
- His first band was Terry Webb and the Spiders.
- Was part of the Crawling King Snakes for a while along
with A Way of Life was in the third Band of Joy with Robert
Plant. He used to put his drum set out in front of the stage
so that he would have as much a chance of getting noticed as
- Married his wife, Pat, in 1967. They had two kids: a son
and a daughter.
- Turned down offers to perform with Joe Cocker and Chris
Farlow in order to join Led Zeppelin.
- His symbol is three rings interlocking, which stands for
the trilogy - man, woman, and child.
- It was taken from a book of runes and he chose it simply
because he liked it. It is also to logo for Ballantine Beer.
More recently, it can be seen on the shield of one of the
characters in the animated film "Quest for
- His sequence in The Song Remains the Same shows his family
life and his other love - cars.
- He drag races, rides a motorcycle, and scoots along in his
Addams family-esque car. And he also shows off his cow and
drives a tractor.
- He once bragged that he hadn't broken a drum skin in three
years, which is almost unbelievable considering his power
- Plant later said that what made bonham such a great
drummer was that he didn't not overplay. It was what he held
back made him a great drummer.
- At one stop on the 1977 tour in America, Bonham, Peter
Grant, and John Bindon were arrested and later charged for
severely beating a security guard who had pushed Grant's
- At another show, Bonham yelled to a disruptive audience
member "yeah, peace love and happiness in here, and
I'll kick your ass outside!"
- He loved Heineken beer so much that he was dubbed John
"Heineken" (Henry) Bonham.
- In 1977, he was in a car accident and broke three ribs.
- One of his joys of performing live was yelling as loud as
he could while beating the drums to give it that extra edge.
- Just prior to his death at a show in early 1980, he fell
of of his stool during the third song, indicating the extent
of his substance abuse.
- He died on September 24, 1980 at Page's home. He had
consumed an uncountable number of drinks and had been taking
a drug to keep him off of heroin, and when he was laid down
to sleep, his face was up instead of down, which caused him
to choke on his own vomit.