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John Bonham

Born: John Henry Bonham 

Nickname: Bonzo 


Date Of Birth: May 31, 1948 

Place Of Birth: Redditch, Worcestershire U.K. 


Passed Away: September 25, 1980 


Before Led Zeppelin- 

Played For: 

Terry Web And The Spiders 

Crawling King Snakes 

A Way Of Life 

Band Of Joy (III) 


In Led Zeppelin- 

drums, percussion, baking vocals 



Bonham's symbol came from the same book as John Paul Jones' and represents the man-woman-child triology.



John Henry Bonham was born on May 31, 1948 at Redditch, Worchestershire. His parents were Jack and Joan. He had two younger siblings, Michael and Debbie. As a toddler, he beat on his mum's pots and pans, signaling that he knew his future career plans at and early age. He received his first snare drum at the age of 10 and by 15 he had his own drum kit. At the age of 17, he married Pat, whom he met at a dance at Kidderminster. Money was tight for them in the beginning and for a time John gave up smoking for extra money. John quickly earned the reputation of being a loud drummer by bar owners. Some bands John played in were Terry and The Spiders, A Way Of Life, Crawling King Snakes (w/ Robert Plant), The Nicky James Movement, Steve Brett and the Mavericks and The Band Of Joy. The Band lasted from 1966-68, eventually touring England in support of the American Tim Rose. After the Band Of Joy broke up in early 1968, John Bonham accepted a position as the drummer in the backing band for Tim Rose. In August 1968, upon recommendation by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and Peter Grant went to hear Bonham play in Oxford and send out no less than 40 telegrams to Bonham before he accepted the position as drummer. After 12 years in Led Zeppelin, John Bonham died on September 25, 1980 in Windsor, England after a heavy night of drinking.


"When I left school I went into the trade with my Dad. He had a building business and I used to like it. But drumming was the only thing I was any good at, and I stuck at that for three or four years. If things got bad I could always go back to building.

I was so keen to play when I left school, I'd have played for nothing. In fact I did for a long time, but my parents stuck by me."

Someone else who stuck by him in his ambitions was his wife Pat, whom he met at a dance and married at the tender age of 17. The couple lived in a small caravan, and at one point things were so bad that Bonham had to give up smoking to pay the rent.



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