Bonham took a little persuading to join Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant sent eight telegrams and manager Peter Grant sent forty more to Bonham’s pub “Three Men In A Boat” to convince him. The Walsall pub, which I passed every day on my way to and from school, was a centre of live music in the town in the sixties: it is also where Slade played their first gig.
It’s a good job he did choose to join, as he went on to revolutionise the world of drumming. Noted for his sense of dynamics, Bonham is widely considered the greatest drummer of all time. He used the longest and heaviest sticks available, which he called his ‘trees’, to create a recognisable hard-hitting sound. With later works he introduced funk- and Latin-influenced drumming elements into his repertoire. He also incorporated a range of instruments into his kit, such as congas, orchestral timpani and a gong.
John defined rock drumming and added many strings to a drummer’s bow, such as bass drum doubles, triple strokes, sixteenth note double strokes, and some signature hand patterns and grooves.
If you are more interested in John Bonham, here is a more detailed look at the man.