Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tribute to John Bonham

These comments originally appeared in an edition of the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

The 30 days affectionately known among some Led Zeppelin aficionados as "Zeptember" certainly have ups and downs that are unparalleled in any other month.

Zeptember sees the beginning of a legacy of live Zeppelin shows, which we marked earlier this month with the 37th anniversary of Page-Plant-Jones-Bonham's first concert together.

Sadly, this month also sees the beginning of the end. In Led Zeppelin's history, the end is unmistakably denoted by the passing of one of its members, without whom the others just could never go on as they were.

"He was an ex-bricklayer who weighed about 250 pounds and was six-foot-three," producer Eddie Kramer said of John "Bonzo" Bonham, who died 25 years ago tomorrow.

RIP John Henry Bonham
May 31, 1948 - Sept. 25, 1980

On a much happier note, the Bonham drumming legacy still lives on today through that aforementioned son, Jason Bonham. Now 39, he's currently playing for a great lineup of the rock group Foreigner. Their current U.S. tour packed houses this summer and will continue to do so through November. Each show even pays tribute to John Bonham with the group covering a Led Zeppelin song.

A thrilling live video of Foreigner's "Juke Box Hero" from this tour is available at the group's official Web site,, in the Gallery section. They impressively ease into a portion of "Whole Lotta Love," and bald-headed Jason Bonham commands on the drums through the very end.

It will be a pleasure to see them perform live in Baltimore next weekend.

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