John Bonham

In Retrospect

by James Morton

Without doubt, the dominating force in heavy metal rock during the entire decade of the 1970’s was Led Zeppelin. John Bonham led the way with his wildly enthusiastic style, both on stage and in the studio. His syncopated but rock steady rhythms fit hand in glove with guitarist Jimmy Page’s riffs. A pioneer in heavy metal rock drumming, Bonham was also one of the first to employ an oversized drumset. Rolling Stone magazine described a John Bonham performance as, “The aural equivalent of watching Clint Eastwood club eight bad guys over the head with a two-by-four while driving a derailed locomotive through their hideout.” 

While possessing an exuberant style, Bonham maintained control of his set. One of his strengths was a remarkable bass drum action, a factor most noticeable in the following transcriptions. John Bonham’s recent death in England creates a gap in rock drumming that will not be filled easily. This anthology is a collection of the beats that propelled Led Zeppelin to the forefront of the heavy metal scene for a full decade, and serves as a tribute to their drummer, John Bonham.

Led Zeppelin 1

Led Zeppelin 2

Led Zeppelin 3

Led Zeppelin 4

Led Zeppelin 5


Led Zeppelin 6

Led Zeppelin 7

Led Zeppelin 8