A historic piece of gear, whether it’s a legendary studio console or a grimy old drumhead, can act like a time machine. Collectors often set eBay alerts for elusive snares, or we’ll travel far and wide just to catch a glimpse of a famous drumset stored behind a glass wall. One of my pursuits led me to the U.K. to chase down information on one of the most historic sets of drums in rock ’n’ roll history: Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s first Ludwig endorsee kit from 1969.

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