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Died On This Date (September 25, 1980) John Bonham / Led Zeppelin

Posted by themusicsover on September 25, 2009

John Bonham
May 31, 1948 – September 25, 1980

John Bonham is best remembered as the powerful drummer for legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin and was arguably the greatest drummer rock has ever known.  In 1968, Bonham was asked to join the new band guitarist, Jimmy Page was forming after the break-up of the Yardbirds.  He had been recommended by singer, Robert Plant who had worked with Bonham some years earlier in a blues band called Crawling King Snakes.  The Led Zeppelin line-up was rounded out with bassist, John Paul Jones.   Over the next several years, Led Zeppelin grew in immense popularity due to their genre defining albums and explosive live shows.  Bonham’s drumming was as important to the mix as anything else in the band.  And his drum solos became a thing of legend, perhaps even introducing the concept to other young bands.  One Bonham signature song in particular, “Moby Dick,” sometimes included solos as long as 30 minutes.  With Led Zeppelin, Bonham played on some of rock music’s greatest songs.  That list includes “Whole Lotta Love,” “Kashmir,” “Immigrant Song,” and of course, “Stairway To Heaven.”  On September 24, 1980, Bonham was drinking heavily both prior to, and during band rehearsals.   After calling it quits later that night, the band went to Page’s Windsor, England home to sleep.  Sometime after midnight, the sleeping Bonham was placed in a bed for the night.  He was found dead by Jones and a friend later that afternoon.  John Bonham was dead at the age of 32.  Cause of death was ruled pulmonary edema, having suffocated from breathing in his own vomit while passed out.

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5 Responses to “Died On This Date (September 25, 1980) John Bonham / Led Zeppelin”

  1. Thinking of a favorite drummer John Henry Bonham – RIP – click through for a video of "Moby Dick" drumming

  2. Ronald W. Smail said

    I remember that day clearly!

  3. Ian Tan said

    RIP John Bonham.

  4. John , Neil and Taylor

  5. Dreadful day. Feels like yesterday.

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