{Misty Moutain Hop} ~ John Bonham

Charcoal sketch of John Henry Bonham on this his birth date.

Bonham was the foundation for one of the most iconic bands in Rock, Led Zepplin.  Bonham's deep pocket, shuffle grooves were a standard above the usual stripped- down rock drumming and speak to his childhood influences - Max Roach, Buddy Rich, and Gene Krupa.

Led Zepplin II was one of the first albums to feature a song devoted purely to a drum solo, initially called "Pat's Delight" in concert, but subsequently recorded as "Moby Dick."

Bonham frequently is at or near the top of favorite rock drummers of all time.  Some, like Keith Richards, note he put the "lead" in 'Led Zepplin', claiming the band 'never really took off the ground' for him, musically, largely due to Bonham's heavy-handed drumming. 

Bonham had a remarkable right foot. His speed and ability with the Ludwig Speed King Pedal {not the most forgiving of bass pedals] had some convinced he was using two foot pedals.  He was also renowned for the tuning of his drums, creating that unique snare sound and thunderous toms.  Part of that booming sound can be attributed to Andy Johns recording innovations, most famously at Headley Grange where Johns recorded Bonham at the bottom of a stairwell on the track "When The Levee Breaks".

I sketched Bonham with his three-ringed logo.  The one ring is Bonham holding the hoop that secures the skin to the tom in tribute to his unique tuning sound on the drums.  The circle has been a common metaphor for 'Time' as it has no fixed point or end.  Bonham holds the hoop near the bottom since a circle or wave is the common way to describe a 'pocket' or time - playing at the top/ahead of the pulse or at the bottom, slightly behind which is common to those 'feel' drummers and shuffle drummers which Bonham was.


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