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Top 10 John Bonham songs on his 67th birthday, by Dave Grohl

"John Bonham is the greatest rock drummer of all time. Bonham played directly from the herat. His drumming was by no means perfect, but when he hit a groove it was so deep it was like a heartbeat. He had this manic sense of cacophany, but he also had the ultimate feel. he could swing, he could get on top, or he could pull back.

"Led Zeppelin, and John Bonham's drumming especially, opnened up my ears. I didn't truly discover Led Zeppelin until I was 16. I was into hardcore punk rock; reckless, powerful drumming, a beat that sounded like a shotgun firing in a cement cellar. But when CDs first came out in the 80s the first one I listened to was Houses Of The Holy. It changed everything. I played that CD thousands of times. I listened so hard I could hear the kick drum pedal squeaking!

"I learned to play by ear. I wasn't trained and I can't read music. What I play comes straight from the soul - and that's what I hear in John Bonham's drumming. I've watched Bonzo on the Led Zeppelin DVD and it looks like the film has been speeded up because he's playing so fast. I don't know anyone who thinks there's a better rock drummer than John Bonham: it's undeniable!"

1. Achillies Last Stand
Presence, 1976
"This song has some fireworks, and it's a good example of Bonham's reckless side. You can tell he's taking chances as the tape rolls. There's an amazing kick-drum pattern that propels the track. And there's one fill right after the first verse that just doesn't sound humanly possible."


2. Kashmir
Physical Graffiti, 1975
"Bonham knew when to step up and shine. I love the way he lays the snare in there. It's a straight backbeat throughout the song until he pulls off a signature kick-drum triplet. he's signing the cheque right there: 'Love, John Bonham'."


3. When The Levee Breaks
Led Zeppelin IV, 1971
"That is a straight groove. It's incredible to have a rock drummer that powerful, that crazy, that bad-ass, but with a groove so smooth. It's so purely human, so fuckin' smooth, man! It's pure chocolate fuckin' sex. I could loop that track in my iPod for hours. This is the best groove of all time - better than any James Brown track.""


4. Immigrant Song
How The West Was Won, 2003
"This live version just comes right out of the gate. You know that people's jaws would have dropped. Bonham is really pushing it. He's either drunk as hell or he's just having the time of his life."


5. Poor Tom
Coda, 1982
"It makes me want to throw on a pair of cowboy boots and do a jig on a sawdust floor. It's got a nice country swing. Bonham could play pounding rock but he was just as good playing weird Meters honky-tonk shit."


6. Trampled Underfoot
Physical Graffiti, 1975
"For a big white man from England, he was pretty funky. It's a fast-forward funk beat with another machine-gun roll - so quick across the drums. His sense of funk and feel were so natural. Bonham and John Paul Jones, they had funk up their ass!"


7. No Quarter
Houses Of The Holy, 1973
"Bonham's sense of dynamic is such an esential part of Zeppelin's songwriting. He's like one big volume knob - he takes it up and down, and that is something that few drummers understand. Every producer and drummer in the world has tried to recapture the John Bonham sound, but it's impossible. Drums are an acoustic instrument and how they sound depends on how you touch them."


8. Since I've Been Loving You
Led Zeppelin III, 1970
"The swing in that song - it's just so sad and beautiful. The drumming, it breaks my heart. It's such pasionate, feel playing. The way he plays on Since I've Been loving You, it sounds like John Bonham's got the blues."


9. The Wanton Song
Physical Graffiti, 1975
"There are not many riffs better than that. It sounds like all three guys - Bonzo, Jimmy and John Paul - are trying to be John Bonham in the way they play this song. It's a wicked beat - something to fight or shake your ass to."


10. Moby Dick
Led Zeppelin II, 1969
"What can I say? Fucking Moby Dick, man! You'll never find another drummer willing to play a solo with his bare hands. I've tried and it hurts. You'd have to drink a bottle of vodka just to think about doing that. Drum solos are usually just wank, crap, but the one in Moby Dick is the greatest drum solo of all time."


From: Foo Archive
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

August xx, 1968 - Page, Plant, Jones and Bonham hold their first rehearsals in Gerrard Street, London
August xx, 1968 - Page, Grant and Chris Dreja go see Robert Plant perform at a Birmingham Teachers College. Page invites Plant to his Pangbourne house and offers him the vocalist position
August xx, 1969 - Peter Grant starts enforcing the 90/10 split in favor of the band
August 31, 1969 - The third US tour ends at the Texas International Festival in Dallas
August xx, 1970 - Zeppelin earn no less than $25,000 per show
August 17, 1970 - Page completes mixing of the Led Zeppelin III in Memphis
August 19, 1971 - The seventh North American tour opens in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
August xx, 1972 - Jimmy Page purchases Plumpton Manor in Sussex
August xx, 1973 - Jimmy starts arranging ideas for the next album
August xx, 1974 - Film maker Peter Clifton has the band re-enact scenes at Shepperton Studios
August 31, 1974 - John Paul Jones appears with David Gilmour and Steve Broughton as Roy Harper’s backing band for the night
August 04, 1975 - Robert Plant and his family are seriously injured as their car veers off the road on the island of Rhodes
August 08, 1975 - Rehearsal for Zeppelin’s Eleventh North American tour postponed after Robert is involved in a serious car accident
August xx, 1976 - Arrangements are made to show the upcoming Zep film in theaters
August xx, 1976 - Jimmy Page finishes mixing the soundtrack for the movie The Song Remains The Same
August 14, 1977 - Jimmy jams with Ron Wood at a charity golf tournament for underprivileged children
August xx, 1978 - Robert plays with Dr. Feelgood and Phil Carson in Ibiza, Spain while on holiday
August 11, 1979 - Led Zeppelin perform a second show at Knebworth due to overwhelming ticket demands
August xx, 1980 - Jimmy moves into his new Windsor home, which was purchased from Michael Caine
August 14, 2009 - It Might Get Loud opened in select theatres in NY, WA & CA.
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