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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

April 24, 1969 - 2nd US Tour begins (1st as headliners) at the Fillmore West
April xx, 1970 - Robert comments about the violence in the audience near the end of the fifth tour
April 04, 1970 - Jimmy Page performs White Summer/Black Mountain Side on the Julie Felix BBC show
April 16, 1970 - Whole Lotta Love was certified Gold in the US after selling over a million copies. The single had peaked at No. 4 on the US singles chart. In the UK, Atlantic Records had expected to issue the edited version themselves, and pressed initial copies for release on December 5, 1969. However, band manager Peter Grant was adamant that the band maintain a "no-singles" approach to marketing their recorded music in the UK and he halted the release.
April xx, 1971 - Untitled is rumored to be released this month
April xx, 1972 - Recording sessions for Houses Of The Holy at Stargroves and Olympic studios
April xx, 1973 - Led Zeppelin rehearse their new stage show in preparation for their huge 1973 US Tour
April xx, 1974 - Swan Song concentrates its efforts on signing new acts
April xx, 1975 - Jimmy does some mixing at Electric Lady studios for TSRTS soundtrack
April 19, 1975 - 51,000 tickets sell in two hours for three nights at Earls Court, two added dates see another 34,000 tickets sold
April xx, 1976 - The band decide they will release their film to theaters
April 30, 1977 - Led Zeppelin breaks the record for the largest attendance for a single-act show in the Pontiac Silverdome with 76,229 in attendance
April xx, 1978 - The band hold a meeting, this time with Robert, to discuss Zeppelin’s future
April 03, 1979 - Page, Bonham and Plant jam with Bad Company again in Birmingham
April 27, 1980 - The band rehearses at Rainbow Theater for an upcoming European tour
April 26, 1988 - James Patrick Page III’s birthday. He is named after his father is the only son of Jimmy and Patricia Ecker. Jimmy spoke of his son saying: "He is wonderful. He has made a big difference to my life."
April 21, 1998 - Page and Plant released Walking Into Clarksdale.
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