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John Bonham statue campaign wins new support

The campaign to have a statue of Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham in Redditch has won new support - from a top tribute band of the legendary rock icons.

Hats Off To Led Zeppelin, one of the official tribute acts of the iconic band, will be organising a collection at their show at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre next month.

The cash raised will go toward the John Bonham Memorial Fund, set up by a group of devoted fans in Redditch.

The group say that a statue would not only be a fitting tribute to the town's most famous son but also a major tourist attraction, which could be visited by thousands of rock fans from all around the world.

Kevin Oliver Jones, from the tribute band, said: "As massive Led Zeppelin fans we are honoured to be supporting the John Bonham Memorial Fund.

"John Bonham is widely considered to be one of the best drummers in history so Hats Off To Led Zeppelin are proud to be supporting this cause to immortalise his legend and raise funds for a statue in his home town."

Born in 1948 in Redditch, Bonham began playing drums at the age of five, making a kit out of containers and coffee tins and getting his first proper drum kit from his father at the age of 15.

After playing with a number of local bands he went on to worldwide stardom with Led Zeppelin - one of the world's most famous rock bands.

He died at the age of 32 on September 25, 1980, leaving a wife and two children, but he also left a legacy of hallmark recordings for the band.

Campaigners from the John Bonham Memorial Fund hope to give Bonham's statue pride of place in the town's Church Green, where the bandstand currently sits.

Hats Off To Led Zeppelin, who have appeared in West End productions including We Will Rock You, Rent and Thriller LIVE, will be playing Thursday, November 14.

For more information, visit hatsofftoledzeppelin.co.uk.

For information about the campaign, visit johnbonhamfund.weebly.com.

From: Redditch & Alcester Advertiser

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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