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John Bonham

Bass Drum Pedal
General Specs
Years in use: ??? - 1980
John Bonham used the Ludwig Speed King Model #201 with a Rogers felt beater (and, upon occasion, a wood beater) with tight spring tension for his entire drumming career.

The Ludwig Speed King Pedal was invented in 1936 by Walter Hueckstead. The Speed King was the first blockbuster product from the WFL Drum Company - William F. Ludwig had essentially sold his name to Conn in 1930 and was forced to use only his initials for his new company until he bought back the Ludwig name in 1955.

This pedal has been nicknamed the "Squeak King" because of the large amounts of squeaking it produces. The squeak of the pedal is audible in the following songs: Since I've Been Loving You, The Ocean, The Rain Song, Houses of the Holy, Ten Years Gone, Bonzos Montreux, All My Love and the live version of I Can't Quit You Baby from Coda.

"The only real problem I can remember encountering was when we were putting the first boxed set together. There was an awfully squeaky bass drum pedal on 'Since I've Been Loving You'. It sounds louder and louder every time I hear it! [laughs]. That was something that was obviously sadly overlooked at the time." - Jimmy Page, Guitar World, 1993

Photos

Bass Drum Pedal
Led Zeppelin, ca. February 14-15, 1969, Thee Image Club, Miami, Florida
Bass Drum Pedal
Led Zeppelin, June 28, 1970, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, England
Bass Drum Pedal
John Bonham & John Paul Jones, June 28, 1970, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, England
Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, ca. August 22-23, 1969, Pirates' World, Dania, Florida
General Specs
Sizes: 10" & 12"
Shells: Stainless Steel
Lugs: Chrome-plated
Years in use: ca. 1969 - September 19, 1970
John Bonham used Concert Toms from mid-Summer 1969 through the end of the 1970 US Tour. Bonham randomly alternated between the Concert Toms, Ludwig Mini Toms and Congas for use in the song White Summer/Black Mountain Side.

John Bonham replaced the use of auxiliary toms with the Ludwig tympanis in 1972.

Photos

Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, ca. August 22-23, 1969, Pirates' World, Dania, Florida
Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, February 28, 1970, KB Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, March 08, 1970, Circus Krone Bau, Munich, Germany
Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, March 27, 1970, The Forum, Inglewood, California
Concert Toms
Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones, June 22, 1970, Laugardalshöll Sports Arena, Reykjavik, Iceland
Concert Toms
John Bonham & John Paul Jones, June 28, 1970, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, England
Concert Toms
John Bonham & Jimmy Page, July 17, 1970, Grugahalle, Essen, Germany
Concert Toms
Led Zeppelin, August 19, 1970, Kansas City Municipal Auditorium Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Concert Toms
Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, September 09, 1970, Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Concert Toms
Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones, September 19, 1970, Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Cymbals
John Bonham, May 19, 1977, LSU Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
General Specs
Manufacturer: Paiste
Alloy: CuSn8 Bronze, also known as "2002 Bronze"
Years in use: ??? - July 07, 1980
John Bonham was a lifelong user of Paiste cymbals. He officially signed into an endorsement contract on July 13, 1971, however had been receiving cymbals from them since February 1970. In 1975, Bonham switched to the Paiste 2002 Series.
 
Ludwig Black Diamond Pearl Drumkit (1968-1969)
  15" Paiste Sound Edge Hi-Hat
18" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
20" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
24" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Ride
Ludwig Thermo Gloss Natural Maple Drumkit (1969-1970)
  15" Paiste Sound Edge Hi-Hat
18" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
20" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
24" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Ride
29", 36" & 38" Paiste Symphonic Gong
Ludwig Green Sparkle Drumkit (1970-1973)
  15" Paiste Sound Edge Hi-Hat
16" Paiste 2002 Series Medium Crash (1973)
18" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
20" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash (1970-1972)
20" Paiste 602 Series Medium Crash (1973)
24" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Ride
38" Paiste Symphonic Gong
Ludwig Amber Vistalite Drumkit (1973-1975)
  15" Paiste Sound Edge Hi-Hat
18" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
20" Paiste 602 Series Medium Crash
20" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Crash
24" Paiste Giant Beat Medium Ride
38" Paiste Symphonic Gong
Ludwig Stainless Steel Drumkit (1977-1980)
  15" Paiste Sound Edge 2002 Series Hi-Hat
16" Paiste 2002 Series Medium Crash
18" Paiste 2002 Series Medium Crash
18" Paiste 2002 Series Ride
20" Paiste 602 Series Medium Ride
24" Paiste 2002 Series Ride

Photos

Cymbals
Led Zeppelin, ca. February 14-15, 1969, Thee Image Club, Miami, Florida
Cymbals
John Bonham, June 28, 1969, Bath Recreation Grounds, Bath, England
Cymbals
John Bonham, March 05, 1971, Ulster Hall, Belfast, Ireland
Cymbals
John Bonham, November 11, 1971, Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Cymbals
John Bonham, January 27, 1973, Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Cymbals
John Bonham, September 29, 1971, Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Dallas, Texas
Cymbals
John Bonham, June 02, 1973, Kezar Satdium, San Francisco, California
Cymbals
John Bonham, ca. 1975
Cymbals
John Bonham, May 19, 1977, LSU Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Cymbals
John Bonham & Jimmy Page, August 04, 1979, Knebworth House Grounds, Stevenage, England
Cymbals
John Bonham, John Paul Jones & Jimmy Page, June 21, 1980, Ahoy Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Cymbals
Carmine Appice with a Paiste 20" Giant Beat that John Bonham used on the 1st US Tour 1968-1969.
Cymbals
1976 Paiste Advertisement
Cymbals
1976 Paiste Advertisement
Cymbals
Paiste Advertisement
Cymbals
John Bonham's Paiste Cymbal Agreement
Cymbals
John Bonham's Paiste Cymbal Agreement
 
Congas
Led Zeppelin, January 09, 1970, Royal Albert Hall, City of Westminster, London, England
General Specs
Size: 11"
Shells: Solid Wood
Color: Black with Red drip
Years in use: January 08, 1970 - December 21, 1971
John Bonham used Congas from the beginning of the 1970 UK Tour through the end of the Winter 1971 UK Tour. Bonham randomly alternated between the Concert Toms, Ludwig Mini Toms and Congas for use in the song White Summer/Black Mountain Side.

John Bonham replaced the use of auxiliary toms with the Ludwig tympanis in 1972.

Photos

Congas
Led Zeppelin, January 09, 1970, Royal Albert Hall, City of Westminster, London, England
Congas
Led Zeppelin, June 28, 1970, Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, England
Congas
John Bonham, July 17, 1971, Grugahalle, Essen, Germany
Congas
Led Zeppelin, August 19, 1970, Kansas City Municipal Auditorium Arena, Kansas City, Missouri
Congas
Richard Cole playing congas, March 05, 1971, Ulster Hall, Belfast, Ireland
Congas
John Bonham, March 11, 1971, Southampton University, West Refectory, Garden Court, Southampton, England
Congas
John Bonham & Robert Plant, September 29, 1971, Osaka Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan
Congas
John Bonham & Jimmy Page, November 20, 1971, Wembley Empire Pool, London, England
Drum Sticks
Promuco custom rock maple drum sticks, used in 1975
John Bonham used a variety of drum sticks throughout his drumming career. When roadie Glen Colsen set his gear up early on, he remembers them being very big sticks. "A huge box full of stick was delivered - the thickest I'd ever seen. John would break two or three drumsticks a night, and I'd have to hand him a new stick while standing at the side of the stage." Glen Colson - John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums by Chris Welch

Other sources have said that John Bonham used Ludwig 2A (in 1977 to 1980 - Jeff Ocheltree), 2B and 5B Hickory Sticks.

John Bonham also used custom sticks made by Eddie Ryan and custom 5B hickory sticks in 1975 made by Promuco, an English manufacturer. They measure 15.95" long by .59" in diameter.

Another source claims that John Bonham used 16-inch Premier sticks with an acorn tip.

John Bonham also used tympani mallets for playing the tympanis and for use during drum solos and during White Summer/Black Mountain Side, a gong mallet for use with the Paiste Symphonic Gong and brushes in the studio for use on The Rain Song.

Photos

Drum Sticks
Promuco custom rock maple drum sticks, used in 1975
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