John Henry Bonham 2

Was born on May 31st 1948 in Redditch, Worcestershire which is in the Midlands of England. When he was delivered after 26 hour's of labour, his heartbeat stopped. Although a duty doctor had left the hospital, a nurse was able to call another doctor. Who managed to revive him. The nurse later said it was a "miracle" that the baby had survived. John gew up in Redditch and was a happy go lucky guy.

He attended the local youth club and took an interest in learning to play the drum kit. John immersed himself into everything to do with drums and drumming. At school he was only ever interested in getting home and getting to the local youth club to play the rhythms beats and rudiments that he was so eager to learn. On a school report his teacher said John was a pleasure to teach, he will either become a Dustman or a Millionaire. When John left school he went into the family building business John's father and grandfather were also called John Henry Bonham so John's dad would be called Jack. Jack was a qualified Carpenter and Joiner and his skills would rub off on his son John. Whenever John was free from his day job he would be on his drum kit which his parents invested in. John would be listening to Rythm and Blues, Soul, Tamla Motown and Jazz. He sort of developped his own style of drumming which consisted of listening to the likes of Bernard Purdie, Al Jackson, Earl Palmer, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Joe Morello.

John would hang out with other drummers like Cozy Powell when they used to go and watch the local bands. One of the bands featured probably the best drummer in the area, his name was Bev Beavan, who would later join The Electric Light Orchestra. Bev said I remember meeting John Bonham as he would come up to me and constantly ask me questions relating to my drum technique. Bev also said John was very keen and was building a name up for himself as a drummer to watch. Within a couple of years John had overtaken me as a drummer and he was probably the loudest and best drummer in th area. He played for many bands and joined up with the Band of Joy with a young singer by the name of Robert Plant. They would go on to be one of the best bands to watch then Tim Rose poached John as his drummer. John say's I was earning £30 a week drumming with Tim rose and was living my dream.

When Jimmy Page and his manager Peter Grant were putting a band together they picked John Paul Jones as bass player as Jimmy had done so many sessions with John Paul and knew he was a superb player. They picked Robert Plant after Jimmy had heard him sing. All they needed was a drummer, but this proved to be harder getting one as Jimmy's favourite drummers where playing for other name bands. Robert Plant suggested that in the Midlands there was this awesome drummer by the name of John Henry Bonham who would wipe the floor with any drummer as he was the best. Jimmy got Peter Grant his manager to send out some telegrams to John Bonham. John said I ignored them as I was getting £30 a week and didn't want to start all over again playing with a unknown band.

As luck would have it Tim Rose and his band were playing at the Marquee Club in London. Robert Plant told Jimmy Page and they all went to watch. John Bonham did a drum solo that lasted 10 minutes and Jimmy Page said to his manager Peter Grant go and get him. He is the drummer I have been looking for and waiting for for my new band. John was offered money to leave Tim Rose and promised lot's of money as this new band were going to tour Europe first then go straight to America. John Joined and as they say in the music business. The rest is history,