23 Rock + Metal Drummers Influenced by John Bonham
There are few drummers in music history that have had as large of an impact as John Bonham. The Led Zeppelin icon took a thunderous approach to the drums, and his kit, just like the band, grew in size by the year as they toured the world.
In fact, his style was so unique and his presence was so profound that his untimely death in 1980 marked the end of the mighty Led Zeppelin. His surviving bandmates simply felt Bonham was irreplaceable, and in order to respect the legacy they had created together, they needed to leave it as it was.
"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 undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were," Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones wrote in a statement.
"Bonzo," as he came to be known, was born May 31, 1948 in the English county Worcestershire. He joined Led Zeppelin — who were originally billed as the Yardbirds, which was Page's previous band — in 1968. Their first show under the name Led Zeppelin was on Oct. 25, 1968.
Bonham's hard-hitting technique made him grow quickly in the rock 'n' roll drummer ranks. "I've always liked drums to be bright and powerful. I've never used cymbals much. I use them to crash into a solo and out of it, but basically I prefer the actual drum sound," he is quoted as saying in a 1973 interview in Mick Bonham's John Bonham: The Powerhouse Behind Led Zeppelin.
Though the drummer's career was rather short-lived, he became a sole source of inspiration for rock and metal drummers in the decades to follow, such as Dave Grohl, Lars Ulrich, Mike Portnoy and more.
To celebrate the life of the incredible musician, we've compiled a gallery of drummers who have spoken about his influence on them. Scroll through the images below to see what's been said about Bonzo.