5 Things You Might Not Know About John Bonham
As the drummer for Led Zeppelin, itâs hard to imagine that thereâs much of anything about John Bonham â who died on this date in 1980 â thatâs left to tell that hasnât already been told, but that doesnât mean that we canât at least try to dig up a few things that might cause your eyebrows to rise in surprise. Check out these five facts about Bonham and see if youâre not at least slightly startled by a few of them.
- He was a big fan of Wallâs Sausages.
In 2016, the food-centric site Extra Crispy posted a piece with the headline âWhat John Bonham Ate for Breakfast,â but it wasnât exactly breaking news: the article was quoting from Angela Bowieâs 1993 book Backstage Passes. That said, it was still a pretty funny story about how Bonham was so devoted to eating Wallsâ pork sausages for breakfast while on the road that he took his own stock of sausages with him, leaving it to Led Zeppelinâs roadie to fix them. You can click right here to find out exactly how Angela and David Bowie play into this anecdote, but suffice it to say that the Bowies were lifesavers.
- He played on a version of Wingsâ âBeware My Loveâ that remained unreleased until 2014.
Often described as the only proper rock song on Wingsâ 1976 album WINGS AT THE SPEED OF SOUND, âBeware My Loveâ was even more rockinâ at one point. Bonham participated in a first-take demo of the song, one which only received official release when McCartney culled together some rarities for the bonus disc of the albumâs expanded reissue in 2014.
- He and Keith Moon both provided percussion for Led Zeppelin during the bandâs Los Angeles show on July 23, 1977.
Donât get too excited: as UltimateClassicRock.com wrote of the moment, âAs with much of what Moon did during his too-brief career, the whole thing seemed very informal, and [Moon] didnât have his own kit; instead, he added bongos and tambourine before briefly sitting at Bonhamâs drums.â Still, just the thought of those two guys sharing a stage, even for a few moments, is kind of mind-blowing.
- He once played drums during a gig by The Damned.
Unfortunately, thereâs no footage of this, but in a 2017 Rolling Stone interview with The Damned, frontman Dave Vanian recalled an occasion when Led Zeppelin turned up at one of the bandâs shows. âJohn Bonham wanted to come up onstage and play drums,â recalled Vanian. âAll the punks were throwing things at him, and he was very, very pissed. Unfortunately, he didn't manage to play very well and made a bit of a mess of things. But I was quite amazed at people's reactions.â
- Speaking of Sir Paul, Bonhamâs performance with McCartneyâs âRockestraâ for the Concert for Kampuchea was seemingly his last live performance in the UK.
When Led Zeppelin performed their set at the Knebworth Festival on August 11, 1979, no one imagined it would prove to be the last-ever live performance by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham in the UK. As such, when Bonham turned up to participate as a member of Paul McCartneyâs all-star âRockestraâ at the charity concert for the people of Kampuchea, it turned out to be his last live performance in the UK prior to his death in 1980.