Did John Bonham Need 2 Bass Drums to Pull Off ‘Good Times Bad Times’?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Did John Bonham Need 2 Bass Drums to Pull Off ‘Good Times Bad Times’?

When you examine Led Zeppelin, you may get caught up within the band’s antics on tour. Considering Zep had tales of a mud shark (pink snapper?), ugly brawls, trashed resort rooms, and extra groupies than sq. meals, there are many fascinating tales to listen to.

However, as Jimmy Page has famous, nobody could be fascinated about these tales if the music wasn’t so good. For Zep, the band’s spectacular recording historical past started with the Atlantic launch of their self-titled debut in January 1969.

In March ’69, the album’s opening observe, “Good Times Bad Times,” went out because the group’s debut single. And it did a superb job representing the band. Starting with a John Paul Jones-penned riff and that includes a show-stopping drum half by John Bonham, Zep got here straight after listeners.

Bonham’s kick-drum work particularly caught the eye {of professional} drummers. In most instances, folks thought Bonham has used two drums to play his good half on “Good Times Bad Times.” But Page mentioned that wasn’t the case.

Jimmy Page insisted John Bonham did it with 1 kick drum

John Paul Jones John Bonham Robert Plant – Led Zeppelin, March 15, 1969 – Gladsaxe Teen Club, Copenhagen Denmark | Jorgen Angel/Redferns

In his wide-ranging Guitar World interview from 1993, Page revealed an amazing quantity of element about Zeppelin songwriting and recording periods. And he began with the group’s first album. Before lengthy, he talked about Bonham’s drum half.

“The most stunning thing about the track, of course, is Bonzo’s amazing kick drum,” Page mentioned. “It’s superhuman when you realize he was not playing with double kick. That’s one kick drum! That’s when people started understanding what he was all about.”

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Indeed, Bonham began listening to about it from different drummers on the Zep’s first tour. Carmine Appice, who performed in Vanilla Fudge (for whom Zep opened in ’69), recalled complimenting Bonham on his bass-drum work on the observe.

“John, that is amazing,” Appice advised Bonham in a Classic Rock Revisited interview. “I have to admit that I took that from you.” But Bonham corrected Appice, saying he (Bonham) had taken it from Appice, who performed a component considerably prefer it on an earlier Vanilla Fudge album.

“He was right,” Appice later realized. “I only did it for a moment on that album and he took it and made something bigger and better out of it.”

Bonham by no means stopped wowing nice drummers

Led Zeppelin, 1969: John Bonham on the Bath Festival | Walter/WireImage

When you examine Bonham, it’s clear he took an excessive amount of delight in his drumming. In 1975, after dropping to Karen Carpenter in a “Best Drummer” ballot in Playboy journal, he made some extent of ranting about it to the journalists on tour with Zep.

“How do you assume I really feel, not being taken critically, coming in after Karen Carpenter within the Playboy ballot?” he requested Lisa Robinson. “Karen Carpenter … what a load of sh*t. She couldn’t final 10 minutes with a Zeppelin quantity.” These days, there aren’t many individuals who’d vote for Carpenter over Bonzo.

In reality, when Rolling Stone bought drummers and critics collectively to vote on one of the best drummers of all time, Bonham topped that listing. Dave Grohl defined Bonzo’s affect on him.

“John Bonham played the drums like someone who didn’t know what was going to happen next,” Grohl mentioned. “I spent years listening to his drums and trying to emulate his swing or his behind-the-beat swagger or his speed or power. I think he will forever be the greatest drummer of all time.”

Also see: The Funky Led Zeppelin Song That Was Zep’s Salute to James Brown

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