Behind every great band is a great drummer, and maybe none more so than Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Affectionately known as “Bonzo,” his hard-hitting, earth-shattering drumming style and incredible feel for the groove have cemented him as one of classic rock’s most prolific drummers. His untimely death 37 years ago left an inescapable void in Zeppelin and the rock world at large. Zeppelin guitarist and universal guitar god Jimmy Page characterized his death as “a massive loss to everyone,” noting that any kind of reformation of the band would have fallen short of the Londoners’ vision.
He told Metal XS that “Led Zeppelin wasn’t a corporate entity. Led Zeppelin was an affair of the heart. Each of the members was important to the sum total of what we were. I like to think that if it had been me that wasn’t there, the others would have made the same decision. And what were we going to do? Create a role for somebody, say, ‘You have to do this, this way?’ That wouldn’t be honest.”
But, to be fair to Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones, they were never going to be able to rekindle the incredible sound that John Bonham brought to the band. He is perhaps one of the most irreplaceable musicians in history. In honor of one of the most ferocious individuals to ever step behind a kit and bang on the skins, here is a classic Bonham performance at the Seattle Kingdome (7/17/77), with Bonzo starring and unleashing an absolutely mammoth drum solo that seems to go on for forever. Enjoy!