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John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums Paperback – 4 Oct 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (4 Oct. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879306580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879306588
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 351,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Chris Welch is the author of numerous biographies and profiles of rock musicians, including the forthcoming Ginger Geezer: Vivian Stanshall and the Story of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Welch served as chief reporter for Melody Maker, the UK's leading pop newspaper of the 1960s. Geoff Nicholls is a professional musician and writer. He wrote the award-winning BBC radio series "Byte The Music," and was the drummer/presenter on BBC TV's "Rockschool" series. Contributor to publications ranging from Melody Maker to The Independent, Nicholls coauthored Making Music's drum gear guide What Drum and wrote the acclaimed Rock Drum Method for drum manufacturer Boosey & Hawkes. Chris Welch is the author of numerous biographies and profiles of rock musicians, including the forthcoming Ginger Geezer: Vivian Stanshall and the Story of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Welch served as chief reporter for Melody Maker, the UK's leading pop newspaper of the 1960s. Geoff Nicholls is a professional musician and writer. He wrote the award-winning BBC radio series "Byte The Music," and was the drummer/presenter on BBC TV's "Rockschool" series. Contributor to publications ranging from Melody Maker to The Independent, Nicholls coauthored Making Music's drum gear guide What Drum and wrote the acclaimed Rock Drum Method for drum manufacturer Boosey & Hawkes.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
John Henry Bonham was born on May 31st 1948 in Redditch, Worcestershire, in the Midlands of England. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 23 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm not a drummer or any other kind of musician, but Led Zeppelin's music has been a love of my life for as long as I can remember and John Bonham's drumming was always the biggest attraction of all. I had to have this book.
Plus points: There are some great Bonham anecdotes which I hadn't come across in other Led Zep biographies. It's a very positive book, taking pains to show Bonzo in a good light and to explain some of his more 'excitable' behaviour of infamy (this is in pleasant contrast to other Zep biogs). It includes a few really nice pics of the man in action which would make excellent poster material for us more devoted fans (I think we've seen quite enough of Page and Plant leaning together at the front of the stage thanks...!) For the musician, there's plenty of technical analysis and comparison, though someone else will have to tell us how useful that is.
Minus Points: It's a frustratingly short book. After an interesting, and fairly long, account of his early life and bands before Led Zep, the story just flies past and even his tragic death is skipped over in a couple of paragraphs. I really wanted to hear more about the recordings, more comments about his legacy from other drummers, and even a little update about his family (without intruding, it would be good to have had a couple of lines to let us know how they're doing).
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
Is this a very good book. As said above it focuses more on pre-Zeppelin times, but that is good - it's the early years that define your style of play. A student of rock drumming would benifit from reading this book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MR M. M. DEWAR on 6 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not as much as I wanted to know, but everything in it is diamond.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By GillieC on 9 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book about the greatest drummer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A Good Place to Start 29 May 2003
By D. Hawkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's nice to finally see a book that focuses on Zeppelin's secret weapon, Bonzo. Not only was he one of the greatest ever, his drum SOUND was without parallel. Reading about how he tuned his drums and other information about he got that sound was invaluable. Like another reviewer stated, too much time was spent on his pre-Zep days, and not enough as part of Hammer of the Gods era. The last chapter, with individual tracks explained was great, but it also have been nice to see some transcriptions of some of his amazing fills, etc. If you buy this book, you also owe it to yourself to buy the new Zeppelin DVD, which allows to see Bonzo in action in a serious way for the first time (it's light years better than "The Song Remains the Same."). If you do want to know where John's greatness came from, this book is a good place to start.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Little More About Zep For Misss-Ter Bohnam, Please!! 4 Jan. 2002
By Christopher W. Hager - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
At long last an exclusive read about this genius, but it still doesn't do the trick. While I am very interested in Bonzo's pre-Zep days, and how it came to be that he joined Page, Plant, and Jones (although it's mostly well-known by now), I was hoping for an in-depth look and analysis of him as Zep's drummer, the guy I admire so much. Unfortunately, that's not in this book. What I did find was meticulous detail about his adolescent meandering through the local music scene where he lived, leaving one band to join another, and (surprisingly) dressing in somewhat of flashy manner. I wasn't expecting that. I also wasn't expecting this book to devote so much to his pre-Zep work, which is largely uncirculated, while leaving untouched much of his beloved Zep work. Granted, the analysis of select songs he played is on the money, but there's gotta be a whole lotta info about John Henry as Zep's drummer that's yet to be published. Maybe it'll be in the yet-to-be published book by his late brother? Or maybe a biography with contributions from Page, Plant, and Jones (just wishing)? Who knows. Either way, this book is long overdue for those who admire so much of what he meant to Zep's unprecedented sound, and it offers a lot of poignant insights into John that make the book well worth owning. There are also a slew of beautiful pictures that I've never seen before. Five stars is reserved for the book about Bonzo as Zep's drummer.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Bonzo fans must have! 5 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is very insightful for Bonham's pre-Zeppelin years, then it kind of glazes over the Zep days. There are a few stories from Plant and Jones, but none from Page, which surprised me. There are a couple blatant and obvious errors by the author(s) which stunned me... "Kashmir on Led Zeppelin 4..." "Bonham was 31 yrs old when he died..." (he was 32). It's listed as a paperback, it is, but its appx. 10" x 12" which make the many new photos look great. I'm ready to order another one just to cut some of the new photos out.
I am a drummer and Bonham was my hero. This is a must have book for any Bonzo fan. It breaks down every Zep drum track at the end, which was pretty cool. There is a lot of "Kings English" for Yankees to decipher also. All in all, a great look at the world's greatest drummer. Worth every cent of the price.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Book for any Drummer 20 Feb. 2003
By cjf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Obviously the best rock drummer of all time, the book includes ample information about Bonham's personal life, as well as his professional side and even his tricks of the trade.
The book is a clinic for rock drummers. Bonzo and others who worked with him, discuss how he tuned his drums, what drums he used and why, what to do and not to do about drumskins, and more.
The book also contains some remarkable color photos of the band on stage. With their dazzling light show, the photos suggest what it might have been like.
But what I can't understand is this. The book says that Bonham "drank vodka out of a bottle like water". Someone that far gone obviously needs help. With all of the people around him, did anyone try to organize a posse to get him some help?
Bonzo's alcoholizm even got to the point of interfering with rehearsals and shows, and soon after, ending his life. Did they all think they were invincible? Robert Plant's experiences in near previous years should have taught not. What a waste of an incredibly gifted musician, and a human being.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A great book of his life 29 Oct. 2004
By Jacob R. Mcdowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is very good. Eventhough it doesnt talk about all the members in led zeppelin it tells about the life of the great john bonham. I started to play drums because of him. The first time i heard kashmir and when the levee breaks i fell in love with the drums riffs. if you get this book you are getting your money worths
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