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on 23 January 2002
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).
It would be too much to expect the author to have access to Jimmy Page, Robert Plant or Pat Bonham, and he does his best with previous band mates and friends who were willing to contribute, but there seemed to be quite a glaring lack of proper inside information about what made Led Zep tick, how they went about creating their music and how much Bonzo contributed to that creativity (he is, at one point, credited with the initial musical ideas for Kashmir, apparently singing the riff to Jimmy Page - and I wanted to hear more about that).
So, I have to give it an average 3 crowns. I would definately recommend the book to any Bonham fan, if only for the early stories and anecdotes (won't give any more away here). As long as you're prepared for those minus points above it's well worth having.
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on 11 January 2004
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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on 6 January 2004
not as much as I wanted to know, but everything in it is diamond.
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on 9 August 2014
Excellent book about the greatest drummer
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