Remembering John Bonham: Performing With Led Zeppelin In Munich In 1980
Bonzo's versatility is on full display in his second to last performance from Munich in 1980.
John Bonham died tragically on this date in 1980. He was just 32 years old. The legendary Led Zeppelin drummer was one of the greatest to ever sit on the throne. His greatness stemmed from his versatility. While Bonzo was perhaps best known for his speed and power, he was equally skilled at a sort of heavy finesse, like molasses. Bonham’s sticky grooves — along with the locked-in basslines of rhythm section partner John Paul Jones — held the equally impressive but sometimes wild stylings of guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant together.
Bonzo’s versatility is on full display in a video Led Zeppelin released in 2008 documenting the late great drummer’s second to last performance in Munich, Germany on July 5, 1980. The compilation cycles through a number of latter-day Zep favorites as well as classics beginning with “In The Evening,” off LZ’s 1979 album, In Through The Out Door, which features an absolutely glued-up groove from Bonzo. A brief glimpse of the old school rocker “Hot Dog” follows. The more tender side of John Bonham can be heard on “All Of My Love” while a break-neck “Trampled Under Foot” boasts Bonzo’s speed and unflappable time as does “Achilles Last Stand.”
While Bonham’s incredible kick drum work is often the subject of talk around “Kashmir,” the video showcases mind-blowing fills toward the end of the song. Page absolutely feeds off Bonzo’s energy while all Robert can do is smile. Bonham provides a rock-solid foundation for Jimmy on his legendary “Stairway To Heaven” solo before powerhouse performances of “Rock And Roll” and “Whole Lotta Love” close out the video.
To remember John Bonham, watch portions of the GOAT’s second to last performance with Led Zeppelin below: