return to southbank publishing's homepage southbank publishing

© southbank publishing

John Bonham

by Mick Bonham

Review Coverage

Drumhead - March 2007

Review Text:

A personal account of John Bonham's life, written by one of the few people who knew him best - his brother, Michael 'Mick' Bonham.

From Bonham's childhood, the book takes us on the often frustrating journey of his rise through the Brum Band scene of Birmingham, to becoming the internationally acclaimed drummer of one of the most successful rock bands of all time.

Whether racing down the highway in his AC Cobra or driving through hedges on his chopper, working the land on one of his farms or planning a surprise party for a family member, we see a more complete picture of John Henry than previously published. A dedicated family man and true friend to many, 'the beast,' as Benji Le Fevre so appropriately coined him, was also a warm and very down-to-earth individual who preferred a quiet night at home to running around playing rock star.

This book reads easily and is pure enjoyment if you're interested in Bonham, the person, and not just Bonham, the 'God of Thunder'.

Featuring previously unpublished photos and interviews from those who were closest to him, along with plenty of gut-busting stories and anecdotes, this is a tribute not only to Bonzo but also to Mick, who died after completing this book, and before its release.

All pre-Zeppelin bands and gigs are listed chronologically and there's a great timetable of what he did in between his tours and recordings with Zep. This is not just a book for drummers, John Bonham is a must read for all fans of Led Zeppelin and rock music in general.

Click on review for larger image

Metal Hammer Magazine - Josh Harper - 2006

Review Text:

On 25th September 1980 John Bonham, considered one of the greatest drummers of all time, died in tragic circumstances. This book is about as close to the legendary tub-thumper as most mere mortals will get. Written by his brother, who also tragically died not long after the completion of this legacy, it features everything from unseen photos from the Bonham family album to exclusive interviews with the rest of Zeppelin.

Josh Harper

Click on review for larger image

Rhythm Magazine - February 2006

Review Text:

September 2005 marked the 25th anniversary of the tragic death of one of the most influential rock drummers that has ever lived. Mr John Bonham. 'Bonzo' was the thunderous heartbeat behind Led Zeppelin that kept them at the top of their game across nine multi-million selling albums and numerous record-breaking world tours. We've all heard his immense solos, lightspeed triplets and the rock solid grooves that made classic songs like 'Good Times, Bad Times', 'Black Dog' and of course, 'Moby Dick' as powerful today as they were decades ago.

Shortly after his death on 25th September 1980, the remaining members of the band issued a statement announcing that Bonham was irreplaceable and therefore they could not continue as Led Zeppelin, perhaps the most fitting tribute possible. Despite such a tragic and abrupt ending to sucha profound success story, Bonham left behind a legacy that burns as brightly today as it ever did. We challenge you to find an issue of Rhythm that doesn't contain at least one drummer who cites him as a major influence. Chad Smith, Mark Richardson and Dave Grohl all hail from the school of John Bonham.

To acknowledge the 25th anniversary of John's death his brother, Mick, set about writing a deeply personal account of the big man from his very intimate perspective to try to dispel the many myths which exist about John as a person. The result is John Bonham: The Powerhouse Behind Led Zeppelin, the newest and most compelling entry to the library of Bonham literature.

The book documents John's childhood desire to play the drums, improvising, as we all did, with pots and pans until his first kit arrived at the age of 15, to becoming an internationally renowned and highly revered rock drummer with one of the biggest bands the UK has ever produced, right up to when the Bonham family and the music world suffered their greatest loss. Not only do you get a candid and very personal document from Mick, but exclusive new interviews with band members and others that knew him, plus previously unreleased photographs from the Bonham collection. It is a fitting tribute to John, and also to Mick, who sadly passed away shortly after completing the book.

The book is released on 1st February, priced at 12.99, and is the perfect addition to your Bonham collection. A must for fans, as well as a great introduction for those new to the world of the late, great John Bonham.

Click on review for larger image

Rock Sound Magazine - James Dominic - 2006

Review Text:

Twenty-five years ago one of the greatest rock drummers of all time died tragically after choking on his own vomit. His name was John Bonham and he was the backbone of one of the UK's most inspirational rock bands - Led Zeppelin. This book isn't your typical biographical affair penned by a has-been hack. Instead, it was written by the drummer's younger brother Mick (who's since died himself). Consequently, it's written with a family sentiment that makes it a passionate read and allows a far more personal look at the drummer than is usually possible. Also featuring interviews with musicians that played with 'Bonzo' (as he was known) prior to him joining Led Zep - this is more a celebration of a much-loved brother than a critical discussion of the ways of a rock 'n' roll legend.

James Dominic

Click on review for larger image

Drummer Magazine - 2006

Review Text:

There is a great new book about the life and times of John Bonham, John Bonham - The Powerhouse Behind Led Zeppelin, written by his brother Mick Bonham.

Written to acknowledge the 25th anniversyar of his death, John Bonham is a personal account of Bonham's life, written by someone who knew him better than anyone, his brother Mick.

The book follows Bonham's life from his early childhood, right up to his sad demise and includes interviews and previously unpublished photos from teh Bonham collection. A complete Zeppelin chronology and history of the drummer's earlier musical career is all combined into this fascinating book, which was completed just prior to Mick Bonham's death.

Click on review for larger image