John Bonhams Musical Timeline
- Jimmy Page joins The Yardbirds, initially as bass player.
- John Bonham joins Way of Life, his first band.
- John Bonham (aged 17) marries Pat Phillips.
- Robert Plant joins Listen, formerly known as The Tennessee Teens.
- John Bonham plays with Robert Plant in The Crawling King Snakes.
- Bonham takes over from John Trickett in The Band Of Joy, with Robert Plant and Kevyn Gammond.
- The Band Of Joy record demo disks at Regent Sound Studios in London.
- 8th February. The first London appearance of Band Of Joy featuring Bonham and Plant at the Marquee Club in London, supporting Edwin Starr.
- Band Of Joy split up in the spring of 1968.
- In 1968 Robert Plant records a track called 'Operator' with Alexis Korner and Steve Miller (on the piano).
- John Bonham tours in the UK with Tim Rose.
- August. First rehearsals of Led Zeppelin
- October. 'Led Zeppelin 1' recorded at Olympic Studios in 30 hour.
- 15 October. The debut UK concert of Led Zeppelin at Surrey University.
- October-December. Led Zeppelin on tour.
- November. Led Zeppelin play at a Middle Earth presentation concert at the Roundhouse in London, with John Lee Hooker and The Deviants billed as "The Yardbirds now know as Led Zeppelin".
- 10 December. Led Zeppelin play at London's Marquee Club for a fee of £150.
- 20 December. Led Zeppelin perform at the Wood Green Fishmongers Hall, London.
- 26 December. Debut concert in USA supporting the MC5 and Vanilla Fudge at The Boston Tea Party.
- In 1969 John Bonham buys a house in West Hagley, and Robert Plant buys Jennings Farm at Blakeshall, Woverley near Kidderminster.
- January. Concerts in USA including three nights at the Fillmore West with Country Joe and the Fish.
- 17 January. 'Led Zeppelin I' released in USA. The album enters the charts at number 98.
- January-August. Recording for the second LP at several studios.
- 31 January and 1 February. Led Zeppelin appear at the Fillmore East with Iron Butterfly headlining.
- March. Club tour of the UK billed as The New Yardbirds at some venues.
Also played at the Wood Tavern in Hornsey, with admission priced at seven shillings and sixpence.
- 21 March. Only UK television appearance on BBC programme How Late It Is
- March. A film and sound recording was made at a warehouse in Staines, Middlesex, featuring Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Stephen Stills, Roland Kirk, Buddy Guy, Colosseum, MJQ and Buddy Miles. This is now available on DVD but does not include footage of Led Zeppelin who were at the event.
- 1 April. 'Led Zeppelin 1' released in the UK.
- April. Return to the USA for a tour including two nights at the Fillmore East in New York, supported by Woody Herman and his Orchestra.
- June. Start of the first UK tour.
- 28 June. An afternoon performance at the Bath Festival of Blues held at the Bath Recreation Ground, sharing the bill with John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, The Nice and John Hiseman's Colosseum, Taste and Chicken Shack.
- July. Begin work on 'Led Zeppelin 2' at studios in Willesden, London.
Tour of the USA through until August.
- 22 October. 'Led Zeppelin 2' release.
- November. Start of a tour of the USA with support including Isaac Hayes and Roland Kirk.
- December. Awarded platinum and gold discs for sales of 'Led Zeppelin 1' and 'Led Zeppelin 2'.
Release of 'Whole Lotta Love' as a UK single cancelled by Peter Grant.
- John Bonham: "There was a bit of a mix-up. We never wanted to put it out in England. It was only for America AM radio stations to promote the LP and that was a full-length version. In England they pressed up an edited version, and we want to release a single that we feel won't be a con."
- In 1969 all of the members of Led Zeppelin played on the PJ Proby LP 'Three Week Hero' on 'You Shook Me' and John Paul Jones produced some of the tracks.
- January-August. Recording for the third LP at Olympic Sound in London and a studio in Memphis.
- January. 'Led Zeppelin 2' knocks The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' LP off the number one chart slot in America, and reaches number one in England.
- A UK tour starts at Birmingham Town Hall, with a concert at The Royal Albert Hall later in the month.
- 21 February. Led Zeppelin appear as 'Nobs' in Copenhagen, following a complaint from Count Evan von Zeppelin about the use of the family name.
- March. Start of the sixth tour of America.
- April. A rare TV appearance: Jimmy Page plays 'White Summer' and 'Black Mountain Side' on the Julie Felix Show on BBC 2.
- April and May. Page and Plant go to a cottage in Snowdonia, Wales called Bron-Y-Aur, to begin writing what would become 'Led Zeppelin 3'.
- John Bonham: "We're slackening off the pressure so we can work more in England."
- June. Concerts in Iceland.
- 28 June. Perform to 200,000 people at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. Led Zeppelin went on stage at sunset.
- This was held at the Bath and West Showground, Shepton Maller over two days, and included Fairport Convention, Colosseum, Johnny Winter, Pink Floyd, Santana, Dr John, Mothers of Invention, Jefferson Airplane and Steppenwolf.
- In 1969 Jimmy Page and John Bonham played on six tracks for the LP 'Lord Sutch and Heavy Friends': Wailing Sounds, Cause I Love You, Flashing Lights, Thumping Beat, Union Jack Car and Baby Come Back. The album also featured Jeff Beck and Noel Redding and was released in 1970.
- July. Tour of Germany.
- August. Some concerts in America, and mixing of 'Led Zeppelin 3'.
- 5 October. Release of 'Led Zeppelin 3'.
- December. First recording sessions for 'Led Zeppelin 4'. Work continued until August 1971 at Island Studios in London, Headley Grange and Los Angeles.
- January. Recording continues at Headley Grange in Hampshire.
- March. UK tour begins and songs which will appear on 'Led Zeppelin 4' are premiered.
- April. Live broadcast on John Peel's Radio One Sunday show.
- May. Tour of France. There was a riot at a show in Milan when fans fought with riot police.
- October. Tour of Japan, including a charity concert for victims of the atombomb attack of 1945.
- November. UK tour including two nights at the Empire Pool Wembley on 20th and 21st with Bronco (featuring Kevyn Gammond), Strone the Crows and some circus acts.
- 8 November. Led Zeppelin 4 / Four Symbols released.
- In 1971 there were also concerts at The Ulster Hall Belfast and The Boxing Stadium in Dublin. In Dublin, Phil Carson, the head of Atlantic Records in London, sat in with the band on bass guitar.
- John Bonham: "We had a lot of time at home to think, and we grew a lot closer together. We kept seeing stories about us breaking up, but in reality we had never been closer together. We did so much in such a short space of time we got drained. We needed a break before we got stale."
- In 1972 John Bonham bought The Old Hyde Farm at Cutnall Green in Worcestershire. It was to be his home for the rest of his life.
- January-July. Recording of Houses of the Holy at Electric Lady Studios in New York and Olympic in London.
- February. Led Zeppelin refused entry to Singapore because of the length of their hair.
- Tour of Australia. On the return journey, Page and Plant record with The Bombay Symphony Orchestra.
- May/June. Tour of America playing to an audience of 16,000 people at The Nassau Colliseum, Long Island.
- September/October. Tour of Japan, Denmark, Holland and Switzerland.
- November. Twenty-four city tour of the UK, including five in Scotland, plus a concert in Montreaux, Switzerland.
- January. UK tour.
- March/April Tour of Europe and Scandinavia.
- 28 March 28th Houses of the Holy released, entering the UK charts at number one.
- May. Tour of the USA.
At 56,800 people, the concert at Tampa Florida breaks the record for largest audience attendance, held by The Beatles for their Shea Stadium concert.
- July. Return to America for concerts, and to film shows at Madison Square Gardens.
- November. Jimmy Page records the soundtrack to the Kenneth Anger film Lucifer Rising.
- Work starts on Physical Graffiti and continues until December 1974. (Recorded at Headley Grange, Olympic, Island and Electric Lady)
- January. Recording at Headley Grange.
- February. Concerts in America including Madison Square Gardens.
- 14 February. Jimmy Page joins Roy Harper on stage at The Rainbow in London around the time of the release of Harper's album 'Valentine'. Also in the band that night were Keith Moon, Ronnie Lane and Max Middleton.
Robert Plant and John Bonham (on guitar and looning) joined in at the end of the concert.
- May. Swan Song Records - Led Zeppelin's own record label launched in New York.
(There were plans to release albums by Roy Harper, Bad Company, and Maggie Bell as well as Zeppelin themselves.)
The UK launch came in November with a much publicised party at Chislchurst Caves, attended by many of the label musicians. 'Silk Torpedo' by The Pretty Things released that month.
- August. John Paul Jones plays with Roy Harper at a free concert in Hyde Park London.
- In 1974 John Bonham appears in a film called Son of Dracula produced by his friend, Ringo Starr for Apple. It was directed by Freddie Francis with Bonham playing the part of a musician, alongside Keith Moon and Peter Frampton. The film starred Haryy Nilsson.
Bonham plays drums on a song called 'At My Front Door'.
- 14 September. John Bonham and Jimmy Page jam with Neil Young at Quaglilino's Restaurant in London after a show at Wembley Stadium featuring Joni Mitchell, C.S.N. & Y and The Band.
- January. Concerts in Belgium and Holland.
- February. Tour of USA. There were riots at the concert at Greensboro, North Carolina.
- 25 February. 'Physical Graffiti', the first double album and the sixth from the band, is release. (It took 18 months to make.)
- March. Concerts in America.
- May. Led Zeppelin play three nights at Earls Court in London. (The most expensive tickets were £2.50)
- August. Robert Plant and his wifre Maureen are injured in a car crash on the island of Rhodes. The band members become tax exiles in Jersy.
- November. Recording for the next album (Presence) commences in Munich with Robert Plant in a wheel-chair.
- In 1975 Jimmy Page and John Bonham contribute to the Maggie Bell album 'Suicide Sal'
- 31 March. 'Presence' released, and goes to number one in the second week.
- May. Plant and Page join Bad Company on stage in America.
- September. John Bonham records an entirely percussive track in Switzerland with additional synthesised effects produced by Jimmy Page.
- October. The film premiere of The Song Remains The Same in New York, and release of the soundtrack album.
- 4 November. UK film premiere, and the soundtrack goes to number one in the album charts.
- In 1976 in the NME Readers' Poll, Robert Plant was voted best male singer, Led Zeppelin best group and Bonham was voted number two drummer behind Keith Moon. Jimmy Page was voted best guitarist and producer, and 'Physical Graffiti' best album (ahead of 'Queens' Night at the Opera').
- January. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant go to see The Damned at The Roxy in London's Covent Garden, and return the following week with John Bonham.
- April. Concerts in America.
- July. Tour of USA
- 23 July. John Bonham, Richard Cole and John Bindon are charged with assault against an employee of Bill Graham in California. They are released on bail and then given suspended sentences in February 1978.
- The remaining dates of the tour are cancelled when Robert Plant's son Karac dies from a virus infection.
- In the readers' poll of a popular UK weekly music magazine 'The Song Remains the Same' wins best album award and Jimmy page is voted best guitarist.
- May. Rehearsals at Clearwell Castle in The Forest of Dean follow a period of more than six months inactivity for the band.
- July. Robert plant plays a small gig at the Wolverly Memorial Hall near his home. The band name was Melvin Giganticus and the Turd Burglers and the set largely comprised of rock and roll standards.
- August. Robert Plant jams with Dr Feelgood at a club in Ibiza.
- December. 'In Through the Out Door' recorded at Polar Music Studios in Stockholm.
- John Bonham plays drums on the Roy Wood LP 'On the Road Again' on the track called 'Keep Your Hands on the Wheel'.
- 4 August. Led Zeppelin play at Knebworth.
- 15 August. 'In Through The Out Door' released.
- John Bonham's last live UK appearance was possibly with Paul McCartney, at the concert for Kampuchea at Hammersmith Odeon London, in December 1979. Bonzo joined John Paul Jones and Pete Townsend as a member of the Rockestra.
- He also played on two tracks of the last ever Wings album 'Back to the Egg' with John Paul Jones.
- 1979 cont'd
In the 1979 Melody Maker readers poll, Led Zeppelin are voted Band of the Year, Best Live Act, and 'In through the out door' is voted best album. Plant is voted as best singer, Page as best guitarist, producer and arranger. Bonham is second best drummer, and Jones second best bass player and keyboard player.
- In NME</em> of the same year, Zeppelin are voted best group, Plant as best male singer and Bonham as best drummer.
- 25 September, Death of John Bonham, aged 32, at Jimmy Page's house in Windsor.
- 4 December. Led Zeppelin disbanded.
- 19 November. Coda released.