John Bonham Tomb

Led Zeppelin Drummer Found Dead

John Bonham Obituary Guardian 1980John Bonham, the drummer with Led Zeppelin rock group, was found dead yesterday in bed at the house of the group's lead guitarist, Jimmy Page, in Windsor, Berkshire. Police said there was no suspicious circumstances. A post-mortem examination will be held today. The drummer was found in the early afternoon by another member of the group. Jimmy Page, who bought the house, The Old Mill House in Mill Lane, beside the Thames, from the film star Michael Caine, earlier this year for £900,000.

Mr Bonham, aged 32, had been drummer with Led Zeppelin since the group's inception in 1968, and had helped to steer them to the absolute pinnacle of commercial success.

They are probably the biggest selling rock act in the world with an income said to be in excess of £15 million a year. They are recognised as the architects of the hard rock style, and have built their reputation by concentrating exclusively on live performances and albums.

During the early seventies the group established a reputation for high living, wreaking damage in hotels across America whilst on tour. In the autobiographical film of the book, The Song Remains the Same, made in 1976, each member acted our a favourite fantasy. John Bonham took the role of a gangster and Easy Rider motorcyclist.

In August of last year the group returned to the British stage after four years when the played to more than 250,000 people over two week-ends at the Knebworth Festival. Shortly afterwards their first album for three years - In Through The Out Door - entered the British album charts at number one, confirming their enduring popularity at a time when rock music had undergone a traumatic upheaval and the relevance of musicians of their generation had been questioned. The group spent last June touring in Europe, and were due to begin an American tour next month.

By Mick Brown


Click on the image on the right to view original PDF.

Brown, Mick. The Guardian (1959-2003) [London (UK)] 26 Sep 1980: 24.



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