John Bonham Drums

Drum Heads

remo drum head skin

Bonham typically played on white coated Remo or Ludwig drum heads.

According to Jeff Ocheltree, Bonzo would only change the drum heads when it was absolutely necessary as he liked the sound of the heads played in. "A couple of times I changed them without telling him.  John was so against it I would take sandpaper or whatever and get them a little dirty. I worked really hard to get the stress out of the [head] collars and get the kit to sound so great that when he sat down it almost blew his mind."

When using the transparent Vistalite drum kit, Bonham used Remo Controlled Sound drum heads (AKA 'CS' or 'black dot') which are single-ply but have a reinforced circle in the middle. He would also use the Ludwig equivalent 'silver dot' heads. These were used because like the rest of the kit, they were see-through.
Ocheltree says: "We went from black dots to Emperor-coated [double-ply heads] and that was a different sound. On the Vistalite he used the black dots because you could see through them."

More pictures of the Drum Heads



Many more details can be found in Welch & Nicholls' amazing book - 'John Bonham A Thunder Of Drums' Which you really ought to own!

If you have any other info on the equipment Bonham used, or have noticed mistakes - please contact me