Thoughts on Bonzo via Quora

by | Mar 13, 2023 | Uncategorized

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John Templar · 


Lives in Amenti3y

Did John Bonham perform sober?

John Bonham Story

Thanks for the A2A Nikolai.

Bonham prided himself on being the rock that Zeppelin could depend on for every performance, the light they could return to if they ‘got lost’ on stage while indulging or ‘being distracted’ lol.

“We enjoy playing. Every gig is important to us. In this business, it doesn’t matter how big you are, you can’t afford to become complacent. If you adopt that attitude you’re dead. That’ll never happen to us.”- John Bonham, from the book by Mick Bonham

It is true he drank considerably, but never while playing. Any ‘indulgences’ were put off until after the performance or on ‘days off’ while touring…then it was whatever heaven would allow. As mentioned he had terrible bouts of depression from being away from the family and a continual battle with guilt as a result and boredom.

“Sometimes touring gets a bit wearing, but that’s only I’m married with kids at home. I’ve never gotten pissed off with the actual touring. I enjoy playing – I could play every night. It’s just being away that gets you down sometimes. I still enjoy going through different towns that we haven’t been to before. But you get fed up with places like New York because they’re not interesting anymore.”- John Bonham, from the book by Mick Bonham

The stresses that entered into the band as time went on saw him and Page indulging in hard liquor and hard drugs which brought him closer to Page as a band buddy that was there to accompany the guitar player on those ‘trips’ through music on stage and those ‘trips’ to other realms off stage…

“I’ve got worse. I have terribly bad nerves all the time. Once we start into ‘Rock And Roll’ I’m fine. I just can’t stand sitting around, and I worry about playing badly – and if I do then I’m really pissed off. If I play well, I feel fine. Everybody in the band is the same, and each has some little thing they do before we go on, like pacing about or lighting a cigarette. It’s worse at festivals. You might have to sit around for a whole day and you daren’t drink because you’ll get tired and blow the gig. So you sit drinking tea in a caravan with everybody saying, “Far out, man.“”- John Bonham from the book by his brother Mick Bonham

Carmine Appice reiterated similar regarding John and his commitment to his craft of being the dependable rock of the band and playing sober…until it was time to ‘wind down’ after the gig.

Nikolai Tarasov