Did you know that in 1978/79 John Bonham & Roy Wood (former ELO alum) recorded a song together? You do now! It is called Keep Your Hands On The Wheel. It’s a track on Roy Wood’s album, On The Road Again. It’s interesting to hear Bonzo playing with another band.
This session undoubtedly occurred during Led Zeppelin’s hiatus after the death of Robert Plant’s son, in 1977. Last week I posted a session Bonzo did with Paul McCartney, because it’s interesting to focus on John Bonham, after so much attention on Jimmy Page.
The song itself is, in my opinion, nothing to write home about, but the style of John Bonham is evident. No one could mic him as well as Jimmy Page, though. Enjoy.
John Bonham recorded some tracks with Paul McCartney during the 1975/1976 Led Zeppelin hiatus (Robert was recovering from a terrible car crash, and was in a wheelchair for months), and we are lucky enough to hear one. Beware My Love is the most rocking track (not that it says much for Wings. It’s not like they’re Motorhead) on the Wings At The Speed Of Sound album.
This is a rough track, just a bit more than a demo, as far as polish and quality go, but it’s cool to hear Bonzo’s Presence era drums, a bit like the thump and drive of Achilles’ Last Stand, driving the whitest band in the world.
I posted an audio interview with John Bonham from 1972, if you’re interested in Led Zeppelin related Bonzo content. Otherwise enjoy this little ditty from McZep. The drums don’t have the presence (no pun intended) that Led Zeppelin’s songs have, but that’s a testament to Jimmy Page knowing how to mic drums. It’s fun. It’s cool to know that Bonzo had a life outside of Zeppelin, musically speaking.
As the creator of the World’s Okayest Led Zeppelin Podcast I am constantly scanning for new, and relevant, LZ stuff to share with you. Thanks to the excellent Led Zep fan forum, Royal-Orleans, I’ve discovered audio from a 1972 interview of John Bonham. There are precious few interviews with Bonzo, and this audio is a revelation.
This was right around the time that Houses of the Holy was recorded, right on that cusp before they became HUGE. They were already huge but in 1972 they still played around with cover songs, medleys, and John Paul Jones still had a Hammond Organ instead of a mellotron. It’s incredibly fascinating hearing him speak about how Zep was slagged in the British press about being sellouts, and being too big, while he’s telling Roy Carr (the interviewer for NME) about how Zeppelin was the only band to go back to the clubs (1971).
It’s a great interview where one can hear what a …. good guy Bonzo was. He was only 24 at the time, and he’s got to answer questions like a politician. Defending Led Zeppelin for avoiding television and the press, which is obviously the best thing Zep ever did, given the attitude the press had toward them. Zeppelin made it big DESPITE of the press. DESPITE avoiding publicity and exposure. They made it because they were simply the best rock band in the world. I just published a podcast featuring some unreleased live music from the 1972 tour. Listen and you’ll see why they were so amazing.
Bonzo has a wonderful attitude and I really like this guy we hear. He defends the accusations that Zep sold out and retired to their enormous mansions by telling Roy Carr that he and Robert had the same homes that they had at the beginning. They were country boys and homebodies (especially Bonzo).
I really enjoy this peek into the history of the band at the cusp of SUPER STARDOM, and the year before The Song Remains The Same was filmed. The gist of the whole thing is that Zep were 4 amazing musicians who didn’t let ego change their dynamic (at least at that point) and their talent and synergy meant they could do all this without collaborators, session musicians, or outside input. Enjoy this super cool John Bonham interview.
My first, in fact THE first Led Zeppelin CD bootleg was Zurich, June 29, 1980. It was a dry soundboard recording, like almost all of the 1980 tapes, and it showed precisely how not on their game Jimmy Page and (tragically) John Bonham were at this time. They were both deep in their addictions, and it showed. I’ve compared Zeppelin live in 1980 to Aerosmith, in that it’s not the shows were horrible (although almost all the shows had an awful component… usually White Summer/Black Mountainside or Hot Dog), but they weren’t inspired. Bonzo would sometimes sound tired or like he was just phoning it in. They had to stop a show in Nuremberg (just before this show in Zurich) because Bonzo collapsed and couldn’t play. That stuff hadn’t happened before.
That being said, Achilles Last Stand was great on this tour (Frankfurt is arguably the best live performance ever), as was Kashmir, and the truncated Nobody’s Fault But Mine is bad ass.
This Trampled Underfoot is hands down my favorite. I don’t know if it’s the best, but it is to me. I hope you enjoy it. Jimmy does some hot wah wah work, Bonzo is on it, Robert’s voice is strong as hell (as it was for this whole tour), and fuck… it’s a great song to begin with.
Let me know what you think. I am kind of leaning toward doing an episode on the 1980 Tour Over Europe, since there are some really good performances, some great jams, and it’s the last tour with Bonzo, so it’s special.
Given the condition of half the band I’m glad they never toured the States in 1980, because I think it would have very likely tarnished their reputation. I don’t think they would have pulled off a good tour. In another reality John Bonham and Jimmy Page got clean and sober in the 1970’s, and Zeppelin kept chugging along for years, and years. Alas, that’s not the timeline in which we live.