Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, one of the most successful and influential groups in popular music history. Led Zeppelin consisted of four members: Jimmy Page (guitar), Robert Plant (lead vocals), John Bonham (drums), and John Paul Jones (bass guitar and keyboards).
From left to right: John Bonham, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones
Over 25 years after disbanding in response to drummer John Bonham's tragic death in 1980, Led Zeppelin continue to be held in high regard for their artistic achievements, commercial success and influence. To date, the group is reported to have sold more than 300 million albums worldwide, including 109.5 million sales in the United States.
John Bonham... A Tragic End.
On September 24, 1980, John Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios for the upcoming tour of the United States, the band's first since 1977. During the journey Bonham had asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (roughly sixteen shots (~8dl) of vodka), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant "breakfast."
He then continued to drink when he arrived at the studio. A halt was called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Page's house. After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to bed on his side. It was rumoured that he had a total of forty shots that night. Benji LeFevre (who had replaced Richard Cole as Led Zeppelin's tour manager) and John Paul Jones found him dead the next morning. Bonham was 32 years old.
The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit. A subsequent autopsy found no other drugs in Bonham's body. The alcoholism that had plagued the drummer since his earliest days with the band, ultimately led to his untimely death. John Bonham was the best drummer ever in 70's.
After the Bonham's death, rest of the members issued a statement in December 1980, once and for all clarifying that the band would not continue without its irreplaceable drummer. "We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend, and the deep sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were".
Jimmy Page 's incredible career spans four decades, appearing on an innumerable list of recordings. Best known for his trademark Les Pauls, double-neck guitar and riff-master deluxe, his contributions to rock history are nearly unmatched. He first picked up a guitar as a child, curiously plucking away on a Spanish acoustic given to the family. Soon after, Page became entranced with rock and roll, inspired by Elvis Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House". The rest is history...
He played with various groups in the 1960s such as The Crawling King Snakes, Listen, Hobbstweedle, The Band of Joy (with John Bonham), which concentrated mainly on the blues. In 1967, he released several solo singles on CBS, but it was a far cry from his true capabilities.
Rare demos from the Band of Joy era reveal a glimpse of what the future held. After a session with Alexis Korner in 1968, Plant would soon be asked to join Led Zeppelin, and recommended Bonham as well.
His style varies through the years as does his influences. Through Led Zeppelin, Plant was able to explore a variety of styles including heavy rock, folk, blues, Indian and Celtic. The quintesential rock vocalist and frontman, often immitated but never duplicated.
Led Zeppelin Pictures:
A photo of the flaming Hindenburg; an image famously (and controversially) used by Led Zeppelin