A little more than a year ago, I put together a list of the Top 10 Rock Drummers.
It's one of those pieces of content that struck a chord with music aficionados, and they have not been shy about telling me how right or how wrong I am. As of this morning, the post has received 69 comments, many of which are detailed diatribes about rock drumming relevance.
The one common thread that appears over and over is the groundbreaking innovation of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, who sadly passed away in 1980.
I have Bonham third on my list, behind Neil Peart and Ian Paice. Peart, to me, is on another planet when it comes to mastering the drum kit, and no one hits the skins faster than Paice in what was arguably the most talented rock lineup ever assembled in 1970s vintage Deep Purple.
My friend Scott used to tell me Bonham was the best because of his ability to create dynamics with his use of brushes and his hands. And my friend Mike told me Bonham was brilliant because of the difficult arrangements he anchored while always keeping the beat.
I always appreciated Bonham as well, and was amazed about how it sounded like he was playing the drums backward on "When the Levee Breaks." Really, it's a reverse time shuffle beat that is mindblowing to listen to when you isolate the drums.
A recent comment by Jerry, a drummer, tells me he still can't figure out how to play "Fool in the Rain." I immediately grabbed my copy of "In Through the Out Door" for a fresh listen and would have to agree with him. How does he do it?
John Henry Bonham was indeed an original and worthy of the No. 3 spot. But do I put him above Peart and Paice? Perhaps, but I'm still not convinced.
What these comments have accomplished is giving me pause to think.
Bonham was damn good.