Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin

Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin

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The first full-length narrative biography of Led Zeppelin's John Bonham, considered by many to be one of the greatest drummers in rock history, and a genuine wild man of epic (and sadly fatal) proportions.
 
Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin is the first-ever biography of the iconic John Bonham, considered by many to be one of the greatest (if not THE greatest) rock drummer of all time. Bonham first learned to play the drums at the age of five, and despite never taking formal lessons, began drumming for local bands immediately upon graduating from secondary school. By the late 1960s, Bonham was looking for a more solid gig in order to provide his growing family with a more regular income. Meanwhile, following the dissolution of the popular blues rock band The Yardbirds, lead guitarist Jimmy Page sought the company of new bandmates to help him record an album and tour Scandinavia as the New Yardbirds. A few months later, Bonham was recruited to join the band who would eventually become known as Led Zeppelin-and before the year was out, Bonham and his three bandmates would become the richest rock band in the world.
 
In their first year, Led Zeppelin released two albums and completed four US and four UK concert tours. As their popularity exploded, they moved from ballrooms and smaller clubs to larger auditoriums, and eventually started selling out full arenas. Throughout the 1970s, Led Zeppelin reached new heights of commercial and critical success, making them one of the most influential groups of the era, both in musical style and in their approach towards the workings of the entertainment industry. They added extravagant lasers, light shows, and mirror balls to their performances; wore flamboyant and often glittering outfits; traveled in a private jet airliner and rented out entire sections of hotels; and soon become the subject of frequently repeated stories of debauchery and destruction while on tour. In 1977, the group performed what would be their final live appearance in the US, following months of rising fervor and rioting from their fandom. And in September of 1980, Bonham-plagued by alcoholism, anxiety, and the after-effects of years of excess-was found dead by his bandmates.
 
To this day, Bonham is posthumously described as one of the most important, well-known, and influential drummers in rock, topping best of lists describing him as an inimitable, all-time great. As Adam Budofsky, managing editor of Modern Drummer, explained, "If the king of rock 'n' roll was Elvis Presley, then the king of rock drumming was certainly John Bonham."

Title:Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin
ISBN:9780306846687
Format Type:

    Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin Reviews

  • *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    Four StarsI remember after The Beatles had just broken up in 1970 my older brother bringing home a Led Zeppelin album and saying that this band was going to be the next big thing. I never was much ena...

  • Dave

    John Bonham rightly so was one of the most controversial figures of Rock and Roll. This biography is for the most part a biography of Led Zeppelin, but with Bonzo as the focus. Bonham's early years in...

  • Kristie Kelty

    4 1/2 stars. I spent countless hours as a teenager listening to Led Zeppelin (and I still do) so this book was a good one for me. Led Zeppelin is one of the bands I wish I could go back in time to see...

  • Musher

    This book looked very promising but unfortunately it borrows heavily from other sources. Even more unfortunate is that one of those sources is Richard Cole. Content from previously published books was...

  • Gary Regan

    2.5 STARS: Led Zeppelin is to my mind the best band of all time and John Bonham is the best drummer by a slight margin over Keith Moon of the Who. This book is a fairly accurate of a rendition of the ...

  • C.G. Twiles

    This is an exhaustively and meticulously researched biography of John Bonham, the talented and legendary drummer for Led Zeppelin. Zep Heads, especially those in awe of Bonham in particular, should fi...

  • Debra

    I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, but after reading Beast and learning how they developed as musicians, and how creative they were, made me go back and listen to many of their songs again. To be ho...

  • Trenton Remme

    John Henry Bonham, the thunder behind one of the most prolific rock groups, Led Zeppelin. One of the first bands to be classified as Heavy Metal, who took the 70s' by storm with their wailing guitars ...

  • Anthony Paolucci

    A perfectly written story of John's life. My only gripe is that the photos are quite underwhelming. There's not a lot and the ones there are kind of random. Would've liked to see more of John's youth,...

  • Diana

    Sadly, a couple minutes after I finished this book, I saw on Instagram that Richard Cole had died....