Listen to The John Bonham Story, a Radio Show Hosted by Dave Grohl

Rock and roll bands do have a ten­den­cy to burn through drum­mers. The phe­nom­e­non has been so notice­able over the years that Spinal Tap did a mem­o­rable par­o­dy of it. But when Led Zep­pelin’s pow­er­house of a drum­mer John Bon­ham died unex­pect­ed­ly at the age of 32 on Sep­tem­ber 25, 1980, there would be no replac­ing him. Bon­ham’s dis­tinc­tive play­ing was such an inte­gral part of the Led Zep­pelin sound that it was hard to imag­ine any­one else fill­ing his shoes. A few months after his death, the drum­mer’s grief-strick­en band­mates issued a state­ment announc­ing the break-up of the group. With­out Bon­ham, they said, “we could not con­tin­ue as we were.”

The John Bon­ham Sto­ry, first broad­cast on BBC radio in 2010, is an engag­ing one-hour pro­gram host­ed by Foo Fight­ers front­man Dave Grohl, for­mer drum­mer of Nir­vana and a life­long fan of Bon­ham. The show (above, in its entire­ty) includes musi­cal per­for­mances, many of them rare, along with inter­views of the sur­viv­ing mem­bers of Led Zeppelin–Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones–and oth­ers who knew Bon­ham well, like Vanil­la Fudge drum­mer Carmine Appice, Bad Com­pa­ny singer Paul Rodgers, Bon­ham’s younger sis­ter Deb­o­rah and his son Jason. The John Bon­ham Sto­ry is a nice­ly pro­duced pro­gram, a fas­ci­nat­ing look at the life and music of the man who is wide­ly thought of as the quin­tes­sen­tial rock and roll drum­mer.

Relat­ed con­tent:

John Bon­ham’s Iso­lat­ed Drum Track For Led Zep­pelin’s ‘Fool in the Rain’

‘Stair­way to Heav­en’: Watch a Mov­ing Trib­ute to Led Zep­pelin at The Kennedy Cen­ter

Jim­my Page Tells the Sto­ry of “Kash­mir”

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