Bonzo's drum sound

Never having seen Led Zepplin in person, I was wondering if Bonzo's heavy and incredibly solid drum sound was real or a product of the recording studio.
Although I never saw him play either, my guess would be 10 percent of the sound was the studio (mike technique, processing, etc), another 10 percent could be the drums he played (tuning, sticks, heads, build of the set, etc), and the remaining 90 percent was the man himself, and his ability to control his playing, and translate his emotion to what he played, so on and so forth.
(I guess that about makes the 110 worth of percent performance I generally heard from him)
Drum sound has four variables. How the drummer strikes, brand/material of the drum, how the drum is tuned and how the drum is mic'd (and processed). Bonham clearly was a powerful striker and I belive he played Ludwig maples. The book "A Thunder of Drums" details the exact drum kits and tunings Bonham used. With that as background, do not underestimate the contributions of Jimmy Page (producer) and Andy Johns (engineer) to the recorded sound of Bonham's drum. Their's is more than 10% of the actual sound you hear on LZ's records.
All Real,

Heavey handed"feel"player with wide open drum tunning and squeaky"speed-king" bass drum pedal.

Great for that band..

Funny you should mention that about John Bonham. I've been telling people for years how hard he hits the drums. The only reaction I ever got was either rolling eyes or funny looks. Bonham is clearly my favorite drummer of all time. The new DVD set with 5 different concerts is absolutely stunning. Great old footage/DTS sound. Its a little raw but it absolutely rocks your socks off. Led Zeppelin is clearly my favorite band off all time.
Too bad we don't have ability to post images into these forum threads. I have images of Led Zepplin in their hotel room (stoned) with a KLH portable hanging from the hand of John Bonham.

Just before they disassembled the player they were spinning 45 RPM singles of Dion's "Runaround Sue" (while dancing wildly and jumping on the bed) then a new record by Elton John titled, "60 Years On."

This was many years ago when I did a lot of rock and roll stage photography and this was the first time (ever) I had heard of Elton John.

Robert Plant predicted Elton would be a big hit in the states as he was already popular in England.

Obviously they knew nothing about the KLH as it never got put back together, at least while I was there . However he was right about Elton John.
Heard them perform in Chicago in 1969 if I remember correctly. The venue was the Kinetic Playground (AKA Aaron Russo's Electric Theater) where the weekend crowd at that time was small (2000-2500) and we all sat on the floor in front of the stage which was about 36" high. Needless to say, it was intimate. We were about 25 feet from the stage and I can assure everyone that John's drumming style was not conceived with the assistance of recording tricks. He was very heavy handed at times but always in control. Another similar style drummer who I heard at even closer range was the drummer for Lee Michaels. He was a big guy who I thought was going to end up putting his foot pedal thru the bass drum and his sticks thru the snare. Surely not as fast as Bonham but similarly loud. It was just him accompanying Lee on organ so he had his work cut out for him. Both drummers created a real driving force when heard live. Another incredible note on the Zepplin concert-on the bill with them that night was two other little known bands...Savoy Brown and Jethro Tull. And as incredible as it may seem, tickets at the window were 5.00 a head.....and that's no BS. Ahh, the good old days!
Was at the last MSG show in high school. Got inside to hear the soundcheck beforehand. (Not Bonham playing). Drums sounded ok and the guy was playing hard but sounded nothing like when Bonzo did his soundcheck a little later. We were surprised the heads didn't just rip in half.
Krelldog, my favorite band of all time too. Truly one of the most versatile, original, and talented bands ever assembled IMO.
To answer the question, my opinion would be that Bonzo's drum sound was his own creation by and far. If I remember correctly, they were booted out of an early gig or two for that very reason; his style and power.
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