A true Bonham drum

speady1

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I shared this on social media recently after struggling with whether or not I should. After having this for a while, I felt like I shouldn't just keep it under lock and key in secrecy. I'm certainly not "showing off" so if I come off that way, it is surely not intended. I obtained it along with an old Japanese drum magazine that details and documents JHB's full Green Sparkle kit in great detail. The serial # and date are correct. I suppose it could be just "any" old Ludwig drum, but I choose to believe it's the real deal. I'm blessed and so very lucky to have ended up with this.

From FB:

So, I've kept this to myself for a few months but I feel like sharing it now. A few months ago, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented itself to me. It's a long story, but let's just say this whole situation/transaction was good for everyone involved, I believe. What you're seeing is a 16x16 Ludwig floor tom that once belonged to John Henry Bonham. Yes, THAT John Henry Bonham. It was part of his second Ludwig kit that he received in 1971. It is said that this kit was the one he used for almost ALL of Zeppelin's recordings. It now resides with me. I want to thank two very good fellas that I'm proud to have as friends (not named here for their privacy) for helping make this drum's journey pass through my hands for safekeeping for the rest of my days. To many, it's just a badly faded old drum, but anyone who knows me, knows how much this means to me. A true piece of rock n' roll history.

Bonham FT laying.JPG Bonham Badge.jpg Bonham Fade.JPG Bonham FT outside.jpgBonham mag description.jpg Bonham mag inside photo.jpg
 

Tanabata

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Fantastic! How's it sound? Were the edges ever trued or redone when Bonham was playing it?
 

Bonzo442

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Would love to hear more.....what’s it’s provenance? Anything owned by Bonham would have of course a lot of interest but a chain of custody is not always easy to prove on a drum and I know you are convinced but for your sake, history’s sake, and quite honestly the drums value, how did this come into your possession?
 

p83

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if you are going to start this story, you have to finish it......................come on!!
 

bkny110

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Any Japanese translators on DFO?
Congrats Jamie!!! A world wide search should be initiated to locate the rest of the kit!!!
 

speady1

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To answer some of the questions:
Fantastic! How's it sound? Were the edges ever trued or redone when Bonham was playing it?
This drum is bone-stock with no modifications. It honestly doesn't tune up very well. It has one tuning that sounds good, high. It lived in that tuning most of its life. If you tune it down, it rumbles and rattles like crazy.
Would love to hear more.....what’s it’s provenance? Anything owned by Bonham would have of course a lot of interest but a chain of custody is not always easy to prove on a drum and I know you are convinced but for your sake, history’s sake, and quite honestly the drums value, how did this come into your possession?
The only provenance I have quite frankly is the magazine from Japan showing/detailing JHB's kit with date stamps and serial numbers. The chain of custody is easy. JHB->JHB employee->personal friend of mine in drum industry->me. I'm not naming names here for privacy reasons, (this is searchable on the web) but I'm confident in the drum's story. As to the drum's value, who knows? It won't be for sale while I'm alive, so it really doesn't matter to me. My investment in the drum is extremely minimal considering the entire story of me acquiring it (that I'm not going to share on a public forum right now.) If you know anything about me, you'll be able to figure it all out pretty quickly and easily.
Nice candidate for a rewrap! To cool man.
Where's the rest of the kit?
This drum isn't getting a re-wrap. It will sit as-is while I'm living. To my knowledge, the rest of the original kit (there were two identical kits given to JHB with sequential serial numbers) sits in Pat Bonham's home and the other is in the R&R HOF in Cleveland, last I heard.
 

Fat Drummer

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Sweet tacos, that is quite the find... enjoy and congratulations on landing such a rare piece of musical history.
 

speady1

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So which one is missing a floor Tom ?
Also which kit is in the ochletree video ?
I can't be 100% certain, but this would most likely be the floor tom from the Ocheltree "Trust Your Ears" video from years ago. The kit that Mrs. Bonham has is complete as far as I know.
Sweet tacos, that is quite the find... enjoy and congratulations on landing such a rare piece of musical history.
Thank you, very much. I feel quite lucky and blessed to have been given this drum for safekeeping.
That is super-cool, Jamie. Now we both have drums we need to see!
Stewart, we have to make this happen soon. Let me know when you have time to connect. I can easily bring this over for you to check out.
 

DrumR69

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Can we get the article translated, I can't read Japanese but would love to read the story.
Maybe can post here? Looks like it has some pictures to go with it.

Wayne
 

TheElectricCompany

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I'm struggling with two very different and very strong emotions right now: jealousy and awe. Congratulations on obtaining a drum I would sell my soul for!
 

TheElectricCompany

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Translation of the article:

In addition, the 16x16 floor tom was also manufactured on April 12, 1971. The serial number is 818654, which is also very close to the number of the 26" bass drum and 14" tom. The batter head is a Remo coated Emperor, and the resonant side is a white medium red logo Weathermaster. -Something about the difference between red and blue logo Weathermasters, but can't figure out if it's saying Bonham used red or blue, or some equivalent- I hit the drum lightly and the tone and resonance was beautiful. The note is even, and the batter and resonant side are both tuned high, with the resonant side being slightly higher. -Then it gets weird attempting to describe the note.-
 

lcondo123

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...the other is in the R&R HOF in Cleveland, last I heard.
That kit at the Hall of Fame was there about 10 years ago for a brief period - it disappeared after a short while back into the fold. Surprisingly few pictures of the kit at the HOF exist, I think I've only ever seen one.

This is an absolutely interesting story, what a fantastic drum you have in your possession. Wasn't there supposed to be a new book coming out about Bonham's drums that included new pictures/details/information about Bonham's drums? What happened with that?
 

Bonzo442

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Thanks for the reply’s and sharing the story, it really is very cool and I hope to hear and see more about it in the future. The whole story with Bonham being such an influence on so many, unfortunately dying young and at the same time being in arguably the best hard rock band ever just makes a find like this really worthy of a special place in rock n roll history! Congrats to you sir and please continue to share!
 
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