John Bonham - The Beast - Book Review

Polska

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Haven't read a Bonzo or Moon bio and can't bring myself to do so. I prefer to remember their playing and not have to read about their self destructive, crappy behaviour. I've heard enough through the years and choose to focus on their music. Made the mistake of watching the Jaco bio and it was just incredibly sad. I don't know. Some thing's are best left private, though obviously that's impossible.
 

ThomFloor

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Are we really going to believe this so-called story:
"In an inebriated attempt to hide a baggie containing 1,500 Mandrax tablets, Bonham deposited his stash inside one of his drums. Unfortunately, he forgot that the drum kit was made of acrylic and, therefore, transparent. "

Everybody knows he used double headed drums all-around. So in his drunken state he got a drum key out of his pocket and hurriedly removed all the tension rods and hoop?

Pass.
 

bigbonzo

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Haven't read a Bonzo or Moon bio and can't bring myself to do so. I prefer to remember their playing and not have to read about their self destructive, crappy behaviour. I've heard enough through the years and choose to focus on their music. Made the mistake of watching the Jaco bio and it was just incredibly sad. I don't know. Some thing's are best left private, though obviously that's impossible.
The one by John Bonham's brother is a good one to read.
 

Houndog

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Are we really going to believe this so-called story:
"In an inebriated attempt to hide a baggie containing 1,500 Mandrax tablets, Bonham deposited his stash inside one of his drums. Unfortunately, he forgot that the drum kit was made of acrylic and, therefore, transparent. "

Everybody knows he used double headed drums all-around. So in his drunken state he got a drum key out of his pocket and hurriedly removed all the tension rods and hoop?

Pass.
My 1st wife hated that I smoked weed , she was always digging around trying to find it .
She never did think to reach in the porthole of my bass drum !!!!!!!
 

nmosko

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i would love to read a book about him. What is the best one between this one and the one his brother wrote? Keep in mind, I love reading about the studio sessions, writing, the excess, the tour stories, the muscianship, etc. I do not care one bit where he grew up, what he did in grade school, what his parents did for a living, how he first met robert plant, etc.

I want to hear about sex, drugs and drums.
 

Deafmoon

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i would love to read a book about him. What is the best one between this one and the one his brother wrote? Keep in mind, I love reading about the studio sessions, writing, the excess, the tour stories, the muscianship, etc. I do not care one bit where he grew up, what he did in grade school, what his parents did for a living, how he first met robert plant, etc.

I want to hear about sex, drugs and drums.
Sex, drugs and drums is: Joey Kramer’s Book, Carmine Appices Book, Moons Book, etc, they are all the same. Playing Drums gave them identity, the girls were into them, they got eight balls of coke gratis, everyone was always doing dumb stuff, blah blah blah.
 

type85

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I've read a ton of bio's.

Full moon: funny but sad, Keith couldn't function as a normal human being, it wasn't until the very end ('78) that he got his drinking under control...

Hammer of the gods and a hundred other Bonham/Zeppelin stories: Bonham was a "mean drunk", at least he became one by the early 70's, his escapes were not funny, they were mean and sad, he was especially violent when he was hanging around Peter Grant's security (henchmen and gangsters).
Bonham really missed his family and really hated touring by the mid 70's, he acted out after drinking, what the band and Bonham really needed was a psychiatrist!

Ace Frehley bio: He didn't give a sh!t about anything, he really didn't care and really liked to drink
Paul Stanley bio: seems like a genuinely nice guy, tried desperately to keep Kiss together, Gene was stupid selfish, Peter Kriss was a useless egomaniac and a sh!tty drummer, and Ace, well, see above!

The most disappointing bio by far was written by Van Halen's manager Noel E. Monk (his memoir "Runnin' With the Devil): Eddie was another genuinely nice guy but did waaaay too much coke and drank too much, Roth was... well, everybody knows how Roth is, just multiply that by 10, complete out of control egomaniac!
Alex.... as a kid I idolized Alex, to me he was only second to Bonham.
Alex was was a hardcore 24/7 alcoholic by the time he was 16 and a blackout drunk (he couldn't remember the gig from the night before and had to ask Noel how he did), he drank so much he would hallucinate, he was paranoid and just plain crazy (he used to go to his parents house, get in bed between them and sleep with a gun!).
Alex was instrumental in getting Noel fired in '85 because his paranoia and distrust, he also got the others to agree to write Michael Anthony out of all the royalties because he didn't write any of the songs (how many songs did Alex write?).
Michael Anthony... no hang ups, no addictions, it's just incredibly sad how badly the other members treated him (Eddie not so much, but Roth did and especially Alex!), they sh!t on the guy year after year and he took it and stuck it out, I think things improved a lot when Roth left and Alex got sober, but then Wolf came along...
A lot of people don't like the "VanHagar" era, but you could tell those guys were genuinely happy and could actually function as a band.
Don't ever read personal stories about your heroes, you will always be disappointed.
It took me almost a year before I could listen to a Van Halen song after that book!!!
 

Deafmoon

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I've read a ton of bio's.

Full moon: funny but sad, Keith couldn't function as a normal human being, it wasn't until the very end ('78) that he got his drinking under control...

Hammer of the gods and a hundred other Bonham/Zeppelin stories: Bonham was a "mean drunk", at least he became one by the early 70's, his escapes were not funny, they were mean and sad, he was especially violent when he was hanging around Peter Grant's security (henchmen and gangsters).
Bonham really missed his family and really hated touring by the mid 70's, he acted out after drinking, what the band and Bonham really needed was a psychiatrist!

Ace Frehley bio: He didn't give a sh!t about anything, he really didn't care and really liked to drink
Paul Stanley bio: seems like a genuinely nice guy, tried desperately to keep Kiss together, Gene was stupid selfish, Peter Kriss was a useless egomaniac and a sh!tty drummer, and Ace, well, see above!

The most disappointing bio by far was written by Van Halen's manager Noel E. Monk (his memoir "Runnin' With the Devil): Eddie was another genuinely nice guy but did waaaay too much coke and drank too much, Roth was... well, everybody knows how Roth is, just multiply that by 10, complete out of control egomaniac!
Alex.... as a kid I idolized Alex, to me he was only second to Bonham.
Alex was was a hardcore 24/7 alcoholic by the time he was 16 and a blackout drunk (he couldn't remember the gig from the night before and had to ask Noel how he did), he drank so much he would hallucinate, he was paranoid and just plain crazy (he used to go to his parents house, get in bed between them and sleep with a gun!).
Alex was instrumental in getting Noel fired in '85 because his paranoia and distrust, he also got the others to agree to write Michael Anthony out of all the royalties because he didn't write any of the songs (how many songs did Alex write?).
Michael Anthony... no hang ups, no addictions, it's just incredibly sad how badly the other members treated him (Eddie not so much, but Roth did and especially Alex!), they sh!t on the guy year after year and he took it and stuck it out, I think things improved a lot when Roth left and Alex got sober, but then Wolf came along...
A lot of people don't like the "VanHagar" era, but you could tell those guys were genuinely happy and could actually function as a band.
Don't ever read personal stories about your heroes, you will always be disappointed.
It took me almost a year before I could listen to a Van Halen song after that book!!!
I agree. The books do always disappoint. I stopped listening to Rainbow, Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd after reading some books on them. And it’s not just behavior, it’s their indulgences into things that just don’t sit well with me.
 

CC Cirillo

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Do want you want, but once you have children, all the rules change, and you damned well better seek some help.

I fully acknowledge that these situations are more complex than that, including untreated mental issues, but the above belief is why I don’t read these bios.
 

Deafmoon

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Do want you want, but once you have children, all the rules change, and you damned well better seek some help.

I fully acknowledge that these situations are more complex than that, including untreated mental issues, but the above belief is why I don’t read these bios.
I agree. But you're taking this from a rational parental position. You know as well as I that many have children and don't care to change themselves one bit. They may not be drinking to black out stages, but they see their problems as your fault & my fault, anyone else but themselves. You can see it in a persons reaction to anything. They go through life like that, everything is never about the inside. So any mental, physical, emotional pain can only be dealt with through meds, alcohol, sex, violence, tantrums and treating other people badly to make themselves feel better. You know about Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes. I mean c'mon. Warren took alot of physical beatings from Dickey needlessly. Why, cause he showed him up on stage or Dickey had some demons inside he never faced?
 

fibes3

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If you want a change from the self destructive biography
I'd recommend the biographies by Rick Wakeman.
"Say Yes", "Grumpy Old Rockstar".

I was laughing out loud throughout the books.
 

Doof

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I read biographies with some skepticism, unless it’s from the person/group themselves. Even then, of those are co-written with someone charged with making it sellable. Butterflies and rainbows are boring and therefore don’t sell. Dirt sells.

I’ve read interviews with Page, Plant, and Jones dismissing the sensational biographies focussing the on the negative, not denying some of the details, but completely ignoring the “laughter” and great times they had together.

I don’t believe we would ever get the full story, untainted by individual agendas, unless we were in the band ourselves.
 

type85

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I read biographies with some skepticism, unless it’s from the person/group themselves. Even then, of those are co-written with someone charged with making it sellable. Butterflies and rainbows are boring and therefore don’t sell. Dirt sells.

I’ve read interviews with Page, Plant, and Jones dismissing the sensational biographies focussing the on the negative, not denying some of the details, but completely ignoring the “laughter” and great times they had together.

I don’t believe we would ever get the full story, untainted by individual agendas, unless we were in the band ourselves.
I agree, 100%
The Zeppelin bios always focus on the bad acts of Bonham; I think things hit their peak in '75 on the Physical graffiti tour (that was the beginning of the end for the band). Most if not all of the violence and intimidation was instigated by Peter Grant's "security", they were all bouncers and English gangsters, like something out of a Guy Ritchie movie (except w/o the humor)!
There's plenty of stories about how generous Bonham was and how friendly he was when at home.
One of the great stories is how Bonham (and Pat) were at Plant's side 24/7 after Plant's son Karac died, Page went into seclusion and Jones was nowhere to be found (just like on tour, he would disappear).
how-robert-plant-reacted-to-jimmy-page-not-attending-his-sons-funeral/
 


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