Tell me this doesn’t sound like Bonham.

KevinD

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There has a been a lot discussed about this, and there are discrepancies between the accounts over the years from those who were actually on the session (Donovan, JPJ, Page and even Eddie Kramer).

The snare attack in the first half of the song sounds a lot lighter than Bonham, the time doesn't feel like Bonham either (maybe because the kick is pretty low in the mix?). However, the triplet fills toward the end sound similar to what Bonham might could have played around '68, along with a Bonham-like attack, but that could simply be due to the increased energy at the end of the song, or maybe part of another, higher energy take spliced in...who knows?
Interesting question, but I would have to say for certain that .... I don't know :)
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Sounds like Bonham with less compression. A more open and dynamic signal means it won't be the puchy and authoritative "sounds jump at ya" kinda tone such as what's on most of Zepelin's recordings
 

Tornado

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Sounds like Bonham with less compression. A more open and dynamic signal means it won't be the puchy and authoritative "sounds jump at ya" kinda tone such as what's on most of Zepelin's recordings
True. The production on Zepplin's records was a really import part of their sound. As well as Bonham's musical choices with that band. He didn't always HAVE to play that way, so if he didn't have the same attack on the snare or whatever, that doesn't necessarily rule out that it was him.

But I would also say that Bonham was a product of his environment as much as anyone back then. He wasn't the only guy playing triplets down the toms, and that slightly behind the beat British drummer thing was already established. He just did it better. But I have no problem believing this recording is Bonham.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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True. The production on Zepplin's records was a really import part of their sound. As well as Bonham's musical choices with that band. He didn't always HAVE to play that way, so if he didn't have the same attack on the snare or whatever, that doesn't necessarily rule out that it was him.

But I would also say that Bonham was a product of his environment as much as anyone back then. He wasn't the only guy playing triplets down the toms, and that slightly behind the beat British drummer thing was already established. He just did it better. But I have no problem believing this recording is Bonham.

What we've come to call "The Bonham sound" was very much tied to the production style and the recording/mixing gear they used. I'd say as much as the actual notes played.

Remember, in the days before acurate emulation plugins and/or clones of classic recording gear were widely and cheaply available, how almost no one out of the army of JHB copycats home recordists came close, sound-wise?

I used to help sift through demos at the record label where my first band was signed, and this was in the mid-late 90's when Zep-like music made a resurgence. A lot of those bands attempted to capture that feel/vibe/tone. NONE of them were even remotely sounding like a classic recording. I could tell some guys had the chops, but the consumer grade, cold, modern-ish stuff they recorded on wouldn't give them the proper sonic heft.

Nowadays, it is easier than ever to get close (at least closer, I should say). A lot of Bonzo lovers out on YT make a decent job of somewhat convincingly emulating him, playing and tone-wise. A few could even probably fool all but the the most discerning drums connoisseurs on a blind test.

I mean, I'm no Bonham, not even a little... But my recording room is pretty live and I've got decent vintage-sounding microphones in a vintage Glynn Johns type of setup. If I tune my drums wide open and slap a healthy dose of Fairchild or equivalent with a bit of judicious saturation on the drumbus, rip a few fills in the ballpark of JHB's vocabulary and show them to my non-drummer friends, they would most likely instantly say "Hey! this has got a Bonham feel to it"... If I were to remove the processing, I'm pretty sure that most of them would just hear "drums"...

Compression changes the characteristics of the transients, sometimes a lot. And one of the areas where it is the more instantly noticeable and where the changes can be the most radical is the snare.
Remove or even ease down on said compression (or even just different attack and release settings) and you get a VERY different snare attack feel, out of the very same track.
 

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I’d say 100% Clem C. He played on literally hundreds of singles back in the day in the UK a with a least 40+ number 1’s. It’s hard to know why THE top session drummer in the UK had to have another player in on the date. I can’t see that happening. I suppose a Zep historian could check it, as the single was recorded in April ‘68 and see where John Bonham was at the time. There was another tie-in as Peter Grant purportedly considered Clem as an option for the band before Plant and Bonham came in. That would make sense, Page and Jones were in the London session scene at the time and Plant and Bonham were up in Birmingham at the time.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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the time doesn't feel like Bonham either
The thing about compression that is truly and thouroughly understood by very few people, is how it messes with the time constant, thus allowing various settings to alter the groove and time perception significantly.

One of the best and clearer demonstrations I've gleaned off of YT is by Kush Audio's Gregory Scott. The guy is a hardware and plugins designer, a mixing/recording engineer and, incidently, a drummer.


Wether you like his playing or production style is besides the point. In those 2 videos he very clearly shows how the same tracks can have a forward or laid-back feel. How the emphasis can be put on different components such as kick, snare or hats/cymbals and make your ears and body to react very differently to the exact same performace.

Jack Joseph Puig the famed mixer/producer once relayed a conversation he had with Geoff Emerick in an interview on "Pensado's place" (big-time audio webcast). In essence, Emerick was telling him that because of the low tracks count constraints, in the early Beatles days, they had to ping pong Ringo's tracks a lot, going through a Fairchild unit everytime they did so. Every pass would slightly mess with the time constant, thus altering the feel of the groove. This might in good measure account for why a lot of pro drummers find it oh so hard to accurately nail the "Ringo feel".

Pretty much all of the recordings we've grown listenning to have this sort of auditory trickery going on.

So JHB could very well have played things on albums mixedwith different processing and sound totally different, not only sound-wise, but feel-wise as well.
 

richardh253

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"Do you have some drums that you really love?
Ones that you feel so groovy with?
It don't even matter if it's Bonham or Cattini
That only makes it nicer still."
 

GMFrancis

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I’d say 100% Clem C. He played on literally hundreds of singles back in the day in the UK a with a least 40+ number 1’s. It’s hard to know why THE top session drummer in the UK had to have another player in on the date. I can’t see that happening. I suppose a Zep historian could check it, as the single was recorded in April ‘68 and see where John Bonham was at the time. There was another tie-in as Peter Grant purportedly considered Clem as an option for the band before Plant and Bonham came in. That would make sense, Page and Jones were in the London session scene at the time and Plant and Bonham were up in Birmingham at the time.
I think I’ve just answered my own question! Zeppelin didn’t start to rehearse until August ‘68 so how could a relatively unknown drummer from a different part of the country get to play along side the number 1 UK session player (Clem) on a major artists new single 4 months earlier to coming down to London?
 

David Hunter

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Overall consensus seems to be Clem Cattini, as confirmed by John Paul Jones (bass/arranger), Eddie Kramer (engineer), and Cattini himself. Donovan has been quoted as "primarily crediting Cattini for the drums but saying he wasn't sure whether Bonham was also involved." Given the amount of drugs consumed in 1968, I'd go with the straight guys' recollections.

 
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Steech

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Overall consensus seems to be Clem Cattini, as confirmed by John Paul Jones (bass/arranger), Eddie Kramer (engineer), and Cattini himself. Donovan has been quoted as "primarily crediting Cattini for the drums but saying he wasn't sure whether Bonham was also involved." Given the amount of drugs consumed in 1968, I'd go with the straight guys' recollections.

Very interesting!
 

JOE COOL

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no drummer should play behind donovan like they would led zep
 

Furious Styles

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The repetitive fills makes me think it isn't Bonham. He seemed to mix it up a bit more and/or go back to the groove to make what fills he did play stand out.
 

Cauldronics

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Mitch would swing it more and be deceptively not sloppy while giving it more personality. Bonham wouldn't overplay but he'd do some of the same fills. I think the constant fills are too much.
 

BennyK

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The repetitive fills makes me think it isn't Bonham. He seemed to mix it up a bit more and/or go back to the groove to make what fills he did play stand out.

.... who knows ? maybe Bonham copped somethings off of Cattini . @ 3:36
 
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GMFrancis

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Clem’s kit was up for sale recently. Everyone in the world has heard it. Everyone.
Unless you haven’t heard. Johnny Kidd and the Pirates “Shakin all over”
The Kinks, Bee Gees, Tom Jones, Gene Pitney, Joe Cocker, Marianne Faithfull, Engelbert Humperdinck , The Yardbirds, Lou Reed, Paul McCartney, Phil Everley. I’m stopping, and that’s just the 60’s! I’m worn out. A bit like his kit!…
 

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GMFrancis

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Fair to describe this as not a virgin bass drum!
 

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