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Carmine Appice says John Bonham was influenced by him

Classic Rock

Carmine Appice says John Bonham was influenced by him

Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice said in an interview with The Aftershocks Podcast that John Bonham was influenced by him. According to Appice, Bonham himself told him that he was an influence in his drumming technique.


Carmine Appice said about John Bonham being influenced by him:

“Well, for me, it’s different, because I was around before him. They [Zeppelin] opened up for us [Vanilla Fudge], and when they did, John Bonham had told me I was one of his influences.”

“I got a call from Steve Smith – you know, Steve Smith from Journey – one day, and he said to me, ‘I just listened to Vanilla Fudge’s [1968 album] ‘Renaissance’ album, and what I heard on there was everything John Bonham ever did.'”

“I said, ‘Oh, thank you, Steve and I really appreciate it.’ Drummers are like a different kind of breed – we all take from each other. John Bonham did stuff I did because I was around before him. So he used to listen to Vanilla Fudge records. I used to listen to Max Roach and Joe Morello, I listened to Ginger Baker. I listened to this one, I listened to that one.”

He continued, saying:

“When they came on tour with us, I got him his drum set. I’ve got a picture of my drum set and his drum set, and it was the same drum set… which were big, oversized drums. I started that fad with the Ludwig drum company back in 1968, and they toured with us at the end of ’68.”

“When he saw my drum set – he had a little 22 bass drum, I had a 26 bass drum. I had a big tom in the middle and big toms on the side, a big, fat snare drum. And when he saw that, he said, ‘Man, can you help me get a deal with Ludwig?'”

“So I called Ludwig and said, ‘Hey, I have this new band opening up for us, this guy John Bonham. I think they’re gonna be big.’ Now I say it’s an understatement of five decades. So with that, they gave him the same set as mine. We had two blond maple kits – double bass drums even he had. And we did one tour in ’69 with both those drum sets.”

Carmine Appice continued:

“I often wondered how silly it was when they went on, he had his double-bass drum set, and I went on, and I had mine. They took his [drums] off and they put mine on. But the audiences probably said, ‘Why did they take that drum set off and they put it back on again?'”

“It was the same exact drum set. After that tour, Robert [Plant] and Jimmy [Page] told him it was too busy with two bass drums: ‘Take one away.’ When he took one away, the Led Zeppelin drum set was born. So that’s the story.”

“But I’ve had this kind of drum sound ever since the beginning of my career with Vanilla Fudge. Zeppelin worked with the same engineers that I worked with – like, back in the day, Andy Johns was a tremendous engineer that helped develop that drum sound.”

“But Jimmy Page had it in his head what the drum sound would be like. It was mostly ambient drum sound, using big rooms and a couple of mics, instead of everything miked. My whole drum sound, ever since Vanilla Fudge days, has been based on ambient room mics. And that’s what Bonzo’s drum sound was based on.”

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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