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John Bonham’s sister recalls the drummer saw the Beatles live in concert

John Bonham

Classic Rock

John Bonham’s sister recalls the drummer saw the Beatles live in concert

Deborah Bonham, the younger sister of the late legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham recalled in an interview with Rock Talk (Transcribed by Ultimate Guitar) that her brother had the chance to see The Beatles live in concert when he was 14, what would probably would have happened in 1962. According to her that experience might have made him want to become a Rock musician and she recalled that ever since he was a baby he was “hitting pots and pans”.


Deborah is a singer and had recently released a Blues album with her husband, the guitarist Peter Bullick, called “Bonham Bullick”. She often performs Led Zeppelin songs live with her band.

The sister of John Bonham recalls the drummer saw the Beatles live in concert:

When asked which were John Bonham’s influences, her sister recalled that he saw The Beatles playing live: “(Gene) Krupa, definitely, and Buddy Rich. I think it was in in John anyway, but mom and dad would play all of that. They played Billie Holiday, they played Etta James and. You name it. We had a good start, and then John and Michael, as I was growing up, they went to see The Beatles, mom took them to see The Beatles when I think John was 14, Michael was 12. They went to see The Beatles and she had somehow managed to get front row seats, but they couldn’t hear anything, It was just girl screaming like mad.”

“I think that was when John had decided, ‘Yeah, I want to do that.’ And he did, he ended up playing with Paul McCartney many, many years later. What about me? Well, I was just saying, I mean, I just grew up with it. It was just a natural progression for me. He went into that, and then the next minute, they were playing all the Motown and all that, you know, all the great West Coast music, and old blues music.”

Bonham continued:

“I was a bit like a sponge taking this all in as a kid. So it sort of was a natural progression for me, I just always wanted to sing, but I had to stay on at school, and I didn’t really start to do it until, sadly, John had passed away. Mainly because he wanted me to stay at school, as did mom and dad. So I stayed there till’ I was 18. You have to follow your heart, you know. It was always going to be this. So yeah, the natural progression.”

“John, yeah, they got him the drum kit. I mean, there’s 14 years between me and John, and then another brother Michael, who’s two years younger than John, 12 years older than me. They were very tight. And yeah, they bought John a kit. I mean, it was pretty obvious, he was drum crazy from when he was a baby, he was hitting pots and pans. Mom tried hard and got him a few jobs. [laughs] He had a proper job, but they didn’t last a minute.”

John Bonham died at the age of 32 back in 1980 and remains as one of the most influential drummers of all time.

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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