The Sound of a Beating Drum

I confess that I have a very extensive library of music. From today’s popular hip-hop music, Gospel, Christian, jazz, classical and RnB. With the exception of most country music, if you name it, most likely it’s on my I-pod.

I’ve recently become acquainted to certain types of classic rock. Scary as it may sound I’m a huge fan of the rolling stones. While I’ve not gotten into The Beatles, another British group, along with the stones, is one of my favorites: Led Zeppelin.

If you are not a fan of Led Zeppelin, most of you still have heard of this tremendously famous and influential group through the name and their popularity. They’re a dynamic mix of rock, soul, blues and various types of music rolled in to a tremendously talented quartet. But one of the main reasons I’m a huge fan of this group has to be their drummer, John Bonham.

In the 60’s and 70’s while most musical drummers were simply going through the motions, John Bonham, nicknamed “Bonzo” was re-inventing the way people used the drum set. With his blazing speed and slick rhythms, the technique he’s most known for is the use of his HUGE Base drum. No-body played the base like Bonzo did, being virtually the first drummer every to incorporate the double base hit, before it was even considered “cool” in today’s music.

John Bonham died in 1980, at the young age of 32, however decades after his death; his musical legacy can still be heard in today’s music. One of the advantages of being such a fan of diverse music is that you can hear how different genres of music are related to each other. As I listen to Zeppelin songs such as “When the Levee Breaks” or “Kashmir” you can clearly hear the power of Bonham as the sound of his beating base stands out in these amazing songs.

The beats of these songs (as well as the songs themselves) have been copied over and over in modern music. For “When the Levee Breaks” simply look no further to Coldplay’s “In my Place” and tell me the songs don’t begin the same way. Several years ago, P-Diddy did a remake of Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” for a summer blockbuster movie (I wont name the movie, but chances are you’ve seen it).

The beats that Bonham introduced have permeated the hip-hop world. From recent songs by Kanye West’s (“Stronger” and “Power”) to songs by Drake (“Over”) you cant hear a song in this genre without losing yourself in deep thunderous beats that exist in these songs. It’s amazing to me that a rock and roll musician from the 70s still influence such a diverse group of artists in the 21st century.

All with the thunderous sound of a beating drum!

-Darold Ingram


~ by daroldingram on April 13, 2011.

One Response to “The Sound of a Beating Drum”

  1. Great insight, Darold! I’m one of those guys who apprciates Led Zeppelin, but have only listened to this hits here and there. I’ve listened to “Stairway to Heaven” more times than I can remember, and I actually heard the Puff Daddy version of “Kashmir” way before I even knew it was a cover of “Kashmir”. My mind was blown when I heard the original.

    I didn’t know that he was the first to use double-bass with his kit. That’s really interesting. In modern metal and heavy rock, it’s pretty much a staple.

    I’m not gonna lie, I never would have pegged you for a Zeppelin fan. That’s awesome!

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