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John Henry Bonham Maple Drum Kit

Ludwig Classic Maple 5-Piece Drum Set Maple
Ludwig Classic Maple 5-Piece Drum Set Maple

Gibson EDS 1275 Double Neck Electric Guitar
Gibson SG Double Neck

With Gibson's new EDS-1275 of 1958. It's the same model used by Jimmy Page on the live version of 'Stairway To Heaven". Quantities are extremely limited.

Ludwig Amber Vistalite 5-Piece Reissue Drum Set
Ludwig Amber Vistalite John Bonham Drum Set
This is a reissue of the Drumset used by John Bonham in the "Song Remains the Same". This set has a BIG and LOUD sound that was one of the components to his drum sound.

This set is a reissue of the set John Henry Bonham used in 1969-1970 which can be heard on "Whole Lotta Love" and the 20 minute "Mody Dick" drum solo. He was known for his incredible 20 minute drum solos. You can see pictures of the set in the Led Zeppelin DVD - Paris TV show "Tous En Scene". This is a set designed for thundering bass-heavy sound from its large drums with Mini-Classic lugs. 26" x 14" bass, 16" x 16" and 18" x 16" floor toms, 14" x 12" tom, and a 6.5" x 14" metal snare. Hardware includes two snare stands, three cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, foot pedal, and bass spurs. Cymbals not included.


  • Big, bad bass
  • Mini-Classic lugs
  • 26" x 14" bass
  • 18" x 16" and 16" x 16" floor toms
  • 14" x 12" tom
  • 6.5" x 14" metal snare
  • Two snare stands
  • Three cymbal stands
  • Hi-hat stand
  • Footpedal
  • Bass spurs

John Henry Bonham known for his incredible 20 minute drum solos was the drummer for the legendary Led Zeppelin. Next to Ringo Starr he has had the greatest influence on Rock drumming ever! Every heavy metal drummer weather they know it or not have at least one John Bonham drum riff. If you've ever done a triplet starting with the KICK - FLOOR TOM - MOUNTED TOM you're doing a John Bonham riff. Now do that at an incredible speed with numerous variations and continue for at least 20 minutes.

John Bonham played without sticks which is painful if you've ever tried it. His style of drumming was more of to make Godz of Thor proud. His thunderous and powerful playing conjures up visions of the raw naked elements FIRE, AIR, WATER, and EARTH. His contribution to drumming is tremendous and at the time Revolutionary/Visionary. Jimmy Page stopped looking for a drummer after hearing John play back in 1968. This search for the world’s best drummer ended but a new band was forming. The band was Led Zeppelin; it was called the New Yardbirds, but later renamed Led Zeppelin. Thank god for that.

I just thought those who are interested in Ludwig Vistalites should check out Vistalites.com they have a lot of pictures as well as write up on many legendary Vitality players. My favorites are Karen Carpenter (really!), and of course John Bonham's Vistalite Kit.

Where's Bonzo's Drumset Now?

Still in West Brom? The States? A hangar in Dusseldorf?

Well for instance the Amber colored Vistalite set that was used for "The Song Remains the Same" is said to be owned by a Mr. Townsend in North Carolina. It was auctioned off in london england. This is by far the most popular drum set he used.

The drum sizes where:
Kick Drum 26"W x 14"D
Mounted Tom 14"W x 10" D
Floor Toms 16"W x 16"D and 18"W x 16"D

I don't know if the set was sold with the snare drum or not. But it also had two more floor toms 20"Width and a 22" Width one. Because of Bonzo's style of playing and that the plexiglass material was a relativly new material drums, the kit would crack. They cracked where the tom mount and kick spurs were mounted to the kick drum for instance. The new set doesn't have this problem. Jeff Ocheltree (Bonzo's Drum Tech) would have drill holes around the cracks as well as use larger washers.

I wonder about his studio kits as well... ?

Bonham used three different ludwig green sparkle set on Led Zeppelin III, IV, Houses of the Holy, and Physical Graffiti. You can see him playing one of them on the "Immigrant Song" on the Led Zeppelin DVD. Pat Bonham has one of the kits that is suppose to be at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The drums sizes are:
Kick Drum 26"W x 14"D
Mounted Tom 14"W x 10"D (later 15"x10"depth)
Floor Toms 16"W x 16"D and 18"W x 16"D
Snare Drum Ludwig Supraphonic

I know that Praire Prince has one of Bonham's green sparkle kits in his collection. This guy played for the Tubes and now plays 4 Todd Rundgren. Bonham's amber vistas are in the music hall of fame. You can read more about John Bonham at the Zeppelin Site.

He had a few Black & white vistalite spiral kits for practicing, if you look at the John Bonham at Drummerworld page - there's a picture of Bonham practicing on it in his house, one of these kits was sold by Bonzo for £5 to a close mate of his who hired it out for gigs in the midlands area where John was from!

I believe Pat Bonham has a couple of his Kits too.

His 1st touring kit with Zeppelin was a silver sparke Ludwig with a smaller 24" kick - it's believed to be owned by the Verve drummer now (forget his name). I've also seen a picture of Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart etc) with one of Bonham's Giant Beat Paiste Cymbals from the 1st tour they were on together.

John Bonhams Cymbals

John Bonham used Paiste 2002 Series Cymbals He used them on most of the Led Zeppelin recording as well as live. Back then (early 70's) Paiste started making cymbals for the live musician. They needed to be loud enough to cut through all the other noise :^) Paiste cymbals are made of bronze alloy that has a lesser amount of tin that say Zildjian cymbals

John Bonham's Cymbal setup included:(All Paiste 2002)
Ride: 24in
Hi Hats: 15" Paiste Sound Edge (wripple edge)
Crash (His Left): 16" or 18" Paiste 2002 Crash
Crash (His Right): 18" Medium Crash Not to forget the sometimes on fire 38" Paiste Gong Just awesome:^) I'd also point out that Bonham used Paiste 'Giant Beat' Cymbals up 'til '72 when the 2002 series was first introduced - this would suggest that the 1st 4 Zeppelin LP's were recorded with the giant beats & Houses of the Holy was the first time he used 2002's in the studio!

Q: What type of Microphones where used to record john bonham drumset in the studio?

A1: From what I can tell when his drums were recorded in the studio there was maybe 3 or 4 mics used. I've heard that they were Neumann 67's or 87's, some have said that they were Beyer M-160's but I would guess that they were Neumann's.

I read an article about a month ago that mentioned the mics used to record John Bonham's drum set but can't seem to find it at the moment. I too am very interested in what mics where used as well as how they recorded it.

The John Bonham - Drums of Thunder only mentions the live mics used to record for The Song Remains the Same which are Shure SM57's. They used them on all the drums and gongs. I'm sure that at some point they were compressed but don't really know what was used, a Fairchild 670 or La-2a?

A2: Andy Johns who recorded a number of Zeppelin's album says he used two Beyer M160s that were placed in a large staircase area and recorded his set. They were at some distance away and then the mics were compressed. It produced a big sound especially for those days...

Hal Leonard John Bonham: A Thunder of Drums Book
John Bonham - A Thunder of Drums

John Henry 'Bonzo" Bonham was the godfather of hard rock drumming - and he remains an idol to legions of Led Zeppelin and heavy metal fans worldwide. Although Bonham had to be courted away from more lucrative offers, he joined the newly formed band in 1968, helping guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant create such famous songs as 'Stairway to Heaven" and 'Kashmir" until his sudden death in 1980 at the age of 32. His unmistakable drum patterns are among the most emulated and sampled by today's rock drummers. This book is the first biography focusing on Bonham, providing a detailed track-by-track analysis of his greatest recordings, 45 color photos, and the most detailed and accurate inventory ever of Bonham's drum kits and percussion equipment.

A childhood friend of Robert Plant, they played together in the 'Band of Joy', resulting in local gigs and a few studio demos. At first, Bonham was reluctant to join the well-known guitarist because of a steady gig with Tim Rose. But... the rest of history...As John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have all stated many times, Led Zeppelin wouldn't have been half as good without him. Along with JPJ, they provided the solid foundation and backbone of the band, which made it all possible. Live performances truly showcased his abilities during the numerous improvised jams throughout every concert and of course his famous "Moby Dick" drum solo; reaching a half-hour in length at times! Imitators are usually left frustrated, since Bonham made it look so easy - not only in his playing but also in the incredible drum sound he achieved.

His legendary right foot (on his bass pedal) and lightning-fast triplets were his instant trademark. He later refined his style from the hard skin-bashing approach to a more delicate wrist controlled one - which produced an even more powerful & louder sound with less effort. His tragic passing on September 25th, 1980 immortalized his legacy forever. His only son, Jason proudly continues the tradition. Daughter Zoe also has a strong interest in music and is experimenting with her own original material. John's sister Deborah is a highly acclaimed & talented singer.

This is a set designed for thundering bass-heavy sound from its large drums with Mini-Classic lugs. 26" x 14" bass, 16" x 16" and 18" x 16" floor toms, 14" x 12" tom, and a 6.5" x 14" metal snare. Hardware includes two snare stands, three cymbal stands, hi-hat stand, foot pedal, and bass spurs. Cymbals not included.


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