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John Bonham and me

My name is Puccio Latte Piu and I am a drummer in a band called Latte+.  I have been drumming since I was 17 and haven’t stopped since.

During a recent visit to the UK, the opportunity to visit the resting place of one of my drumming idols was presented to me.  In a stroke of luck, I found out that the late John Bonham of Led Zeppelin was buried in an idyllic village not far from where I was staying in Herefordshire.  John Bonham was in my life from an early age as my father would play songs in the car, in the house, on holiday to either send me to sleep or wake me up.  If he wanted to send me to sleep he would play; ‘Going to California’ and if he wanted to wake me he would play, ‘Rock n roll’.

When the day came for me to go and pay my respects to John I was so filled with happiness, excitement and mostly gratitude that I would, at last, be as close to him as was ever possible.  The sun was shining, the wind was at ease with only gentle caresses of air kissing our faces as we took in the view.

Before we went up to the grave myself and Nikki discussed why John was such an influence in my life and why this trip was so special to me.  John was instrumental in influencing my musicality as I believe he invented a new way to create drum sounds.  In perfecting the maximum use of the ‘triplet’ rudiment he created a new way to play this set of beats and whilst it can be recognised that ‘triplets’ were used before Bonham, it is widely accepted that the popularity of the ‘Bonham’ way was now embraced by the world.  His ability to convert a story of feeling from his drumming into music is nothing short of genius enabling him to control different levels of energy and dynamism throughout each track.

The truth was a man who was alive for a very short period of my life had affected my soul in a way words are unable to explain.  Very few people on this planet have talent that is so profound it moulds a new way of living, of breathing, of thinking and in this case of drumming.

What preceded was some thoughtful and peaceful time reading his tributes and just sitting in silence as my heartbeat pounded to the sound of his drums in my head.  There was no need for words just quiet reflection, some tears and sincere thanks.  I will never forget the day I sat with John Bonham in his final place of rest.

The king of arrangements. 

The master of drums.

John Bonham my hero.


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