Bonzo's Montreux


  • This song is a John Bonham drum orchestration. Jimmy Page helped Bonham process the drums to make it much more interesting than a standard drum solo.
  • Montreaux is a town in Switzerland where this was recorded. They host a jazz festival every year, which Zeppelin played in 1970. Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" is about a concert in Montreaux.
  • Recorded in 1976, this was eventually released on Coda, a collection of unreleased tracks put out after Bonham's death. The closest thing we have to a requiem for one of rock's most legendary drummers, this song clocks in at a brief four minutes and nineteen seconds. Coda was technically an album of contractual fulfillment for Atlantic records.
  • John Bonham still garners awards and recognition, years after his death. As recently as 2011, Rolling Stone readers voted him to the top in their list of "best drummers of all time." Ironic, considering the band's poor reviews by critics at the time (especially Stone's) was particularly galling to Bonham.

    In the album title for the album commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, Bonham's symbol is the third one, with three intersecting circles, of course resembling a drum kit. Bonham's father bought him his first drum kit at age 15.
  • Have you heard about the "Jimmy Page is cursed" legend? Along with Bonham, three other people associated with Jimmy Page died in their 30s: Keith Relf, Yardbirds lead singer, Keith Moon, The Who drummer who inspired Led Zeppelin's name, and Sandy Denny, guest vocalist on "The Battle Of Evermore."

Comments: 34

  • Tedd from Lakeland I can't believe this article had to end with "the curse of Jimmy Page" I thought journalist have grown up by now. But anyway as a big fan of Zep ,I researched them ,to find out how they got together. By now we all know , in my research I easily found out about Bonzos Montreux. He was experimenting with the solo and page helped him adding the electronic sound and page as everyone knows produced every record they made, he's a master in the studio. He and Bonzo we're very good friends and partners, he has said many times over that John Bonham was not replacable, I'm sure it was devastating to him and the whole band when he died. It's got to be so insulting to read that his deal with the devil, crap is the reason he died. Besides like a comedian once said rock bands and fans don't need help from the devil . It's sex, drugs, and rock n roll, you grow up and out of that stage of your life they admit they were excessive in that, but gave it up. John Bonham played to the guitar not the bass, that was unique and perfect for page to do those amazing Solo's .
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzSomeone needs to post Bonzo's first solo, "Pat's Delight."
  • Bill from Gurnee, IlThis song is amazing. The biggest letdown for me is there are no less than 6 places where you can hear splices. Putting that aside, a fantastic piece of percussion work.
  • Davíd from Woburn, MaLed Zeppelin sucks... at being terrible! This song is insane.
  • Daz from N Richland Hills, TxWHAT?! this is Moby Dick from the second album! why is it called Bonzo's Montreaux?!
  • David from Los Angeles , CaJohn from Long Island, Bonzo is actually above Keith Moon and Neil Pert. Long Live John Henry Bonham.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnTruly a superb percussionist. I think he was solely "instrumental" in giving Zepp it's funk.
  • John from Long Island, NyHe is an incredible drummer. He's up there with Keith Moon and Neil Pert.
  • Shirese from Chicago, IlI think that Bonzo is the best drummer ever. He is also my favorite member of Led Zeppelin.
  • Tommy from New Orleans, Laactually, stewart copeland of the police is a better drummer than bonham. check it out yourself and see.
  • James from Gettysburg, PaI read before that Led Zeppelin did not allow any of their songs to be used for advertising until 2002 or so when they let Pontiac use "Rock and Roll". However, we recieved a sample CD-ROM in the mail, back in 1998, that had a ad for DirectPC using "Bonzo's Montreaux". The studio version! How do you explain that?
  • Luke from Manchester, EnglandActually, Smoke On The Water isn't about a concert, it's about the making of the album Machine Head which they were recording AFTER the concert but it's not about about the concert itself.
  • Alexx from Noblesville, InEd, I'm not completely sure, but I think that electronic noise was a steel drum. they processed the sound in the studio.
  • Ed from York, Pawhat was the weird electronic noise...
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaIf you listen carefully throughout the song (except towards the end of the song), you can hear the bass drum pedal squeaking.
  • Cassandra from Houston, TxJohn Bohnam was the best drummer ever lived.may God rest his soul
  • That Dude from This Place, CoA Moby Dick for the drumset? Excellent!!
  • Tom from East Lyme, CtWhat version on what DVD Devon?
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthe version on the dvd is awesome.
  • Spencer from Richmond, Vathis song sounds so...mecahcnical. it reminds me of the noises of a factory or something
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthis song makes me wanna dance. can anyone say more cowbell? Bonham is a great drummer.
  • John from Flanders, NjThe incorrect spelling hurts. I love John Bonham though -- wild man.
  • Jessica from Jacksonville, FlI only recently heard this song and I love it. But what really strikes me about it is how industrial and electronic it sounds. In fact there's a sequence of beats around the 2:00 minute mark that sounds like it might have been borrowed by Nine Inch Nails.
  • David Corino from Hawley, PaWhen i played this song at my friends house once, he thoght their was four different drummers.
  • Jay from Geneva, CheezlandDavid is quite right. The town in question is indeed spelled "Montreux". The Jazz Festival started out that way but offers a much broader array of music styles nowadays. It's actually worth the trip and is held in July every year.
  • Mike from Encinitas, Cathis song was never performed live
  • Mike from Richmond, VaYes, his drumming is a sufficient song, but add jimmy page's god-like guitar skills, plant's unmatched vocals, and jpj's multiple abilities and you've got a band that will live on forever.
  • Travis from New York City, NyI actually think that Coda is a great album, especially if you have the boxed set version with the bonus. But even without them it is still great.
  • Ryan from Mesa, AzThis song is crazy.
  • David from Cooltown, MiThe town in Switzerland is actually spelled "Montreux" and it is spelled that way on the cd 'Coda' as well.
  • Will from Portland, OrThis is such a good song, that even though the album isn't too great, you can hear it and get hooked into Zeppelin. Its really that way with any Zeppelin album
  • Greg from Hicksville, VtTo me, the drumming seems very similar to some of the drumming on "Nobody's Fault But Mine." Listen to the two songs back to back and you'll see what I mean.
  • Bill from W.i., NyBonham's drumming alone creates a self-sufficient song.
  • Owen from Indianapolis, InThis was my first Led album. I was a drummer at the time and "Bonzo's" opened my eyes to the beauty and potential of percussion and instrumentals. I'm so glad my grandmother didn't know that no one in there right mind wouldn't want to start there Led Zepplin collection with #2 or #4.
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