Publishers of a new John Bonham biography said it would arrive with a foreword by longtime fan Dave Grohl.
C.M. Kushins’ Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin runs 384 pages and will be released on Sept. 7. It follows the rock icon from his early years until his 1980 death, which brought Zeppelin to an end.
Describing the late legend as “one of the greatest drummers in rock history, and a genuine wild man of epic (and sadly fatal) proportions,” Hachette Books said in a statement: “Bonham first learned to play the drums at the age of five, and despite never taking formal lessons, began drumming for local bands immediately upon graduating from secondary school. By the late ’60s, Bonham was looking for a more solid gig in order to provide his growing family with a more regular income. Meanwhile, following the dissolution of the popular blues rock band the Yardbirds, lead guitarist Jimmy Page sought the company of new bandmates to help him record an album and tour Scandinavia as the New Yardbirds.
“A few months later, Bonham was recruited to join the band, who would eventually become known as Led Zeppelin – and before the year was out, Bonham and his three bandmates would become the richest rock band in the world. … As Adam Budofsky, managing editor of Modern Drummer, explained, ‘If the king of rock ‘n’ roll was Elvis Presley, then the king of rock drumming was certainly John Bonham.’”
In January, Grohl recalled how he tattooed himself with Bonham’s emblem as a teenager. “I became obsessed with John Bonham,” he admitted. “It’s hard to explain, but his feel and sound is unmistakable and undefinable. … I became so obsessed that I gave myself a three-interlocked-circles John Bonham tattoo on my arm with a fucking sewing needle and some ink. I was branded for life.”