During a recent appearance on Radio Forrest, Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice talked about his influence on Led Zeppelin’s late drummer John Bonham.
John Bonham, known as ‘Bonzo,’ joined Led Zeppelin back in 1968 and played for the band for over ten years, recording a total of eight records. However, the drummer passed away back in 1980 due to pulmonary aspiration at the age of 32.
In the conversation, Carmine touched upon the fact that he was one of Bonzo’s sources of inspiration, according to his book, and said that Bonzo was playing the drums just like him in the early days of his career.
Furthermore, Appice pointed out that Bonzo asked him if he could help him get a Ludwig endorsement when nobody knew who Bonzo was, but Carmine saw the potential in him and told Ludwig to endorse the late drummer.
While noting that he is not ‘egoing out’ about his relationship with Bonzo but just telling the truth, he also stated that they became friends during their tour with Led Zeppelin and even played some Zeppelin songs together.
Carmine Appice on his relationship with Bonzo:
“According to the book ‘A Thunder of Drums,’ I was one of his influences. So that means that he picked up a lot of the power that I use.
‘Cause, basically, when you look back at the drummers who were influential and who were around inspiring people, it was Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Keith Moon, and me, and Dino Danelli.
All the other four guys, they played light. I played really loud with a lot of power and showmanship. And when John saw me live, he loved it, and he loved my big drums. So he asked me if I could help him get a Ludwig endorsement.”
“I mean, think about it – nobody knew him. It’s hard to believe now. People say when I talk about it like I’m egoing out. I’m not really egoing out. I’m just telling the truth.
Nobody knew John Bonham. And I called Ludwig and said, ‘I think this guy’s gonna be big. He wants a kit just like mine. It would be great if you give him an endorsement.’ And on my word they did.
And we sent them the first album, and on that, they gave him an endorsement. He wasn’t known yet. And then on the next tour, we did a lot of shows together, and he had the same exact drum set as me.
And he was playing like me. He was doing the twirls like me, grabbing the cymbals like me. And he’d look at me when he did it, and we’d laugh. I’d give him a thumbs-up. We were friends. Me and Tim, on that tour, jammed with Zeppelin on one of the songs.”
You can listen to the entire conversation below.