Today would have been John Bonham‘s 71st birthday (May 31, 1948 – September 25, 1980) had he still made it out of the Led Zeppelin craziness and fame alive, and we can’t help but still be pining for a world of music that still has John Bonham still smashing the drums well into his later life.

As it wasn’t meant to be, instead we can take a trip some of the YouTube highlights that show what a force he was behind the drum kit.

Scroll down to see some of our favorites…

1“What makes John Bonham such a good drummer?”

First off, if you’ve ever asked yourself “why do people make a ‘big deal’ out of John Bonham? I mean, is he really worthy of all of that hype?” hopefully someone inside your help slapped you with this video below explaining what made him truly unique as a musician. This wasn’t just some dude that had a natural rhythm, he was studied and ridiculously disciplined about his craft.

What Makes John Bonham Such a Good Drummer?

2The drumbeat for “Fool in the Rain”

Check out isolated audio of his infamous shuffle groove on “Fool in the Rain,” a song I will simply never be able to nail as a drummer myself. It’s just too perfect of a groove. So much pocket here it’s insane.

John Bonham's special half time shuffle groove

3His famous drum solo from “Moby Dick” (Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1970)

Here’s a rather famous drum solo from “Moby Dick” which is frequently referenced as the “greatest drum solo ever.” You be the judge.

Led zeppelin moby dick full

4Actually, any drum solo he did was insane

Here’s another video that’s gotten a billion or so plays showing all the solo material out of their The Song Remains The Same release.

JOHN BONHAM SOLO (1973)

5His ability to lay down complex rhythms in the studio

Anyone that knows anything about recording music knows that the foundation of every recording pretty much ever made at this point is a solid drum track. If the drummer can’t lay something down, either live with his band or as a foundation track, the song will only go so far.

Bonham’s ability to actually take a complex beat and get it down on tape still needs to be highlighted. This compilation of his isolated studio drum tracks from a variety of Led Zeppelin classics it’s basically a perfect drum accompaniment video, something you could practice along to. Or just put it on your headphones, crank it up, and air drum along with the master.

John Bonham – Led Zeppelin – Isolated Studio Drum Tracks/Outtakes RARE

It’s cool that his son is carrying the torch, too, and of course we’ll be waiting with official panic and anxiety should the Led Zeppelin gang decide to officially reunite again at some point.