The Led Zeppelin Song John Bonham Struggled To Play

John Bonham is among the greatest and most influential drummers in history with his distinctive sound, speed, power, and fast single-footed kick drumming. Considered a legend in the history of rock music, Bonham is a musical hero in many drummers’ eyes.

Throughout his career with Led Zeppelin, John Bonham performed memorable drum solos that required great talent. Considering Bonham’s incredible drumming skills, one expects him to handle every drum duty, but there was one Zeppelin song that gave him trouble.

Which Led Zeppelin Piece Was Challenging For John Bonham?

Led Zeppelin released their fourth studio album, ‘Led Zeppelin IV’ on November 8, 1971. Produced by Jimmy Page, they recorded the album between December 1970 and February 1971. The band’s signature song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ also appeared on this album, making it a commercial and critical success.

In ‘Led Zeppelin IV,’ there was a song that was pretty difficult to record. Titled ‘Four Sticks,’ the piece was named after Bonham’s playing pattern, using four drum sticks. It was so challenging to record that it took numerous takes to finish working on the song. Due to its difficulty, the band played ‘Four Sticks’ on stage only once.

As reported by Far Out Magazine, John Paul Jones recalled the recording sessions for ‘Four Sticks.’ He stated that it took Bonham a long time to play the song correctly. According to Jones, Bonham couldn’t count what he was playing, and if any of his phrases ended up being in the wrong place, the drummer had to start all over again.

Here is what John Paul Jones said about John Bonham’s struggles playing the song:

“It took him ages to get ‘Four Sticks.’ I seemed to be the only one who could count things in. Jimmy Page would play something, and John would say, ‘That’s great. Where’s the first beat? You know it, but you gotta tell us.’ He couldn’t count what he was playing. It would be a great phrase, but you couldn’t relate it to a count. If you think of ‘one’ being in the wrong place, you are completely screwed.”

Jimmy Page, on the other hand, argued that they ended up recording the song in two takes because it was physically impossible for Bonham to do another take. So, even though Bonham has an unbelievable drumming talent, it seems ‘Four Sticks’ was a pain in the neck for him.

Revealing the reason they recorded ‘Four Sticks’ in two takes, Jimmy Page said the following:


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