While promoting his “Iron Man: My Journey Through Heaven And Hell With Black Sabbath” book at the end of last year, BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi spoke to Artisan News about his good friend, late LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham, who as of today has been gone 32 years. In the clip below, Iommi recalled that the LED ZEPPELIN drummer was both good crazy and bad crazy — especially around motor vehicles.
In a 2005 interview with “Sound of the Beast” author Ian Christe, Iommi revealed that he had studio tapes of BLACK SABBATH jamming with LED ZEPPELIN during the mid-1970s.
“BLACK SABBATH used to jam with LED ZEPPELIN all the time.” said the Birmingham-born Iommi. “We’d be trying to rehearse and they’d come interrupt us. I’ve got some tapes floating around the house.”
Speaking to Backpage Magazine last year, BLACK SABBATH drummer Bill Ward stated about the infamous “Black Zeppelin” jam session rumored to have happened between SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN during the 1970s, “It only happened on one occasion that ZEPPELIN and SABBATH were in the studio at one time, and I think it was in the mid-’70s. We were in sessions — I don’t remember what album we were working on — but it all started when Bonzo [LED ZEPPELIN drummer John Bonham] comes into the studio and sits down at my drum kit and starts playing ‘Supernaut’. That was one of our songs that he really liked. It escalated to a pretty crazy situation within about 30 minutes, because not only was Bonzo there, but Robert Plant and John Paul Jones were there as well. Jimmy [Page] wasn’t there, but I wish he had been. And Bonzo was kickin’ the crap out of my drum kit!” Ward laughed. “I can still hear him playing that intro on the hat, over and over.
“Bonham‘s bass drum work, of course, was incredible,” recalled Ward. “I played two bass drums, and they only let him play one in LED ZEPPELIN, so there he was playing two bass drums. ‘Supernaut’, I tell you, sounded like something from the hardcore bands of today, where they play two bass drums with such incredible speed. And you know, Bonzo was doing that easily. He was having a good time, playing two bass drums, and he was playing all the down beats and some quiet treble with all the high hats. So, he was playing ‘Supernaut’ with a whole different feel, all the while yelling ‘Supernaut!’ for pretty much the whole time. It was crazy, man.”