CARMINE APPICE – “JOHN BONHAM Told Me I Was One Of His Influences”
October 12, 2020, a year ago
Speaking with the Aftershocks podcast, drummer Carmine Appice was asked if it’s important for him to keep the legacy of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham alive.
Appice said, "Well, for me, it's different, because I was around before him. [Led Zeppelin] opened up for [Vanilla Fudge], and when they did, John Bonham had told me I was one of his influences. I got a call from Steve Smith, you know, Steve Smith from Journey, one day, and he said to me, 'I just listened to Vanilla Fudge's Renaissance album, and what I heard on there was everything John Bonham ever did.' I said, 'Oh, thank you, Steve. I really appreciate it.'”
Appice went on to say, “Drummers are like a different kind of breed; we all take from each other. John Bonham did stuff I did because I was around before him. He used to listen to Vanilla Fudge records. I used to listen to Max Roach and Joe Morello. I listened to Ginger Baker. I listened to this one, I listened to that one.
"When they came on tour with us, I got him his drum set. I've got a picture of my drum set and his drum set, and it was the same drum set, which were big, oversized drums. I started that fad with the Ludwig drum company back in 1968, and they toured with us at the end of '68. When he saw my drum set; he had a little 22 bass drum. I had a 26 bass drum. I had a big tom in the middle and big toms on the side, a big, fat snare drum. And when he saw that, he said, 'Man, can you help me get a deal with Ludwig?'
“So I called Ludwig and said, 'Hey, I have this new band opening up for us, this guy John Bonham. I think they're gonna be big.' Now I say it's an understatement of five decades. So with that, they gave him the same set as mine. We had two blond maple kits; double bass drums even he had. And we did one tour in '69 with both those drum sets. I often wondered how silly it was when they went on, he had his double-bass drum set, and I went on, and I had mine. They took his off and they put mine on. But the audiences probably said, 'Why did they take that drum set off and they put it back on again?' It was the same exact drum set. After that tour, Robert [Plant] and Jimmy [Page] told him it was too busy with two bass drums: 'Take one away.' When he took one away, the Led Zeppelin drum set was born. So that's the story.”