John Bonham Net Worth: Career, Lifestyle & Death

John Bonham (Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery)
John Bonham (Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Arguably one of the best drummers to have ever lived, John Bonham had a net worth of a staggering $10 million at his death. 

He was the drummer for “Led Zeppelin,” one of the most innovative and influential bands of all time.

Thanks to his speed, power, quick single-footed kick drumming, unique sound, and feel for the beat, John is still considered one of the finest and most significant rock drummers in history.

John Bonham
John Bonham (Source: Morrison Hotel Gallery)

Bonham was a member of Led Zeppelin until his death in September 1980, after a day of heavy drinking.

Following his terrible death, his bandmates pursued their careers rather than carry on playing as Led Zeppelin.

On the other hand, John’s music was left to his family and friends as a legacy.

John Bonham | Quick Facts

Let’s look at quick facts to understand more about John Bonham.

Birth Name John Henry Bonham
Professional Name John Bonham
Nick Name Bonzo, The Beast
Birth Date May 31, 1948
Age 74 Years Old
Birth Place Redditch, Worcestershire, England
Death  September 25, 1980
Height 179 cm (5 feet 10 inches)
Weight 71 kg (156.5 lbs.)
Religion Christian
Gender Male
Build Slim
Distinctive Feature Mustache
Eye Color Green
Hair Color Black
Profession Musician, Drummer
Instrument Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Father’s Name Jack Bonham
Mother’s Name Joan Bonham
Genres Rock
Horoscope Gemini
Ethnicity White
Siblings Mick Bonham and Deborah Bonham
High School Lodge Farm Secondary Modern School
College N/A
Label Atlantic, Swan Song
Sexual Orientation Straight
Marital Status Married
Spouse Pat Phillips (1965-1980)
Children 2 (Jason Bonham, Zoë Bonham)
Active Since 1962-1980
Merch Tribute Drums, Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin Trading Card
Social Media FacebookInstagram
Last Update October 2022

John Bonham | Net Worth and Income

Multi-talented musician and drummer John Bonham’s net worth was a whopping $10 million when he passed away. 

Due to inflation, the money equates to $30 million in today’s time. 

Grant, the band’s manager, got a $143,000 advance deal ($1,114,000 in today’s economy) from Atlantic Records in November 1968.

It was the largest agreement of its sort for a new band at the time.

After releasing their first album in 1969, “Led Zeppelin” became an overnight hit.

Soon after, a second album was released, and the sales and ticket sales profits from touring piled up swiftly.

By 1973, the band had begun obliterating “The Beatles'” stadium records.

Zeppelin generated almost $3 million in two nights from gigs in Atlanta and Tampa during a swing through the South.

Meanwhile, Atlantic Records couldn’t keep up with the demand for copies of the band’s studio recordings.

Since its release in 1972, “Led Zeppelin IV” has sold over 37 million copies.

Its 23 million US sales rank fifth all-time, and Zeppelin remains in the top ten in all-time record sales, despite the band separating after many years.

Given his distinctive drumming in each song, John might have amassed a wealth greater than $10 million if he were still living today.

Furthermore, his money and assets were left to his family because his death was unintentional and unexpected.

John Bonham’s Net Worth in Different Currencies

Let’s look into John Bonham’s net worth in different currencies, including the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

Currency Net Worth
Euro € 9,378,500
Pound Sterling £ 8,000,600
Australian Dollar A$ 14,185,100
Canadian Dollar C$ 12,870,350
Indian Rupee ₹ 775,690,000
Bitcoin ฿ 338.39

John Bonham | Houses & Cars 

Houses

John Bonham’s net worth at the time of his death was $10 million.

John bought the Old Hyde land on Rushock, UK, in mid-1972 and developed it into a productive family farm.

Bonham saw his home on the top of a hill with a spectacular view of the Worcestershire landscape as an excellent spot to raise his family and pursue his love for farming.

John had previously resided with his parents at Hunt End, Redditch, before relocating his family to West Hagley in 1969.

Under his father’s supervision, the old farmhouse was dismantled and rebuilt twice its original size.

The Bonham family still owns the property.

Cars

John had a large collection of classic automobiles. In fact, he possessed the best vehicle collection in the band.

His collection featured a Jensen Interceptor and a Ferrari 400i, among other things. He did, however, love noisy American V8s.

In the UK, he also possessed an imported 1954 Ford and a right-hand drive AC Cobra 427.

John Classic Car (Source: 6SpeedOnline)
John Classic Car (Source: 6SpeedOnline)

While on tour in America, he maintained a C1 Corvette in a hotel garage.

Similarly, Bonham purchased the white Model T with special paint and a highly polished Chevrolet V8 engine and had it brought back to the UK.

Furthermore, John also had a Rolls-Royce and Pontiac Trans Am.

John Bonham | Lifestyle, Death, and Vacations

Lifestyle

Multi-millionaire drummer John Bonham lived a luxurious and adventurous lifestyle with a net worth of $10 million.

On May 31, 1948, he was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England, to Joan and Jack Bonham.

Sadly, in 2011, his mother died at the age of 81.

John grew up with two younger siblings, Mick Bonham and Deborah Bonham. 

At the age of five, Bonham began playing drums, building a kit out of containers and coffee tins to imitate his heroes Max Roach, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich.

When he was 10, his mom gave him a snare drum. At 15, he acquired his first drum kit, a Premier Percussion piece, from his father.

John never had professional drum lessons, but he learned from other Redditch drummers.

Similarly, he was a student at Lodge Farm Secondary Modern School.

After graduating from high school in 1964, he worked as an apprentice carpenter for his father in between playing for local bands.

Bonham With His Son (Source: Pinterest)
Bonham With His Son (Source: Pinterest)

Bonham married Pat Phillips, with whom he had two children. His daughter, Zoe Bonham, is a singer-songwriter who has performed at several Led Zeppelin reunions.

Similarly, his son, Jason Bonham, is a drummer who has performed and toured with many musical celebrities.

On 15 May 1988, Jason performed with Led Zeppelin at their Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary reunion event and again on 10 December 2007, at the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert.

In 1995, Zoe and Jason attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony alongside the band’s remaining members.

Death

On  24, 1980, the four band members began practicing in preparation for their first North American tour since 1977, set to start in Montreal, Canada.

The band was staying at Jimmy Page‘s Windsor house during the rehearsals.

John allegedly asked to stop for breakfast when he drank four triple vodkas during the drive to rehearsal. After arriving at rehearsal, he began to drink heavily.

The band finished rehearsing late at night and retreated to Page’s house, where John’s death was discovered on September 25, 1980.

A post-mortem examination revealed that he had no other drugs in his system.

According to Rolling Stone, at the time of his death, John had recently conquered a heroin addiction and was taking an unidentified medicine for anxiety and despair.

On October 12, 1980, John’s ashes were interred in Rushock parish church in Worcestershire.

Vacations

John enjoyed traveling and discovering new areas. He had visited several nations for world musical tours and concerts.

Bonham enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

He was an adventurer who frequently embarked on a journey in his spare time.

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John Bonham | Charity

John has been the subject of charity work even after his death.

In 2010, his drum skin was auctioned off for racehorse charity.

His hometown’s festival honoring him raised thousands of dollars for the “Teenage Cancer Trust” in 2021.

The funds raised were used to fund critical services for young people in the West Midlands before, during, and after cancer treatment.

John Bonham | Movies, Investments, and Endorsements

Movies

Aside from music, John had appeared in a few movies and television series.

Bonham played the drums in the 1974 picture “Son of Dracula.”

Likewise, “The Song Remains the Same” is a concert film starring an English rock band from 1976.

The filming took place in 1973, over three nights of performances at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Similarly, he was featured in many television series such as “85 Grave Horror Show” (2020), “The Peter Austin Noto Show” (2017), “Nationwide” (1970), and “Beat-Club” (1970).

Investments

As of October 2022, John Bonham’s net worth is a massive $10 million.

John’s primary business was his music with the band and collaboration with many artists.

Bonham’s performance was frequently criticized as bombastic and without a feeling of swing by music journalists who were not open to the hard rock components of the band’s sound.

However, since his death, Bonham’s fame has expanded outside the arena of hard rock.

Moreover, his technique is now widely regarded as deserving of a thorough examination by critics and musicians.

Endorsements

John endorsed a few musical accessories that he used in his career.

Bonham first played Premier drums, but in the late 1960s was exposed to Ludwig drums.

In 1968, he signed a sponsorship deal with Ludwig. As a result, he continued to support Ludwigs for the rest of his career.

Ludwig revived John’s drum kits in several types in 2005.

Furthermore, stainless steel kits identical to those Bonham played during the final Led Zeppelin concerts in the 1970s were released in 2007.

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John Bonham | Career

After the Yardbirds disbanded in July 1968, guitarist Jimmy Page created a new band and hired Robert Plant, who suggested Bonham.

When Page and manager Peter Grant saw John’s drum in July 1968, they were persuaded he was the right fit for the group and also renamed the group the New Yardbirds and eventually Led Zeppelin.

Bonham’s style with the band was largely hard-hitting hard rock, but he also covered funk and Latin-influenced rhythms in later releases.

Led Zeppelin (Source: Grunge)
Led Zeppelin (Source: Grunge)

“Led Zeppelin,” the band’s debut album, was released in the United States during the tour on January 12, 1969, and reached number 10 on the Billboard list.

The band completed the US and four UK performance tours in their first year and released their second album, “Led Zeppelin II.”

During the 1970s, Led Zeppelin achieved new financial and critical success levels, elevating them to the ranks of the era’s most influential bands and eclipsing their previous triumphs.

Some Interesting Facts About John Bonham

  • John Bonham was an eager music listener.
  • In 1995, Bonham was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a part of Led Zeppelin.
  • John’s childhood home was honored with a blue plaque in June 2017.

FAQs

Who is the greatest drummer of all time?

The Rolling Stone ranked John Bonham as the finest drummer of all time in 2016. 

Is there a statue of John Bonham?

On his 70th birthday, May 31, 2018, a statue honoring him was installed in his hometown of Redditch, England. The 2.5-tonne bronze sculpture was put in Mercian Square and is coated in anti-graffiti paint.

Which member of Led Zeppelin rode a Harley through a hotel?

Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham once rode his Harley Davidson motorcycle down the halls of the hotel Chateau Marmont.

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