Led Zeppelin's drummer, John Bonham was esteemed for his speed, power, fast right foot, distinctive sound, and "feel" for the groove. He is considered to be one of the greatest percussionists in the history of rock music by many drummers, other musicians, and commentators in the industry.

John Bonham has been described by Allmusic as one of the "most important, well-known and influential drummers in rock." Adam Budofsky, managing editor of Modern Drummer magazine, writes "If the king of rock 'n' roll was Elvis Presley, then the king of rock drumming was certainly John Bonham."

Bonham passed away on September 24, 1980 as a result of alcohol poisoning and asphyxiation following a pre-tour band rehearsal. The remaining band members decided to disband Led Zeppelin after Bonham's death. They issued the following press statement on December 4, 1980:

"We wish it to be known that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the sense of undivided harmony felt by ourselves and our manager, have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."    -Led Zeppelin