Earlier today (May 31), a sculpture of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was unveiled in Mercian Square in his hometown of Redditch, England. Today would have been Bonham's 70th birthday.

It stands six feet high, is 16 feet wide and weighs more than 5,000 pounds. One side features Bonham pounding away at his kit. On the back of the gong is his full name, John Henry Bonham, and his birthdate (May 31, 1948) and the day of his death (Sept. 25, 1980) encircling the Led Zeppelin IV symbol that represents him. Below it reads, "The most outstanding and original drummer of his time, John Bonham's popularity and influence continue to resonate within the world of music and beyond."

The sculptor, Mark Richards, used anti-graffiti paint, a lesson possibly learned from a statue of David Bowie that was vandalized less than two days after it was dedicated in Aylesbury, England earlier this year.

"Delighted that my memorial sculpture to John Bonham was installed over night in Redditch town centre," Richards wrote on Twitter. "Thanks to all who helped make this happen." He also complimented an eagle-eyed commenter who correctly guessed that the base on which the kit sits was inspired by Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland, the setting for the cover artwork of Houses of the Holy. Richards added that there were other Zeppelin references in the piece that did not show up in the photos.

The campaign was organized by Bonham's sister Deborah several years ago, and it finally got approved back in October. A majority of the funds were raised by a private donor.

Photo credit: Mark Richards
Photo credit: Mark Richards


Rock Star Statues