Mike Portnoy Names And Performs His Favorite John Bonham Grooves

Former Dream Theater drummer talks about the influence the late Led Zeppelin legend had on him.

Ultimate Guitar

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy recently sat down behind his drum kit with the Drum Guru for an exclusive discussion about the impact the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham had on him. And like many drummers, Portnoy has also named Bonzo as a huge influence.

"John Bonham is one of my all time biggest drum heroes, in fact I have his cymbal tattooed on my leg. He's influenced every drummer that picked up a pair of sticks beyond the '70s."

Portnoy sang praises of the late Led Zeppelin drummer, addressing his sound and the influence he had on other drummers.

"The reason John Bonham sounded that way is because he was John Bonham. It was him that made those grooves sound the way they did. I don't know if there's ever been a drummer that really duplicated his feel."

Current Adrenaline Mob drummer also took some time to play his favorite Bonham grooves, including the intro to Led Zeppelin track "When The Levee Breaks". You can check out the full video below.

YouTube preview picture

So what do you think about Portnoy's opinions here? And what are your own thoughts of the late Bonzo? Let us know in the comments section below.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    not a massive fan of portnoy, but kudos to him for playing some of the grooves from the famous "23 Bonham Outtakes"
    I don't know much about Dream Theater but I was under the impression that their drummers were more Keith Moon/ Niel Peart inspired.
    Well definitely Peart. But most drummers are influenced by Bonham. What he did behind the kit was magic and unique. He had a sound and style like no other.
    Portnoy....WHY are you demonstrating a John Bonham triplet example using a second mounted tom...which Bonham never used. Just sayin.
    When the levee breaks sounds like that bc of the room in which it was recorded, nothing else.