Drummer Mike Portnoy (ADRENALINE MOB, FLYING COLORS, THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD) spoke to Drum Talk TV at Brian Tichy's "Bonzo Birthday Bash" on June 1 at Bergan PAC in Englewood, New Jersey. Mike answered the one question that stumped him for the first time in his career when asked by host Kenny Howard, "If you could ask John Bonham one question, what would it be?" Mike also gave his take on what defined John Bonham's sound and playing style. There are clips of John Bonham, as well as excerpts of Mike's performance of "Dazed And Confused".
"John Bonham is one of my all-time biggest drum heroes," Portnoy recently told Drum Guru. "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."
Regarding Bonham sound and the influence the late LED ZEPPELIN drummer had on other musicians, Portnoy said: "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."
Ina 2012 interview with DRUM! magazine, Portnoy summed up Bonzo in two percussive points: his backbeat and attitude. "[Bonham] played with such balls," Portnoy said. "And the groove. It was impeccable." Portnoy also brought up a quality of Bonzo that none of the other drummers discussed. "He's the most universally loved rock drummer," Mike said. "There's people that love [Neil] Peart. There's people who love Keith Moon. But Bonham, just everybody loves Bonham."