MEMORIES of local lad and rock legend, John Bonham, were shared by those who knew him at a special open event on Wednesday (November 11) at Forge Mill Museum, Redditch.
John was born on Birchfield Road, Headless Cross on May 31, 1948 and continued to live in Redditch until the late 1960s when his drumming career finally took off with Led Zeppelin.
Organised by the John Bonham Memorial Fund, ‘John Bonham Remembered’ was held in conjunction with the ‘Redditch People’ exhibition (runs until November 22), which features displays of people whose lives and achievements have influenced the growth or reputation of the town.
“It was fascinating to hear from John’s former classmates at both Wilton House and Lodge Farm County Secondary School” says Ros Sidaway, Treasurer of the John Bonham Memorial Fund. “According to Norman Cockings, who used to sit next to him at Wilton House school, John was a generally well-behaved little boy – but then you had to be, with Miss Bayliss as headmistress!”
The JBMF has now raised over 10 per cent of the £50,000 needed for the design and installation of a bronze memorial to the local rock music legend who sadly died at the age of just 32 years on 25th September 1980.
The campaign group is now aiming to drum up the remaining monies through a global crowdfunding initiative. The www.crowdfunder.co.uk/john-bonham-memorial-redditch has already gone live but will be officially launched next Sunday (November 22) the 46th anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” entering the US Billboard Singles Chart.
“The first 10 people to pledge via our crowdfunder page before Sunday 22nd will also receive a certificate confirming their contribution and a colour photo of the memorial signed by John’s sister, singer-songwriter, Deborah Bonham,” said Ros.