When John Bonham Collapsed During a Led Zeppelin Show
Performing at the Messezentrum Halle in Nuremberg, Germany, they opened with "Train Kept a-Rollin'" and went into "Nobody's Fault But Mine." That's where a problem became evident, according to The Year of Led Zeppelin, as Bonham repeatedly fell behind the beat.
Jimmy Page then said, "There's two of us tonight who aren't feeling at all well. A bit of stomach trouble, so we're gonna do our best, whatever, as usual."
Led Zeppelin launched into "Black Dog," adding the introduction from "Out on the Tiles." As you can hear below, it's far from the band's greatest moment: Bonham was clearly struggling, especially during Page's solos.
Listen to Led Zeppelin Perform in Germany on June 27, 1980
Following the song, Robert Plant was introducing "In the Evening" from In Through the Out Door when Bonham lost consciousness. "Hang on a tick. Just got a slight technical problem if you can bear with us," Plant says. "We just have a minute problem, so if you can wait patiently, we'd be very grateful. Hang on."
Bonham was unable to continue, however, and the gig was scrapped. The band officially claimed that Bonham was sick because he had eaten too many bananas earlier in the day.
Fans on Led Zeppelin's forum who claim to have been in attendance suggest otherwise, saying he was drunk and knocking over his cymbals. There were also reports of the band partying in a disco earlier that day.
The show was never rescheduled. Three months later, on Sept. 25, 1980, Bonham died after choking on his own vomit following a day in which he drank the equivalent of 40 shots of vodka, according to the coroner.
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