On September 24, 1980, John Bonham was picked up by Led Zeppelin assistant Rex King to attend rehearsals at Bray Studios for Zeppelin’s upcoming North American tour. Before arriving at Bray Studios, Bonham had asked to stop for breakfast, where he downed four quadruple vodkas (450 ml), with a ham roll. After taking a bite of the ham roll he said to his assistant, “Breakfast”.
He then continued to drink heavily after he arrived at the rehearsal studio.
A halt was called to the rehearsals late in the evening and the band retired to Jimmy Page’s house—The Old Mill House in Clewer, Windsor.
After midnight, Bonham had fallen asleep and was taken to an upstairs bedroom and placed in bed on his side. At 1:45 pm the next day September 25, 1980, John Bonham was found dead in bed by Benji LeFevre (who had replaced Richard Cole as Led Zeppelin’s tour manager) and bandmate John Paul Jones. Bonham was just 32 years old.
Here’s some photos of the interior of The Old Mill House…
The cause of death was asphyxiation from vomit, and a verdict of accidental death was returned at an inquest held on October 27th. An autopsy found no other drugs in Bonham’s body. Bonham was cremated on October 10, 1980, and his ashes were then buried at Rushock parish church in Droitwich, Worcestershire England. The stone reads:
“Cherished memories of a loving husband and father,: John Henry Bonham: Who died Sept. 25th 1980.: He will always be remembered in our hearts,: Goodnight my Love, God Bless.”