Trivia: Who were the guys in piano and drums who used to destroy instruments just for the fun of it?
Answer: Ludwig Van Beethoven and John Bonham.
Both of these gentlemen, when they were young, took a sick pleasure in playing so hard the piano or the drums would fall apart. Beethoven would go to people’s place and bang on the keys until strings or mechanisms would give up. John Bonham would go to clubs and wreck the house drums. Why? You might ask. Because they were young and it was fun! Another way to mark your territory, I suppose.
Beethoven almost single handedly changed the piano. It went from a wooden frame to a metal one in the 1700’s. The manufacturers decided that such a pricey item needed to be able to withstand the madness of some great but merciless players.
As for Bonham, the transformation was a little more organic. The industry came out of the second world war when drum factories were rationing metal. They stopped churning out the flimsy skinny stands and rods that composed the structure of the drum kit and they also thickened the drum head, putting a black plastic dot at the middle of them. Gone were the fragile gear of yesteryears. They were replaced with the fat cymbals stands with a 10 pounds counterweight, tom tom holders that could withstand a nuclear war. Overnight, the drum set hardware bag went from 30 pounds to 100, 120 pounds and making a fortune for chiropractors.
So, in their own way, Beethoven and Bonham’s playing were so revolutionary, it changed the industry. How about that!