Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward Calls John Bonham The ‘Finest Rock Drummer’

Co-founding Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward paid tribute to his contemporary in Led Zeppelin on his ‘Rock 50′ radio show (embedded above), saying, “If you want to strive toward something, just listen to John Bonham.”

Ward offered “Good Times Bad Times” and other tracks from early Zeppelin recordings on the program, asking listeners to focus on Bonham’s footwork — which he called “pure magic.” Ward’s high praise included also this: “He has to be the finest rock drummer of our time, as far as I’m concerned.”

Elsewhere, “Rock 50″ featured segments on a new band featuring Dave Lombardo, a co-founding member of Slayer; as well as the Big Bopper, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly — who all perished in a February plane crash 55 years ago.

Ward had been off the air since last August, after undergoing shoulder repair surgery. The procedure was complicated by a perforated diverticulitis issue. “I’m doing much better,” Ward told listeners. “I’m getting healthier every day. I’m moving forward, spiritually and physically, I’m very happy to report.”

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