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The campaign to have a statue of Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham in Redditch has won new support - from a top tribute band of the legendary rock icons.

Hats Off To Led Zeppelin, one of the official tribute acts of the iconic band, will be organising a collection at their show at Birmingham's New Alexandra Theatre next month.

The cash raised will go toward the John Bonham Memorial Fund, set up by a group of devoted fans in Redditch.

The group say that a statue would not only be a fitting tribute to the town's most famous son but also a major tourist attraction, which could be visited by thousands of rock fans from all around the world.

Kevin Oliver Jones, from the tribute band, said: "As massive Led Zeppelin fans we are honoured to be supporting the John Bonham Memorial Fund.

"John Bonham is widely considered to be one of the best drummers in history so Hats Off To Led Zeppelin are proud to be supporting this cause to immortalise his legend and raise funds for a statue in his home town."

Born in 1948 in Redditch, Bonham began playing drums at the age of five, making a kit out of containers and coffee tins and getting his first proper drum kit from his father at the age of 15.

After playing with a number of local bands he went on to worldwide stardom with Led Zeppelin - one of the world's most famous rock bands.

He died at the age of 32 on September 25, 1980, leaving a wife and two children, but he also left a legacy of hallmark recordings for the band.

Campaigners from the John Bonham Memorial Fund hope to give Bonham's statue pride of place in the town's Church Green, where the bandstand currently sits.

Hats Off To Led Zeppelin, who have appeared in West End productions including We Will Rock You, Rent and Thriller LIVE, will be playing Thursday, November 14.

For more information, visit hatsofftoledzeppelin.co.uk.

For information about the campaign, visit johnbonhamfund.weebly.com.

From: Redditch & Alcester Advertiser

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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