On the short list of things John Bonham was known for, ‘style icon’ doesn’t usually come to mind. Master drummer, champion drinker, seafood enthusiast (ALLEGEDLY), possessor of a cool nickname, yeah, but he’s not really known for his style. Even within Led Zeppelin, eyes were usually on Jimmy Page’s astral-occult outfits and Robert Plant’s golden mane and chest-baring floral blouses.
But I am really into this outfit he wore to his 24th birthday party at the legendary Rainbow Bar & Grill (even though it’s credited in some places as being the English Disco, my trusted sources (aka anonymous people on the internet) say that it’s the Rainbow Bar). According to my calculations – which entailed me taking the year of his birth (1948) and adding 24 to it – the year is 1972, so of course Lori Maddox is on his arm. She was with Jimmy then, but much like the unanswerable question of a tree in the woods, if Led Zeppelin was in L.A. in ’72 and Lori Lightning wasn’t around, were they actually even there?
It’s a rather basic outfit, but he makes it look SO COOL. I looked around at a couple of my favorite online destinations to recreate this birthday suit (bad pun!):
Start with a basic striped tank top, like this unisex tank from American Apparel. Add a pair of your comfiest, most broken-in jeans and tuck the tank in and top with a belt. At this point, I know you all are rolling your eyes because I’m basically describing the least creative outfit in the history of existence. Hey, here’s an idea everyone: wear a shirt AND pants! It’s fashion! C’est magnifique!
But be quiet, folks! It’s about to get interesting. Bonzo jazzes these wardrobe staples up a bit with a velvet blazer. I am fond of any use of velvet, but I was particularly struck by this crushed velvet number from Nasty Gal. He is also wearing a killer wide brim hat, and manages to wear it at night and indoors without looking like a fool – it’s quite a feat. I wish more people wore hats. It would make the world a bit hipper.
To up his awesome factor to OFF THE CHARTS, he ties on a neckerchief. I wholeheartedly support this, because I don’t understand why neckerchiefs ever fell out of fashion – seriously, why isn’t everyone wearing one everyday? NECKERCHIEFS ARE SEXY. Any square of fabric – from a Levi’s bandana to an Hermès silk scarf – will do, but I found this black one for super cheap. And it’s on Amazon, so if you Amazon Prime that shizz then you’ll have a groovy throat-cover for less than $15!
I couldn’t find any photos that included what kind of shoes he was wearing, but I assume because he was a boy that his shoes were boring. So instead of suggesting you wear a pair of black boots or whatever he was probably wearing, I suggest something SPARKLY like these fancy ankle boots from Free People – I like these because the metallic is a bit cracked and imperfect, so they don’t look too precious.
There you go – the coolest, chillest outfit you’ll ever wear. And we’ve got Bonzo to thank, who woulda thunk it?!