Classic Rock Corner

R.I.P. John Bonham: Top 5 Ways to Avoid Death by Misadventure

Page 3 of 3

3. Always Slip Into a Coma on Your Side

After a long day of guzzling vodka and beating the shit out of your drum set, a good night's sleep is essential. Unavoidable, really. That's why Bonham's friends/employees had to carry him up to bed on the night that he died after a day of drinking through rehearsal and then partying the night away at Page's swank manor.

Accounts from friends indicate that the unconscious Bonham was placed on his side, but they probably should have propped him up or something, because when the vomit burbled up in his sleep, it definitely did NOT drain out of his mouth in the preferred fashion. It's always wise to fall asleep on your side after a stint of possibly fatal inebriation, but if you plan to impair your ability to maintain consciousness long enough to situate yourself for the night, make sure your assistants know to wedge you on to your side.

We've found that stuffed animals and mildewed piles of dirty clothes can both be used to build an effective support structure in a pinch.

2. Never Asphyxiate Alone

There's really no telling how long John Bonham had been dead before he was found in his room the following afternoon. That's because after he was dragged away the night before, his friends and co-workers continued partying without a care in the world. A ludicrously drunk Bonzo was hardly an unfamiliar sight to those closest to him.

Looking back, they really should have checked in on him periodically. If they had, maybe they could have spotted his predicament in time to save his life or rush him to an emergency room. Vomiting in your sleep can be a sign of alcohol poisoning, and if anyone had noticed it, Bonham might've been saved.

If you're a rich and beloved rock star who regularly gets boozed off his brain stem, it may be a smart decision to hire a night-time babysitter to watch you while you sleep it off. That way, a doctor can be summoned at the first sickening gurgle.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nathan Smith
Contact: Nathan Smith