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Take a look at John Bonham’s first Paiste artist contract

John Bonham, Japan 1971
(Image credit: Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)

When it comes to gear, John Bonham is synonymous with Ludwig drums and Paiste cymbals, but despite already having four albums with Led Zeppelin under his belt, he didn’t actually sign-up with Paiste as an official artist until 1971. To mark 50 years since Bonzo and Paiste made it official, the cymbal brand has shared the drum legend’s first artist contract, along with an order form that’s enough to make our eyes water.

The contract - which is a pretty straightforward, standard artist agreement allowing the company to use the artist’s name in advertising and promotion - reads: 

“With this agreement, the undersigned permits the firm of M.M. PAISTE & SOHN KG the use of his name for purposes of promotion and advertising, including the statement that he plays Paiste Cymbals”. Bonham signed the contract in blue ink on 13/7/1971.

John Bonham's first artist contract with Paiste Cymbals

(Image credit: Paiste)

Also shared in the post is Bonham’s accompanying order, featuring a raft of over 30 cymbals - allowing for duplicate setups, most likely for international touring rigs -  including his first ever Giant Beat series cymbals alongside 2002s, a 38-inch gong and curiously, only one cymbal bag. 

The series, sizes (and in some cases, models) plus delivery dates are all detailed, and the sheet also indicates that Bonham wasn’t charged for any of the cymbals except for the gong, which seemingly had a 30% discount applied (prices aren’t documented).

John Bonham’s 1971 Paiste order

• 15” Sound Edge hi-hats

• 15” Giant Beat hi-hats

• 18” Giant Beat crash

• 20” Giant Beat crash

• 24” Giant Beat ride

• 15” Sound Edge hi-hats

• 18” Giant Beat crash

• 20” Giant Beat crash

• 24” Giant Beat ride

• 18” Giant Beat Crash (x2)

• 20” Giant Beat 

• 16” 2002 Crash medium

• 18” Giant Beat

• 20” Giant Beat

• 24” Giant Beat

• 20” 602 Medium Ride

• 38” Standard Gong

• 15” 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hats

• 15” 602 Sound Edge Hi-Hats

• 15” 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hats

• 16” 2002 Medium Crash

• 18” 2002 Medium Crash

• 18” 2002 Medium Ride

• 20” 2002 Medium Ride

• 24” 2002 Ride

• 15” 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hats

• 18” Crash

• 18” Medium

• 20” Ride

• 24” Ride

• 24” cymbal bag