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Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham to be immortalised with sculpture in his home town Redditch

John Bonham in 1972 © Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

Redditch Borough Council have given the green light for a John Bonham memorial to be built in the late Led Zeppelin legend’s home town.

The council met at 7pm this evening (11th October) to decide whether the bronze sculpture in Mercian Square next to Redditch market would be granted planning permission.

Shortly before 8pm they gave the go ahead “subject to approval of a few amendments,” according to BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Supported by the Bonham family as well as Warner Music Group, John’s sister Deborah attended the meeting tonight where she told councillors that necessary funds had been raised for the memorial and any money left over will fund Teenage Cancer Trust nurses in Redditch.

Deborah told the BBC after the meeting: “Just to say how absolutely thrilled I am that this is happening and we got planning permission. I’m absolutely thrilled, we’re going to have a John Bonham memorial. Brilliant.”   

Here is an illustration of what the proposed statue will look like:  

According to the application submitted to Redditch Borough Council, the bronze memorial will be covered in anti-graffiti paint and is estimated to weigh up to 2.5 tonnes. It's proposed that the public will also be able to interact with the sizeable sculpture. 

Last month, unofficial fan site Led Zeppelin News published a letter written by Tim Fraser-Harding, who is President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music at Warner Music Group, to Redditch Borough Council urging them to give their backing to the memorial.

As well as confirming plans to unveil the statue in Redditch in May to coincide with what would have been Bonzo’s 70th birthday, Fraser-Harding notes that this is just one of “a series of high-profile events” planned for 2018.

He adds: “We would be delighted to mention any new memorial in (John Bonham’s) home town as part of our extensive outreach to media and fans worldwide.”

The full letter from Tim Fraser-Harding to Redditch Borough Council reads:

"Dear Cllr Hartnett,

"Re: Memorial for John Bonham

"I am writing to you in support of the campaign to build a memorial in Redditch to John Bonham, the legendary drummer from Led Zeppelin, one of the most important bands in music history.

"As you may know, 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation and Warner Music Group is planning a series of high-profile events to mark this auspicious occasion. We would be delighted to mention any new memorial in his home town as part of our extensive outreach to media and fans worldwide.

"I know through long experience how dedicated Led Zeppelin fans are to the group and I am sure that many would be interested in visiting a memorial to John. Music tourism is increasing worldwide and Redditch has an opportunity to attract visitors through its association with a band that has such a huge global following.

"While the John Bonham Memorial Fund is privately raising money for the design, build and maintenance of the memorial, I understand that it is asking for the council to provide land to place it on, as well as granting it planning permission.

"I urge you to ask your fellow councillors to vote in support of the memorial at your forthcoming planning committee. This would mean that the memorial could be unveiled in May, for what would have been John’s 70th birthday, and in time to be part of the band’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

"Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

"Yours sincerely,

"Tim Fraser-Harding
President, Global Catalogue, Recorded Music
Warner Music Group."

You can see a photo of the letter here.

Planet Rock has collated a gallery of rock stars immortalised as statues featuring Lemmy, Ronnie James Dio, Freddie Mercury, Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott, Bon Scott and more, which you can check out below.

PHOTO GALLERY: Rock icons immortalised as statues

The iconic Freddie Mercury statue overlooking Lake Geneva in Montreux. Standing three metres high, the Irena Sedlecka sculpture was unveiled five years after Freddie’s death by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie’s mother Jer. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty). Freddie Mercury statue © Getty Images

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