Although John Bonham's 71st birthday isn't until May 31st, Robert Plant took time out on social media to salute his best friend, the late-Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Plant posted a photo of him facing the massive sculpture of Bonham erected last year in his hometown of Redditch, England. Alongside the photo by Gil Richards, Plant posted: “Another birthday around the corner… huge loss…”

The Bonham tribute weighs over 5,000 lbs. and features one side showing Bonham pounding his drum kit, with the other listing his full name, birth date, the day he died — and the inscription: “The most outstanding and original drummer of his time, John Bonham's popularity and influence continue to resonate within the world of music and beyond.”

Last year, when pressed about Led Zeppelin's upcoming 50th anniversary, a somewhat somber Robert Plant explained to Mojo that Bonham's death still cast a long shadow, saying, “It’s 50 years, but it’s not 50 years — it’s 38 years of darkness for a family. So all that hullabaloo is great, and I’m sure there’ll be some great things to come out of it. . . I really can’t wait to hear (the archival releases) — I might even get a free copy.”

Robert Plant has always reminded fans and followers clamoring for a Led Zeppelin reunion that the loss of John Bonham goes far deeper than a band needing a new drummer in order to play: “Well, Bonzo and I, we'd been through so many things before the 'big time.' We kinda read each other like books — we were like brothers. But in reality, and physicality, and spiritually, losing John, obviously we. . . everybody got together and said, 'This can never work again.' Our real concern then was to kind of protect (his wife) Pat and the whole family from this kind of surge of media stuff. And it's so debilitating really, and I experienced that a couple of years before that, myself. And to lose John was criminal.”