The same cannot be said of that other great Seventies rock band Led Zeppelin, who make a brief appearance in Collins’ book. “I felt I had been made the scapegoat for what happened at Live Aid and so it was a chance to set the record straight.” It was Zeppelin’s first appearance since drummer John Bonham died five years before and has gone down in history as a mess so shambolic that the band tried to bury the footage (of course, this was before YouTube). The way Collins recounts it the atmosphere was toxically poisonous, the band cocky and under-rehearsed.
Read the entire article at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/phil-collins-interview-robert-plant-mixed-with-led-zeppelin-make/
Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page, 72, and his much younger girlfriend Scarlett Sabet, 26, enjoy date night at intimate gig
And Led Zeppelin rocker Jimmy Page, 72, and his much younger girlfriend Scarlett Sabet, 26, proved they were happier than ever when they stepped out together on Wednesday night.
The couple - who boast a 46 year age gap - were seen arriving at Loulou's in London's Mayfair to attend an intimate Van Morrison gig.
Read the entire article at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3813574/Led-Zeppelin-s-Jimmy-Page-72-younger-girlfriend-Scarlett-Sabet-26-enjoy-date-night.html
Robert Plant has confirmed that he will join Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, The Milk Carton Kids, and more for select dates on the previously announced Lampedusa Concerts for Refugees tour, October 12–21, 2016. Lampedusa is an eleven-stop concert tour intended to raise awareness of the unprecedented worldwide refugee crisis. Funds raised by Lampedusa will support educational programs for refugees around the world.
Plant offered this statement about joining the tour:
I'm taking a break from recording the new Sensational Space Shifters record to be a part of this very important and worthwhile cause. When I watch the news and see people from these places being displaced by hatred and ignorance, I know that these people are just like you and me. All they want is to live in peace and have their children grow up loved, fed and educated. That seems a million miles away for many people at the moment. They are living in refugee camps, in conditions that are far below sustenance levels. When I heard that some of my friends were rallying to do a series of concerts to help raise funds and awareness, to help address the basic needs of food, shelter and medical care, I wanted to help, in whatever way I could. One thing that I want to make clear: as with all the other members of this tour, I will be performing two or three songs a night and no more. I’m not making a political statement. The organization that is receiving these funds is a religious one. This appeal is trying to help on the ground wherever it can. I hope that my voice, along with my friends, helps bend the arc of the universe a little more toward the loving and helps with the work of getting the basic essentials of life to those who are without.
The complete tour dates are below. The shows featuring Plant are noted.
The concerts will be intimate evenings of acoustic performances benefiting Jesuit Refugee Service's Global Education Initiative. The Lampedusa tour helps displaced people heal, learn, and thrive by providing educational opportunities for refugees living in camps and urban settings in 45 countries. Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees is named for the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, where Pope Francis visited refugees during his first official trip as Pope. The Italian island off the coast of Sicily serves as a waypoint to Europe in refugees' search for safety and security.
LAMPEDUSA: CONCERTS FOR REFUGEES
Oct 6 Boulder Theater Boulder, CO
Oct 8 Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Kansas City, MO
Oct 9 Rococo Theater Lincoln, NE
Oct 11 Sheldon Concert Hall St. Louis, MO
Oct 12 Pabst Theater* Milwaukee, WI
Oct 13 Vic Theater* Chicago, IL
Oct 14 Massey Hall* Toronto, ON
Oct 16 Berklee Performance Center* Boston, MA
Oct 18 The Town Hall* New York, NY
Oct 19 Merriam Theater* Philadelphia, PA
Oct 21 Lisner Auditorium* Washington, DC
The guitarist will discuss the expanded version of Zeppelins's 1997 "BBC Sessions" set, which will be released on September 16. The updated set, retitled "The Complete BBC Sessions", was produced by Jimmy Page and features eight previously unreleased tracks — including "I Can't Quit You Baby", "You Shook Me" and the only recorded performance of "Sunshine Woman".
"Later... With Jools Holland" returns for its new series with the half-hour "Later Live" segment broadcast live at 10 p.m. on BBC2 next Tuesday (September 13) before the full hour-long pre-recorded version airs on Friday (September 16) at 11:05 p.m.
"The Complete BBC Sessions" will be available in multiple formats from Atlantic/Swan Song on September 16:
* Deluxe Edition (3CD) – Remastered original album plus a third disc of unreleased audio.
* Deluxe Edition Vinyl (5LP) – Remastered original album, plus a fifth LP of unreleased audio, on 180-gram vinyl
* Digital Download – Remastered album and unreleased audio will both be available.
* Super Deluxe Boxed Set (3CD/5LP) – This collection includes:
* Remastered album. 2 CDs, each in a replica sleeve.
* Unreleased audio on CD in a separate card sleeve.
* Remastered album on 180-gram vinyl.
* Unreleased audio on 180-gram vinyl.
* High-def audio download card of all content at 96kHz/24 bit.
* 48-page book filled with photos of the band, the recording locations, BBC memorabilia, and session information.
* High-quality print of the original album cover, the first 20,000 of which will be individually numbered.
"BBC Sessions" was originally released in 1997 and has been certified double platinum by the RIAA. "The Complete BBC Sessions" builds on that collection with a third disc that boasts eight unreleased performances. In addition, the set includes extensive session-by-session liner notes written by Dave Lewis. For the first time ever, it provides accurate details and notes about all of the band's BBC sessions.
Musical highlights on this new collection include the debut of a long-lost radio session that has achieved near-mythic status among fans. Originally broadcast in April 1969, the session included three songs: "I Can't Quit You Baby", "You Shook Me" and the only recorded performance of "Sunshine Woman", which can be streamed below. Also included are two unreleased versions of both "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is And What Should Never Be". Separated by two years, the performances vividly demonstrate the young band's rapid evolution over a short period of time.
Jimmy Page spoke about the band's growth in an interview with Guitar World. "The 'BBC Sessions' show in graphic detail just how organic the group was," he said. "LED ZEPPELIN was a band that would change things around substantially each time it played…We were becoming tighter and tighter, to the point of telepathy."
Speaking with Wall Of Sound, John Paul Jones added: "We'd been on the road a lot by the time those sessions were recorded. The albums were always the starting point of the music, and then we'd take it out and expand it on the road. Then we'd come straight off the road into those BBC studios."
Recalling the BBC experience in an interview with Mojo, Robert Plant said: "The whole thing was very quaint: the politeness of the audience, the technicians fumbling about, proper hallowed low-key introductions. Like there was some sort of holy moment about to occur."
"The Complete BBC Sessions" CD track listing
01. You Shook Me
02. I Can't Quit You Baby
03. Communication Breakdown
04. Dazed And Confused
05. The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair
06. What Is And What Should Never Be
07. Communication Breakdown
08. Travelling Riverside Blues
09. Whole Lotta Love
10. Somethin' Else
11. Communication Breakdown
12. I Can't Quit You Baby
13. You Shook Me
14. How Many More Times
01. Immigrant Song
03. Since I've Been Loving You
04. Black Dog
05. Dazed And Confused
06. Stairway To Heaven
07. Going To California
08. That's The Way
09. Whole Lotta Love (Medley: Boogie Chillun/Fixin' To Die/That's Alright Mama/A Mess of Blues)
10. Thank You
01. Communication Breakdown *
02. What Is And What Should Never Be *
03. Dazed And Confused *
04. White Summer
05. What Is And What Should Never Be *
06. Communication Breakdown *
07. I Can't Quit You Baby *
08. You Shook Me *
09. Sunshine Woman *
* Previously Unreleased
According to a statement made by former Led Zeppelin roadie Henry "The Horse" Smith on a Facebook Q & A, Jimmy Page has been reunited with his 1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty"in the past few months.
The 1960 Gibson Les Paul Custom 'Black Beauty' was purchased new in 1962 for £185. It was used for most of Jimmy's sessionwork (1963-1966), and was taken on tour, starting on January 7, 1970 at Birmingham, England's Town Hall through Apr. 1970, when it was stolen at the airport between Apr. 13 or 14, 1970. Jimmy Page placed an ad in Rolling Stone with reward, but it was never recovered.
The exact details of how the guitar was recovered is not known at this time, however, a message has been put in to someone inolved, so check back!
Tonight's episode of Sky 1's Welsh series Stella (February 23), which stars Ruth Jones, has a cameo you might not expect. Until now we'd had appearances from Joe Calzaghe, Eamonn Holmes, Keith Chegwin and Debbie McGee, but this episode gets a visit from none other than the leader of Led Zep himself, Mr Robert Plant. That's not how he's introduced on the show, sadly. Stella's sister-in-law, funeral director Paula, introduces him to the funeral gathering for odd character 'Daddy' as "Mr Rubber", and as the characters slowly twig that it's Robert Plant rocking out in front of them, they start to get up and dance. At a funeral. That's ok, right?
Pranksters stuck up a brilliant poster outside Robbie Williams’ mansion to celebrate his ongoing feud with neighbour Jimmy Page.
The Led Zeppelin guitarist, 72, has objected to the 42-year-old singer’s plans to renovate his 47-room property, which would include building a recording studio and a ‘subterranean’ basement (like there is another sort).
In response, street artist and joker Fussy Human couldn’t resist making a pun on one of Robbie’s biggest hits for a poster.
The artwork was stuck up on a construction board by Robbie’s Holland Park pad, Woodland House, which was previously owned by late director Michael Winner.
Locals found it very excavating – sorry, entertaining – as shown by Fussy Human himself.
It was later taken down, which just shows you how anarchic everyone is in Kensington.
From: Metro News
Full article at: SoundOnSound
Group is accused of infringing on Spirit song "Taurus"
Led Zeppelin has hit a bum note in the lawsuit over its mega-hit "Stairway to Heaven."
The group has lost a bid to obtain further information in a copyright infringement lawsuit claiming that "Stairway" infringes on the Spirit song "Taurus."
Attorneys for the band had sought information on the Randy Craig Wolfe trust, of which plaintiff Michael Skidmore serves as trustee. (Randy Craig Wolfe was the given name of Randy California, a founding member of Spirit and author of "Taurus." Wolfe died in 1997.)
Team Zep had claimed that the Wolfe trust is only valid if it is a qualified charitable foundation or other qualified entity, and claims that Skidmore’s legal team hasn’t provided evidence to that effect. Zeppelin’s lawyers asked Skidmore’s team to provide proof, such as Internal Revenue Service notices or correspondence.
Read the full story at: The Wrap
Robbie Williams looks to be continuing work on his West London home following a long, bitter battle with Jimmy Page.
The former Take That singer has been faced with a lot of stumbling blocks as he sought to revamp the property, but now work appears to be finally underway again.
Pictures outside the 46-bedroom, £17.5 million property - which formerly belonged to Michael Winner - show scaffolding outside the house as building work continues.
Read the full story plus photos at The Mirror
[Robert Plant] Bert Inspired: a Concert for Bert Jansch review - fond renditions and a lot of guitar tuning
Graham Coxon, Bernard Butler and Robert Plant join a diverse, stellar lineup and pay handsome tribute to the guitar hero
Jazz-folk veterans, Britpop pin-ups, classic rock icons, up-and-coming singer-songwriters – how many other musicians except Bert Jansch sit at such a spaghetti junction of influence? A stellar lineup assembles to remember the late Pentangle founder member and finger-picking guitar hero in his city of birth at the first of two Celtic Connections curtain-closing concerts in his honour. An evening of fond renditions and recollections, and a lot of guitar tuning.
Graham Coxon had written beforehand of how nervous he was on meeting Jansch. The Blur guitarist looks twitchy here, too, as he performs an affectionate One for Jo and a "Bert-imbued" solo composition Latte, but returns later, much more at ease, for a tricksy twang on Angie together with Martin Simpson. Elsewhere before the interval we get songs from Jansch's former fellow Pentanglers Jacqui McShee and Mike Piggott, and Jansch's one-time mentor Archie Fisher doing Down by Blackwaterside – Jansch's arrangement that he once famously accused Led Zeppelin of ripping off with Black Mountain Side.
Not one to bear a grudge, Robert Plant lends superstar magnetism to proceedings, backed by his superb five-piece band the Sensational Space Shifters. The opening notes of a whispered Babe I'm Gonna Leave You are met with an almost disbelieving collective intake of breath; his second set will end with an entrancingly amped-up Poison.
Plant's is the heavyweight contribution, but the lighter touches shine brightest, such as Bernard Butler and Ben Watt's shimmering electric guitar interplay on an opiated Soho. Scottish folk singer Karine Polwart jokes that she's here for "equalities" reasons, but her mellifluous reading of Tree Song feels anything but tokenistic. The largely unknown young American troubadour Ryley Walker will be widely Googled for his fearlessly breezy run at I Am Lonely.
The full ensemble gathers at the end and, after a twangy cacophony of imperfect tuning, conclude with a wondrously wonky Dixieland jazz-dappled Strolling Down the Highway that doesn't so much stroll as sway.
From: The Guardian
Robert Plant Setlist:
Go Your Way My Love
Babe I'm Gonna Leave You
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down / In My Time of Dying
Win My Train Fare Home
Strolling Down The Highway
The West Bromwich-born singer and former Led Zeppelin frontman is one of several famous names to support The Way, which opened earlier this month.
Bosses have uploaded the video - which sees Plant apparently in a pub discussing the project - to YouTube. The two-minute clip also features footage of young people using the centre's facilities.
Plant, says: "I've been a life-time member of the Black Country community and I'm supporting the Wolverhampton Youth Zone. I think it's a very welcome and crucial addition to the life of kids in our area."
"I've been recently around the facility and it is all looking great. There are opportunities kids have got to come in from whatever lifestyle they have been living and actually spend a period of time in a whole new environment which is very optimistic, very get-up-and-go, very dynamic. I heartily support it."
Earlier this month youngsters and parents were given the first glimpse inside the one-stop, all-inclusive activity centre, featuring a 4G football pitch, boxing ring, dance studio, gym and sports hall. Wolverhampton council is investing more than £3m in The Way towards both the development and running costs of the project.
Other supporters include One Direction superstar Liam Payne, City of Wolverhampton College, Marston's and Carvers.
Within a week of opening The Way had signed up over 1,000 members.
From: Express & Star
Celtic Connections reaches a crescendo at the end of the month with a spectacular array of talent coming together to honour the late Glaswegian guitarist, singer and songwriter Bert Jansch.
Former Led Zeppelin frontman and bona fide rock god Robert Plant pays tribute to his "enormous and longstanding" musical debt to the Scottish folk player by performing alongside an eclectic line-up.
Bert Inspired: A Concert for Bert Jansch takes place on 31st January at the Old Fruitmarket. A second date at the Royal Concert Hall on 1st February was added by the Celtic Connections festival due to the enormous demand for tickets.
Other performers will include Pentangle's Jacqui McShee, Ben Watt, Ryley Walker, Archie Fisher (Sunday only) and Martin Simpson.
Suede guitarist and indie stalwart Bernard Butler will also play at the concert alongside Graham Coxon, founding member of Blur. Both were influenced by Jansch who emerged from the British folk revival of the 1960s to form the band Pentangle which toured extensively between 1967 and 1972. Jansch was born in Glasgow before moving to Edinburgh, busking in Europe and settling in London to hone his improvised guitar playing style. In 2001 Jansch received a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He died in 2011.
The shows are in aid of the Bert Jansch Foundation, which works to support emerging acoustic musicians.
From: The Glasgowist
John played mandolin, bass guitar and keyboards on his mini three-song set, which included the Tweedy song World Away, a cover of the 1969 Neil Young song The Losing End (When You're On), and the Wilco song Airline to Heaven.
Proceeds from the festival benefit the Palapa Society of Todos Society A.C.
A fire which destroyed a mansion formerly owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and occultist Aleister Crowley was not started intentionally, investigators say.
The blaze broke out at Boleskine House on the eastern bank of Loch Ness at around 1.40pm on December 23.
Around 60% of the B-listed mansion was destroyed in the fire, which took hours to bring under control.
Investigators are confident the fire was not suspicious but have been unable to establish its cause.
Crowley, who became infamous for his books on the occult, lived at Boleskine House between 1899 and 1913.
Former Led Zeppelin guitarist and Crowley memorabilia-collector Jimmy Page bought Boleskine House in 1970 but spent less than six weeks there before selling the mansion in 1992.
It has since been used as a private residence and a guest house and was put up for sale in 2009 for £176,000.
From: STV News
The night Led Zeppelin played a free gig at the Boat Club is part of Nottingham rock and pop history.
It was more than 40 years ago but now a film maker is hoping to find Nottinghamshire people who remember that show.
As part of a major BBC project called People's History of Pop, producer Rob Whitehouse is making a short film for the East Midlands magazine programme Inside Out focusing on fans' memories in the East Midlands.
And he is particularly interested in hearing from anyone who was at the Led Zeppelin gig.
He said: "It would be wonderful if I could find someone who took photographs, even better if anyone had some film or a sound recording of that night.
"Unfortunately, there were no mobile phones back then but you never know."
Rob will be filming an interview with Boat Club president Keith Atkinson, who first booked Led Zeppelin to appear on Trentside in 1969 before they achieved worldwide fame - for the princely fee of £80.
The free Led Zeppelin gig of 1971 is still regarded by many as Nottingham's finest rock hour.
Led Zeppelin became the biggest stadium band in the world, breaking attendance records in America held by the Beatles.
Yet, in March 1971, they returned to the Boat Club for an extraordinary gig.
Keith, speaking about a night he will never forget, said: "They played for free that time. They wanted to put something back to the venues that had set them on the road to success."
He said the queue of fans hoping to get a ticket snaked back across Trent Bridge, adding: "Ironically, although we were raking in the cash at the time, we hardly made anything that night because it was so rammed that people couldn't get to the bar because no-one could move."
There were other high-profile visitors to Trentside, including Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Motorhead – led by the legendary Lemmy who died this month – and Ozzie Osborne with Black Sabbath.
Rob is hoping to hear from anyone who was at these gigs, especially if they have memorabilia from the time.
His film is part of a nationwide project in which the BBC is crowd sourcing photographs and audio/video of fans' cherished music memorabilia – ticket stubs, diary entries, teen band recordings, wrist bands, rare footage and more – to tell the story of British rock and pop music from the 1950s to the noughties.
A BBC spokesman said: "Whether you were into skiffle, punk, hip hop or anything in between, we want to see your stuff and hear your stories.
"What was the first record you bought? Do you still have the ticket stub to your all-time favourite gig? Were you in a teen band and do you still have the recordings?
"If you've been inspired by British sounds and you still have the memorabilia in your attic, under your bed or in the recesses of your computer, dig it out and go to www.phop.co.uk to take part.
"All you need to do is join up by creating a profile with our partners, History Pin, and follow the links to share your stuff. If you have an object, just take a photo of it and upload that. If you have audio or video, you can embed that too.
"Everything sent in to People's History of Pop will be part of an incredible online archive and will culminate with a television series for BBC Four, featuring the best of what's been uploaded to the site."
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/BBC-search-fans-attended-Led-Zeppelin-s-historic/story-28522398-detail/story.html
Attorneys for group blasted for requesting "irrelevant" documentation in copyright dispute
As any Led Zeppelin fan knows, the group has long been associated with one legendarily impure fishing expedition. And now they're being accused of engaging in a pure one.
In the latest turn in the "Stairway to Heaven" copyright saga, the group was accused of undertaking a "pure fishing expedition" in legal papers filed Tuesday.
In the filing, attorneys for plaintiff Michael Skidmore - trustee for the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust which, according to the papers, owns Wolfe's copyrights - blast Team Zeppelin for questioning the validity of the trust.
"There is no evidence to cast even the slightest bit of shade on the validity of the Trust, nor have Defendants argued that there is any real reason to doubt the validity of the Trust," the papers read. "This is a pure fishing expedition."
Skidmore brought the suit, claiming that Zeppelin's rock classic "Stairway to Heaven" infringes on the song "Taurus" by the group Spirit, of which Wolfe (nom de rock: Randy California) was an original member. Wolfe died in 1997.
Led Zeppelin's camp contends that the Wolfe trust is only valid if it is a qualified charitable foundation or other qualified entity, and claims that Skidmore's legal team hasn't provided evidence to that effect. Zeppelin's lawyers are asking Skidmore's team to provide proof, such as "all Internal Revenue Service notices or correspondence qualifying the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust as a charitable foundation or other qualified entity."
The plaintiff's side contends that it has already provided all the proof that's necessary, and that the Zeppelin team's request for further documentation is "overly broad, vague, irrelevant, not calculated to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence, and unduly burdensome."
They also say that nobody has ever questioned the validity of the trust, and "because Defendants are not the beneficiaries of the Trust they have no legal authority or standing to challenge the validity of the Trust."
According to the filing, Skidmore claims that the trust's receipts "are used to donate musical instruments for schoolchildren in Ventura County."
From: The Wrap
(from September 1976 Playboy)
PLAYBOY: Do you remember the first time you got stoned?
BOWIE: On grass? I'd done a lot of pills ever since I was a kid. Thirteen or fourteen. But the first time I got stoned on grass was with John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin many, many years ago, when he was still a bass player on Herman's Hermits records. We'd been talking to Ramblin' Jack Elliott somewhere and Jonesy said to me, "Come over and I'll turn you on to grass." I thought about it and said, "Sure, I'll give it a whirl." We went over to his flat–he had a huge room, with nothing in it except this huge vast Hammond organ, right next door to the police department.
I had done cocaine before but never grass. I don't know why it should have happened in that order, probably because I knew a couple of merchant seamen who used to bring it back from the docks. I had been doing it with them. And they loathed grass. So I watched in wonder while Jonesy rolled these three fat joints. And we got stoned on all of them. I became incredibly high and it turned into an in-fucking-credible hunger. I ate two loaves of bread. Then the telephone rang. Jonesy said, "Go and answer that for me, will you?" So I went downstairs to answer the phone and kept on walking right out into the street. I never went back. I just got intensely fascinated with the cracks in the pavement.
"I'm always eager to return to the hospitality of the Southern states," Robert said in a statement. "Towns and cities that hold fond memories for me personally, places that gave birth to so much of the music I love."
He continues, "Our recent travels have taken this wild whirlwind of a band though many incredible and inspiring places. Having just begun work on our new album, we thought we'd take time out to raise a little sand and welcome springtime with one more adventure, another celebration of life and song."
The tour kicks on March 4th at the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, see the full dates below.
03/04-06 – Okeechobee, FL – Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival
03/06 – St. Augustine, FL – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
03/07 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre
03/09 – Jackson, MS – Thalia Mara Hall
03/10 – Baton Rouge, LA – River Center Theatre
03/11 – Shreveport, LA – Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
03/13 – Cain's Ballroom – Tulsa, OK
03/15 – The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX
03/17 – San Antonio, TX – Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
03/18 – Midland, TX – Wagner Noel Center Performing Arts Center
03/20 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at Moody Theater
Tickets for these dates can be found here - http://www.robertplant.com/#road/2010
Of course, I kid. Stern isn't as hard-hitting as he was back in the day. He's actually a big ol' softie now, but Stamos and Stern dug into some hefty subjects. Stamos revealed his deep spiral of alcohol abuse and how he returned to happiness. He speaks of never becoming a father, and that subject was a sad one too. Then things got rowdy (as always) when the Beach Boys came up, and the subject turned to the time Jimmy Page dared to scream at John Stamos:
With Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page joining the Beach Boys during John's early Washington Monument show, Jeff Foskett was in charge of teaching Jimmy what key each Beach Boys song was in. John was brought along to the rehearsals in a hotel room. "We're in this hotel and we go up to the penthouse suite and there's cases everywhere … and I thought it was guitars everywhere. He had like whips and devil sh*t," John remembered. The defining moment came when Jeff was off with a roadie and in his absence, Jimmy turned to John to ask about the keys to a few songs. As a result, John got the brunt of Jimmy's displeasure with the answers. "‘I can't f*cking solo in E flat!' [Jimmy] was yelling at me and I was twenty years old or something."
Martin Barre has recalled the moment that speaking to Jimmy Page could have led to him losing a guitar solo on classic Jethro Tull track Aqualung. He risked bandleader Ian Anderson taking away the opportunity, and filling the space on tape with flute work instead.
Today (January 3) is John Paul Jones’ 70th birthday. He has been a professional musician for over 50 years, with 12 of those most famously in Led Zeppelin. If all that you listen to is his Zeppelin, you are sorely missing out on a musical maestro. Each song that he has performed on, every song that he has arranged for, every song that he has produced is pure genius. There is no way to narrow down a lifetime of virtuosity into a short, however, I present here my personal selection of tracks, in no particular order, that John Paul Jones has been a part of that shines brightly.
A Foggy Day In Vietnam
Most every young studio musician dreams of that one day when they can record their own music. 18 year old Jones recorded this nearly instrumental number in 1964 for Pye Records. Jones played some excellent honky tonk upright piano on this track. It is very reminiscent of songs later in his career, like Hot Dog and Darlene & his 1977 piano solos during No Quarter.
This song starts out with a killer riff, heavy 4-string bass and layers guitar over that. Then it changes into a signature John Paul Jones walking bass run in the pre-chorus. The second half of the pre-chorus has some funky clavinet work. All that plus Jones contributing some backup vocals and mini improv bass solos when performed live.
Jones has never been afraid to stray from traditional rock and roll. This has never been held more true than with the album The Sporting Life with avant-garde singer Diamanda Galás. To most ears, her vocals sound unintelligible, however, Skótoseme (Greek for “kill me”) has some tasty bass work on a Manson 8-string bass, wired in stereo and drums by Pete Thomas, Elvis Costello’s drummer, who later played on Jones’ first solo album in 1999, Zooma.
The Lemon Song
The Lemon Song features exemplary bass runs that many budding bass guitarists have often tried to imitate (including yours truly). Recorded virtually live in Mirror Studios in 1969, Jones is definitely pulling from his roots to pull this song off.
Dazed And Confused
The second that you hear the haunting, descending bass line, you can instantly tell that it’s John Paul Jones in Dazed And Confused from Led Zeppelin. In the first few albums, you can tell that Jones and Jimmy Page were experimenting with different studio tricks and the tone of the bass is a bit muted, lacking some natural echo that you hear in most other tracks. It adds to the overall psychedelic loneliness that creeps over you.
When this song was played live and it stretched to over 30 minutes in length, not once could you tell that Jones was straining to keep up with the guitar or drums. He was perfectly locked within the groove.
Stairway To Heaven
Some may look at Stairway To Heaven and think that it’s a Page track. How untrue? Jones was all over the place on this song. In addition to Fender Rhodes keyboard action that fills in against the beautiful Page guitar work and unreal bass guitar runs, there is no other song that better rocks out on a quartet of bass recorders, all played by Jones. You simply cannot get any more badass than that.
Tidal (Guitar Wars version)
Riding high from the underground success of two solo albums and supporting tours, Jones accepted the invitation to appear at Guitar Wars 2003 in Tokyo, Japan. The JPJ Orchestra was in full force with Nuno Bettencourt on guitar, Jones on 10-string Manson bass, Roger King on keyboards, Mike Szuter who came in later on the track on bass guitar & Paul Mastelotto on drums.
Jones was definitely feeling his oats, switching on some effects and taking on a freaking impressive outro bass guitar solo.
The Song Remains The Same (live version)
While Jimmy Page is busy weaving his guitar magic, John Paul Jones, with assistance from the drums, lays down a heavy foundation. Not satisfied with playing root notes to maintain the beat, Jones is all over the fretboard, finding a way to play some solo-sounding rhythm work.
No Quarter (live version)
John Paul Jones was so much more than a bass guitarist and this track exemplifies this. Originally, in 1970, No Quarter had a faster tempo and patched together several different contrasting parts. When it was time to record No Quarter in the studio in early 1972, it was slowed down and the whole song was dropped a semi-tone in pitch to add to the mysteriousness of the song.
This song was premiered on the second leg of the 1973 Summer US tour up until Led Zeppelin’s last date in 1980. It showcased John Paul Jones’ abilities on the keyboards, with lengthy piano solos added in the middle of the song.
Ice Fishing At Night
Some electronica starts this song off and then a simple piano passage begins. If you thought that John Paul Jones was only an instrumentalist, you were wrong. Jones adds in a very tender set of lyrics that has the aural mysticism of a classic oil painting. The piano continues into a solo passage that has a second piano part overdubbed. This is truly a non-traditional John Paul Jones-sounding masterpiece.
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