John Paul Jones (musician)

John Paul Jones (musician)

Infobox musical artist
Name = John Paul Jones

Img_capt = Jones playing mandolin in 2007
Img_size = 250
Landscape = Yes
Background = non_vocal_instrumentalist
Birth_name = John Baldwin
Alias = John Paul Jones
Born = birth date and age|1946|1|3|df=y
Sidcup, Kent, England
Died =
Instrument = Bass Guitar, guitar, recorder, koto, lap steel guitar, autoharp, ukulele, sitar, Keyboards, Mandolin, Cello
Genre = Hard rock, heavy metal, folk rock, blues-rock, instrumental rock
Occupation = Musician, Songwriter, Arranger
Years_active = 1960 - present
Label = Discipline Global Mobile, Atlantic, Swan Song
Associated_acts = Led Zeppelin, Donovan, Foo Fighters
URL = []

John Paul Jones (born John Baldwin on January 3, 1946) is an English musician, composer, arranger, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist musician.

Best known as the bass guitarist, keyboardist and, less often, mandolin player for Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a successful solo career, and is widely respected as both a musician and a producer. A versatile musician, Jones also plays guitar, koto, lap steel guitars, autoharp, mandolin, ukulele, sitar, cello, continuum and the three over-dubbed recorder parts heard on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven".


Early years

Jones was born in Sidcup, Kent (now part of Greater London). The stage name "John Paul Jones" was suggested to him by a friend, Andrew Loog Oldham, who'd seen a poster for the film of that name in France.

Jones started playing piano at the age of six, learning his keyboard skills from his father, Joe Baldwin, a pianist and arranger for big bands in the 1940s and 1950s, notably with the Ambrose Orchestra. His mother was also in the music business which allowed the family to often perform together touring around England. His influences ranged from the blues of Big Bill Broonzy, the jazz of Charles Mingus, to the classical piano of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Because his parents often toured, Jones was sent to boarding school at a young age.Snow, Mat, “The Secret Life of a Superstar”, "Mojo magazine", December 2007.] Jones was a student at Christ's College, Blackheath, London where he formally studied music. At the age of 14, he became choirmaster and organist at a local church and during that year, he also bought his first bass guitar, a Dallas solid body electric followed by a Fender Jazz Bass which he used until 1975. The fluid playing of Chicago musician Phil Upchurch on his "You Can't Sit Down" LP, which includes a memorable bass solo, inspired Jones to take up the instrument. ["Led Zeppelin In Their Own Words" compiled by Paul Kendall (1981), London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-86001-932-2, p. 17.]

ession work

Jones joined his first band, The Deltas, at 15. He then played bass for jazz-rock London group, Jett Blacks, a collective that included guitarist John McLaughlin. [ [ Denver - Music - Getting Out of the Led ] ] Jones' big break came in 1962 when he was hired by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan of the successful British group the Shadows for a two-year stint. Shortly before hiring Jones, Jet and Tony had just had a Number 1 hit with "Diamonds" (a track on which Jones' bandmate-to-be Jimmy Page had played.)

Jones played his '61 Fender Jazz Bass on hundreds of recording sessions from 1962 to 1968Tolinski, Brad , (Jan. 1998). "Like a Rock". "Guitar World", p. 60.] . In 1964, Jones began session work with Decca Records on the recommendations of Tony Meehan. Between 1964 and 1968, he was also much in demand arranging and playing keyboards or bass guitar for artists including the Rolling Stones on "Their Satanic Majesties Request" (Jones' string arrangement is heard on "She's A Rainbow") [ [ Australian Broadcasting Corporation website] ] ; Herman's Hermits; Donovan on "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow"; Jeff Beck; Cat Stevens; Rod Stewart; Shirley Bassey; Lulu; and numerous others. As well as recording sessions with Dusty Springfield, Jones also played bass for her "Talk of the Town" series of performances. His arranging and playing on Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" resulted in producer Mickie Most using his services as choice arranger for many of his own projects, with Tom Jones, Nico, Wayne Fontana, the Walker Brothers, and many others.Jones also got to record with fellow friends of Tony Meehan and Jet Harris, none other than Meehan and Harris' ex-band, Cliff Richard and the Shadows.

Before these recordings, Cliff Richard and the Shadows came close to nearly preventing the future formation of Led Zeppelin, when they had talks about Jones replacing their ex-bassist Brian "Licorice" Locking. Instead they chose John Rostill.

Jones has stated that he was completing two and three sessions a day, six and seven days a week.Dominick A. Miserandino, [ Led Zeppelin - John Paul Jones] ,] However, by 1968 he was quickly feeling burnt out due to the heavy workload: "I was arranging 50 or 60 things a month and it was starting to kill me."Tolinski, Brad , (Jan. 1998). "Like a Rock". "Guitar World", p. 122.]

Led Zeppelin

During his time as a session player, Jones often crossed paths with guitarist Jimmy Page, a fellow session veteran. In June 1966, Page joined The Yardbirds, and in 1967 Jones contributed to their "Little Games" album. The following winter, during the sessions for Donovan's "The Hurdy Gurdy Man", Jones expressed to Page an interest in being a part of any projects the guitarist might be planning. Later that year, The Yardbirds disbanded, leaving Page and bassist Chris Dreja to complete some previously booked Yardbirds dates in Scandinavia. Before a new band could be assembled, Dreja left to take up photography. Jones, at the suggestion of his wife,Dominick A. Miserandino, [ Led Zeppelin - John Paul Jones] ,] inquired to Page about the vacant position, and the guitarist eagerly invited Jones to collaborate, later explaining:

Vocalist Robert Plant and drummer John Bonham joined the two to form a quartet. Initially dubbed the "New Yardbirds" for the Scandinavian dates, the band would soon be known as Led Zeppelin.

Jones' decision to leave session work and join a group was due to his desire to express his artistic creativity. Despite the spotlight invariably being placed on the more flamboyant members of Led Zeppelin, many cite Jones' temperament, musicianship and experience as crucial elements adding to the success of the band. He was responsible for the classic bass lines of the group, notably those in "What Is and What Should Never Be" ("Led Zeppelin II"), and power crunch and shifting time signatures, such as those in "Black Dog" ("Led Zeppelin IV"). As Led Zeppelin's rhythm section-mate with drummer John Bonham, Jones shared an appreciation for funk and soul rhythmic grooves which strengthened and enhanced their musical affinity. In an interview he gave to "Global Bass" magazine, Jones remarked on this common musical interest:

After "retiring" his Fender Jazz Bass in 1975, Jones switched to using custom-designed Alembics [] while out on the road, but still preferred to use the Jazz in the studio.

Jones' keyboarding skills added an eclectic dimension that realised Led Zeppelin as more than just a heavy metal band. Keyboard highlights include the delicate "The Rain Song" ("Houses of the Holy") played on a Mellotron; the funky, danceable "Trampled Underfoot", played on a Clavinet ("Physical Graffiti"); and the eastern scales of "Kashmir" (also on "Physical Graffiti"). In live performances, Jones' keyboard showpiece was "No Quarter", often lasting for up to half-an-hour and sometimes including snatches of "Amazing Grace", Joaquín Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez", which had inspired Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain", and variations of classical pieces by composers such as Rachmaninoff.

Jones' diverse contributions to the group extended to the use of other instruments, including an unusual triple-necked acoustic instrument consisting of a six and a twelve string guitar, and a mandolin. Jones often used bass pedals to supplement the band's sound while he was playing keyboards and mandolin.

While all members of Led Zeppelin had a reputation for off-stage excess (a label Robert Plant later claimed was somewhat exaggerated), Jones was seen as the quietest and lowest profile member of the group. [Dave Lewis (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, London: Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9, p. 77] cite journal |last=Gilmore |first=Mikal |title=The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin |journal=Rolling Stone |issue=1006 |date=August 10, 2006 |url= |accessdate=2007-12-09 ] His professionalism ensured that any excesses experienced on the road never hindered his performance. For his part, Jones has claimed that he had just as much fun on the road as his bandmates but was more discreet about it, [ [ Denver - Music - Getting Out of the Led ] ] stating "I did more drugs than I care to remember. I just did it quietly."Dominick A. Miserandino, [ Led Zeppelin - John Paul Jones] ,] Benoit Gautier, an employee of Atlantic Records in France, echoed this impression, stating that "The wisest guy in Led Zeppelin was John Paul Jones. Why? He never got caught in an embarrassing situation." [ [ Denver - Music - Getting Out of the Led ] ]

In an interview, Jones explained that fame with Led Zeppelin was not a big thing for him:

However, following several exhausting tours and extended periods of time away from his family, by late 1973 Jones was beginning to show signs of disillusionment with life as a member of one of the biggest bands in the world. He seriously considered quitting Led Zeppelin to become choirmaster at Winchester Cathedral, but was talked into returning by the band's manager, Peter Grant. [ [ Led Zeppelin :: Achilles Last Stand ] ] Jones later explained his reservations in a magazine interview:

It is rumoured that the Led Zeppelin song "Royal Orleans", from their album "Presence" is about an experience Jones once had on tour in the United States. [ [ Denver - Music - Getting Out of the Led ] ] The song is about a person who mistakenly takes a drag queen up to his hotel room, who then falls asleep with a joint of marijuana in hand, lighting the room on fire. "Royal Orleans" was the name of a hotel where the members of Led Zeppelin would stay when they visited New Orleans, because not as many people asked for autographs there. In an interview he gave to "Mojo magazine" in 2007, Jones clarified the reliability of this rumour, stating:

Jones' involvement with Led Zeppelin did not put a halt to his session work. In 1969 he returned to the studio to play bass guitar on The Family Dogg's "A Way of Life" album, in 1970, keyboards for guitarist Peter Green on his solo album "The End of the Game". Jones was Madeline Bell's first choice to produce and arrange her 1974 album "Comin' Atcha". He has also played keyboards on many Roy Harper albums, and contributed to Wings Rockestra, "Back to the Egg".

After Led Zeppelin

Since Led Zeppelin dissolved in 1980 with the death of Bonham, Jones has collaborated with a number of artists, including R.E.M., Heart, Ben E. King, Foo Fighters, Cinderella, The Mission, La Fura dels Baus, Brian Eno, [ Karl Sabino] , the Butthole Surfers and Uncle Earl.

He appeared on several sessions and videos for Paul McCartney and was involved in the soundtrack of the film "Give My Regards to Broad Street". In 1985, Jones was asked by director Michael Winner to provide the soundtrack for the film, "Scream for Help", with Jimmy Page appearing on two tracks. Jones provides vocals for two of the songs. He recorded and toured with singer Diamanda Galás on her 1994 album, "The Sporting Life" (co-credited to John Paul Jones). Jones set up his own recording studio called Sunday School, as well being involved in his daughter's (Jacinda Jones) singing career.

"Zooma", his debut solo album, was released in September 1999 on Robert Fripp's DGM label and followed up in 2001 by "The Thunderthief". Both albums were accompanied by tours, in which he played with Nick Beggs (Chapman Stick) and Terl Bryant (drums)."

In 2004, he toured as part of the group Mutual Admiration Society, along with Glen Phillips (the front man for the band Toad the Wet Sprocket) and the members of the band Nickel Creek.Dansby, Andrew. [ "Toad Singer Up the Creek"] . "Rolling Stone". July 28, 2004. Retrieved January 16, 2008.]

Jones plays on two tracks on Foo Fighters' album "In Your Honor" : mandolin on "Another Round" and piano on "Miracle", both of which are on the acoustic disc. The band's frontman Dave Grohl (a big Led Zeppelin fan) has described Jones' guest appearance as the "second greatest thing to happen to me in my life".

He has also branched out into album production, having produced such albums as The Mission (band) album Children, The Datsuns' second album "Outta Sight, Outta Mind" (2004) and Uncle Earl's upcoming album.

Recently he accompanied Robyn Hitchcock and Ruby Wright in performing the song "Gigolo Aunt" at a tribute for Pink Floyd founder, Syd Barrett, in London, which he did on mandolin. [ [ Pink Floyd news :: Brain Damage - Roger Waters and Pink Floyd at Syd tribute - full details ] ]

He played at Bonnaroo 2007 in a collaboration with Ben Harper and Roots drummer ?uestlove as part of the festival's all-star Super-Jam, an annual tradition in the festival that brings together several famous, world-class musicians together to jam on stage together for a few hours.He came out and played mandolin with Gillian Welch at Bonnaroo during the song "Look at Miss Ohio" and a cover of the Johnny Cash song "Jackson." He also appeared during the set of Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals where they played a cover of "Dazed and Confused". Jones then closed Gov't Mule's first set, playing part of "Moby Dick" and then "Livin Lovin Maid" on bass, then proceeded to play keyboards on the songs "Since I've Been Loving You" and "No Quarter". Jones also performed on mandolin with all female blue-grass group Uncle Earl, whose album he had produced.

Jones played in the Led Zeppelin reunion show at London's O2 Arena on December 10, 2007 as part of a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun.

This year, Jones plans to produce Nickel Creek singer-fiddler Sara Watkins' debut solo album.Dickens, Tad. [ "End of the road for Nickel Creek?"] . "The Roanoke Times". November 2, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2008.] Fricke, David. "Reunited Zeppelin Plot Their Future". "Rolling Stone". January 24, 2008. Retrieved January 24, 2008.] [Watkins, Sara. "And then my friend yelled 'put your fists in the air.'". "MySpace". November 25, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.] As previously mentioned, Jones toured with Watkins, Glen Phillips, and the rest of Nickel Creek in late 2004 in a collaboration entitled Mutual Admiration Society.

On Feb. 10, 2008, John Paul Jones appeared with the Foo Fighters on the Grammies conducting the orchestral part to the song "The Pretender".

On 7th June 2008, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page appeared with the Foo Fighters to close out their Wembley gig.


* Fretless Fender Precision Bass
* 1961 Fender Jazz Bass (used in live performances)
* 1951 Fender Precision Bass (used live for Blackdog from '71-'73)
* Fender Bass V
* Ibanez RD300 Bass
* Gibson mandolin, used in live acoustic performances.
*Andy Manson custom Triple Neck Mandolin, 12 string & 6 string acoustic (Used in live performances)
*Alembic Triple Omega
*Alembic Series II
*Custom made Pedulla Rapture Bass
*Acoustic Control Corporation 360 Bass Amp
*Hammond organs
*Hohner Clavinet
*Hohner Electra-Piano
*Fender Rhodes
*Steinway piano
*Yamaha CP-80 piano
*Symbolic Sound Kyma system
*Korg Trinity synthesizer
*Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer
*EMS VCS3 Synthesizer
*Moog 15 Modular Synthesizer


With Led Zeppelin

*"Led Zeppelin" (1969)
*"Led Zeppelin II" (1969)
*"Led Zeppelin III" (1970)
*"Led Zeppelin IV" (1971)
*"Houses of the Holy" (1973)
*"Physical Graffiti" (1975)
*"The Song Remains the Same" (1976)
*"Presence" (1976)
*"In Through the Out Door" (1979)
*"Coda" (1982)
*"BBC Sessions" (1997)
*"How the West Was Won" (2003)

olo albums

John Paul Jones' first solo recording was a single for Pye Records in April 1964 which featured "Baja". The B-side was "A Foggy Day in Vietnam".

*"Scream for Help" (1985) (soundtrack)
*"The Sporting Life" (1994), with Diamanda Galás
*"Zooma" (1999)
*"The Thunderthief" (2001)


*"The Song Remains the Same (1976)
*"Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)
*"The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993) "Composer"
*" [ Risk] (1994) "Composer"
*"Led Zeppelin DVD (2003)


External links

* [ John Paul Jones' Official Website]
* [ Led Zeppelin Official Site]
* [ JPJ Radio Interview] Feb. 22, 2002 with Chris Comer & Rob Ervin

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