Why John Paul Jones Was the Key to Led Zeppelin, According to Close Zep Associates

by Jeremy Spirogis
John paul Jones and John bonham performing

When John Paul Jones thought again to the tragic dying of John Bonham, Jones defined why Led Zeppelin had no future with out him. “John Bonham wasn’t the drummer of Led Zeppelin,” Jones stated in a 2003 Swedish TV interview. “He was a quarter of Led Zeppelin.”

That was one factor about Zeppelin that made the group totally different from different bands of the period. The Rolling Stones swapped out members on a number of events; so did The Who. Zeppelin, however, consisted of 4 equal elements, and with out one the band couldn’t exist.

But whereas the highlight shined so typically on Bonham and guitar god Jimmy Page, Jones at all times held his personal in rock’s mightiest trio. And many musicians, producers, and executives near the band stated Jones was really Zep’s strongest weapon.

Yardbirds bassist Chris Dreja stated John Paul Jones was higher than Jimmy Page at Led Zeppelin’s start

John paul Jones and John bonham performing
John Paul Jones and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin carry out on the Bath Festival in June 1970. | Michael Putland/Getty Images

RELATED: The Classic ‘Led Zeppelin III’ Track Jimmy Page Played Bass on

In Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band (2012), Barney Hoskyns carried out new interviews and compiled a great deal of basic quotes by Zep members and their associates from the early days by means of the beginning of the 2010s.

While everybody acknowledges the genius of Page, many make a degree of pointing to the immense abilities of Jones. Chris Dreja, the Yardbirds member who switched to bass so Page may take over on guitar, couldn’t have praised Jones increased. Dreja tackled the topic by specializing in the shift from The Yardbirds to early Led Zeppelin.

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“I wasn’t John Paul Jones, and [Yardbirds drummer] was not John Bonham,” Dreja instructed Hoskyns. “These were the pivotal players who created that sound. I knew about John Paul, and I thought, ‘You’re not going to top that, Jimmy. You’re a lucky man there!’”

Dreja knew he couldn’t convey the identical to the fold when Page was forming his new band after the dying of The Yardbirds. “At that point, he was a better guitar player than Jimmy was a guitar player,” Dreja stated. “And, of course, he understood music.”

The president of Led Zeppelin’s label referred to as Jones the best musician he’s ever met

John Paul Jones with Led ZeppelinJohn Paul Jones with Led Zeppelin
1969: Led Zeppelin poses for a portrait. | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Glyn Johns, who engineered the Zep debut album (and so many different nice data), put it merely sufficient. “John Paul was as responsible for the success of Led Zeppelin as the other three,” Johns stated in Hoskyns’ Zep oral historical past. “Though people only ever talk about the other three.”

Alan Callan, who ran Zeppelin label Swan Song within the U.Okay., had even increased reward for Zep’s multi-instrumentalist and arranger. “To this day, I think [Jones] is the greatest musician I’ve ever met,” Callan stated. Callan by no means stopped marveling on the manner Jones dealt with so many roles within the band.

Mac Poole, an early candidate for Zep drummer, additionally directed consideration towards Jones. “Musically, out of all 4 of them, I might put John Paul Jones as being the f*cking man,” Poole instructed Hoskyns. Poole particularly cited Jones’ bass work on “Dazed and Confused.”

“He may play a very simple line, but the guy’s thinking for the mood is so musical,” Poole stated. “Jimmy’s an excellent guitarist, however with out Jones in that band — with out that basic — it might be nothing.”

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