Why Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones Had to Wear a Wig for ‘The Song Remains the Same’

by Jeremy Spirogis
John Paul Jones with short hair on stage

In the ’70s, Led Zeppelin followers rapidly realized that the albums solely informed a part of the band’s story. To get the total Zep impression, you needed to see the group work its magic stay. At one in every of these exhibits, you may witness “Dazed and Confused” or “Whole Lotta Love” morph into one thing utterly totally different from the LP model.

In temporary, a stay album made excellent sense for Zeppelin within the early ’70s. But someplace alongside the road that concept obtained tied to a movie manufacturing. Eventually, this years-long mission grew to become The Song Remains the Same (1976), a film that combined ’73 live performance footage and documentary clips with fantasy sequences that includes the band members and supervisor Peter Grant.

Given the size of time concerned — and the character of stay live performance footage — the movie crew confronted main challenges with continuity. And because the mission wore on the altering look of Zeppelin band members grew to become a difficulty. As bassist-keyboardist John Paul Jones as soon as recalled, he needed to put on a wig at one level to carry the movie collectively.

John Paul Jones had various adventures capturing Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Song Remains the Same’

John Paul Jones with short hair on stage
Keyboardist and bass participant John Paul Jones of ‘Led Zeppelin’ performs onstage circa 1975. | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Whenever you learn concerning the making of The Song Remains the Same, you get a way of the messiness surrounding the manufacturing. The band members themselves (together with Jimmy Page) had points with the movie, and Grant described it as “the most expensive home movie ever made.”

For Jones, who portrayed a shadowy horseman of the evening through the efficiency of “No Quarter,” the wardrobe grew to become a difficulty through the band’s ’73 dates at Madison Square Garden. In Hammer of the Gods, Stephen Davis reported Jones wouldn’t maintain sporting the identical shirt to take care of continuity.

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Looking again on these days in 2007, Jones informed Mojo he initially had an thought for maintaining his involvement to a minimal. “I’ll use footage from [Disney’s] Dr. Syn, so all you must do is movie me strolling by the door!” Jones recalled considering. But producers couldn’t safe the rights to Dr. Syn.

At that time, Jones needed to star in his personal part of The Song Remains the Same. “It turned into the Horse of the Year Show,” Jones informed Mojo. “I had to rent a horse and a cape. There must be some hilarious outtakes.” There was additionally the difficulty of his hair.

Jones needed to put on a ‘stupid’ wig after slicing his hair earlier than a ‘Song Remains the Same’ re-shoot

Led Zeppelin in 1972Led Zeppelin in 1972
Led Zeppelin in 1973 | P Y Tang/South China Morning Post through Getty Images

After he had his cape and horse, Jones bumped into the form of hassle you’d count on when working with a stay animal. “[In one scene] I had to ride up to a house and look through the window and ride on,” Jones informed Mojo in ’07. “First, I shot straight past it. The second time, I couldn’t get the horse to move at all.”

While Jones thought sporting the identical shirt on stage for 3 nights was a drag, he realized he had greater issues along with his hair. That challenge got here up when he realized he needed to do re-shoots of a few of his scenes. By that point, he’d lower his hair a lot shorter than he’d worn it through the scenes shot in ’73.

“The film crew asked if there was anything I needed,” Jones recalled. “Yes, six inches of hair! I’d lower all of it off, so I needed to put on this silly wig. Years later it’s come again to hang-out me.” If you’ve seen the movie recently, you understand what Jones was speaking about.

During the onstage sequences and photographs of Jones in his residence, the Zep multi-instrumentalist has his typical shoulder-length, rock-star hair. But within the scenes of Jones enjoying a church organ, he sports activities a reasonably ridiculous blonde wig. Looking again, you may argue Jones would’ve been superb enjoying the organ along with his personal hair. But that’s Hollywood, child.

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