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Reunion Interview With John Paul Jones

Rock journalist Ritchie Yorke takes you backstage with Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones, who is adamant a world tour is not on the agenda after the band's reunion concert in London next month.

I'm here to assure you from the inside out that the band is taking this show very, very seriously.

"Well yes, we are pretty excited about this and also a bit daunted," Jonesy nods during an interview at London's sumptuous Landmark Hotel.

"Initially I was invited to join in a memorial concert for Ahmet in New York performing with the likes of Ben E. King last January. Then Robert let it be known that he would rather do something for Ahmet in England," recalled Jones.

"Originally we were going to play the Royal Albert Hall, along with another night with some other acts. Then the Royal Albert was deemed too small and it moved to the Dome (re-named the O2 Arena).

"At first, we would be playing 40 minutes, then it went to an hour. I was a bit reluctant along the way because I wasn't sure whether I wanted to part of getting that whole circus on the road again. But I was persuaded to try out a rehearsal to see if we really wanted to play together."


In a union of musical spirit and muse, the recent rehearsal harked back to that first prophetic time when the band originally played together for the first time in 1968 with Jason's father the incomparable John "Bonzo" Bonham on drums and created hard rock magic.

"That first rehearsal this month was just amazing," reflected Jones. "It took us back to that first meeting in '68. So we decided to go ahead and we will be putting in some serious rehearsal sessions right up until the show itself."

"At the first rehearsal, we sounded pretty hot," Jones claimed. "Amazingly so. We were amazingly tight. Gaps in the right place and so on - it was really really tight.

"And to really really get into the material so that we can be really tight: that's what we're aiming at."


Don't say that you haven't been warned folks [more]
Thanks to William McGlynn
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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History


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December 16, 1968 - Zep plays Bath Pavilion for a mere £75.
December 26, 1968 - First American concert at the Coliseum in Denver, CO
December xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are reported to have sold 5 million dollars worth of albums in the US
December 11, 1969 - Led Zeppelin are presented gold and platinum discs for their first two albums
December xx, 1970 - The band enters Island Studios to begin work on the fourth album
December xx, 1971 - The band plays a few low-key shows back in England
December 23, 1972 - The band break for Christmas holiday after a London gig
December xx, 1973 - John Paul Jones works on studio productions for Madeline Bell
December xx, 1973 - Joe Massot films Jimmy Page’s fantasy sequence at Loch Ness
December 19, 1974 - John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page jam with Bad Company at the Rainbow Theater
December 10, 1975 - Led Zeppelin play a 45-minute show with Norman Hale at Behan’s in Jersey
December xx, 1976 - Led Zeppelin rehearses for the 1977 tour
December 25, 1976 - It’s announced that Plant and Bonham will reunite with the Band of Joy for three shows in the new year
December xx, 1977 - The band minus Robert gather to discuss Led Zeppelin’s future plans
December xx, 1978 - The new album is completed quickly at Polar Studios and mixed at Jimmy’s Plumpton Studio
December xx, 1979 - John Bonham considers joining Paul McCartney’s Wings
December 29, 1979 - The band minus Jimmy Page attend the Paul McCartney And Wings Kampuchea befefit show
December 04, 1980 - Led Zeppelin issue the following statement not to carry on as a band: "We wish it to be known, that the loss of our dear friend and the deep respect we have for his family, together with the deep sense of harmony felt by ourselves and our manager have led us to decide that we could not continue as we were."
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