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Interview with John Paul Jones, former Led Zeppelin, sponsor of Lunel Mandolin Festival



John Paul Jones, co-founder with Jimmy Page of the rock band Led Zeppelin is a lover of mandolin. Composer, arranger, bassist and keyboardist talent, he is one of Britain's greatest musicians. And one of the most versatile, as evidenced by its decision to sponsor the festival "Mandolines de Lunel".

The rally that began on October 29 and celebrates its tenth anniversary, brings together the best players mandolins. John Paul Jones will perform solo on November 2 at the closing ceremony. He took the time to come back with HuffPost about its history with the instrument.

How was your first meeting with the mandolin?
I started playing in the early 1970s. I had mostly listened in bluegrass bands (musical style of American origin which is a branch of country music) as with their album and The Dillards Back Porch Bluegrass.

When I was on tour with Led Zeppelin, I wanted to play music. On the bus and in the plane, the easiest way is to have a portable instrument. I found a mandolin in Indiana, I bought it and I learned to use it as an autodidact. I was immediately hooked.

When did you decide to include in your music?
Almost immediately after tamed. The mandolin has a sound that is different from that of the guitar. I already loved folk and some genres in which it flourished. To force the rub, integration seemed natural. This is not an easy instrument access but many bass player are attracted by the mandolin.

This may be a way to release frustration. This is a very versatile tool and its use depends on the style of music you want to play. With a snare or short solos. In a classical context, it has the same partition as the violin.

Why this instrument is now almost invisible on stage?
The mandolin was really popular in the early twentieth century. In the United States, the stars of the era played. A genre like bluegrass could penetrate and reach a wider audience if it had not been eaten by a rock. Many players are then moved to the guitar.

Yet it is a fairly sharp instrument that gives a spark to the music. The mandolin is like no other instrument. It has a penetrating sound that works very well with the guitar and bass. It is a tool that can be very useful because it is audible over a voice and I'm always amazed at how much she is underestimated.



What is your role in Lunel?
I think the best way to make acclaim to the mandolin is to play on stage. I played a lot with Seasick Steve. I have several books by two brothers Luthiers, the Manson. I have my mandolin three races I have to take care. We find the object in every culture in India where it is more power in Brazil.

I know that Ronnie McCoury, one of the most talented players, told me he almost did beat up at school because he played the mandolin while everyone was in the rock: "the only thing that saved me was when I said that John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin played well."


John Paul Jones parrain des dix ans du festival...

For this anniversary edition, other artists were invited: the Israeli-German classical soloist Avi Avital, the French electro-rock Féloche or bandolim Brazilian virtuoso Hamilton de Holanda.

Americans Jake Jolliff and Alex Hargreaves French quartet with Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford Columbia, Brazilian Tiago Tunes accompanied by fellow Rogérui Caetano and Brazilian seven-string guitar are also planned.

From: Huffington Post (in French)

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

February 7, 1962 - Deborah Bonham, sister to John, was born in Redditch, Worcestershire, England
February 23, 1966 - Warren Grant, son of Peter, was born.
February xx, 1969 - Led Zeppelin enters the Billboard Top 40
February 16, 1969 - Led Zeppelin wrap up their first American tour in Baltimore, MD.
February 07, 1970 - Edinburgh gig cancelled after Plant receives facial injuries in a car accident
February 28, 1970 - The band performs as "The Nobs" in Copenhagen after threat of legal action from Countess Von Zeppelin
February xx, 1971 - John Paul Jones involved in legal issues regarding a musician who shares the same name
February xx, 1971 - Overdubs for the fourth album are recorded at Island Studios
February 14, 1972 - The band is refused admission into Singapore due to their long hair
February 16, 1972 - The Australian tour begins in Perth
February 21, 1972 - Led Zeppelin: Rock and Roll b/w Four Sticks (Atlantic 45-2865) 45 single is released in the US.
February xx, 1973 - The band makes final preparations for the European tour
February 16, 1973 - The release date for Houses Of The Holy is pushed back due to some sleeve problems
February xx, 1974 - Sessions for Physical Graffiti continue
February 14, 1974 - Page, Plant and Bonham attend a Roy Harper concert
February 04, 1975 - Zeppelin perform a last minute show at Nassau Coliseum to accomodate fans after being banned in Boston
February 24, 1975 - Physical Graffiti finally issued worldwide to phenomenal sales
February xx, 1976 - Media reports that Zeppelin are due to release an album entitled Obelisk
February xx, 1977 - Robert contracts a bout of tonsillitis postponing the American tour
February xx, 1978 - Robert Plant helps produce a record for punk band Dansette Damage
February 16, 1978 - The cases against Bonham, Cole & Grant stemming from the Oakland incident are heard and all receive suspended prison sentences and fines
February xx, 1979 - Although absent from the US stage or market, Led Zeppelin rank best in many music magazine categories
February xx, 1979 - Mixing sessions for In Through The Out Door take place at Polar Studios. Rumors fly of a European tour
February 03, 1980 - Robert joins Dave Edmund’s Rockpile at the Birmingham Top Rank
February 13, 2005 - Led Zeppelin receives a Grammy for Lifetime Achievment.
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