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John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones, Manchester, TN, Jun. 17, 2007
John Paul Jones, Jun. 17, 2007, Bonnaroo 2007, This Tent, Manchester, Tennessee
Vital Stats
Birth Name: John Baldwin
Also Known As: John Baldwin
Born: January 3, 1946
Sidcup, Kent, England
Occupation(s): Musician, Songwriter, Arranger, Producer
Instrument(s): Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Mandolin, Lap Steel Guitar, Ukulele, Kyma, Vocals
Associated Act(s): Led Zeppelin Them Crooked Vultures
Website: http://www.johnpauljones.com/

John Paul Jones was born John Baldwin on January 3, 1946 in Sidcup, Kent. Both of his parents were musicians, his dad being a pianist and arranger for big bands and his mother was a singer and a dancer.

He learned to play the play the piano at an early age. He soon began to take organ lessons and played at his church. By age 14, he picked up the bass guitar. His father wanted him to play the saxophone because, as John Paul explained, "He said...I'd never starve".

He started a band in his boarding school and he and his father performed as a duo during the holidays. He left school at age 17 and auditioned for Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, who were putting together a band. He got hired as their bass player and the band toured with John Paul for about a year or so, playing music that bands like Blood, Sweat and Tears and Chicago would play years later.

John Paul started doing sessions in about 1964, and for the next four years, recorded for just about everyone from Lulu to The Rolling Stones. He released his own single in April 1964, entitled Baja.

During a session for Donovan, he heard Jimmy Page, a popular session guitarist, talking about starting a new group. His wife Maureen "Mo", whom he'd married in 1965, convinced him to call up Jimmy Page after reading an article in Disc and Music Echo to take the bass guitarist position. Since Jimmy's first two choices for new bass players were unavailable, he agreed to have John Paul in this new group.

After Led Zeppelin, John Paul took the most low-key position of all the remaining members, focusing mainly on producing and arranging for such performers as The Misision in 1987, R.E.M. in 1992, Ben E. King in 1986, Cinderella in 1990, The Butthole Surfers in 1992 and Peter Gabriel in 1992.

On December 7, 1983 he joined Robert Plant for an encore performance of Little Sister. John Paul put out a soundtrack album for the movie Scream For Help, which was released on March 22, 1985.

He rejoined Jimmy and Robert at LiveAid on July 15, 1985 and on May 14, 1988 for Atlantic Records' 40th Anniversary party.

In September 1993, he joined the stage with Lenny Kravitz for the MTV Awards show, performing Are You Gonna Go My Way. In August 1994, John Paul joined Heart for five performances at The Backstage Theatre in Seattle performing with them as well as producing the live album that was recorded. In late 1994, John Paul joined up with Diamanda Galas for a short European tour and a tour in the States in November 1994.

In 1998, John Paul started work on his first solo CD, which was called Zooma. John Paul toured the US, Europe and Japan throughout late 1999 and early 2000, with thunderous response. 2001 found John Paul preparing material for his second solo album, The Thunderthief, to which toured through the US and the rest of the world, providing support for King Crimson.

Since 2004, John Paul Jones has made a more public showing of his acoustic abilities, perfoming in 2004 as part of the Mutual Admiration Society, with Glen Phillips and the members of the band Nickel Creek, performing at the Festival Mandolines de Lunel in 2005 and 2006, performing at MerleFest, Bonnaroo and other festivals in 2007 and making several appearances with Robyn Hitchcock.

John Paul Jones joined Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, along with Jason Bonham on Dec. 10, 2007 as part of a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun.

2008 saw Jones hook up with Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters, first at the 2008 Grammys, then at an encore at a Foo Fighters concert at Wembley Stadium on Jun. 7, 2008, in front of 86,000 people.

In 2009, John Paul Jones scored music, along with members of the band Sonic Youth and Takehisa Kosugi, for Merce Cunningham's Nearly 90 dance show, performed in NYC on April 16-19, 2009.

Currently, John Paul Jones is rumored to be in the recording studio with Foo Fighters singer/guitarist Dave Drohl and Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme. Their project is reported to be called Them Crooked Vultures

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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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