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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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