He's a bass player, he's a keyboardist, well... he's a multi-instrumentalist, he is also a very diverse and talented songwriter and he is the secret weapon of "Led Zeppelin" who's responsible for quite a bit of their musical development.
(Photo: Gary Miller/Getty)
Here are 50 interesting facts about John Paul Jones:
1. John Paul Jones was born on 3 January 1946 in Kent, southeast London, as John Baldwin.
2. Both his parents were involved in music. His father Joe Baldwin was a pianist and music arranger of Big Bands in the 1940s and 1950s.
3. As a result, the musical influences on John ranged from blues and jazz to classical music.
4. He started learning to play the piano at the age of six.
5. By the age of 14 he had already become an organist and conductor of a choir in the local church.
6. That year he was already playing on stage with one of his father's bands.
7. His first bass guitar was the Fender Jazz Bass.
8. At age 15 he formed his first band "The Deltas".
9. He later played bass in the jazz-rock band "Jett Blacks" and in the band "Herbie Goins", which also included the virtuoso guitarist John McLaughlin.
10. In 1962 he was hired by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan from "The Shadows" to accompany them in the studio and live shows.
11. Another player who collaborated with Jet Harris and Tony Meehan at the time, was Jimmy Page who played their hit "Diamonds" from 1963.
12. The two even invited John Paul Jones to join "The Shadows" which was very successful at the time. He was supposed to replace their bassist Brian Locking who left the band in 1963, but this did not materialize in the end.
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13. In 1964 John recorded his first song - "Baja" which was also released as a single.
14. Before the single was released to the market, John Baldwin changed his name to John Paul Jones, on the advice of producer Andrew Loog Oldham.
15. The producer chose the name after seeing a poster for the movie "John Paul Jones the American".
16. The film was based on John Paul Jones, one of the first commanders of the U.S. Navy during the Civil War.
17. Jones' work with Jet Harris and Tony Meehan caught the eyes of "Decca" and from 1964 he became a highly sought-after session bass player, keyboardist, and orchestral arranger for artists and bands.
18. Among the artists Jones worked with at the time were: "The Everly Brothers", Etta James, Marianne Faithful, 'The Supremes", and Bo Diddley.
19. John is in charge of the string arrangements in "The Rolling Stones" song "She's a Rainbow".
20. He played bass in Donovan's greatest hits such as: "Sunshine Superman", "Hurdy Gurdy Man", and "Mellow Yellow".
21. He's in charge of all the bass roles on Cat Stevens' first album - "Matthew and Son".
22. He played bass and conducted the orchestra on Dusty Springfield's "Dusty… Definitely" album.
26. This session was very groundbreaking for John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, as beyond the connection between them it gave Page the idea of forming a supergroup that would include himself, Jeff Beck, Keith Moon, and John Entwistle of "The Who", Steve Marriott and Stevie Winwood.
27. When John Entwistle heard the idea of "the supergroup" he immediately said that they will fall just like a lead balloon and Keith Moon sharpened the sentence noting that they will fall like "Lead Zeppelin". Keith Moon's words were caught in Jimmy Page's memory and they would pop up at the right time and place, two years later.
28. Jones plays the Hammond organ in the immortal song "Since I've Been Loving You", performing his bass roles using a bass pedal.
29. The symbol chosen by John Paul Jones for the album "Led Zeppelin IV" is "Triquatra", a symbol representing a competitive person, with abilities and self-confidence.
30. John is quite a bit responsible for the odd time signatures of "Led Zeppelin", among the most famous of which is the 5/4 weight he chose for the riff of "Black Dog", which he wrote for the album Led Zeppelin IV.
31. During Led Zeppelin's live performances John Paul Jones was the one singing Sandy Denny's vocals in the song "The Battle of Evermore".
32. John was the one responsible for expanding Led Zeppelin's sound range and musical styles, especially in songs like "The Rain Song", "Trampled Under Foot", "Kashmir", "Friends" and "No Quarter", playing instruments like Hammond organ, Melotron, Moog synthesizer, Mandolin, and Bass pedal, as well as being in charge of the orchestral and strings arrangements. He also plays the Piano, Ukulele, Violin, Cello, Sitar, and more.
33. For Christmas 1970, the single "The" Man from Nazareth" by an artist named John Paul Jones was released. It was not John Paul Jones we know from "Led Zeppelin". but another artist named Reginald John Davidge. This fact led to a conflict between "the Zeppelin" John Paul Jones and the other Jones, and eventually the other Jones changed the spelling of his name in the UK to John Paul Joans.
34. John Paul Jones played bass in the opening track of Roy Harper's album "HQ", which was released in 1975. The one who played guitar on that track was David Gilmour.
37. He wrote the soundtrack for the 1985 film "Scream for Help", which also featured Jimmy Page.
38. He wrote and co-wrote the song "4-Minute Warning" from Brian Eno's 1988 album "Music for Films III".
39. John Paul Jones is responsible for all the orchestral arrangements on the masterpiece "Automatic for the People" album by "R.E.M.".
40. He produced the album "Independent Worm Saloon", the sixth album of the "Butthole Surfers" from 1993.
41. In 1994 he released the album "The Sporting Life", together with the avant-garde singer Diamanda Galàs.
42. While he was on tour to promote the aforementioned album, his friends Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were busy with the "Unledded No Quarter: Jimmy Page and Robert Plant" show, which aired on MTV and was released on an album and a DVD.
43. Page and Plant did not even inform John Paul Jones about the mini-reunion. He learned about it from the media.
44. John Paul Jones was very hurt when his friends did not tell him about the reunion, especially after they chose to name the album and show as "No Quarter", which is a song written mostly entirely by him.
45. He played a large variety of instruments and produced the album "The Road Home" from 1995, by "Heart".
46. He has released two solo albums, "Zooma" from 1999 and "The Thunderchief" from 2002.
47. John Paul Jones also played in two tracks from "Foo Fighters" "In Your Honor" album. A mandolin in the song "Another Round" and a piano in the song "Miracle".
49. In 2009 he collaborated with "Sonic Youth" writing and playing the music in the dance show of "Merce Cunningham".
50. He met his future wife Mareen in 1965 and he is with her to this day. The two have 3 daughters.