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John Paul Jones rig on Houses of the Holy??

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by KampKomfort, Aug 15, 2000.

  1. KampKomfort


    Jul 27, 2000

    I listened to the Led Zep song "Houses of the Holy" (from Physical Graffiti) today on a nice stereo, and I really liked the tone I heard from JPJ.

    Anybody know what rig he was using? Effects? Pick or finger? Check it out if you have the recording. Thanks for the help...

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    JPJ always played fingerstyle around this time - it's difficult to know what was done in the studio though, as Jimmy Page would always experiment as a producer. Physical Graffiti has some very unusual production techniques.

    I've heard the track you mention many times and there are overdubbed unison guitars doubling the main riff with the bass, to the point where it's impossible to tell which part of the "attack" of the riff is bass or guitar. This effect would be impossible to duplicate live. If you listen to this album carefully, there are huge number of overdubbed guitars on a lot of the tracks and it is the slight differences between the sound of each that makes the overall sound unique and something you couldn't get even with sophisticated effects units.
  3. KampKomfort


    Jul 27, 2000
    Upon closer inspection, I noticed the doubled guitar "illusion" tone that was used. What a great sound, but you are right--recreating that sound would be quite a feat. Thanks for the input!

  4. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I think JPJ kept it simple in the studio a mid 60's jazz bass or early 50's Pbass through a Acoustic 360 for about 70% of ther bass stuff he's also been known to play a coulple of Funky instruments, Alembic, Carl Thompson the infamouse 4 neck acoustic on certain stuff. Live he played some weird basses I think he's even played with a pick at times. I just seen him on his solo tour and he used some really funky stuff but he played the old 51 pbass for alot of the night he even played electric upright. He is truley one of the greats.
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Yes but this questions is about a particular bass line, which is given its distinctive sound by the doubled guitar parts and production by Jimmy Page - you could never reproduce this with just the equipment mentioned.

    I saw Led Zeppelin live in 1974 and JPJ did keep it very simple for bass, but had a very big keyboard set-up with loads of effects etc.
  6. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Bruce your right he had a monsterouse key set up on tour with Zep plus he's a great arranger and producer. Im going to give Physical, Houses of the holy a listen tonight and see what I can hear.
  7. JPJ used a CT? I never knew that..cool.

    Page must have been a total psycho in the studio. It's fun just sitting back and listening to a zep tune, say Dancing Days, and trying to keep track of how many different guitar tracks are going on at any given time.
  8. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    Here's the scoop guy's
    I asked my guitar player what the effect was on JPJ's bass line on houses of the holy and he "said" that Jimmy doubled his bass line with his guitar on sevral other tracks straight into the board overdriving the sh*& out of it and maybe adding a litte flanger to it to give it that nasely sound.
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    That's what I said!
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  10. KeithPas

    KeithPas Supporting Member

    May 16, 2000
    I like JPJ's tone on "The Rover" off Physical Graphitti. His tone is much overlooked and underappreciated IMO.
  11. the song "Houses of the holy" sounds to me like the 52' P bass played with a pick- much the same tone as on "Black dog".
    Guiseppe likes this.
  12. .
    wow, four necks? are there any pics?
  13. KPAX

    KPAX Banned

    Mar 22, 2005
    JP Jones didn't use fingers on the song Houses Of The Holy - he used a pick. JP Jones mixed it up a lot: fingers, pick, flatwounds, roundwounds, deep, trebly, distortion, clean.
    Guiseppe and Thomas C3 like this.
  14. 8 string or 12 string bass would get you close.
  15. Actually, the song "Houses of the Holy" was recorded for the album of that name -- however, it was released on "PG."

    See the wikipedia article:

  16. fetfet


    Apr 13, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    He played Hagstrom 8-string bass on Presence, and a little on PG, so that would be a no on Page doubling his lines. Just doubled an octave up. He played a Fender Jazz Bass I believe on this song.
  17. Tupac


    May 5, 2011
    Resurrection!!! I noticed, oddly, that's Bootsy's (of all people) tone on Up for the Down Stroke is very similar to this tone.

  18. geddybass


    Mar 11, 2017
    Wait - so are you saying that maybe the riff that actually starts the song was created by Page doubling what Jones was doing during the verse in between the singing , the instrumental part that opens every verse if you will?

    Maybe the original song written by page-plant was more of the verse guitar pattern and vocal and the riff was born out of the band jamming out the song

    I say all this because I've never managed to find out the original of the riff , one would assume it's a page riff but I've read that jones came up with uncredited riffs and also the riff itself sounds a bit different somehow then lots of page riffs
  19. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000

    I'm gonna go out on a limb here.......

    As someone who is also 50% guitar player---and I've played A LOT of Zeppelin---I'm going to say that the 'Houses Of The Holy' riff is a Page thing.

    Why? That particular riff is a recycling/re-hashing of the opening guitar riff to "Hey Hey What Can I Do'. Page was very resourceful when it came to re-using his guitar parts.

    Another great example is the riff from 'Immigrant Song', which was re-styled for "The Wonton Song'. Also, certain acoustic parts of 'Stairway' were later turned into the main opening of 'The Song Remains The Same'.
    Guiseppe likes this.

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