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New found respect for John Paul Jones.

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bullshark, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Always liked Led Zep as a band but I've never really been that attentive to JPJ work as a bassist in that band. Don't know why, really, t'was just like that. Maybe because he never had that exuberant flashiness displayed by the other members?

    Until I tried my hand at playing The Lemon Song. Wow. Serious groove in there, and no two bars played exactly alike throughout the song. A serious display of musicianship.

    I must say, I'm not going to be so quick to dismiss any fellow bassist work from now on, keeping my ears open instead of going by assumption, I might just learn more this way.
  2. Agreed. For a similar experience, try playing some of John Deacon's stuff. Subtle.
  3. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    Back in the day, we thought of JPJ as the bassist who was always where you needed him to be. Subtle genius.
  4. hmm! i always thought he was the strongest musician in that band! and they were no slouches.
    yeah the lemon song was a knuckle buster for me too, it's keeping the momentum even and consistant that's a bitch.
  5. My drummer loves Bonham too, & adds that influence in ALL the time. It's very encouraging.
  6. JPaulGeddy

    JPaulGeddy Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2007
    South Carolina
    If someone wanted to tell me JPJ was the greatest rock bass player ever, I wouldn't dismiss it. He's amazing.
  7. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    "The Ocean" by Zep was the very first song I had to learn for my very first cover band, and JPJ's tone and walking bassline during the outro has been a major influence on me ever since.
  8. Mr. Mig

    Mr. Mig

    Sep 7, 2008
    People forget hta he was a very accomplished musician, and producer before he joined Zepplin. Woking with The Rolling Stones, Donovan, and Jeff Beck. He was and still is very highly regarded.
  9. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Lemon Song - bass

  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Mine is the opposite view. I never paid attentionto JPJ because the band's music was so bad. Page is an annoying lead guitarists- sloppy soloing without the benefit if passion. Plant's voice is even more annoying. The wrote very few songs- because a riff ain't a song. And if the song can't stand up without the specific performance, it ain't a good song. The best Page solo ever is the little one he composed for "Whole Lotta Love". It's just a cultural phenomena, but the music just wasnt' there for me.

    But reading Jones' interviews in GP and later in BP made me pay attention to his playing. Now if he and Bonzo had hooked up with a real songwriter like Townsend, and a real rock 'n' roll singer like Paul Rogers, that'd have been a great band.

  11. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    Oh god. I don't know what to say. There's probably no point trying. I will say that JPJ would strongly disagree and he'd be right.
    Also, it sounds like you're saying YOU can't play Zeppelin and do it justice. That's not their problem or an indication of bad songwriting. Any good song can be butchered.
  12. UncleBalsamic


    Jul 8, 2007
    John Paul Jones is really, really good. Also, +1 on John Deacon being awesome.
  13. Lalo


    Sep 11, 2003
    San Antonio Texas
    Im tired of people saying that Jimmy page was a sloppy playe, my lord cant people getit throught their heads, that is his style and it is greatly incorporated on Zepellin's sound so stop batching a great band w/great musicians, and well Robert Plant had a distinctive voice very raspy yet able to manage to do highs kind of like a soul man..
  14. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA

    Hmmm... All this time I thought I was the only one. I always loved the JPJ and Bonzo but never got into the other two. I've played just about every popular Zep song over the years. I love playing them! But listening to the rest of the song usually gets on my nerves. And as far as not-so-clean playing (Jimmy Page) being a "style" gimme a break. I'm not saying that there are no redeeming qualities to the guy's playing, but it's not like he COULD play clean and CHOSE NOT to because he liked the style.
  15. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    +1 and I'll go one more. Anyone who doesn't at least acknowledge Jimmy Page as an excellent guitar player is an ignoramus. BTW, I've never met a competent guitar player who so foolishly dismisses Page - only bass players who give the rest of us a bad name. And BTW, Zep/Page wrote many fabulous songs.
  16. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Ah, well these are the responese I expected. I don't dislike Zep as I dislike hair-metal, Nirvana, and contemporary country artists. It's just that I don't think the MUSIC is as good as the band's place in pop culture would reflect. I don't mind sloppy playing if it's passionate (I like Neil Young), but you gotta bring something to the table and Page AS A SOLOIST is lacking in passion, techinique, and frequently interesting ideas.

    As a producer, and as an orchestrator of guitars he's great. Layering lots of rhythm guitars, getting specific sounds out of different isntruments and blending them together, and then getting them to come out of little home stereo speakers- he's great!!! Getting Bonzo's drum sounds on vinyl is genius.

    The comment about performance relates to the live recordings I've heard over the last 30+ years. The SONGS don't hold up without that specific performance. The original four memebers playing the songs live is what I'm talking about.

    YMMV, and the point wasn't really to dis Zep, even knowing it was gonna come off that way. It was to point out that Jone's obvious musicianship got lost FOR ME in the things about Page and Plant that drove me away from Zep's music. So even though I've been paying attention to them since my buddy Phil played the brand new Led Zepplin II record for me decades ago, I never knew what a great bassist Jones was. The annoying breathless affectation from Plant and then his banshee scream along with the stupid lyrics of "What Is and What Should Never Be" kept me from appreciating the great bass work there.

  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, I know a lot of guitarist who put Page into the "Recognition deserving bigger talent" category.

    Many fabulous songs? OK, give me some SONGS that have lyrics and music that both make sense and can stand alone from the production and performance. Can you reinterpret the song without having to play it just like the record and the song is still fabulous? That's what a SONG is- the essecne boiled down away from who played what.

  18. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    Please, just STOP.
  19. I was never a Zep fan beyond their first few albums, but I've always dug JPJ's playing. His solo work is very good imo. I like The Thunderthief in particular.
  20. Bassgrinder77

    Bassgrinder77 Banned

    Jan 23, 2009
    I said competent guitarists.
    Songs? The first 5 albums, from Good Times Bad Times to The Ocean. Lyrics? I won't wade into that. Any lyric could be quoted and subjected to criticism.
    Re songs, your argument doesn't hold up.
    There are lots of great songs who's original recorded performance is so unique and strong that a reinterpretation won't work in most listeners ears. That's no condemnation of the song, it's a commendation of the original performance.

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