5 Things You May Not Have Known About John Paul Jones
Oh, sure, you know John Paul Jones was the bassist for Led Zeppelin, because, câmon, who comes to Rhino.com and doesnât know that? But here are five things that you may not have knownâ¦and if you did, well, good for you, because we didnât know most of them until we started putting together this piece!
1. He produced, composed, recorded, and played all of the instruments on an album for Madeline Bell.
The album in question was Bellâs 1973 LP COMINâ ATCHA, and the material definitely showed a side of Jonesâs musical skills that listeners rarely heard him exercise on Led Zeppelin albums. While the album wasnât a massive commercial success for Bell, whoâd previously found fame as a member of the group Blue Mink, it was well-received by critics and is definitely worth seeking out.
2. Heâs one of the cast members of Paul McCartneyâs lone film as a leading man.
Itâs fair to say that far more people know Give My Regards to Broad Street for its soundtrackâs hit single, âNo More Lonely Nights,â than anything else, and thatâs probably best, as itâs in no way what youâd call a great film. That said, it does feature a lot of very talented musicians, including Jones, Ringo Starr, Tracey Ullman, Dave Edmunds, and Chris Spedding, but most of them donât have to do much more than play their instruments, which â letâs face it â is as it should be.
3. He composed the score for director Michael Winnerâs 1984 film Scream for Help.
Funny thing, though: the soundtrack was supposed to have been done by Jonesâ old mate Jimmy Page. When Page found himself unable to fulfill his obligations because of a packed schedule, he suggested to Winner that Jones do it, since he knew that Jones had just finished upgrading his home studio. Jones agreed, but he ultimately managed to secure Pageâs services on a couple of the soundtrackâs songs, including âSpaghetti Junction,â which was released as a promotional 12â single. (We canât help but wonder if it scored any dance club play.) Itâs also notable that the soundtrack featured guest vocals from the aforementioned Ms. Bell as well as Jon Anderson of Yes.
4. He produced several songs for Ben E. King in the 1980s.
After the film Stand by Me provided King with an unexpected opportunity for career revival, he took full advantage of the opportunity and got back into the studio, sticking with established material and re-recording an albumâs worth of songs by The Drifters, including some on which he hadnât originally sung lead. While it didnât send King back to the top of the charts, it did prove an opportunity for Jones to produce one of his R&B idols, so weâre calling it a win.
5. He teamed up with Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) to form the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures.
This isnât exactly breaking news to fans of Queens of the Stone Age or Foo Fighters fans, but itâs very likely something that many old-school Led Zeppelin fans are literally just learning about as theyâre reading this piece. The bandâs self-titled debut received rave reviews from critics and scored substantial alt-rock airplay from the singles âNew Fangâ and âMind Eraser, No Chaser,â proving definitively that Jones was alive and well and rocking just as hard as ever. Thankfully, he remains this way even now.
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