Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXII (Special Edition II)
Date: 97-01-03 14:16:53 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

I see we meet again, yes, well it has been a long time. Much too long and yet maybe, well who knows? Life is like a long roller coaster ya know, and right now the tunnel is all that I see. SOTD may not return in full force for a while, and so it is with trembling hand and sweating heart that I give you this, a very special look back at one of our heroes, the one and only, John Paul Jones.

Born on January 3, 1946, it is our honour to celebrate the 51st birthday of this quiet genius. Raised in a very musical family, his father a band leader and pianist himself, John Paul learned to appreciate music at a very early age. It wouldn't be long before he was THE session ace on bass and arranging in the English music scene. With so many session credits to his name it would be a major task to list them all here, and many of you know them already, suffice to say John Paul was quite busy in the sixties.

It was at some of these sessions that he became acquainted with a Mr. Jimmy Page, himself quite the session ace, and therefore had an inside track when he learned Jimmy was putting together a group. Jimmy has said he jumped at the chance for JP to be a part of his new line-up, the talent of Jonsey quite well respected. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Quiet, hardly ever moving from the right side of John Bonham, Jonsey didn't stand out like some of todays bassists. He just played brilliantly, steady and ROCK SOLID! When he ventured over to the keyboards,( or piano, organ, synth, etc...), it was time to stand still and pay close attention. He always played some of the most incredible passages of music I've ever heard. From the beginning with "Your Time Is Gonna Come", to "No Quarter", "In The Light", ( hang on, let me catch my breath), to "All My Love", "I'm Gonna Crawl" and "Carouselambra", his magic fingers took us to new lands. The subtle work on "Kashmir" springs to mind as well.

It is not opinion but fact when I say that without Jonsey in Zep, Zep would have been much less a band. I still recall the first time I listened to "In The Light", the effect that it had on me was devastating. The most beautiful and bizarre keyboard I'd ever heard, ( still is), left me hypnotized and mesmerized. A great track, Zep supporting each other, with the final goal to create a most wonderful listening expierience for us the fans: Mission accomplished!

Another overlooked facet of John Paul is his incredible bass work. All the Charlie Jones fans say "Amen" right now. Something most of you know but some may not, the main riff in "Black Dog" was a Jonsey riff. The final version is ever so slightly reworked for timing purposes, but the riff is his. Amazing. Close listening to any number of Zeppelin songs and you can hear the thunder that eminated from his instument, laying back here, playing a quick flurry of notes here, supporting and right in sync with Bonzo. The touch he had/has is something most bassists would die for.

Probally the best line I've heard regarding the Page/Plant reunion came from Jonsey. He said, when asked what he thought about the project, "Well, look at how many people they got just to replace me- a bass, a keyboard, a banjo/mandolin, a hurdy gurdy and a bloody orchestra". Amen!

To be excluded from this reunion was a huge slap in the face, and a total lack of respect and regard for what he contributed in the past. Robert can use all the bullshit excuses he wants, the fact is John Paul Jones deserved to be there, and the album/tour would have been richly enhanced had he been part of it.

Rumours of a new solo album from Jonsey are ripe right now, as well that he might even be included on P/P this time around. Since 1980 and the breakup of Zep Jonsey has continued to stay busy, producing many groups, ( Butthole Surfers and the Mission etc.) and even lending his talents musically. In the last few years he has jammed with Lenny Kravitz on MTV, produced Heart's unplugged album and even played bass on "What Is and What Should Never Be". In 1994 he joined forces with Diamanda Galas, both on the album and tour. Live they played "Communication Breakdown". In 1985 Jonsey offered up the soundtrack for a movie called "Scream For Help", a rather cheesey horror flick, but with the aid of Yes vocalist John Anderson, Jimmy and his own daughter Jacinda, the result was a very diverse and solid effort. I still have my copy and as they are out of print I consider this to be one nice item to have.

John Paul Jones remains the ultimate professional, both in life and music. One couldn't help but sympathize with him at the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Fame inductions, but he responded like a pro. A slight dig about remembered phone numbers and then plenty of solid bass.

It is this day that he celebrates another anniversary of his birth, and in our way we celebrate too. Thanks so much for your talents Jonsey, it wouldn't be the same without you. That has been proven.

Till January 9, 1997

Rock on,


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