Monday, November 26, 2007

John Paul Jones cameos in Uncle Earl music video

John Paul Jones makes a cameo appearance in a new video by old-time string band Uncle Earl. The video, shown below, is for the song "Streak O' Lean, Streak O' Fat," a track from the album Jones produced.

Jones, who made his acting debut in Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same in 1976, stars with confidence in the role of the piano player. It is a part for which he is well suited because he actually did supply piano to the track, released on the album Waterloo, Tennessee, in March.

"The one thing I can say about John Paul is that he might be the one other guy who is in love with the Uncle g'Earls as much as I am," video director Tom Krueger tells "The reason he's smiling so much in the video is cause they were all right over my shoulder dancing just for him."

Jones is also credited with some back-up hollering on the track, which features the lead vocals of Uncle Earl's Abigail Washburn. The lyrics, which she supplied along with Jon Campbell, are sung in Chinese and describe eating braised fatty meat, excessively drinking liquor, and dancing.

Washburn explains the story behind the song's recording in the album's liner notes. "Before we knew what was happening, the g'Earls were sitting in a circle in the recording studio, busting down on the tune with JPJ on piano, and I was yelling lines out in Chinese," she writes.

"Although the reference may seem obscure to some, hongshao rou happens to be known as Mao Zedon's favorite dish from his home province of Hunan," continues Washburn. "Really it's composed of a small streak o' lean meat with a big hunk of fat, and it freaks out the foreigners when it lands on the dinner table."

In the video, Jones gets into his piano playing with his right foot propped up on the piano bench. A downward shot reveals that the Led Zeppelin member was wearing open-toed shoes.

"Oh, and he doesn't normally wear those kind of sandals," said Krueger, "but since we were in a Chinese restaurant we thought it went better and he just sighed and slipped 'em on."

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