Wednesday, October 28, 2009

John Paul Jones: Project with Jimmy Page, Jason Bonham 'fell by the wayside' last year

Two days after Robert Plant's remarks carried by the BBC fueled rumors that Led Zeppelin would reunite at the Glastonbury Festival in eight months, the BBC carries an interview with John Paul Jones on the Led Zeppelin splinter group that nearly formed last year.

That splinter group, which would have consisted of Jones plus Jimmy Page and Jason Bonham and the singer of their choice, never advanced beyond the planning stages.

Jones first announced the group one year ago this week, during the Mansons Guitar Show in Exeter on Oct. 26, 2008 and quickly followed up by a radio interview with BBC Radio Devon. At that time, Jones described an incomplete band with Page and Bonham making "loud music" with him.

Anonymous tips to the press said their trio had been rehearsing and auditioning singers -- namely Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge, the only person who has admitted his participation. Other singers were weighing in with their comments; David Coverdale of Whitesnake volunteered himself and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.

A year ago, Jones confirmed that singers had been brought in, although he didn't volunteer any names.

Now that a year has passed, Jones is back in England, promoting the November release of the debut album from Them Crooked Vultures, the band he has been rehearsing with since early this year. In an interview with the BBC, he discussed this project and mentioned that it came about shortly after the group with Page and Bonham "fell by the wayside," in his words.

Jones told BBC 6 Music, "Jimmy and I rehearsed a bit with Jason Bonham, and we couldn't really agree on singers and that fell by the wayside. Then this came along and, to be honest, I'm really happy."

From another interview Jones gave this month, we now know how the band came about. Jones told KUT 90.5 in Austin, Texas:
"He came up to [the] GQ Awards in London last year to present us with, um, Men of the Year, I believe it was, with Zeppelin. And we got to talking, and he says, 'Well, you know, if you're ever not doing anything, I want to get a little band together with Josh singing, and give you a call.' You know, so, I found out I was doing nothing after a while."
Singer auditions weren't necessary when Jones called up Dave Grohl to take up his offer to form a band. Grohl had already begun rehearsing on drums for a project with Josh Homme, singer and guitarist for Queens of the Stone Age. Homme's band was on a hiatus at the time, as was Grohl's Foo Fighters. So, the timing was right for those two.

As for Grohl and Jones, they had worked together a few times in the past like at a Foo Fighters show, at the Grammys and on a Foo Fighters album. But Grohl thought having a regular project with Jones was just a pipe dream. Back in 2005, he blurted to Mojo magazine that he dreamed of forming a band with himself on drums, Homme on guitar and Jones on bass.

But Jones fell into place, much to Grohl's surprise. In a separate interview this month with KUT 90.5, Grohl said:
"I bumped into him in London, and I said, 'Hey, I got this project I think might be kind of fun. Me and my buddy Josh are gonna do something outside of our bands.' And he kind of went, 'Oh, yeah, right.' And then I didn't hear from him for a while, and then a month later, he called and said, 'Hey, when do you think you're gonna do it?' So I called Josh, [and I'm] like, 'F***, man, I think he actually wants to do it! This is amazing!'"
To Jones, Grohl was exactly the kind of drummer he wanted. He now tells the BBC:
"I immediately recognized that this was a drummer that was -- A -- really good, and -- B -- groovy and -- C -- listened, all those nice things that bass players like in drummers."

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