John Paul Jones at the Grammys

JOHN PAUL JONES


Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones showed up in Los Angeles in February 2005 to accept a lifetime achievement Grammy award to their old band Led Zeppelin. Robert Plant was a no-show at the luncheon, citing rehearsals for an upcoming tour. He sent a taped video message, to Page’s disapproval. I spoke briefly afterwards to Page and Jones separately. You can see my angle. Here is my chat with John. (He is pictured above at a news conference in October 2012.)

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING THIS RECOGNITION GIVEN THAT LED ZEPPELIN WEREN’T HONORED IN THEIR LIFETIME? IS IT TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?

No, no. It’s still our lifetime, isn’t it! No. I’m happy to be honored, really.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME, THOUGH, TO BE SELLING MILLIONS OF RECORDS AND TO BE IGNORED BY THE GRAMMYS?

Didn’t give it a thought to be really brutally frank! We didn’t. But no, this is a nice surprise. It’s not about awards, really, not when you’re doing. It’s nice to look back and people are also looking back and giving you something. At the time we were just recording and working, not “We didn’t win this … We didn’t win that.” I mean, come on!

I GUESS THE LACK OF INDUSTRY AND CRITICAL ACCLAIM CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR OUTSIDER ETHOS!

Well perhaps, yeah, they did us in a favor in a way. But we could see the kids lining up every night and having a good time. For whatever reason they hated us, who cares?

DON’T BLAME ME. I WASN’T BORN THEN

No, it’s OK. I’ll blame you for the next 30 years.

WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THIS YEAR?

I’m supposed to be working on an album at the moment … I’ve started it, a solo album. Do some touring perhaps again.

DO YOU HAVE ANY COLLABORATORS?

There may be, yeah. I haven’t worked out who they’re gonna be yet. Maybe even some of the bluegrass people (at the Grammys event) — not doing bluegrass.

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NOTE: Unrelated to the above interview, my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com

Copyright © 2005, 2013 by Dean Goodman. PLEASE DO NOT CUT AND PASTE THE WHOLE THING

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