Friday, December 21, 2012

In Tribute to Frank Zappa

Because today would've been Frank Zappa's 72nd birthday: 


Frank Zappa by Ravenval - 2012 on deviantART
 
Frank Zappa - A Bit Of Groovy!

The Official Website of Frank Zappa:  http://www.frankzappa.com/
 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy 63rd Birthday to Paul Rodgers!

To celebrate Paul Rodgers' 63rd Birthday, I have created this 1600 x 900 Art/Wallpaper:


Paul Rodgers - 2012 by ~ravenval on deviantART


Happy Birthday to Paul Rodgers - A Bit Of Groovy!

The Official Website of Paul Rodgers:  http://www.paulrodgers.com/
 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

In Memory of John Lennon

Today is the anniversary of John Lennon's death. The world lost a visionary soul on December 08, 1980, one that brought a powerful message of peace to the masses. His words still resonate and impact our lives to this day. To mark the day, I've created this digital art wallpaper:




John Lennon by Ravenval - 2012 by ~ravenval on deviantART
 
John Lennon (October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980) - A Bit Of Groovy. 
We miss you.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cass McCombs - Empty Promises


I'm filing this under Dreamy Psych - it's A Bit Of Groovy! -Ravenval

From Domino Records:

Cass McCombs will be supporting John Cale on the west coast. See the dates below and listen to 'Empty Promises' below, previously only available on the Bradley Manning 7".

12-04 - Portland, OR - Mission Theatre *
12-06 - Seattle, WA - Showbox *
12-09 - San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom *
12-11 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey *


* w/ John Cale




LINKS

Official Site: http://cassmccombs.com/

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3FBD4A717D02F646

Label: http://dominorecordco.us/artists/cass-mccombs

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New and Groovy Jams: Prince Rupert's Drops - Run Slow


When an album makes me want to get up and spin around as it blows my mind and drops me down smack-dab in the center of that psychedelic sound that I'm perpetually seeking, but rarely find, I rave about it. Run Slow, the full-length debut released November 13, 2012 by Prince Rupert's Drops, and also the first release for Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, is just such an album.

Filled with in-the-pocket grooves, dazzling contrasts of acoustic and electric sound, dreamy vocals, and a generous (and always welcomed by me) dose of sitar, Run Slow conjures warm thoughts of my favorite psych-rock albums of the 60s. Yet, perhaps because this album is excellently recorded, mixed, and produced, a modern sound is readily apparent - a vibrant freshness that plants it firmly in the present.



Deliciously fuzz-drenched jams like Run Slow, Lungs, and Plague Ride are accompanied by shorter, smile-inducing tracks like Almond Man, Pillar To Post, and The Fortress. Truly, there's not a weak song on the entire album. Consisting of eight tracks, each one on Run Slow is perfectly placed, making for a well-balanced running order that brings the album together splendidly.

Prince Rupert's Drops - Run Slow:  more than A Bit Of Groovy and an aural trip you'll find yourself wanting to take over and over again. -Ravenval


Order on vinyl, cassette, or digi from Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records


Contacts

Prince Rupert's Drops:

http://www.facebook.com/PrinceRupertsDrops
https://twitter.com/PrinceRuperts

Label:

Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records:
http://beyondbeyondisbeyond.com
https://twitter.com/BBiB

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Music: Acetates by The Smoking Trees

Welcome to the Psychedelic World of The Smoking Trees!


Out on November 27, 2012, 'Acetates' by The Smoking Trees is the brilliant first release on the newly formed Los Angeles label, Colour Tree Records.

Limited Edition Compact Disc or Digital Download
STREAM AND ORDER Here:


From Bandcamp: "The Smoking Trees are Sir Psych and L.A AL, a psychedelic duo from Los Angeles. Since 2001, Sir Psych & L.A AL have been writing & recording music in the vein of 60's psych and garage. The Smoking Trees add the basic touches of punk rock riffs, yet in a lighter fashion. Layer them with strong dual harmonies, whimsical, baroque melodies, and the pounding break-beat drum style of Sir Psych, and you have The Smoking Trees incomparable style."

The Smoking Trees - A Bit of Psychedelic Groovy! 


Contacts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheOfficialSirPsych 
Website: www.sirpsych.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sir_Psych
Blog: www.sirpsych.blogspot.com

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Video Debut: Atom And The Volumes - To The Beat


Atom And The Volumes, Toronto’s Great Northern Psychedelic Band, Debut Their First Music Video For “To The Beat” - a smoldering indie rocker off their self-titled EP, Atom & The Volumes:



It's A Bit Of Groovy!
"They aren't dolls. They're action figures!" -ravenval's brother in 1976


Get their self-titled EP, Atom & The Volumes: http://atomandthevolumes.com


More Info:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/atomsvolume
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/atomandthevolumes
Tumblr: http://atomandthevolumes.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/atomsvolume/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/atomandthevolumes
SonicBids: http://www.sonicbids.com/atomandthevolumes
Instagram: AtomsVolume

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

For Your Love

If you're a fan of The Yardbirds, you're probably aware of their 1965 hit song, 'For Your Love'. It peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and became their highest charting single in the U.S., peaking at number six. 



Groovy. Yeah? Yeah! However, you might be surprised to learn that The Yardbirds didn't write the song.


'For Your Love' was written by Graham Gouldman, future 10cc member.
side note: 10cc had a hit with one of the most covered songs in pop/rock history called, 'I'm Not in Love'. Gouldman wrote 'For Your Love' at the age of 19 while working by day in a gentlemen's outfitters in the U.K. and playing by night with the semi-professional Manchester band the Mockingbirds (in which his future 10cc bandmate Kevin Godley was also a member). Gouldman  said, "I was sleeping most of the time because I'd been gigging with the Mockingbirds the night before, and then during the day when I'd got any spare time I'd write in the shop. I used to shut up the shop at lunch time and sit in the back writing." He also wrote two other songs that were hits for The Yardbirds - 'Heartful Of Soul' and 'Evil Hearted You'.

Graham Gouldman - For Your Love (from his 1968 album 'Graham Gouldman Thing')


Interviewed on 'I Write the Songs', BBC Radio Wales, December 25, 2006, Gouldman said, "We went down to Denmark Street and went round all the publishers trying to find a song . . . we didn’t get any songs that we liked or we weren’t given any songs period and the Beatles had started and I thought ‘well, I’m gonna really have a crack at song-writing.’ I had dabbled a bit, but they were really my inspiration and gave me and I think a lot of other people the courage to actually do it. We all wanted to be like the Beatles. I wrote two songs and the record company we were with turned down one of the songs. The song they turned down was 'For Your Love', which eventually found its way to the Yardbirds."

Gouldman's manager, Harvey Lisberg, was so impressed by the song he told Gouldman they should offer it to the Beatles. Gouldman's response was, "I think they're doing alright in the songwriting department, actually." Undeterred, Lisberg gave a demo of the song to Ronnie Beck of  Feldman's, who took it to the Hammersmith Odeon, where the Beatles were performing. By coincidence the Yardbirds were also performing on a Christmas show at the venue and Beck played the song to their manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, and the band.


The Yardbirds - For Your Love (promotional film on French TV - Discorama - June 20, 1965)


In 1965 The Mockingbirds began a regular warm-up spot for BBC TV’s Top of the Pops, transmitted from Manchester. Gouldman recalled, "There was one strange moment when The Yardbirds appeared on the show doing 'For Your Love'. Everyone clamoured around them – and there I was just part of an anonymous group. I felt strange that night, hearing them play my song."

Despite the success 'For Your Love' gave The Yardbirds, it signaled the departure of guitarist Eric Clapton, who played on the track with strong reluctance. Dismayed with the group's shift from R&B to pop, Clapton left the Yardbirds to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.

Other Covers (Not all of 'em, just some of the ones I like!) are below:

Herman's Hermits - For Your Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zPJjh4GGk8

Gary Lewis And The Playboys - For Your Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0CpdubEQsU

Fleetwood Mac - For Your Love (from their 1973 album 'Mystery To Me')

http://youtu.be/TDRi2Tk0U6Q?t=39m30s

Led Zeppelin live at Whisky a Go-Go Jan 05, 1969 -
For Your Love )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o0D0swiktU


  Saving the best for last, dig this amazing performance of 'For Your Love' by Humble Pie on Beat-Club (1970)


Graham Gouldman's For Your Love - A Bit Of Groovy!
 
-Sources for this post by Ravenval: 
Wikipedia and  YouTube
Official Sites:

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy 64th Birthday to Robert Plant!

Born on August 20, 1948, Robert Plant is regarded as one of the most significant vocalists in the history of rock music. He has influenced the style of many singers - Freddie Mercury, Geddy Lee, Ann Wilson, Jeff Buckley, Axl Rose, and Jack White, just to name a few. In 2008, Rolling Stone named Plant as number 15 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All-Time. More recently, in 2011, a Rolling Stone readers' pick placed Plant in first place of the magazine's "Best Lead Singers of All Time".

Robert Plant gets a great deal of recognition for being the vocalist and lyricist of Led Zeppelin, but he continues to be a highly successful artist through to the present day. With a career spanning more than 40 years, he has stayed relevant with solo and collaborative work, as well as with the bands he has formed. At the time of this writing, Plant's current band is the Sensational Space Shifters. -Ravenval


To celebrate Robert Plant's 64th Birthday, I have created this 1600 x 900 Art/Wallpaper:
Click the link below to download full size 


Happy Birthday to Robert Plant - A Bit Of Groovy!

The Official Website of Robert Plant:  http://www.robertplant.com
For more information on his post-Zep career:  Wikipedia - Robert Plant - 1982 and onward

-Source for this post:  Wikipedia


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy 71st Birthday To Roy Harper

Roy Harper (born 12 June 1941) is an English folk/rock singer-songwriter and guitarist who has been a professional musician since 1964. Harper is known for his distinctive finger-style playing and lengthy, lyrical, complex compositions. 

His influence has been acknowledged by many musicians including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (who named the song "Hats Off to (Roy) Harper" after him), Pete Townshend of The Who, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd (who invited him to sing guest lead vocals on their song "Have a Cigar"), and Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull; who stated Harper was his "...primary influence as an acoustic guitarist and songwriter." 

More recently, Harper's influence has reached across the Atlantic and been acknowledged by Seattle-based acoustic band Fleet Foxes and Californian harpist Joanna Newsom, with whom he has also toured. Harper turned 70 in 2011 and performed a celebratory concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. 

On the occasion of his 71st birthday, I have created 1600x900 Art/Wallpaper:

Happy 71st Birthday To Roy Harper - A Bit Of Groovy! 

For more information on Roy Harper, visit:
Official Website: http://www.royharper.co.uk/
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/harperroy/

-Source for this post: Wikipedia

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

In Celebration of Donovan's 66th Birthday







Happy Birthday, Donovan! 
More than A Bit Of Groovy!
 
For the occasion, I created this 1600 x 900 Art/Wallpaper:


Watch Donovan performing Sunshine Superman at
 The Royal Albert Hall - Friday June 03, 2011  
With the London Contemporary Orchestra and Jimmy Page:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Power and Force: Led Zeppelin's Presence

Presence is the seventh studio album by Led Zeppelin, released by Swan Song Records on March 31, 1976. The album received mixed reviews from critics and is one of the lowest sellers in the band's catalog. Personally, I find it to be the band's most grossly underrated album and, if pressed to choose, my favorite one. It stands out from the band's other albums in that it's filled with nothing but hard-hitting, lean and mean rock.

After a month of rehearsals, the album was recorded in just eighteen days at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany. The rushed recording sessions were, in part, a result of Led Zeppelin having booked the studio immediately prior to The Rolling Stones, who were shortly to record songs for their album Black and Blue. Upon their arrival, the Stones were amazed that Zeppelin's album had indeed been completed (both recorded and mixed) in a mere eighteen days.

Guitarist Jimmy Page had stayed awake for two days straight to perform all of the guitar overdubs. As he later explained: "I just had to lay it down, more or less: first track... second track – you know, really fast working on that. And all the guitar overdubs on Presence were done in one night. But I didn't think I would be able to do it in one night, I thought I'd have to do it across maybe three different nights to get the individual sections. Everything sort of crystallized and you'll notice everything was just pouring out. I was very happy with the guitar playing on that whole album, you know as far as the maturity of playing goes."

Page describes Presence as the band's "most important" album, proving they would continue despite their turmoil. Arguably, the band's future was in limbo. Adversity sometimes turns into a powerful drive that leads us to triumph, and each track on Presence is sonically bursting with the stuff that makes us all carry on through our darkest times. Robert Plant was in a wheelchair with a shattered ankle from a recent car accident, no one knowing if he would ever walk again. Add to the mix that Plant was missing his family terribly, and also dealing with claustrophobia (thanks to the studio being in a basement of an old hotel), and it's not difficult to understand why you can literally hear and feel the strain and painful emotions that went into recording this intense album.

The cover and inside sleeve of this album, created by Hipgnosis, features various images of people interacting with a black obelisk-shaped object. Inside the album sleeve, the item is referred to simply as "The Object." It was intended to represent the "force and presence" of Led Zeppelin.

In the liner notes of the first Led Zeppelin boxed set, Page explained: "There was no working title for the album. The record-jacket designer said 'When I think of the group, I always think of power and force. There's a definite presence there.' That was it. He wanted to call it 'Obelisk.' To me, it was more important what was behind the obelisk. The cover is very tongue-in-cheek, to be quite honest. Sort of a joke on [the film] 2001. I think it's quite amusing."

The background used in the cover photograph is of an artificial marina that was installed inside London's Earl's Court Arena for the annual Earl's Court Boat Show that was held in the winter of 1974–75. This was the same venue where the band played a series of concerts a few months after the boat show, in May 1975. In 1977 Hipgnosis and George Hardie were nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of best album package.

The album was completed on November 26, 1975. This was the day before Thanksgiving, and in a telephone call to Swan Song Records, Page suggested the album be named Thanksgiving. This idea was quickly dropped, in favor of a title that was thought would represent the powerful force and presence that the band members felt surrounded the group.


Tracklist
1. Achilles Last Stand 10:26
2. For Your Life 6:21
3. Royal Orleans 2:58
4. Nobody's Fault But Mine 6:15
5. Candy Store Rock 4:10
6. Hots On For Nowhere 4:42
7. Tea For One 9:27

Presence by Led Zeppelin - A Bit Of Groovy!


For more information On Led Zeppelin visit http://www.ledzeppelin.com/
Authored by: Ravenval
Sources: Wikipedia entry and the articles and books referenced within.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Why the Raven, Val?


The raven is said to mimic, forewarn doom, trick, steal... Yikes! Well, we all have a dark side. Don't we? I know that this bird does. But, ravens get a seriously bad rap if you just stop there. I am drawn to the legends of the raven that define it as a symbol of intelligence, mystery, joy, and light. I love to learn, explore, give, and inspire. I love contrast. Light and shade, loud and quiet, old and new...

Too, the raven is said to be attentive and aware. I'm a constant seeker of information. I'm highly sensitive to everything that I come into contact with mentally, emotionally, and physically. I soak up vibes, sounds, feelings, and just about everything, all at a dizzying rate. I share the things that I find valuable, amusing, amazing, inspiring, and helpful.

So, the raven called to me, I listened, and I identify with it. I didn't choose it. It chose me.

Geeky Nature Stuff
The difference between crows and ravens:
http://www.ascaronline.org/crowfaq.htm#faq4

Raven in Mythology
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raven_in_mythology

Oh yeah, this is predominantly a music blog! 

My dear friend, Kev @Atomic_Honey has given me the most amazing gift: "The official theme song of our lovely gate-keeper @ravenval" WOW! I love it and it means the world to me.

Ravenspeak (Instrumental) by Atomic Honey:

Below are some of the songs that I dig concerning ravens and blackbirds, via YouTube:

Strawberry Path - When Raven Has Come to the Earth -- Instrumental, from 1971
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5x50DDsOZ4

Dan Fogelberg - As The Raven Flies -- Dark, but beautiful
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwQGDuQTzBU

Alan Parsons Project - The Raven -- I prefer this demo over the original album cut.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2WCHKkuszo

Donovan - Guinevere -- Just magical
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6Ofasda7fw

Bob Dylan - Love Minus Zero/No Limit -- Yeah, that's Donovan hanging out there :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7aIL_1NYNQ

Joan Baez - Love Minus Zero/No Limit -- A lovely Dylan cover.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeNK6hb2cvY

Jonathan Wilson - Desert Raven --  Pointed out to me by the grooviest DJ on the planet, Mike Newman. [His website: beyondbeyondisbeyond.comI love this song!







Gov't Mule - Raven Black Night -- I'm cheating a little with this one, since it's describing a night that is raven black, but it's such an amazing song, I have to include it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dRGLmOUdA0

David Bowie - The Dreamers -- It's DAVID BOWIE, singing a line about RAVENS. That's groovy. Right? Yeah.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psBTPZWDFgQ

Genesis - The Colony of Slippermen -- I'm flying my prog freak flag now. From the concept album 'The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway', released in 1974. a) The Arrival b) A Visit to the Doktor c) The Raven
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3BkK4-ouI_k

Fairport Convention - Crazy Man Michael -- Sandy Denny had one of the most beautiful voices in music to ever sing a note.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5ksWNvFbME

The Misfits - Come Back -- A wicked bit of punk fun
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHVfLHUQa-0

Jewel - Raven -- Pretty, Acoustic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABbzutZCzck

Scorpions - Yellow Raven A yellow raven? Why not?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCOaCKYlKBI

And then, there's arguably the most famous of them all...

The Beatles - Blackbird -- No explanation necessary. Right? Right.








The Raven - A Bit Of Groovy!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

She asked me why the singer's name was Alice...

Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948), turns 64 today! He is hands-down the master of shock and theatrical rock, often credited with helping to shape the sound and look of heavy metal, and is regarded as being the artist who "first introduced horror imagery to rock 'n' roll, and whose stagecraft and showmanship have permanently transformed the genre".* 

In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was (finally!) inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

If there is one artist that will get me to go out and see a show, it's Alice. Having seen Alice Cooper in concert many times (more than any other artist, in fact!), I can personally endorse his shows as being the most entertaining of all I've seen.


Rock out with this classic example of Alice Cooper featuring Vincent Price:



About that name...

It starts way back In 1964. At sixteen, Furnier gathered some fellow Cortez High School classmates and they put an act together for the local annual letterman's talent show in Phoenix, Arizona. They named themselves The Earwigs. Unable to play any instruments at the time, they dressed up like The Beatles and mimed to Beatles songs. They won the talent show and proceeded to learn how to play instruments, which they got from a local pawn shop.

Soon after, they renamed themselves The Spiders, with Furnier on vocals, Glen Buxton on lead guitar, John Tatum on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar and John Speer on drums. In 1966, The Spiders graduated from high school, and Michael Bruce replaced John Tatum on rhythm guitar. The band scored a local #1 radio hit with "Don't Blow Your Mind", an original composition from their second single release.

By 1967, the band had begun to make regular road trips to Los Angeles, California to play shows. They renamed themselves again, this time to The Nazz, and released the single "Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now", backed with the future Alice Cooper track "Lay Down And Die, Goodbye". At around this time drummer John Speer was replaced by Neal Smith. By the end of the year, the band had relocated to Los Angeles permanently.

In 1968, upon learning that Todd Rundgren also had a band called Nazz, the band was yet again in need of another stage name. Believing that the group needed a gimmick to succeed, and that other bands were not exploiting the showmanship potential of the stage, Furnier chose Alice Cooper as the band's name and adopted this stage name as his own.

But why? Theories abound, but in a recent interview with NPR, Cooper explains: "There was a giant web behind us. We wore all black. We didn't just show up and stand up on stage, we appeared on stage. That was the point where I said, 'Let's not be obvious. Let's not call ourselves the Tarantulas. Let's go the other way. Let's go for something that sounds like a little old lady'. I said, 'Alice Cooper,' and that just kind of stuck."

So there you have it, from the man himself.

Happy Birthday to Alice Cooper - A Huge Bit of Shock-Rock Groovy!

For more info on Alice:
Official Alice Cooper Website: http://alicecooper.com/ Twitter @RealAliceCooper
Nights With Alice Cooper: http://nightswithalicecooper.com/ Twitter @nightswithalice

Sources for this post: Wikipedia and NPR
*Guy Blackman (July 2, 2007). "Gig reviews: Alice Cooper". Sydney Morning Herald. R

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Unicorn Pudding and Beyond

I created this 1600 x 900 Art/Wallpaper for Unicorn Pudding and Beyond Beyond Is Beyond DJ/Host Mike Newman, because he rocks our world with magical, cage-free style!





 Do yourself a favor and click through the links below.

Dig the new, mind-blowing, twenty-track compilation from Bang Bang Boogaloo,“Beyond Beyond Is Beyond”, curated by Mike Newman- via a great review from Revolt Of the Apes : http://revoltoftheapes.com/2012/01/12/beyond-beyond-is-boogaloo/

For more info:   

Website: http://beyondbeyondisbeyond.com/
On Twitter: @BBiB 

Unicorn Pudding is no longer on the air on BBox Radio:http://bboxradio.com/shows/music/item/21-unicorn-pudding 
BBiB On East Village Radio: http://www.eastvillageradio.com/shows/beyondbeyondisbeyond/


This DJ Man is a major Bit Of Groovy!

Monday, January 09, 2012

In Celebration of Jimmy Page's 68th Birthday



Happy Birthday, Jimmy Page! 
More than A Bit Of Groovy - A Whole Lotta Groovy!
 
For the occasion, I created this 1600 x 900 Art/Wallpaper:

Jimmy Page - Light And Shade by ~ravenval on deviantART

 This art was inspired by Jimmy's amazing performance with his Gibson EDS-1275 Doubleneck at Led Zeppelin's Earls Court Show - May 24, 1975:

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy Birthday to John Paul Jones

John Paul Jones (born John Baldwin on 3 January 1946) is an English multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, arranger and record producer. Best known as the bassist, mandolinist, and keyboardist for English rock band Led Zeppelin, Jones also plays guitar, koto, lap steel guitars, autoharp, violin, ukulele, sitar, cello, continuum.



John Paul Jones is widely considered to be a highly influential and important bassist, keyboardist, and arranger in the history of rock music. Many notable rock bassists have been influenced by him, including John Deacon of Queen, Geddy Lee of Rush, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gene Simmons of Kiss, and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana. Chris Dreja, the rhythm guitarist and bassist of The Yardbirds, has described him as "the best bass player in Europe".

Jones started playing piano at age six, learning from his father, Joe Baldwin, a pianist and arranger for big bands in the 1940s and 1950s, notably with the Ambrose Orchestra. His mother was also in the music business which allowed the family to often perform together touring around England. His influences ranged from the blues of Big Bill Broonzy, the jazz of Charles Mingus, to the classical piano of Sergei Rachmaninoff. At the age of 14, Jones became choirmaster and organist at a local church and during that year, he also bought his first bass guitar, a Dallas solid body electric followed by multiple basses in which he part exchanged until he finally bought his 1962 Fender Jazz Bass which he used until 1976. The fluid playing of Chicago musician Phil Upchurch on his You Can't Sit Down LP, which includes a memorable bass solo, is cited by Jones as being his inspiration to take up the instrument.




Jones joined his first band, The Deltas, at 15. He then played bass for jazz-rock London group, Jett Blacks, a collective that included guitarist John McLaughlin. His big break came in 1962 when he was hired by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan of the successful British group The Shadows for a two-year stint.

In 1964, on the recommendation of Meehan, Jones began studio session work with Decca Records. From then until 1968, he played on hundreds of recording sessions. He soon expanded his studio work by playing keyboards, arranging and undertaking general studio direction, resulting in his services coming under much demand. He worked with numerous artists including the Rolling Stones on Their Satanic Majesties Request (Jones' string arrangement is heard on "She's a Rainbow"); Herman's Hermits; Donovan (on "Sunshine Superman" and "Mellow Yellow"); Jeff Beck; Françoise Hardy; Cat Stevens; Rod Stewart; Shirley Bassey; Lulu; and numerous others. As well as recording sessions with Dusty Springfield, Jones also played bass for her Talk of the Town series of performances. His arranging and playing on Donovan's "Sunshine Superman" resulted in producer Mickie Most using his services as choice arranger for many of his own projects, with Tom Jones, Nico, Wayne Fontana, the Walker Brothers, and many others. Such was the extent of Jones' studio work – amounting to hundreds of sessions – that he said years later that "I can’t remember three quarters of the sessions I was on."

It was during his time as a session player that Jones adopted the stage name John Paul Jones. This name was suggested to him by a friend, Andrew Loog Oldham, who had seen a poster for the film John Paul Jones in France. He released his first solo recording as John Paul Jones, "Baja" (written by Lee Hazlewood and produced by Oldham) / "A Foggy Day in Vietnam", as a single on Pye Records in April 1964.



During his time as a session player, Jones often crossed paths with guitarist Jimmy Page, a fellow session veteran. In June 1966, Page joined The Yardbirds, and in 1967 Jones contributed to that band's Little Games album. The following winter, during the sessions for Donovan's The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jones expressed to Page a desire to be part of any projects the guitarist might be planning. Later that year, The Yardbirds disbanded, leaving Page and bassist Chris Dreja to complete previously booked Yardbirds dates in Scandinavia. Before a new band could be assembled, Dreja left to take up photography. Jones, at the suggestion of his wife, asked Page about the vacant position, and the guitarist eagerly invited Jones to collaborate. 


Page later explained:

    "I was working at the sessions for Donovan's Hurdy Gurdy Man, and John Paul Jones was looking after the musical arrangements. During a break, he asked me if I could use a bass player in the new group I was forming. He had a proper music training, and he had quite brilliant ideas. I jumped at the chance of getting him."

Jones' diverse contributions to the group extended to the use of other instruments, including an unusual triple-necked acoustic instrument consisting of a six and a twelve string guitar, and a mandolin. Jones often used bass pedals to supplement the band's sound while he was playing keyboards and mandolin. On the band's 1977 tour of the United States, Jones would sing lead vocals on The Battle of Evermore, filling in for Sandy Denny who sang on the studio version.




Since Led Zeppelin dissolved in 1980 with the death of Bonham, Jones has collaborated with a number of artists, including Diamanda Galás R.E.M., Jars of Clay, Heart, Ben E. King, Peter Gabriel, Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz, Cinderella, The Mission, La Fura dels Baus, Brian Eno, the Butthole Surfers and Uncle Earl. He appeared on sessions and videos for Paul McCartney and was involved in the soundtrack of the film Give My Regards to Broad Street. In 1985, Jones was asked by director Michael Winner to provide the soundtrack for the film, Scream for Help, with Jimmy Page appearing on two tracks. Jones provides vocals for two of the songs. He recorded and toured with singer Diamanda Galás on her 1994 album, The Sporting Life (co-credited to John Paul Jones). Jones set up his own recording studio called Sunday School, as well being involved in his daughter's (Jacinda Jones) singing career.

In 1985 Jones joined the other former members of Led Zeppelin for the Live Aid concert with both Phil Collins and Tony Thompson filling in on drums. The former members again re-formed for the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert on 14 May 1988. Page, Plant and Jones, as well as John Bonham's son Jason, closed the event. The band has also played together at various private family functions. In 1992, he arranged the orchestration on the R.E.M. album Automatic for the People.

Zooma, Jones' debut solo album, was released in September 1999 on Robert Fripp's DGM label and followed up in 2001 by The Thunderthief. Both albums were accompanied by tours, in which he played with Nick Beggs (Chapman Stick) and Terl Bryant (drums).

In 2004, he toured as part of the group Mutual Admiration Society, along with Glen Phillips (the front man for the band Toad the Wet Sprocket) and the members of the band Nickel Creek.

Jones plays on two tracks on Foo Fighters' album In Your Honor. He plays mandolin on "Another Round" and piano on "Miracle", both of which are on the acoustic disc. The band's frontman Dave Grohl (a big Led Zeppelin fan) has described Jones' guest appearance as the "second greatest thing to happen to me in my life".

He has also branched out as a record producer, having produced such albums as The Mission's album Children, The Datsuns' second album Outta Sight, Outta Mind (2004) and Uncle Earl's Waterloo, Tenneesee album of Old-time music, released in March, 2007 on Rounder Records.

In May 2007, he accompanied Robyn Hitchcock and Ruby Wright in performing the song "Gigolo Aunt" at a tribute for Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett in London, which he did on mandolin.

He played at Bonnaroo 2007 in a collaboration with Ben Harper and The Roots' drummer Questlove as part of the festival's all-star Super-Jam, which is the festival's annual tradition of bringing together famous, world-class musicians to jam on stage for a few hours. Jones appeared and played mandolin with Gillian Welch during the festival during the song "Look at Miss Ohio" and a cover of the Johnny Cash song "Jackson". He also appeared during the set of Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals where they played a cover of "Dazed and Confused". Jones then closed Gov't Mule's first set, playing part of "Moby Dick" and then "Livin Lovin Maid" on bass, then proceeded to play keyboards on the songs "Since I've Been Loving You" and "No Quarter". Jones also performed on mandolin with the all-female bluegrass group Uncle Earl, whose album he had produced in 2007.

Mandolin-slinging Jones jammed on Led Zeppelin’s "Whole Lotta Love" with Winnipeg’s energetic Duhks at April 2007’s MerleFest in North Carolina.

Jones played in the Led Zeppelin reunion show at London's O2 Arena on 10 December 2007 with the other remaining members of Led Zeppelin as part of a tribute to Ahmet Ertegun.

In 2008, Jones produced Nickel Creek singer-fiddler Sara Watkins' debut solo album. As previously mentioned, Jones toured with Watkins, Glen Phillips, and the rest of Nickel Creek in late 2004 in a collaboration entitled Mutual Admiration Society.

On 10 February 2008, John Paul Jones appeared with the Foo Fighters on the Grammy Awards conducting the orchestral part to the song "The Pretender". On 7 June 2008, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page appeared with the Foo Fighters to close out the band's concert at Wembley Stadium. Jones performed with Sonic Youth and Takehisa Kosugi, providing the stage music for Merce Cunningham's Nearly 90, which ran 16–19 April 2009 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

In February and March 2011 he appeared in the onstage band in Mark-Anthony Turnage's opera Anna Nicole, about the Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London.

In August 2011, he appeared at Reading and Leeds Festivals to play alongside Seasick Steve.

Jones' most recent own project is a supergroup with Dave Grohl and Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme named Them Crooked Vultures. The trio played their first show together on 9 August 2009 at the Metro in Chicago, and their first album was released on 17 November 2009.
-Source: Wikipedia





Happy 66th Birthday to John Paul Jones - A Bit Of Groovy!


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