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JimmyPageZoSo56

John Paul Jones' 5 string bass.

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I have and have seen pictures of Jonsey playing a five string bass on the 1973 tour. What songs would he have used it for? Would he even use the fifth string?

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There's several decisions Jones made on the 1973 tour that I found strange...the odd hairstyle, the goofy mustache, the onion jacket. The 5-string bass was just another one...although, it seems he gave it up by the time the tour reached New York, for I don't recall seeing it in any MSG footage.

My view of Jones on stage and my memory wasn't clear enough for me to say for certain which songs he used the 5-string bass for...although it was used on more than one song, I'm sure.

I want to say "Black Dog" and "The Song Remains the Same" at least. In fact, it's possible he used it for the entire three-song opening blast of R n R, CD and BD.

Sonically, it didn't seem to make a difference from the usual 4-string Fender Jazz. Not nearly the difference in sound that his 1977 Alembics had from the 4-string.

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There's several decisions Jones made on the 1973 tour that I found strange...the odd hairstyle, the goofy mustache, the onion jacket. The 5-string bass was just another one...although, it seems he gave it up by the time the tour reached New York, for I don't recall seeing it in any MSG footage.

My view of Jones on stage and my memory wasn't clear enough for me to say for certain which songs he used the 5-string bass for...although it was used on more than one song, I'm sure.

I want to say "Black Dog" and "The Song Remains the Same" at least. In fact, it's possible he used it for the entire three-song opening blast of R n R, CD and BD.

Sonically, it didn't seem to make a difference from the usual 4-string Fender Jazz. Not nearly the difference in sound that his 1977 Alembics had from the 4-string.

Since you were at several shows in '77, what's your opinion of the sound he got from the Alembics? I only have the option of listening to the audience and sbd recordings. From listening to those the bass sounds really twangy, and to be honest I much prefer the sound of his bass from the earlier tours, the '75 tour for example has a great bass sound but this is aided by the stellar soundboard recordings we have. I'm not sure why he changed it up really.

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There's several decisions Jones made on the 1973 tour that I found strange...the odd hairstyle, the goofy mustache, the onion jacket. The 5-string bass was just another one...although, it seems he gave it up by the time the tour reached New York, for I don't recall seeing it in any MSG footage.

Sonically, it didn't seem to make a difference from the usual 4-string Fender Jazz. Not nearly the difference in sound that his 1977 Alembics had from the 4-string.

You're spot on About the lack of difference in Sonics. The Fender V wasn't conceived as a radicaly different sounding axe. It's sole purpose was to allow bassists to economize on their arm movements, thanks to the addition of a higher pitched stringThe songs where Jonesy uses a rather Busy finger style like TSRTS or Black Dog, most of the notes are easy to reach on the V. Only Jones' never had any problems doing this on his conventional Jazz, P fretless or Precision bass. So 'off with the Five' .

IMHO Fender V have an ugly appereance due their limited number of frets, only fifteen, compared to the usual 20, 21 or 24.

Leo Fender had great Ideas and so was this, a pity About the ugly Quasimodo shape

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^^^

Thanks duckman for the technical info...and yes, it is an ugly-looking bass.

Since you were at several shows in '77, what's your opinion of the sound he got from the Alembics? I only have the option of listening to the audience and sbd recordings. From listening to those the bass sounds really twangy, and to be honest I much prefer the sound of his bass from the earlier tours, the '75 tour for example has a great bass sound but this is aided by the stellar soundboard recordings we have. I'm not sure why he changed it up really.

Yes, the Alembics had a twang to them, particularly the 8-string he used. But here's the weird thing...at the actual concerts, while you noticed the twang and a bit more tonal range from the Alembics, I never felt the "bottom end" was lacking per se.

In the Forum, you still heard and felt Jonesy's bass presence. But for whatever reason, the Alembics didn't record well...what you hear on the bootleg tapes is not what you heard in the arena.

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From listening to those the bass sounds really twangy, and to be honest I much prefer the sound of his bass from the earlier tours, the '75 tour for example has a great bass sound but this is aided by the stellar soundboard recordings we have. I'm not sure why he changed it up really.

In an interview with the Dutch magazine Music Maker from 1977, he complainted about the Jazz bass being dead sounding. Clearly he enjoyed his newly aquired Alembics a lot. And frankly, can you image Nobody's fault or Achilles without these broad cinemascope bass riffs?

Put everything in perspective I completely understand his decision then: his peers -except for Jaco- were all thriving away from Fender. the Ox got Alembics, Stanley Clarke did too. Bassists seemed to enjoy this emancipation and for the next decade or two Fender lost his influence and reign in the bassworld. Enter: Music Man Stingray, Steinberger, Alembic, Spector, Warwick, Status, ...

Only to return full trottle in the late nineties!

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Very interesting, good stuff! Thanks for breaking everything down so well everybody....:)

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I can't remeber where but I read that he only used the fender V on dancing days

Well that article was clearly wrong since Jones used it on the 1973 U.S. tour and "Dancing Days" wasn't even played.

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Yea January 7th 1973 there is audio of dancing days, makes sense because the song and that bass are gone by the time they hit MSG at the end of July.

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yea they played it in 73, I think there is audio from south hampton

First of all, it was January 21 and 22, not Jan. 7. Second, it is Southampton, U.K., not South Hampton. Please get a globe or map of the Earth. Find Southampton. Nowhere near the U.S., is it?

Like I said, "Dancing Days" was NOT played on the U.S. tour of 1973 yet Jones was clearly still playing the Fender V.

My point still stands: that info you read was clearly incorrect.

Edited by Strider

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In the latest Tight But Loose magazine (#32), John Paul Jones had some very unflattering comments about the Fender Jazz V, basically that it was the ugliest bass guitar in the world and that he didn't use it after 1973.

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dude what the hell man, the fucking timeline says it was january 7th and I'm well aware that it was the UK not the U.S. I never said they played it on the U.S. tour I simply said they played it in 73 that is all I was referring to.

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From Wikipedia; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alembic_Inc

"Alembic have always followed a strict no endorsement policy. Everyone, including Stanley Clarke, has paid for their instruments. In Alembic’s view this is the best endorsement of all. In Susan Wickersham’s (co-founder and CEO) words, 'the most successful artists can afford to pay for their instruments – but if we gave them endorsement deals the cost of those instruments would have to be recovered from customers who are far less able to afford it' "

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Dancing Days was played in Cobo Hall July 13 '73 ........there's a short but excellent sounding soundboard tape of that date.....Plant's voice is in very bad shape

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Yea January 7th 1973 there is audio of dancing days, makes sense because the song and that bass are gone by the time they hit MSG at the end of July.

dude what the hell man, the fucking timeline says it was january 7th and I'm well aware that it was the UK not the U.S. I never said they played it on the U.S. tour I simply said they played it in 73 that is all I was referring to.

Strider is right and just about every Zep fan that has either Southampton show can tell you it is 1/21/73 and 1/22/73. Also, 1/7/73, was Oxford. http://www.ledzeppelin-database.com/geekbaseweb/setpage.aspx?showid=375

Go by that website. That's what I use.

Back to the five string, would it have just tuned it EADGB? These photos are from 6/3/73 Inglewood, CA. Jones used the bass for the whole show.

27xhxc1.jpg

This must be Rock and Roll, Celebration Day, or Black Dog. you can see the neck of the bass.

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And this is any song after the first part of Moby Dick. Jimmy was wearing a red button down shirt with white stripes and black and white polka dots. AS you can see, Jones is still using the first string.

4k752g.jpg

http://www.ledzeppelin-database.com/geekbaseweb/photopage.aspx?showid=421 Based on all the photos, he didn't switch basses the entire show.

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Strider, I read somewhere that Jones said he did things like different haircuts, beards, the mustaches, etc. to change his appearance so he wouldn't be recognizable in public; so he could walk around and people wouldn't pester him.

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I know January 7th was oxford, but I was just referring to the fact that dancing days was listed in both setlist for those dates. Anyway, I would guess that there was a low B added not high B. I think 6 string basses would have the low and high B. I'm not quite sure, I'm strickly a 4 string bassist. Anyway sorry for the confusion from earlier.

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I know January 7th was oxford, but I was just referring to the fact that dancing days was listed in both setlist for those dates. Anyway, I would guess that there was a low B added not high B. I think 6 string basses would have the low and high B. I'm not quite sure, I'm strickly a 4 string bassist. Anyway sorry for the confusion from earlier.

Gotcha. Well that song was played from Japan 1972 to U.K. 1973 and also a few days on the U.S. summer 1972 tour. My bassist just got a 5 string. He said there is a major learning curve being there is actually a low B string. So yes, you're right.

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Yea I honestly dislike 5 string basses but I'm very old school on that type of thing. I've heard once you get it it can be very pleasing though. After a bit of research I found that, unlike modern 5 strings, this five string was made with a high C string and was used until JUne 3 1973. He apparently used it for TSRTS, over the hills, heartbreaker and "others" that were not listed.

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Yea I honestly dislike 5 string basses but I'm very old school on that type of thing. I've heard once you get it it can be very pleasing though. After a bit of research I found that, unlike modern 5 strings, this five string was made with a high C string and was used until JUne 3 1973. He apparently used it for TSRTS, over the hills, heartbreaker and "others" that were not listed.

Did you read books or look online? It's not like you couldn't just tune the 1st string to a high C. It would just be EADGC.

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