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Rush's Geddy Lee On Interviewing John Paul Jones For His Upcoming Book

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By Feyyaz Ustaer | December 11, 2018

In a recent article published by Music Radar, Rush frontman and bassist Geddy Lee has shared his favorite bass guitarists.

He also revealed his thoughts about Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. Here’s the statement:

“What a complete musician. He began as keyboard player before picking up the bass. Even before Led Zep, he was one of the most popular studio musicians in London at that time. You’re talking about the London sound! He played on all those Mickie Most records and was an arranger as well.

His role in Zeppelin was a lot more profound that people credit him with. He could play keys, had an ear for arrangements and wrote great bass parts – just listen to what he does on What Is And What Should Never Be.

Full props to John Paul Jones for contributing to my book. We had met before – he’s such a lovely and easy guy to talk to. He made it easy for me as an interviewer; I was on the other side of the table, which was a new gig for me!

He has revealed the untold story about him and said:

He has such amazing stories. I was looking for people that could light on the period of time and were also collectors. I didn’t just pick great bass players, because that’s a list that never ends.

That day when I interviewed him – here in London about a year ago – he sat there fiddling around while we got ready. He played Heartbreaker and everyone in the room stopped talking and moving. It was all about one man on his ’62 Jazz Bass.”

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https://metalheadzone.com/rush-frontman-reveals-the-untold-story-about-led-zeppelin-bassist-john-paul-jones/

 

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JPJ, the musician's musician. I love the way he still has the '62 Jazz bass, that must have been thru what, 250+ shows?

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2 hours ago, sam_webmaster said:

That day when I interviewed him – here in London about a year ago – he sat there fiddling around while we got ready. He played Heartbreaker and everyone in the room stopped talking and moving. It was all about one man on his ’62 Jazz Bass.”

Ha! Don't you just love it? Sounds like a cool book

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too bad their interview and Heartbreaker are not on film!  I always liked Rush, and was very impressed with them on the AXS TV Classic Albums episode.  They present themselves and the music in a very honest, open and genuine way.  Another great interview was Geddy Lee with Dan Rather.  Superb. 

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21 hours ago, 76229 said:

JPJ, the musician's musician. I love the way he still has the '62 Jazz bass, that must have been thru what, 250+ shows?

Didn't he retire the Fender Jazz Bass in 75 because he was having issues with it?

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2 hours ago, Jimmy's Dragon Suit said:

Didn't he retire the Fender Jazz Bass in 75 because he was having issues with it?

He said he still records on it, though doesn't play it onstage. And they must have played that many shows by '75, 150 in 1968/9 alone!😮

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Rush’s Geddy Lee Talks Massive New Bass Book, Meeting John Paul Jones

Lee details the “treasure hunt” obsession that fueled his ‘Big Beautiful Book of Bass’ and how the project revitalized his creative process

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/rush-geddy-lee-bass-book-interview-767961/

Excerpt:

Q: A cool side perk of writing this book was that you got to interview so many iconic bassists. Obviously Led Zeppelin was a huge influence on early Rush, so it’s fitting that you spoke with John Paul Jones.

Geddy: First of all, he’s an incredibly lovely guy. If you ever have the opportunity to sit down with one of your heroes, it’s never an easy situation — it’s always a bit nerve-racking, and you never know what to expect. 

When I started putting the book together, I realized, “This kind of book can be really dry. How do you bring these pieces of wood and plastic and metal to life? You show the people who played them.” That led me on two directions: stock photographs going back to the period that show the people that I listened to holding these instruments; through my memories and nostalgia we have a connection between that instrument, the time it was made, and the bands in England or the U.S. that were playing them. The other thing is talking to people who played them or collected them and can bring more insight than I can possibly bring in my seven-, eight-year experience collecting. I could have very happily done a book of nothing but talks with bass players. But it wasn’t just about just choosing the greatest bass players in the world — that’s an endless list, and there are a lot of guys I would have loved to sit down with for an hour or two; but if they didn’t have a strong connection to the theme of the collection, then I didn’t feel it was appropriate to call them up. John, for example, was perfect for me because a) he was such an influential player in my life; b) he plays what I consider the greatest period of Fender Jazz Bass, a ’62, on all those early Zep albums; and c) he’s a lovely guy. He’s the perfect combination of someone to interview.

He took my request very seriously. I sent him a letter saying, “Here’s what Im doing. I would love to sit down with you for an hour and talk about your first or favorite instrument.” He showed up ant my place in the U.K., paid for his own taxi, brought two basses with him, came over for the afternoon. He originally used this bass that he no longer owned. He actually tracked one down and purchased it so he could show me what his original bass was like. That shows the level of seriousness of the person. We just had a great talk. What I really wanted to get out of people like him and Bill Wyman were their memories and motivation — what was it like in the early Sixties to go shopping for a bass? We’re talking about basses that are 50, 60 years old now, but there are a few guys around still who knew what was available to a young player in London in the late Fifties, early Sixties. What kind of basses did you dream of owning? How were these basses that are in the book acquired, and could you afford to acquire them? All these bassists began their lives on cheaper instruments, and they made do with what they could get and aspired to these better ones. It was really fascinating. 

geddy-lee-john-paul-jones-2010.jpg
(2010 photo)

 

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...couldn't the recent interview have been titled "John Paul - Geddy's?"

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Talk about class, talent, and influence, these are my 2 favorite bass players ever, JPJ and Geddy, then again Led Zeppelin and Rush are my 2 favorite bands ever. These are 2 rare musical geniuses and legends together, just the absolute TOP OF THE HEAP, both top bassists and keyboardists for the 2 best bands in history. I saw another picture with Page, Jones, Lee, and Lifeson together in one pic, I believe it was on Halfin's site, TALK ABOUT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN ONE ROOM! Zeppelin and Rush are just untouchable in the annals of musical history and influence.

Edited by Tea41

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:01 AM, Tea41 said:

Talk about class, talent, and influence, these are my 2 favorite bass players ever, JPJ and Geddy, then again Led Zeppelin and Rush are my 2 favorite bands ever. These are 2 rare musical geniuses and legends together, just the absolute TOP OF THE HEAP, both top bassists and keyboardists for the 2 best bands in history. I saw another picture with Page, Jones, Lee, and Lifeson together in one pic, I believe it was on Halfin's site, TALK ABOUT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN ONE ROOM! Zeppelin and Rush are just untouchable in the annals of musical history and influence.

+1

R😎🎸👍

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