How John Paul Jones Tricked Jimmy Page To Get Songwriting Credits From Led Zeppelin
John Paul Jones is known as the keyboardist and bassist of Led Zeppelin. Before forming the Zeppelin with Jimmy Page in 1968, he worked as a session musician and arranger. Following the death of John Bonham in 1980, Led Zeppelin decided to disband, and Jones focused on his solo music career, collaborating with artists from various genres.
Throughout Led Zeppelin’s career, Jimmy Page wrote most of the band’s music while Plant wrote the lyrics. Later on, the band began experimenting more and made Jones’ keyboard-based compositions their center. However, Jones also received songwriting credits in the Zeppelin, but in a pretty cunning way.
What Did John Paul Jones Do To Trick Jimmy Page?
Unlike previous Led Zeppelin albums, 1979’s ‘In Through The Out Door’ reflects John Paul Jones and Robert Plant’s contributions more than John Bonham and Jimmy Page’s. Page often failed to show up at the recordings as he was battling heroin addiction while Bonham was dealing with his alcoholism.
Due to that, Plant and Jones worked closely on the songs. The pair put the pieces together during the day, and Page and Bonham added their parts late at night. Moreover, it was relatively the first time Jones was working with Plant closely.
In a 1985 interview with MTV, the host asked John Paul Jones about his songwriting contributions to Led Zeppelin. He stated that Plant and Page took most of the credits throughout the band’s career, but Jones’ name was everywhere in the ‘In Through The Out Door’ album.
After that, Jones said he contributed to ‘Black Dog’ with his songwriting, but he found the simple method while working on the album ‘In Through The Out Door.’ He revealed that the trick was getting to the studio earlier so that he and Plant could work on the songs before Page arrived.
During the conversation, J. J. Jackson told John Paul Jones the following:
“Actually, we would notice as far as your writing is concerned in the early days of Zeppelin, Plant and Page usually took most of the credit for most of their songs written. But, by the time you get through ‘In Through The Out Door,’ your name was all over the place. What took so long for you to start becoming such a prolific writer?”
Jones then responded:
“Well, I was writing quite a bit in the ‘Black Dog.’ Quite a bit before. But I found the trick on ‘In Through The Out Door,’ getting to rehearsal early. You know, Robert was there, we wrote the songs, and when Jimmy comes and says, ‘Hey!’ we say, ‘Oh, we’ve done it!’ It’s really easy.”
You can watch the interview below.