Lita Ford: ‘Robert Plant Wanted Me To Replace John Paul Jones’

Lita Ford once almost became Led Zeppelin’s bass player.

In a new interview with Guitar World, Ford remembered the time Led Zeppelin was looking for a new bassist. The guitarist mentioned Robert Plant’s proposal and how it all came about. She said:

“Robert Plant said, ‘We’re looking to replace our bass player, John Paul Jones,’ and I thought, ‘I’m not hearing this. I refuse to believe that this is really coming out of his mouth.’ And I thought, ‘He’s got to be joking,’ because John Paul Jones is God on bass, as far as I’m concerned.”

The guitarist didn’t accept the offer, so the original bassist decided to stay in the band. The offer had an impact on her and her bandmates’ careers. Fort continued:

“But that’s what he said. And I walked away just thinking, ‘Oh, that was nice. That was nice of him to look at me like that,’ because, in those days, a lot of people didn’t look at us as musicians because we were female, and we were young.”

Lita Ford Earlier Refused The Same Comments

Many news sources reported that Ford was asked to replace the original bassist.

However, Ford later revealed that it wasn’t an invitation for her. Instead, she was only asked if she played bass. She explained during an earlier conversation with Rockin’ Metal Revival:

“Well, see, there’s a misconception there, and the press just takes it out of context to what really happened. And if you read the book, the book says all [Robert Plant] really did was ask me if I played bass. He [said], ‘You don’t play bass, do you?’ It’s not like he came up and said, ‘We want you to play bass for Led Zeppelin.’ That’s not what happened. He’d watched The Runaways play — him and Jimmy Page came to a show — and Robert Plant said, ‘You don’t play bass, do you?’ And I said, ‘For who?’ Because John Paul Jones was one of my favorite bass players ever. And I didn’t know what he was talking about. And I thought, ‘For who?’ It wasn’t in my vision there.”

She might not have gotten the gig, but she covered one of the band’s songs. The cover took place in the ‘She Rocks’ album, and it features many other female guitarists.  You can hear Ford’s version of ‘The Lemon Song’ below.