The Man Who Nearly Broke Up Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin

This background was shaped by their extensive work in the world of session music. Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones had already established themselves as prominent figures in the English studio scene before the formation of Led Zeppelin. Jones arranged music for artists like The Rolling Stones. However, as Led Zeppelin skyrocketed to unprecedented levels of fame and success, Jones began to feel the strain.

Around the time of recording “Houses of the Holy,” Jones couldn’t ignore the fact that the band’s audiences were growing far larger than anyone had anticipated. While they had enjoyed playing in London clubs to enthusiastic crowds. The transition to performing in massive arenas took its toll on the band’s quietest member.

By 1973, Jones had contemplated leaving Led Zeppelin, with a desire to return to the comfort of the recording studio. When expressing his concerns to the other band members. He honestly believed that Led Zeppelin might not endure for more than a few years. Jones explained, “I thought the band would be fun for a few years. I needed to do something musically free and fun and liberating, but then I’d get back to the more serious career in the studio.”

John Paul Jones

Despite the fact that their live shows had become monumental rock spectacles. Jones identified the grueling touring schedule as a major factor behind his decision to step away from the road. Given the immense demands of being in a rock band of such magnitude. Jones believed he could better serve his family and personal life by working in the studio. He clarified, “We were all very tired and under pressure, and it just came to a head. I didn’t want to harm the group, but I didn’t want my family to fall apart, either.”

John Paul Jones eventually voiced his concerns to their manager, Peter Grant, but Peter Grant decided to continue touring.  Nevertheless, Led Zeppelin went on to undertake one of their most ambitious studio projects with the album “Physical Graffiti,” embracing a wide range of musical genres.

John Paul Jones did eventually achieve his desire to focus on studio work after Led Zeppelin disbanded. He went on to create remarkable musical arrangements, collaborating with artists like R.E.M. and the Foo Fighters. While Led Zeppelin’s career extended longer than he initially expected, Jones ultimately found his musical home in the studio once the dust had settled.

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