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5 November 2013 9,142 views No Comment

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John Paul Jones at the Mandolines de Lunel Festival  –  November 2nd, 2013.

 All photos by Christophe Le Pabic for TBL

This on the spot report from Christophe Le Pabic for TBL:

After being introduced by Olivier Chabrol, the Art director of the Festival, John Paul Jones took to the stage alone. The 500 seated venue included many fans with Led Zep T shirts. John made a brief speech in perfect French, thanking the city of Lunel and the organizers of the Festival . He took to his triple neck guitar to perform an instrumental that included parts of  Down To The River To Pray. John used the Kyma system which provided loops for him to play over.

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He laid down some wonderful melodies on mandolin, but it was soon evident he was having trouble with the Kyma. Afterwards he apologised commenting ‘’ Me against the machine…the Machine won’’

He went backstage for a moment retuning to deliver a simply beautiful instrumental version of Going To California. For this he played both the melody and vocal parts.

After a moment of hesitation, John strapped on the  triple neck guitar, commenting in French ‘’I’ll try again with the machine, but with fear !’’ It still didn’t work and he concluded ‘’’The machine hates me !’’ Undeterred John performed another instrumental combining mandolin, guitar and bass parts.

After this brief set of about half an hour John left the stage to much applause.  He returned later for the encore to play upright bass with Hamilton de Holanda.  Despite the sound problems it was fantastic to see him on stage again. Here’s to the next time.

Christophe Le Pabic

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 John Paul Jones Interview about playing the mandolin and his involvement in the Lunel Festival:

Here is an interview with JPJ from the French newspaper the Huffington Post as featured on the Achilles Last Stand website.

John Paul Jones, co-founder with Jimmy Page of the rock band Led Zeppelin is a lover of mandolin. Composer, arranger, bassist and keyboardist talent, he is one of Britain’s greatest musicians. And one of the most versatile, as evidenced by its decision to sponsor the festival “Mandolines de Lunel”.

The rally that began on October 29 and celebrates its tenth anniversary, brings together the best players mandolins. John Paul Jones will perform solo on November 2 at the closing ceremony. He took the time to come back with HuffPost about its history with the instrument.

How was your first meeting with the mandolin?

I started playing in the early 1970s. I had mostly listened in bluegrass bands (musical style of American origin which is a branch of country music) as with their album and The Dillards Back Porch Bluegrass.

When I was on tour with Led Zeppelin, I wanted to play music. On the bus and in the plane, the easiest way is to have a portable instrument. I found a mandolin in Indiana, I bought it and I learned to use it as an autodidact. I was immediately hooked.

When did you decide to include in your music?

Almost immediately after tamed. The mandolin has a sound that is different from that of the guitar. I already loved folk and some genres in which it flourished. To force the rub, integration seemed natural. This is not an easy instrument access but many bass player are attracted by the mandolin.

This may be a way to release frustration. This is a very versatile tool and its use depends on the style of music you want to play. With a snare or short solos. In a classical context, it has the same partition as the violin.

Why this instrument is now almost invisible on stage?

The mandolin was really popular in the early twentieth century. In the United States, the stars of the era played. A genre like bluegrass could penetrate and reach a wider audience if it had not been eaten by a rock. Many players are then moved to the guitar.

Yet it is a fairly sharp instrument that gives a spark to the music. The mandolin is like no other instrument. It has a penetrating sound that works very well with the guitar and bass. It is a tool that can be very useful because it is audible over a voice and I’m always amazed at how much she is underestimated.

What is your role in Lunel?

I think the best way to make acclaim to the mandolin is to play on stage. I played a lot with Seasick Steve. I have several books by two brothers Luthiers, the Manson. I have my mandolin three races I have to take care. We find the object in every culture in India where it is more power in Brazil.

I know that Ronnie McCoury, one of the most talented players, told me he almost did beat up at school because he played the mandolin while everyone was in the rock: “the only thing that saved me was when I said that John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin played well.”

Many thanks  Jeff Strawman  at


dave launch

Led Zeppelin Then As it Was – At Knebworth 1979 Book Launch at London Olympia November 16th and 17th

As previously mentioned my  long awaited new book Led Zeppelin Then As It Was –At Knebworth 1979 will be officially launched at the VIP Musicmania Fair at London’s Olympia on Saturday November 16th /Sunday November 17th.

The Musicmania Fair is the largest Record/CD/Book and memorabilia gathering in the UK. Staged over two days it draws buyers and traders from America, Australia, Japan and the UK to London’s Olympia exhibition hall. Entry is £5 – there’s always an array of  rare Zep stuff to check out amongst countless other artists. It’s a really great day out.

Saturday runs from 10am to 5pm

Sunday 10am to 3.30pm

I will be in attendance over the two days signing copies of the book from the TBL stall. A variety of Tight But Loose products, and the new issue of the Tight But Loose Led Zeppelin magazine will also be available. I look forward to seeing all who can make it along. I’ll also be having a beer or two afterwards and  again look forward to welcoming all who can join me (pub details to follow).

Note: If you have already pre ordered a book and plan attending either of the Olympia Fair launch days – I can reserve your book for you to collect. Just send an email to me so I can arrange collection.  

For venue and Musicmania Fair details visit

More details on this to follow.

You can order the book at this link:


TBL 36 and Knebworth book distribution update:

The Knebworth books are due for delivery middle of next week – the distribution of all pre orders will commence immediately and into week commencing November 18th.

TBL 36 is a wrap and is now at the printers. This is due at the end of next week  – I aim to take some along to the book launch – again if you have pre ordered a copy and are visiting the Olympia Fair just send an email and I can arrange for your copy to be ready to collect at the fair.  The main distribution of the TBL magazine will kick off into week commencing Novemebr 18th.

Obviously with the Knebworth book going out as well, this is going to be a major distribution workload – I’ll be attempting to get all copies out as soon as possible though bare with us as it’s going to be some task ahead!.

TBL 36 is another packed edition and I am really pleased with the way it’s finally turned out –it will take some reading this one for sure…here’s a preview….

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You can subscribe the TBL magazine at this link:

Or you can order the individual issue at his link:

So there’s an exciting few weeks ahead with the Knebworth book and TBL 36 due to provide hours of essential Zep reading. Thanks as ever for all your support.

  Dave Lewis – November 5th, 2013.


Finally …..John Paul Jones at Lunel Festival YouTube clips:

Finale with Hamilton de Holanda:  


Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary FoyNovember 5th, 2013.

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