The elusive story of how John Paul Jones joined Led Zeppelin

Meta Description: Discover the story of Led Zeppelin’s formation and the unique chemistry that made them one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

The Perfect Storm: How Led Zeppelin Changed Rock Music Forever

Led Zeppelin aren’t just a band; they’re a moment in time. Everything had to align perfectly for the world to be blessed with their music. If there had been different members, a different relationship to music, or even different timing, Led Zeppelin wouldn’t have had the same impact. They changed the way people saw rock music, but for audiences to accept these changes, everything had to be perfect. Lucky for them, it was.

Led Zeppelin’s Unique Sound

From their very first band practice, Led Zeppelin knew they were onto something. Jimmy Page entered the session with a clear vision. “I wanted Zeppelin to be a marriage of blues, hard rock, and acoustic music topped with heavy choruses,” he said. “A combination that had never been done before. Lots of light and shade in the music.”

Page’s desire to create this kind of music developed during his time as a session musician and with The Yardbirds. However, he needed the right people to bring this vision to life. One of the most crucial, yet often overlooked, members of Led Zeppelin was John Paul Jones.

John Paul Jones: The Unsung Hero

Led Zeppelin thrived on chaos. Jimmy Page was a guitar wizard, Robert Plant was a vocal acrobat, and John Bonham rewrote the drumming rule book. Despite their individual brilliance, their sounds needed to come together cohesively. John Paul Jones provided a robust rhythm section amidst the chaos, holding the entire sound together.

The story of how Jones joined the band is somewhat elusive. Supposedly, he doesn’t see it as too critical, given that the music they made defined Led Zeppelin. However, it is still something fans are curious about. The most likely story is that his partner told him about the opening, leading him to call Page, who was well-known in the music circuit at the time.

The Formation of Led Zeppelin

After stepping away from music for some time, Jones’ partner suggested he join a band. “’Why don’t you join a band?’ And I said, ‘There’s no bands I want to join, what are you talking about?’” Jones recounted. “She said, ‘Well, look, I think it was in Disc, Jimmy Page is forming a group… Why don’t you give him a ring?’ So I rang him.”

In that conversation, Page told Jones that no one was in the band yet, but he was meeting Robert Plant, who knew a drummer. This seemingly simple conversation laid the foundation for one of the most innovative rock bands of all time.

The Chemistry of Led Zeppelin

Biographer Stephen Davies, in his book Hammer of the Gods, acknowledges the somewhat whimsical nature of this story. “If this account seems somewhat fey and tongue in cheek,” he writes, “Consider that the dry-humored Jones told another interviewer he got the job as bassist in Led Zeppelin after he answered an ad in Melody Maker.”

Regardless of the exact details, what matters is that the band got together, saw their potential as a group, and gave the world some of the best music it has ever experienced. Jones isn’t shy when talking about that first Led Zeppelin band practice: “The whole room just exploded.”


Led Zeppelin’s unique chemistry and innovative sound changed rock music forever. From their chaotic personal lives to their groundbreaking music, everything about them was the perfect storm that made rock history.

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