JONES”N” with Led Zeppelin from Quora

by | Dec 24, 2022 | Uncategorized

What did John Paul Jones do after Led Zeppelin broke up?

Originally: What did John Paul Jones do after Led Zeppelin broke up?

And then there were three…

After the untimely demise of drummer John Bonham in the fall of 1980, Led Zeppelin collectively decided that without their fallen comrade there would be no way to continue.

Which meant, after 11 years of recording, relentless touring and being among the most heralded and famous people on earth, they were once again able to think and behave as individuals, away from the Zeppelin brand and collective.

John Paul Jones countering the cries for more cowbell

Singer Robert Plant briefly considered leaving the profession entirely to follow his passion for teaching. He went so far as to further his education in pursuit of this goal. Ultimately he continued as a recording artist playing with greats such as Phil Collins (behind the drums; Collins also joined Zeppelin at the 1985 Live Aid reunion, filling in for the deceased Bonham) and recorded several solo albums, as well as forming the relatively successful Honeydrippers.

Guitarist Jimmy Page didn’t miss a beat, playing and touring with the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, as well as briefly forming a super group with members of Yes. In the mid 80s, he formed The Firm with singer Paul Rodgers of Bad Company fame.

Multi-instrumentalist John Paul Jones had a decidedly different mindset from his colleagues when it came to the direction his life would take after Led Zeppelin had called it a day. All of the band members except Page had wives and children, and the gruelling undertaking of worldwide tours during the Led Zeppelin heyday had taken its toll on their lives and their families. Jones chose to distance himself from the music, hype and fame, moving to Devon, England, to spend time with and raise his family. He recalls:

At the time that John died, I had just moved to Devon to bring up my family, so, after the split, I was completely out of everything. And I must say I didn’t miss it.

As early as 1973, Jones was starting to exhibit a reluctance to continue with the band, and was constantly being encouraged to reconsider by both the members of Led Zeppelin as well as the group’s management. As Jones explains:

I didn’t want to harm the group, but I didn’t want my family to fall apart either. We toured a huge amount in those early days. We were all very tired and under pressure and it just came to a head. When I first joined the band, I didn’t think it would go on for that long, two or three years perhaps, and then I’d carry on with my career as a musician and doing movie music.

In the mid-eighties John Paul Jones returned to music, recording and touring with many major stars of the period, and has continued to be a prominent and influential figure in the music scene.

John Paul Jones today

But for a few years after the immediate demise of the legendary Led Zeppelin, Jones chose what was important to him, effectively opting for the peace and solitude of quality family life, enjoying a normal existence after a decade of mayhem and madness as a member of one of the biggest rock and roll bands of all time. Making his children and family his top priority certainly demonstrated his profound character, and afforded him even more respect than he had already garnered.