The bass remains the same: How they made the Manson John Paul Jones E-Bass identical to the Led Zeppelin legend’s actual bass

John Paul Jones of Them Crooked Vultures performs on stage at Festival Hall on 22nd January 2010 in Melbourne, Australia
(Image credit: Photo by Martin Philbey/Redferns)

As a founder member of one of the most enduring rock bands in history, John Paul Jones needs little in the way of introduction as a bona fide bass guitar hero. His superstardom with Led Zep in the 70s inspired a generation, and his 2009 return to rock’s top table with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl in Them Crooked Vultures only underlined his standing as one of the all-time greats.

Although his bass collection has continued to grow over the years, JPJ has remained faithful to the creations of luthier Hugh Manson, his long-serving tech, who is in the enviable position of knowing exactly what John expects from his bass. 

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.