“I thought, ‘He’s got to be joking,’ because John Paul Jones is God on bass, as far as I’m concerned”: How Lita Ford almost ended up joining Led Zeppelin – on bass

(from left) Lita Ford, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page
(Image credit: Pete Still/Redferns / Richard McCaffrey/ Michael Ochs Archive/ Getty Images)

In the early '70s, Led Zeppelin pulled up to a crossroads. After five albums and years of rigorous touring, the band’s bass guitar player, John Paul Jones, was poised to take a step back from the fray, with the intention of spending more time with his family.

As such, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page braced themselves with the very real possibility that they’d need to recruit someone to stand in Jones’ shoes – to hold down the Led Zep low-end for the foreseeable future.

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Matt Owen
Senior Staff Writer, GuitarWorld.com

Matt is a Senior Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.

With contributions from