Happy Birthday today (Jan. 3) to John Paul Jones. The legendary Led Zeppelin bassist is 71. Also celebrating is Manowar co-founder and ex guitarist Ross The Boss Friedman (63).

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Best known as the bassist, keyboardist, and co-songwriter for Led Zeppelin, Jones has since developed a solo career. He was a member of Them Crooked Vultures with Josh Homme and Dave Grohl. That band has since went on hiatus. Many rock bassists have been influenced by John Paul Jones including John Deacon of Queen, Geddy Lee from Rush, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, and Steve Harris of Iron Maiden. John Paul Jones has been ranked by many publications among the greatest rock bassists of all time.

Led Zeppelin formed out of London, England in 1968 with Jones along with guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, and drummer John Bonham. The band is widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative, and influential groups in rock history. I obviously never had a chance to see Led Zeppelin live but have a friend that traveled all the way to England to see the band's reunion show in 2007 at the O2 Arena. The event was recorded and released as great cd/dvd set called Celebration Day. The band sounded amazing on that release and I recommend checking it out if you haven't done so. Check out the official Led Zeppelin website here and a clip from the London reunion show below.