Local Wire

Diamanda Galás with John Paul Jones

In an interview with Celebritycafe.com, John Paul Jones said that someone asked him if he didn't think The Sporting Life had a Led Zeppelin influence. He replied, "Don't you think Led Zeppelin has a John Paul Jones influence? I was a quarter of that band." Indeed, Jones never seems to get his due, but this 1994 collaboration with vocalist/pianist Diamanda Galás is dripping with his demented genius. The experimental blues-rock here was an anomaly for Galás — who's always leaned more toward avant-garde, operatic, performance-art pieces — but Jones' deep, creepy bass lines provide the perfect backdrop for her powerfully psychotic, three-and-a-half-octave voice. Murderous and hilarious, the "love songs" here sound more like death threats. "Do You Take This Man?" is a six-minute spiel in which a woman stalks her husband, terrorizes him with knives and verbal abuse, then leaves him with, "Now I have to get off my knees, because I have some shopping to do." On "You're Mine," Galás sounds absolutely possessed, cackling like some demon out of The Evil Dead and wailing with wild abandon over an unsettlingly happy and upbeat Hammond-organ jingle. On the dirgelike "Lay Me Down," Galás' vocal acrobatics soar over the soothing tones of a lap steel guitar, quietly played by Jones, who's still sitting in the smoke and shadows for some reason after all these years.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea