First Dollar Creative Dollar Interview: John-Paul Jones

Please give us a little background along with where we can track you down on the web.

Well, I'm from the Rathbun Lake area of Southeast Iowa. My family has been established in that area since 1865. I've been a musician (or at least I've been playing instruments and singing) for as long as I can remember. My first instrument was a trumpet. I think I was about age 10.

I started the John Paul Jones group in 1998. You can locate us here on our website.

We also have some press you can locate here and here to learn more. 

Can you share the story of the first time you made money related to your current creative endeavor?

I made my first dollar while promoting my first show. I was actually charging a dollar at the door at an American Legion.

Do you mind sharing how much you made?

I believe my cut was like $35, hah.

What happened internally when you realized you could make money from your creativity?

That was my start. I pursued trying to make money playing music from that point on.

Were you inspired or were you concerned about what it would do to the originality of your ideas?

Oh, I was more than inspired. I was hooked! I began to acquire books, read magazines, and do anything I could about business. Especially the business of music. The business of music has been on my mind for years.

Did you ever decide to pursue the creative activity full-time? Why or why not?

I did attempt to be a full-time musician for a couple of years. It was off and on in spurts. But “starving artist” was not in the cards for me because eventually along came children and responsibilities.

Are there times when you feel pulled between traditional success and creative ideas that won’t leave you alone?

No, I don't have that pull. I have had parallel careers since I was 15 or 16 years old - music being one and electrical technology being the other. Creative ideas can come from anywhere, so I really don't see a difference in either side. Both are creative in their own way. Just different.

Do you have any advice for people making money or wanting to earn money with their passion?

Number one thing I would say is being creative or being excellent at a skill set will not replace having the skill set of operating a business.  If you want to make money with your passion you have to learn and acquire the skill set that will allow you to do so.

What role has art and music played in your life? 

Music is just as important as anything else I do in my life. It is a part of who I am. I feel that you can be artistic in many ways with music, which has led me to videography and photography animation and other areas that I am pursuing all related to music.

Can you tell us some favorite bands?

Bands who’ve influenced me the most over the years are fairly old by today's standards. They're still timeless… Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, Peter Green, Ritchie Blackmore, Greg Howe, Tony MacAlpine, John Butcher - to name a few from the older generation that are an influence to me.

Newer artists that I am enjoying right now are Christone Ingram, Kevin Burtt, Anita White (The Real Lady A), Avey Grouws Band, and The Boys. I also really like Scott Gorham's Black Star Riders.

Thank you for sharing your story!

Thank you for having me. I totally enjoyed the conversation!