Tuesday, February 19, 2008

RIP Jim Jones

For all you avant garde rockers out there 'tis a sad day indeed. I got word this morning that Jim Jones passed away last night after a long illness. (That's Jim, 5th from the left next to crazy Dave).

Here's his bio from the Ubu Projex web site.

James E. Jones, b. 1950 in Cleveland, Ohio. Graduated from Mayfield High School in 1968. He played baritone sax in the MHS Marching Band, alto sax in the concert band, and discovered an affinity for tape manipulation while in charge of the high school language lab. Jim attempted two quarters at Cuyahoga Community College in '69, but his interest in music won out.

He formed the short-lived band, Lazarus, and worked as a clerk/buyer for Leo Mintz's Record Rendezvous retail chain for the next fifteen years. Jim started his own record shop, Platter-Puss Records, in '84. He sold the business in '87 after joining Pere Ubu. Jim got his first guitar in 1965, and taught himself to play in a self-devised open tuning. He was/is profoundly moved by music in nearly all forms, especially Indian music (thanks to George Harrison), 20th century classical & experimental, 50's thru 60's pop and mood music, and of course "rock" in it's many forms.

Jim joined local "underground" band, Mirrors, in '74 as bass player. Mirrors shared gigs with Rocket From The Tombs and The Electric Eels (whom he later recorded with), and later transformed into The Styrenes. In '77 Jim quit The Styrenes and took some time off from work to become a member of the Pere Ubu road crew, doing the infamous Co-Ed Jail Tours of the US & Europe in support of The Modern Dance lp. Back from the tours Jim and fellow roadie, Pat Ryan, started a two-man experimental rock band called Foreign Bodies, which released a single.

The next few years saw Jim honing his skills as a studio producer for a number of local Cleveland artists and bands, recording his own music, and composing electronic pieces for local theatre and dance companies. In 1980 Jim formed the raucous Easter Monkeys, and concomitantly became a member of Scott Krauss And Tony Maimone's project, Home & Garden. Gigs were played and recordings were released by both bands.

Having worked with David Thomas And The Pedestrians On The Variations On A Theme album in '84, Jim was asked to join David's latest project, The Wooden Birds, in 1986. A year later that group (with the addition of Scott Krauss) became the revived Pere Ubu. Jim has recorded with the band since that time, but no longer tours. He currently appears and records with local bands Speaker\Cranker, Noble Rot, and KNG NXN as mainly a keyboardist. Jim has overseen operations of the US arm of Ubutique in Cleveland since 1990.

Click here for an interview with Jim Jones.


Anonymous said...

One of the nicest men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, I miss you Mr. Jones

Rock On

Anonymous said...

Good man. Good guitarist—with Ubu AND Home and Garden, and others. Awful news.