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MICKY JONES BIOGRAPHY

 

Charles Michael Jones was born on 7 th June 1946 in the Welsh town of Merthyr Tydfil . For those who are believers in Astrology, Micky was born under Gemini, a star sign known for intelligence, wit, and adaptability. He shares his birth sign with Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan, John F. Kennedy and Sir Paul McCartney.

 

Merthyr Tydfil is famous for being the birthplace of designer Laura Ashley, BBC Radio Wales presenter Owen Money, real name Lynn Mittell, (at one time Owen, under the name of Gerry Braden, was the lead singer with The Bystanders, more of which later), boxers Jimmy Wild and Johnny Owen. Donnie Osmond has traced the roots of the Osmond family back to Merthyr Tydfil . Not a bad percentage of well know entertainers for a town with a population of about 55,000!

The town developed due to its ironworks and coal mines and it was more than likely that Micky would have worked in one of these industries if he had not decided on music as his chosen profession.

As a teenager at school Micky was listening to rock ‘n' roll that had come across the Atlantic in the mid 1950's. Like so many British young men and women he wanted to emulate the US stars. Micky's parents bought his first guitar, a Hofner Club 40 and he was taught to play by his father George who played Hawaiian guitar.

During his early professional years Micky played mainly Fender Stratocasters as well as the Hofner, he has also owned a Gibson 335, and a Fender Jaguar. Unfortunately they were all stolen.

Hofner Club 40
In his early Man days he played a Gibson SG, which he still owns, but in 1974 John Cippolina, ex-Quicksilver Messenger Service guitarist, sold him a 1961 Stratocaster which he now uses as his main instrument.
 

John Cippolina was an “honorary” member of Man on their “Maximum Darkness” tour of 1975.

Over the years Micky has developed and refined his unique guitar sound. In 1960, whilst still at school, Micky formed his first band The Rebels who did cover versions of the hits of the day. Upon leaving school Micky worked for a while as a hairdresser, but his real love was music. In 1963 he formed his first professional band The Bystanders (and adopted the stage name of Mike Martin and later Mike Steel). The Bystanders consisted of an amalgamation of members of The Rebels and another Merthyr band Crescendos.

The Bystanders
 

Micky married Jenny who he met at United Artists records during the 1970's Man era when he was living in London . By all accounts Jenny was considered to be a real catch being one of the more good looking women at the UA London offices. They had one son George who was born on the 30th of March 1982 in Kings College hospital in London . George has followed in his father's footsteps and plays guitar in the current lineup of Man and with The Spectaculars. (For more info on George see http://www.george-jones.co.uk/)

  During the 1970s, Micky was involved in two car accidents. The first was when he was driving back from a Status Quo gig in Penzance . During the journey it started to rain and whilst negotiating a sharp right-hand bend, Micky lost control of the car which ended up in a cabbage field. Luckily no one in the car was injured.
Micky with Man Germany 1973
 

The second accident was only a few months later. Man had been in the studio for 14 hours and the band was driving from London to Wales . Micky was driving with Jenny sitting in front. Due to tiredness Micky relinquished the driving to Spiv, who was a learner driver at the time. Jenny remained in the front whilst her husband slept on the back seat of the car. During the drive in South Wales Spiv lost control of the car and it hit a lamp post.

Jenny was thrown on to the dashboard which resulted in severe facial injuries. She later underwent plastic surgery by a Harley Street surgeon that restored her looks. Micky was hurled forward and head-butted Spiv and was remarkably lucky to be uninjured.

 
 

In 2002 Micky was diagnosed with a brain tumour and temporarily left the Manband to receive treatment for his illness. He returned briefly in 2004, but in 2005 has required further treatment.

Micky's current bout of ill health has prevented him from touring with Man; however he still plays occasionally with bands in the Swansea area.

Micky with Man , Patti Pavilion, Swansea 2004
 

He is, by all accounts, a musician who believes that the show must go on and to this end he is not one to sit on his laurels, but rather to get on stage and entertain those folks who really do appreciate one of the finest guitarists to have ever come from Wales.

I wish you, Micky, a speedy return to the stage and remember “Be Good To Yourself at Least Once A Day”.

 

 

MICKY'S BANDS

The Rebels (1960 – 62)

Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox)

Jeff Jones (Drums)

Ray Williams (Bass)

Clifford Cross (Guitar & Vox)

 

The Bystanders (1963 – 1968)

  Micky's first successful band were The Bystanders which formed during 1963 in the Merthyr Tydfil area. The band members were Micky Jones – guitar and vocals, Clive John - guitar, keyboards and vocals, Ray Williams - bass, Jeff Jones - drums and Gerry Braden - vocals.
  The second line-up was Micky Jones, Clive John, Ray Williams, Jeff Jones and Vic Oakley from The Meteorites. When Vic Oakley left The Bystanders in 1968, Welsh guitarist Deke Leonard was asked to replace him in the line up. This line up (Micky Jones, Clive John, Ray Williams, Jeff Jones, Deke Leonard) was later to become the original line up of the legendary Welsh band Man.
Bystanders 1967
  Their first single, released by the Welsh independent record label Pylot, was “That's The End” with “This Time” as the ‘B' side. There is no doubt that The Bystanders benefited from the off-shore “pirate” radio stations playing their records as the BBC overlooked Micky's first band. One record, “Royal Blue Summer Sunshine Day” did very well on Radio Scotland and was in that station's Top Fifty. It was a real feel good summer record and included the immortal lyrics “In the bright golden haze, it's the first of the golden days... and nobody's wearing a coat”
 

The band was financially very successful earning a rumoured £1000 a week in 1968. This was about the average annual take home pay of a manual worker of the time!

The Bystanders Reunion 1998
 

The Bystanders' double-sided cover single 98.6, (backed with Marvin Gaye's Stubborn Kind Of Fellow) went to number 45 in the national Top 50 chart on February 9th 1967 , but only remained in the chart for one week

Any of The Bystanders original singles and LPs are a rarity especially their debut on Pylot Records, although their chart material was released by Pye Records.

Gerry Braden went on to change his name to Owen Money, became famous and rich as an entertainer with his own TV and radio programmes in Wales. He “reformed” The Bystanders in 1998 for a one-off performance at the Maesteg Town Hall for his TV programme.

Sadly Ray Williams died in December1993 after a long illness.

 

Man (1968 – 1976 and 1983 – 2005)

  By the time that 1968 arrived, a revolution in popular music had occurred. The revolution was centred on San Francisco and was later to be known as “The San Francisco Sound” but as artists from the west coast of California became better known the name changed to the “West Coast Sound”. Later, with the advent of the use of the drug LSD, it metamorphosed into what the media dubbed “Psychedelic Music”.
 
  The Bystanders had decided that this was the way forward as far as they were concerned and that the new band should have a suitable hip name. According to Deke Leonard it was Ray Williams who thought of the name “Man” for the new band.
Man 1970

Ray's reasoning was quite simple. Everyone and their dog were saying “Man” at that time and it was thought that this would give free publicity to the new band. You can't argue with that logic!

The new band was influenced by the West Coast band “Quicksilver Messenger Service” and much of their early music was derivative of QMS. However, Man soon developed their own sound and what was to become their trademark. This was a 20 minute or longer jam based around a catchy riff, the most famous being “Spunk Rock”. In some jam sessions you could hear the influence of that most famous West Coast band “The Grateful Dead”; especially the Dead's jam number “Dark Star”.

It was not long before the Manband developed its own musical style. Although never officially recognised as a musical genre, it was dubbed “Welsh Rock” by the band's fans.
Man with John Cipollina 1975
  Welsh Rock also covered bands such as Sassafras, The Neutrons, Alkatraz et al, all of which would probably not have developed without Man leading the way in 1968.
  It's worth noting that, despite Man's many changes in line up; it was Micky Jones who was the only original member to play in the band throughout the 70's, 80's and 90's , although Micky always denied that Man was his band.
  Man, Hebden Bridge, 2004
 

“Man belongs to those who play it in” he has said often. Micky has played in every incarnation of Man until his illness in 2002 when his place was taken by his son George.

After Man played their farewell gig at Slough 's Fulcrum Theatre on December 16, 1976, the band members went on to pursue their various projects.

Micky Jones Band (1977-1979)

In mid-1977 Micky formed the first incarnation of Micky Jones Band with John McKenzie Derek Ballard and Malcolm Morley. In 1978 the line changed, with Tweke Lewis on second guitar; Steve Dixon on drums and vocals; Al McLaine on bass and vocals and Steve Gurl from Wild Turkey on keyboards. Because of a gradual attrition of members, the band became a three-piece called Manipulator with drummer Steve Dixon and bassist Al McLean.

The Attack (1979-1980)

From what can be gathered, The Attack was mod / psychedelic band formed in 1966 that reformed in 1979. The line-up was Richard 'Hershey' Shirman , vocals, harmonica; Micky Jones , guitar; Steve Waller , guitar; Al Maclean, bass; Glen LeFleur , drums. Al Maclean was later to become the bass player in many of Micky's bands.

Manipulator/The Acidtones (1980-1981)

The band played the London pub rock circuit during 1980 to 1981 "It was at the height of Punk and that made it very difficult.

 

It was a cold shock to anything else going." explains Micky. Manipulator also appeared under the name of “The Acidtones”.

Micky said of Manipulator, “Stripping down to a three-piece band was a hell of a change, never having been in one as far back as I could remember. I'd always worked with another guitarist or a keyboard player. It took a bit of getting used to, but as soon as I realised I wasn't frightened of the space I really enjoyed it. For me it was the best line-up of the whole period."

 

Micky says of the three-piece band; "We were likened to The Police at times. I honestly think we didn't push it enough, that was basically it."

The Flying Pigs (1980-1982 & 1987)

  This band was formed by Mick Hawksworth (Alvin Lee's ex- bass player) and veteran pub rocker Phil Little on drums in Autumn 1980. The story goes that during an audition for a guitarist, a prospective new band member snapped the machine head off his guitar by accident and that Mick Hawksworth put Micky's name forward as the band's guitarist.

  Micky was asked to go to an East Dulwich recording studio to sit in on a rehearsal session and the three, Mick, Phil and Micky, clicked immediately and within a few weeks they were on the South London pub circuit.For a period Micky was in both Manipulator and The Flying Pigs until he disbanded the former in late 1981.
 

The largest gig they played was a Stonehenge Festival during the mid-Eighties where they played in front of about 11,000 people. Point Records have released a CD of the band if you want to hear how Micky sounded during this period.

Below follows a brief description of the bands Micky has played in over the past 20 years. If anyone has any further information about the following bands, please can they send it to me via the email address at the end?

Mary Whitehouse Experience (1986-1990)

 

Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox)

Dave Bell (Bass)

John Weathers (Drums)

  The Penetrators (1991 Onwards)
  Another band that Micky plays in are The Penetrators. They are Micky, Tweke Lewis, Will Youatt, Dai Rees and Stuart Halliday. Will and Tweke are ex-Man members.
  Contraband (1991-2005)
  Contraband has featured many Swansea based musicians with something of a rotating line up over the years. Regular members were Micky Jones, Clive "Snob" Roberts, Clive John, Will Youatt and Ray Thomas.
  ? (2003-2004)
 

Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox)

Tommy Goss (Vox)

Viv “Valve” Small (Bass)

John Algar (Drums)

 

Micky Jones Band (2004)

  Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox)

Viv “Valve” Small (Bass)

John Algar (Drums)

  The Valves (2004 – 2005)
 

Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox)

Viv “Valve” Small (Bass)

John Algar (Drums)

Nigel Davies (Kbds)

 

The Silverbirds

  Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox), Martin Ace (Double Bass & Vox)

The Amoebas

Micky Jones (Guitar & Vox), Brian Rees (Vocals), Viv “Valve” Small (Bass), Merthyr Tom (Drums)

Bands Micky has made guest appearances with:

   
 

  George Jones Band

Micky has played at Georges gigs and appears on his “Noodles” EP

 

Total Beach Boys

Micky occasionally plays guitar and sings backing vocals for this Beach Boys tribute band as well as taking lead vocals on “Sail on Sailor”

 

The Muffinmen

Micky has guested three times with this well known Zappa tribute band featuring original Mothers of Invention member Jimmy Carl Black and usually plays on “Willie the Pimp” and “King Kong”

  Artists that Micky has worked with:
 

Peter Singh

Peter, a committed Sikh, is a Swansea-based take away food shop proprietor who loves rock ‘n' roll. At one time he had a backing band called The Flying Turbans who included Micky, Martin Ace and Pugwash. A Channel 4 TV program was made about Peter Singh in 1984 called “Rocking With a Sikh” and featured Micky, Martin and Pugwash playing live with him.

 

Clodagh Rogers on The Two Ronnies

Micky backed the singer Clodagh Rogers in an episode of the BBC hit series “The Two Ronnies” during the early 1980s.

Micky in movies:

  Strange but true. Micky has appeared in one movie so far as an extra. The movie is “Very Annie Mary”, a film made in Wales by Film4. It is set in and around the Welsh village of Pontycymmer . Martin Ace appears several times as the tuba player in the Chapel's ensemble and also at the Mayor's charity talent show where he is seen with Micky in the audience.

WEB BIOGRAPHY BY JOHN BURTENSHAW.

John is current writing a book about Micky Jones and would like anyone with any information about Micky to contact him at this email address: john.burtenshaw1@ntlworld.com_no_spam!

(please remove no_spam! from email addresss before sending your email)

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