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February 16, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-16

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Jones joins the 'Bunch'

From a hotel room somewhere in
the Midwest, Davy Jones sang to me
over the phone. "Girl, look what
you've done to me, me and my whole
world. Girl, you brought the sun to
me, with your smile you did it girl."
Twenty-six years after the cancel-
lation of "The Monkees," and 22 years
after his guest appearance on The
Brady Bunch, the man that made
Marcia Brady swear she'd "never
wash this cheek again" hasn't lost his
boyish charm.
Maybe it's the Manchester accent;
maybe it's his bouncing-off-the-walls
manner of speaking. Maybe it's the
fact that over the phone, even a 48-
year-old man can exude youthful cha-
risma. No matter.
Once a teen heart-throb, always a
teen heart-throb.
* Jones will tell you that pre-teen
heart-throb was more like it. "(When
the Monkees first aired in 1966) The
15-year-olds were screaming for the
Beatles. All of a sudden, we opened
up into a different sort of dimension
completely. We started entertaining
the 12-year-olds."
Best known for his 1966-68 role
as Davy on television's "The
Monkees," Jones began his career on
BBC radio at the age of 11. At 14, he
left home to become an apprentice
jockey and might have remained on
this path had a theatrical agent not
persuaded him to accept the part of
Peter Pan at The Royal Shakespeare
Theater. Jones' theater career contin-
ued from there, culminating in a Tony
Award nomination for his role as the
Artful Dodger in "Oliver!" on Broad-
*way in the early '60s.
Various Artists
The 2 Tone Collection - A
Checkered Past
Every great rock 'n' roll singles
label, from Sun and Stax to Stiff and
Sub Pop, not only released some of
'the best music of their generation, but
defined their entire era with their im-
age and style. Although the labels
represent their time, nearly every
single they released still sounds ter-
rific and not dated in the slightest.
Like any other great independent
singles label, 2 Tone had a specific
style, image and sound as a record
label, while all of their acts retained
their individuality. And as the new
two-disc set, "The 2 Tone Collection
A Checkered Past," proves, 2 Tone
was definitely one of the great record
labels in history.
Over two CDs, almost every A-
side (only two are missing) the label
ever released is presented in chrono-
logical order and the overall effect is
staggering. More than any other record
label, 2 Tone was responsible for the
ska revival of the late '70s and early
'80s. Scores of young British bands
discovered themselves in Jamaican
records from the late '50s and early
'60s, while they were going to see
punks like the Clash hammering
"through reggae songs on stage.
From these two sources, British
*ska was born. Over an intoxicating
four years, it was one of the defining
forces of new wave, simultaneously
being more political and more fun

than much of the music being made at
that time. 2 Tone was lucky enough to
have signed all of the major players in
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His theater work got Jones recog-
nized by Columbia Pictures / Screen
Gems Television and The Monkees
had their first member. Playing off
the success of the Beatles, the show
about four aspiring rock musicians
garnered international fame for Jones,
Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike
Nesmith. But he never felt like a
Beatles clone: "The Beatles were
musicians. We were actors playing
musicians. Our thing was more Marx
Brothers than the Beatles."
Of course, the Marx Brothers never
sold 100 million records - a musical
career launched by Monkees' televi-
sion success. Promoting a new song
("Girl") was the reason Jones did an
episode of "The Brady Bunch" in
1971. "The Real Live Brady Bunch"
(Jill and Faith Soloway's theater re-
enactment of actual Brady episodes)
brings Jones to the Michigan Theater
tonight, reliving his cameo role and
escorting Marcia Brady to the prom
once again.
"(The show) is really a traveling
vaudeville/variety show, so it's right
up my alley," said Jones. "I don't
remember a lot about my time on the
actual 'Brady Bunch' set. I didn't
have much contact with the kids be-
cause I just went in and did the epi-
sode and went out. I was trying to sell
a song and it was a great way of doing
it. The '60s were a high point in my
life and that was just another high."
While the '60s were his heyday,
the '70s saw new lows for the can-
celled Monkee. No longer on the
charts and no longer on TV, he be-
came depressed , got divorced and
turned into "a walking wild man."
According to Jones, his life did not

stabilize until he remarried. Today,
he remains with his second wife,
Anita, with whom he has two girls -
Jessica, 12, and Annabel, 5. He is also
the father of two grown daughters
from his first marriage.
"My two oldest daughters are in
the business. They work in Los Ange-
les. My 22-year-old just did an epi-
sode of 'Blossom.' My two youngest
go to school in England. The 12-year-
old will play Fagan in her school's
production of 'Oliver!' this year. Like
father like daughter," he said.
Currently, Jones' career keeps him
from spending much time in any of
his three homes (in England, Santa
Barbara and Beavertown, Pennsylva-
nia) or with his family. On the road
most of the year with various touring
companies or his band The Armitage
Shanks, Jones sees his brood on holi-
days and birthdays, managing to catch
up with his wife "whenever we're not
traveling and sort of like following
our dreams."
Jones' latest dream:reuniting with
Tork, Nesmith and Dolenz. He said,
"We're planning a European tour this
year. We're going to England, and we
hope to go to Germany, Sweden and
Switzerland as well. Then we hope to
come back in mid to late summer to
do some touring in America.
"1996 is The Monkees' 30th anni-
versary so we're leading up to that -_
hopefully a movie, maybe a TV spe-
cial, a new album."
Still in reruns on various cable
stations, fans have not forgotten The
Monkees. As recently as 1986, the
group had 10 albums on the Billboard
Charts. People still accost Jones on
the streets ("Oh yeah, they think I'm

Davy Jones appears in "The Real Live Brady Bunch" which will be playing at the Michigan Theater tonight.

Dudley Moore."), and ask him to do
the Monkee walk, or sing "Hey, hey
we're the Monkees."
"It's always a pleasure to be able
to discuss those days," said Jones.
And always a pleasure to recreate
his Brady Bunch episode ("Getting
Davy Jones") for live theater. "The

show itself gets so much reaction," he
said, "Fans think it's the funniest thing
they ever saw, so that's great fun."
But does he sing the song live? "I
certainly do," he said, floating melo-
diously into the first lines. He stops
singing. "You must come see the
show, and you'll have fun, okay?"

Anything you say Davy. Sigh. He's,
so dreamy.

guest starring Davy Jones as
himself will appear tonight at 7
and 10 at the Michigan Theater.
Tickets are $18.50. Call 668-8397
or more infrain



Fryin' up good local music is Skillet's intention

the scene, which is why "A Check-
ered Past" is such a blast. Starting
with "Gangsters" by The Special
A.K.A., the collection drives through
every great moment of the ska re-
vival, featuring brilliant singles by
the Specials, the (English) Beat, Mad-
ness, the Selecter, the Bodysnatchers
and the Swinging Cats; it's a virtual
who's-who of the scene.
Many of these singles never got
the proper exposure in America,
through no fault of the music itself;
nearly every song on these two discs
should have been huge hits - they
are catchy, melodic, frenetic and re-
lentlessly danceable. In short, they
are classic singles.
"A Checkered Past" is an essen-
tial piece of popular music history
thatdeserves to be heard. And if you're
already a devotee, keep your eyes
open for an import copy of the four-
disc version of this set. For the
hardcore collector, it's priceless.
- Tom Erlewine
The Clash
Super Black Market Clash
Epic / Legacy
It's only appropriate that this reis-
sue should surface when rumors of a
Clash reunion are running rampant.
Not a greatest hits collection, nor a
straight-up reissue, "Super Black
Market Clash" gathers together a mess
of EPs, singles, 12" dub mixes, B-
sides and flexi-discs, providing a
sloppy, glorious overview of their
fast, furious career.
See RECORDS, Page 9

Anyone who's walked around Ann
Arbor in the last few months is sure to
have noticed flyers bearing the Skil-
let Records logo. Founded in July
1993 by musicians and University
students Chris Peters, Drew Peters
and Mark Dundon, the label has en-
joyed a modest amount of success in
becoming a widely recognized figure
in the Ann Arbor music scene.
Skillet's roster currently consists
of the power rock quartet
whirlingRoad, which features Chris
and Drew Peters, and melody / noise
connoisseurs The Melba, which fea-
tures Mark Dundon and Drew Peters.
However, Skillet's goals lie in ex-
panding to become an integral part in
the development of the Ann Arbor
music scene. As Chris explained, "It's
not as self-serving as it might seem.
We like to get our own stuff out, but
we're definitely looking to start turn-
ing to other things as soon as we
possibly can." Mark and Chris named
Kid Rock, Kiss Me Screaming and
Deadbeat Society as bands that might
have releases on Skillet Records in
the near future.
Currently, Chris, Mark and Drew
have put their own band's recording
efforts on hiatus while they search for
any interested up-and-coming local
bands. "I don't think either of us are
going to be putting anything else out
for a while ... we want to put other

stuff out first," Mark stated. "We're
always looking for stuff, and we're
looking pretty hard," Chris added.
"We're not limited by any kind of
genre of music ... its seems like a lot
of labels now are coming out with this
one certain sound that they're trying
to pin down, and I'm not too much
into that idea."
However, Skillet's search for
bands has, so far, not been as fruitful
as Chris had hoped. As he frankly
stated, "There's very little around that
"There's not much of a
scene [in Ann Arbor],
though we've tried to
nurture it, that's what
we're trying to do with
Chris Peters
Co-founder of Skillet
I actually like. I guess I'm very hard
to please, [but] I think a lot of it has to
do with the fact that there aren't a lot
of good clubs to play at in Ann Arbor.
It's really tough to get a gig at the
Blind Pig these days, and then what
else is there? Though Cava Java's
giving a good opportunity for a lot of

bands to play. It'd be kind of cool to
see the coffee house thing pick up."
"There's not much of a scene [in
Ann Arbor], though we've tried to
nurture it, that's what we're trying to
do with Skillet," he continued.
"There's just a lot of competition be-
tween bands. There's all sorts of fac-
tions, and it's really hard to get some-
thing going." On the other hand,
Skillet's founders remain optimistic
about the future of Ann Arbor's scene.
"All it would take is for a band to
break out of here, because it'll inspire
people to start bands and inspire
people to look at Ann Arbor," Chris
Above all, Skillet's immediate

goal is to let area bands know that it
exists as a label that firmly believes in"
creating a full-blown Ann Arbor mu-
sic scene.
As Mark enthusiastically put it,.
"We have to show people that we're_
serious and open to any bands that are,
interested, so we can try to get 'em all
under the 'Skillet Flag!"' One can
only hope that their vision becomes a
Any Bands interested in Skillet
Records can contact the label at
P.O. Box 8291, Ann Arbor, MI,
48107. Skillet Night featuring
whirlingRoad and The Melba
happens at the Blind Pig Tonight,
call 996-8555 for more information

_____________________________________ I



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