TV JONES

Formed in 1972, TV Jones was the final name settled on by the band that had previously been known as Screaming White Hot Razor Blades and briefly, Cunning Stunt. The line-up was Chris Jones on guitar, Gerry Jones on drums (brother of the now successful jazz horn player Vince Jones), Giles Vanderwerf on bass and Deniz on guitar and vocals.

 

Early on TV Jones found a petrol spill waiting for a match in the youth of Wollongong. A tough blue collar steel town, 50 miles south of Sydney, the kids at the Charles Hotel were primed to go off on anything that would blast them out of the ennui of early 70's rock. In those days, it was mandatory for bands to cover Smoke On the Water, Black Magic Woman, and Southern Man.

 

These were the post-hippie days when the "scene" had totally degenerated but the next thing had not yet arrived. Anything the slightest bit original or bizarre or even merely exciting would have lit the fuse. And TV Jones was beyond bizarre. Exploding light bulbs. Imploding television sets. Strange androgynous makeup and clear plastic raincoats.

 

Of course nothing is shocking now, but a quarter century ago these things seemed to open a door to a new world. Or at least a new way out of this one. With a bad attitude like that of demented lesser gods banished to the far edge of a galaxy to cause chaos, in some science fiction novel, they combined their volatile stage performance with a barely recognisable, overdriven mixture of Velvet Underground, Stooges, Up, Stones, J Geils, and various obscure garage bands and old bluesmen, and a few early attempts at their own material.

 

When the band decided to leave Wollongong, they were doomed. Tired of the small pond syndrome, they thought that they could transplant the magic to The Big City. They were mistaken. It would be another two years and another band that would break down the barriers there. Not even a substantial cash offer from the towns acid dealers could keep them at the Charles Hotel, and they headed North, to enthusiastically booked engagements at Chequers and the Whisky.

 

Immediately, totally, and violently, TV Jones was rejected by the powerful music establishment in Sydney, the way a dog would vomit poisoned meat. Not even the local gang structure could stomach them. As Deniz was seen as the chief instigator of the band's style, he was ousted by the others, who went on for a time, trying to accommodate the market conditions by compromise.

 

Of course, the obvious insincerity of this move predestined its utter and pathetic failure, with Deniz now free to pursue his dreams with a new partner, a man named Rob Younger.

Deniz Tek and Chris Jones - TV JONES rehearsal 1972 - photographer unknown.

Recordings :

 

In the (australian) summer of '73-'74 TV Jones was invited into Earth Media studios at North Sydney to begin work on an album. After multiple false starts the sessions began and several songs were recorded including Skimp the Pimp, Monday Morning Gunk, Man With Golden Helmet and Eskimo Pies, later re-named I-94. The album project was then cancelled and the master tapes erased.

Evidence of some of the tracks survived on cassette dubs and it was from one of these ancient cassettes that this single was mastered :

 

TV Jones
Title: Eskimo Pies  -  Company: Nomad Recs (USA)  -  Cat No: nomadmark 11
Format: 7" single  -  Recorded: 1974 - Released: 2000  -  Status: Deleted

 


Track Listing:

A-side: Eskimo Pies ( D Tek / C Jones )
B-side: Skimp The Pimp ( D Tek / C Jones )

 

The Musicians:

Deniz Tek - Guitar and Vocals

Chris Jones - Guitar

Gerry Jones - Drums

Giles Van der Werf - Bass
 

Technical Details:

Recorded at Earth Media Studios

Sydney, Australia, March 1974
 

Of Interest

The picture sleeve cover is from a TV Jones street poster, and the reverse side is a photo taken by Colleen Skinner at a show where TV Jones supported ex Easybeats vocalist Stevie Wright. The version of Eskimo Pies on this recording was thought to be TV Jones but is actually an early Radio Birdman demo of the same song which happened to be on the same cassette as the TV Jones tunes.