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The Joneses - Criminal History (2000)


The Joneses were a punk rock band from Southern California. Founded in 1981 by guitarist and singer Jeff Drake, the band included numerous players over the years. The incarnation of the Joneses that was voted "Best Live Band" in the 1984 L.A. Weekly Reader's Poll included, in addition to Drake, three ex-Mau-Mau's, Scott Franklin (the Cramps), Paul Black (L.A.Guns), and Johnnie Sage (Christian Death).

The Joneses first seven-inch, 45 rpm single was Criminals in My Car b/w Jonestown. They next released a pair of songs, Graveyard Rock and Pillbox, on the 1982 BYO Records compilation, Someone Got Their Head Kicked In. The EP Criminals was the Joneses next released recording. Hell Comes to Your House, Volume 2, included the three Joneses tracks: I'm Bad, She's So Filthy, Black Cat Bone. Keeping Up With the Joneses, was released by Doctor Dream Records in 1986. Criminal History, released by Sympathy for the Record Industry in February 2000, is a 20 track retrospective of the Joneses recorded material.


Jeff Drake - vocals, guitar
Steve Houston - vocals, guitar
Steve Olson - vocals, bass guitar
Rhys Williams - guitar
Greg Kuehn - piano
Mitch Dean - drums

One of the last of the great "loud and snotty" REAL trashy glam rock'n'roll bands who WERE 100% authentic were Hollywood's Joneses. The Joneses really did have that raunchy, fifties rhythm and blues stilletto appeal that always informed the REAL Johnny Thunders. Whiney, brattish, sneering vocals, yearning high-lonesome for another fix, scuzzy dueling guitars shades of the greats, horny piano pounding worthy of Jerry Lee or Little Richard, catchy choruses that you could never be certain about-was he singin' about dope or chicks? Either/both/probably dope, mostly.Jeff Drake was a total white Chuck Berry/Hank Williams Sr./Johnny Thunders style street fightin' dandy. A diamond geezer. A Gentleman Gangster of the Old West. The Genuine Article. Born in Anaheim, and raised in Merced, California, Jeff absorbed a steady stream of Elvis and country music from his Pa and later dug the stomping British glam he heard on the radio. Jeff Drake's scorchin' brand of rhinestone junkie cowpunk has been an influence on not only all them lousy Sunset Strip bands who copped the whole cowboy glam and creepers look from him and the Clash and Andy McCoy and Jeffrey Lee Pierce and Keith Richards and Gram Parsons, but his look and sound have also left their whine-stain on loads of the best underground rock bands we got left out here in the shanties of Jonestown. Bands like American Heartbreak and the Dragons. The Chamber Strings and the Saviors.Slow Motorcade and New Romantics. From the Hangmen to the Humpers. A lost generation of FLASH METAL OUTLAWS all owe a toast to the original "rocknroll bankrobber", JEFF DRAKE and his ragged lot of scarvey ramblin' men.


THE HOLLYWOOD JONESES first made their splash in the early eighties by appearing on some much-beloved hardcore punk compilations and by being the stand-out track. Their seemingly ill-conceived appearances alongside all the testosterone crazed hardcore surfer bands was appropriate in a way, however, because the early 80's Orange Co. punk scene nurtured Jeff's glitterbilly revival right alongside all the Thrasher aggression skatepunk bands, and Drake goes back like a rocking chair with cats like Duane Peters and Steve Olson. After getting the sack from the purist Aristocats ("Not Howdy Doody enough") Drake put together the early Joneses with people like Olson and Ron Emory (T.S.O.L.) and Paul "Mars" Black (Mau-Maus, L.A. Guns)and developed a rabid club following playing with groups like Social Distortion, TSOL, and the Blasters. They were always going through line-up changes with former members returning to the group from time to time, and their pianist going off to fame and fortune with Johnny Rotten and Bob Dylan. Chicks, pills, booze,drugs, family feuds, all the usual perils of rock'n'roll decadence. Danny Sugarman managed 'em for awhile but everybody was deep into heroin and all the major labels were "gun-shy", in spite of starting to court all the fake junkie glam rock "guns" bands. All their records are essential, collectors item, must-own artifacts, with singles fetching $75 and I know Bleeker Bob's probably still got "Keeping Up With THE JONESES" in a plastic sleeve on the wall for like $150. Even their earliest songs like "Pillbox" and "Criminals" and "She's So Filthy" still get covered by greasy kid punk bands from coast to coast. Though widely renowned for their pulse-hastening rave-up originals, the JONESES also always had exquisite taste in covers: "Chip Away". "Crocodile Rock". "Your Cheatin' Heart". and J.D.'s been threatening to record a Bowie "Pin-Ups" style cover record for years now if Long Gone John from Sympathy can ever pry his lips way from Jack White's ass long enough to pony-up some of that precious studio-time. (source: sleazegrinder.com)

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