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nic jones stories

22 Mar 04 - 05:23 PM (#1143260)
Subject: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,sid the ferret

having just read the excrutiatingthread re.nic jones 'unearthed' cover I've all but lost the will to live.Having had brief contact withthis man a few times ,I seem to remember a good egg with an even better sense of humour.I also recall hearing of somene who took or gave no bullshit.In addition there were a lot of (very) funny stories.Just to lighten up from the negative threads,(bulmer,etc)does anyone remember any?

22 Mar 04 - 05:27 PM (#1143263)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Ed.

Why not start by posting one of your own?

22 Mar 04 - 05:32 PM (#1143266)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Phil Cooper

I saw Nic Jones on my 21st birthday in 1975 at the Enterprise club in London (I was an exchange student from the states there in that fall). I really enjoyed the show, watching his guitar playing intently. I had also seen him at a different folk club a couple weeks earlier where some people in back were talking. He some comment about everyone being able to hear the words to some song and remarked there was a good reason why some wouldn't be able to hear, but he was being too polite. You had to be there, I suppose. I actually had a twenty second conversation with him about a guitar tuning (CGCGCD). That was the extent of any conversation I ever had with him. But I did go back to my flat and experiment with the tuning. One of the reasons I went to London in the folly of my youth was to see as many folk artists as I could. I had Nic first two albums before I came over and was always hoping I'd get a chance to see him. The fact that he was at the Enterprise on my 21st birthday was just real nice, I thought.

22 Mar 04 - 05:39 PM (#1143271)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,sid the ferret

the best one I heard was from Martin Wyndham-Read and is difficult to relate in print;espcially if you havent the reference point of seeing the Dransfield Bros. play live.I have to admit I just got fed up reading such a lot of (i think)negativity/silly misunderstanding.It does'nt help that I was lucky enough to aquire minidiscs of the first 4 recordings --xmas came late!reading that crap stuck in my craw.

22 Mar 04 - 06:18 PM (#1143306)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

I remember the Brentwood Folk Club audience booing - but he was comparing and refusing to let somebody (I think it was Martin Carthy)do an encore.

22 Mar 04 - 07:38 PM (#1143390)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Jeanie

Ah yes, Peter, I remember it well... I don't know of any 'funny stories' to relate, either, but I do count myself very fortunate to have seen and heard Nic Jones perform so many times in those days at Brentwood in the late 60s. I remember he was very kind and tolerant of us unruly, under-age cider-drinking youngsters who used to perch perilously on top of the upright piano in the corner. I also remember that he once told me and a Mudcatter Whose Name I Will Not Mention But Who Knows Who He Is to "stop fornicating on the piano, you two" because we were putting him off his playing. I fear I have said too much, and will now beat a hasty retreat....

- jeanie

23 Mar 04 - 02:24 AM (#1143556)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

I don't actually remember seeing him during 1968 to 1971, when I lived in the Romford area (Used to go to Tony Maloney's clubs in Collier row & Hornchurch, and others like Blackmore) but I must have done.

I DO remember seeing Nic at the Valley Folk Club in Pontardawe c1973.
In fact, I still have the tape I made - recording quality is poor, but the performance was magic - better versions of the songs than he recorded, in some cases. During the interval, we were chatting to him, and he was concerned as to whether people were enjoying the evening, because they were so quiet. Don't sound very quiet on the tape though!

23 Mar 04 - 03:17 AM (#1143572)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg

I don't know whre I got the story from but I heard that during one gig, the audiance were not being as attentive as maybe they should have been, so he stopped performing until they shut up. Good for him!

However, we should remember that Nic's humour doesn't matter, Dave Bulmer doesn't matter, even the accident doesn't matter. Other people have a sense of humour. Other people are shafted by other people. And, sadly, other people have terrible accidents. Only the music matters.

23 Mar 04 - 03:01 PM (#1144108)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,sid the ferret

a similar tale is of nic playing a folk club in Nottingham(I believe)in a room that also kept a jukebox.Someone set the thing playing & Nic's response was to turn his back to the audience & switch to Chuck Berry songs.Apparantly it worked!

    P.S.thanks for the response;it's so much better than reading about Bullmer.

23 Mar 04 - 06:40 PM (#1144304)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Liz the Squeak

I'd never heard of him until after the accident, but I had the honour of meeting him at the first ever folk festival I ever went to alone(Wadebridge in Cornwall) where, due to arriving very late and a foul filthy rainstorm, we ended up sharing a tent.

It was one of his first festivals since the accident and I spent the weekend helping him around (he was still very wobbly then). His memory was completely shot, but it was wonderful watching him mumble along with the words and his hands twitching as he automatically 'air guitared' the chords.   His re-union with Tony Rose was an emotional affair, both had tears rolling down their faces, especially when Tony did 'Bonny White Horseman'.

I'm proud to have been there, just for that one moment.

He was then the most gentle person I'd met, the first big "name" and I had no idea just how big!


21 May 04 - 02:54 AM (#1190499)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Sean Gaston

Gee, Pavane, I would love to hear the tape. If you are willing to make copies, say the word. It must've been wonderful to see him in concert. I've only corresponded with him through email, through his wife. That's about all.

21 May 04 - 07:45 AM (#1190633)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

Apparently the Joneses do not want recordings like this circulated.
Although I think they have no legal power to stop it, I prefer to respect their wishes.

However, if you get the OK from them, I will see what I can do. They may have heard this one, because I sent a copy to Ralphie when he was working on Unearthed.

21 May 04 - 07:46 AM (#1190635)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

Better PM me though, in any case, as I may miss it in a thread.

16 Dec 08 - 04:16 PM (#2517156)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: The Sandman

I saw Nic Jones ,many times,I booked at him two different clubs,that I was involved in organising, one was Bury St Edmunds,the other was at Havering atte Bower.
he was a charismatic performer with a real presence.

16 Dec 08 - 05:54 PM (#2517233)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Anne Lister

I had just come back from living in France for two years and wanted to get back into playing at folk clubs (professionally). I was staying at a friend's house in Islington and another friend and I decided to go and see Nic at a club in (I think) Barnet. I'd been a huge fan of Nic's for years but had never met him properly.
It was a filthy night and we arrived at the club just as it was starting, so when I asked if I could do a floor spot I wasn't surprised to be told they'd already been sorted out. However, I was just sitting down and removing my soaking raincoat when the organiser appeared at my elbow and said one of their singers had hurt his hand so could I do a couple of songs after all? Immediately, as it turned out. So I did, somewhat bothered that this would mean Nic probably wouldn't hear what I did (I hadn't noticed him in the club room). I performed "Icarus" which was a fairly new song to me and to the world at that point.   Then I sat down and waited until it was Nic's time to perform.

To my amazement he came up to me at the start of the break, demanding to know who had written "Icarus". When I told him it was me his jaw dropped, visibly, and he asked if I would send him a copy on tape and gave me his address.

At that time I had nothing properly recorded, but in due course I did make a decent recording of "Icarus" and sent it to him. No reply. No acknowledgment. So I thought, hey ho, that's the way it is - he probably listened to it again and didn't like it as much. Shrugged my shoulders and got on with things.

Some months later I was invited to a party where he and Martin Wyndham-Read were due to play. I arrived at the house at the same time Nic drew up in his car, so we went to the front door together and he started telling me about audience reactions to "Icarus" - which of course he had been performing all this time. We spent most of the evening talking songs and singing and songwriting, thereby I fear alienating our hostess and many other guests at the party ... but that's how Nic was responsible for my song getting out into the world.

Such a fine performer, such a fine human being. I'm privileged to know the man.


16 Dec 08 - 06:12 PM (#2517258)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: The Sandman

Thanks Anne,I liked that story.
I remember being in a club in the south,at which,Nic was the booked guest,one of the resident singers came on and asked the audience what shall I sing.?,I remember Nic turning round and saying as an aside to me,you should never do that,you have to go out and convince the audience,that what you are singing is worth listening to.
Nic exuded confidence,and generally had audiences eating out of his hand.

17 Dec 08 - 02:19 AM (#2517475)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

As metioned in another thread, I have made available some shorts clips of Nic introducing his songs (though not the songs themselves, as explained previously).

Go to my site

Click on private area and enter the password "nicjonesclips"

17 Dec 08 - 03:29 AM (#2517500)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Mick Tems

Ahhh - I remember the Valley folk club in 1973, listening to Nic Jones... I was there. That gig must be one of the highlights of my life.

I didn't know that you lived in Romford, Pavane - I came from Ilford!

17 Dec 08 - 03:48 AM (#2517511)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

Haven't you worked out who I am? Chadwell Heath and all.

17 Dec 08 - 04:26 AM (#2517536)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: The Sandman

well now, I used to run a newsagents shop in Chadwell Heath.[when I had a proper job]in Chadwell Heath Lane.
and in a conversation with Nic,I found out that his family were in the same business.
if my memory serves me right,they owned several shops trading under the name C W JONES,all on the Seven Kings Type area, essex /london borders.
in fact on one occasion I met his dad,as we were considering buying one of their shops.
I remember him saying that his son wasnt interested in the business,but never put two and two together.
anyway Nics contribution as a musician was far more important,thank god he didnt become a newsagent.

17 Dec 08 - 04:35 AM (#2517542)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Dave Hanson

I saw Nic at the Grass Roots Folk Club in Halifax in the late 60s, it was a Halliard gig but Nigel couldn't make it, Nic and Dave Moran were both on top form, absolutely brilliant, Nic sang and played both guitar and fiddle.

I also have the rare LP ' Bandoggs,' Nic, Pete and Chris Coe and Tony Rose, now that is what I call a supergoup, it's a pity they only did the one.


17 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM (#2517548)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler

I think there must have been a few Mudcatters at that gig at Pontardawe, a few years before I graduated from Ivy Bush audience status though!


17 Dec 08 - 04:44 AM (#2517549)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Brian Peters

I first saw him play when I was still at school; he supported the Oldham Tinkers at the MSG club. Brilliant, of course. I remember him being embarrassed and self-deprecating when some guitar afficionado harangued him at the interval with "You're better than Carthy, man!"

He was always coming out with witty asides during gigs, often pricking folkie bubbles along the way. "A lot of people are wearing badges saying 'Save the Whale' - I think I should get one that says 'Save the Plankton'". My favourite, though, was when he described being accosted at a gig by a fellow turned out in all the usual regalia: beard, tankard, waistcoat, strings around the knees of his trousers.... "A kind of a Folk Action Man."

17 Dec 08 - 05:06 AM (#2517557)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

Captain Birdseye:

Was that the one near the corner with Jarrow Road? If so, I remember it well. I lived down the other end of Chadville Gardens. I moved away to Wales in 1971 though.

17 Dec 08 - 05:13 AM (#2517563)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Ralphie

The first time I saw Nic was at the Cellar in C Sharp House...and it was the only time that I've won a raffle!!
Nics 2nd CD was the prize. Had to get my courage up to ask him to autograph it! (Still got it!!)
Little did I know what would happen 20 odd years later!
Top Man Nic. Happy Christmas!

17 Dec 08 - 05:44 AM (#2517581)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: Phil Edwards

Ralphie - CD?

17 Dec 08 - 05:48 AM (#2517582)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Howard Jones

By the time I started going to Brentwood and Chelmsford Folk Clubs in the late 1960s/early 1970s Nic had already turned pro and made only occasional appearances, usually as a booked guest. However he was still very much the Local Hero.

I saw him on many occasions and remember him as a wonderful performer, with a dry sense of humour. Besides being a fabulous guitarist and sensitive singer, he was also a very good on the fiddle. I spoke to him many times, and he was always friendly and ready to chat, although he must have got very bored with continual inane questions about tunings and technique.

I've no particular stories about Nic, but I was at the "Perform" conference at Manchester's Free Trade Hall when the word reached us of his accident, and I remember well the sense of numb horror that engulfed everyone.

His playing and singing were a huge influence on many people, myself included. A lovely man.

17 Dec 08 - 07:55 AM (#2517680)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: The Sandman

Pavane,Yes,it must have been about 1973.

17 Dec 08 - 08:05 AM (#2517699)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: pavane

Cap'n - Just missed you then.

17 Dec 08 - 08:54 AM (#2517743)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,Ralphie

OK Pip.....LP!!! (Pedant!!!)

17 Dec 08 - 12:16 PM (#2517945)
Subject: RE: nic jones stories
From: GUEST,henryp

As a folk club organiser, Nic always took the trouble to promote the next event at the club where he was performing. Who's appearing next week? he would ask from the stage.

One evening at the Coronation Folk Club in Southport the organiser replied; Peter Bellamy. Oh, said Nic, Who's on the week after?