Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby DagerRande » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:26 am

Tommy Jones: 10-8-54 to 9-4-02

We lost him about a month before he would have turned 48. Hard to believe but people born the year he died would be teenagers now! One of the best ever and a tragic loss! I just wanted to acknowledge him and keep his memory alive.
Rande Dager

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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby Richard Hudson » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:35 am

I never did get to hear Tommy Jones play live. As a matter of fact, I didn't even know about him until I attended my first CAAS in 1999. Dwayne Friend told me before I came to be sure to look up Tommy Jones and Doyle Dykes. I think Tommy was there that year, but I never did see him. He played a guitar the way I like to hear one played. As you said, Rande, one of the best.

Richard
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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby Pickin Palmer » Sun Oct 11, 2015 8:19 am

We had a great Pickin' Party, yesterday, up here at the Ohio Fingerstyle Guitar Club. International Thumbpickin' Contest winner Dave Duncan was “in the circle” - next to Paul Moseley, Dave has the most rock solid “thumb” on the planet. Also, “in the circle” for the first time together in over 6 years were high school buddies Dave “Sully” Sullivan and Robert Cox – originally from Willard, Ohio – Robert having recently moved back into his childhood home in Willard – which is why we don't see too much of him, anymore – it's a piece up the road.

After 6 hours of pickin' – and, in view of that fact that we hadn't been together as a trio for all those 6 years – of course, the three of us went over to my house to “finish up” with a couple more hours of pickin' - “just the three of us.”

Very nice long boring story, Palmer – but, WHAT HAS THIS GOT TO DO WITH TOMMY JONES???

Well, when I read this “thread” this morning I got to thinking how, as young adults years ago, Sully and Robert would (several times) finish up work up in northern Ohio, drive 7 hours to Nashville to see Tommy perform (who was about their age) in Printer's Alley (I believe Boot's place) and drive back home – just in time to go to work, again, in the morning! Do youz guys think they miss Tommy??? (smile)
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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby Ray Bohlken » Sun Oct 11, 2015 9:52 pm

I used to enjoy seeing Tommy at the C.A.A.S. conventions and I have a couple of VHS videos he made...and an LP I found at a yard sale as well. He was a great player. I ran into him in the elevator a couple of times and talked to him a little...he was kind of shy, but we talked for the trip.
Ray
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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby DagerRande » Mon Oct 12, 2015 1:38 pm

Palmer,Tommy lived in Nashville for a short time while working in Boot's club. It's possible that I saw your friends during one of the weeks I spent with him and we went to the club every night. Aside from all of the trading of licks that week, we did a number of very "non-musical" things such as 4-wheeling and going to movies. Do you remember "Blue Thunder" with Roy Scheider (from Jaws)? That was one that stood out in my mind. Anyway, I may have seen your friends at Boots' club and never knew it!

Yes Ray, Tommy was very shy. Strangely enough, he said he was never nervous performing. His personal interaction was usually awkward for him and it took awhile to build trust and bond with him. He went through a LOT of disappointments in his life. Between all he told me and what his parents shared, I think I could write a book!

And his spur of the moment creative arrangements were extremely mind-blowing and inspiring to me !When I first met him I was mostly impressed with his physical command of the guitar, but as I spent more time with him I got to see through a window into his mind. He would spring on me a new twist on a familiar tune all the time and wait to see my face...lol. Most of the great guitarists don't have the combined qualities of creativity and the physical ability to play it!
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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby John Knowles » Tue Oct 13, 2015 8:18 pm

I had the privilege of saying a few words when Tommy was inducted into the National Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame a couple of weeks ago. I told stories from our trip to Paris for Marcel's Atkins-Dadi Convention. It was Tommy's first rip to Europe. We traveled together and we were roommates.

I remember Tommy leaving a small bag at the Paris airport. When we went back to get it, he learned that security had found it, taken it outside, and exploded it. They gave Tommy a plastic bag that had bits of toothbrush, comb, etc., along with some cassette fragments. We went shopping in Paris.

The airline also broke the neck on his Haschal Haile at the headstock. Tommy bought some super glue and finished the tour with that guitar. Of course, he won everyone over with his playing.

As I told these stories, I missed him all over again. I wished he could have joined the Hall of Fame in the Living Thumb Picker category.

John Knowles
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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby DagerRande » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:44 am

John, I never knew about that induction a few weeks ago. I'm glad that he is not only remembered, but also honored.

Thanks for sharing your stories.
Rande Dager

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Re: Tommy Jones would be 61 today!

Postby BillB » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:59 am

John,
That was a great story! I always enjoy hearing or reading your experiences with the folks in the music world. I hope you will continue to share more stories with us. I didn't even know who Tommy was until a couple of years before he passed away. Rande has told me about their friendship, and I've seen videos and heard his amazing works through the Chetboard, etc. I'm glad to see some renewed life here on this site. I've gained so much from being a part of it.

Bill B.
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