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The TV Jones Story

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, guitar;
  • Gerry Jones, drums (brother of the now successful jazz horn player Vince Jones);
  • Giles Vanderwerf, bass;
  • Deniz Tek, 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 recognizable, 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.

The jams went on into the night, evolving into exhortations of violence,insanity, and for some, full ecstatic ritual that drove kids to behave like Moroccan hill tribesmen on the night of the festival of Pan, when Bou Jeloud actually comes to the village.

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 accomodate the market conditions by compromise. Of course, the obvious insincerity of this move predestined it's utter and pathetic failure, with Deniz now free to pursue his dreams with a new partner, a man named Rob Younger.

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