There were moments on stage when vocalist Ignatius Jones ceased to be human; when his bloodied face, bondage mask, obscene leotard, dripping sweat and Neanderthal gyrations culminated in a grotesque indefinable creature, both frightening and fascinating.
Like footage of Nazi Concentration Camps, Ignatius commanded attention, no matter how horrifying the spectacle. Teetering between drama and depravity, lunacy and lucidity and rock and repugnance, Jimmy and The Boys could scarcely be described as just a rock group.
Their performance, their visual image, their on and offstage behaviour were all carefully designed to elicit the maximum level of shocked outrage from a public long since bored with the standard media fare of moral decadence.
This was no cheeky bunch of high-spirited lads hurling TV sets into motel swimming pools or taking immoral advantage of the local mayor’s daughter, this was hardcore, R-rated rock-theatre delivered with the subtlety of Copenhagen porn.
Sadomasochism, transvestitism, self-mutilation, drug abuse, simulated sex and mock rape all took starring roles in Jimmy and The Boys tribute to cultural degeneracy.
The act revolved around vocalist Ignatius Jones (real name John Trapaga) and transvestite keyboard player Joylene Hairmouth (real name Bill O’Riordan) – a couple of good old boys from Cranbrook and Riverview (exclusive private schools).
Since 1976 the duo had been surrounded by combinations of backing musicians, the constant guts & gore probably accounting for at least some of the member turnover.
The double-jointed, bisexual, Ignatius was an extraordinary creature. Born of Spanish parents in Manila, It was obvious even in the 70’s that if he were not fronting a band he would certainly be a celebrated figure in another avenue of the performing arts.
He went on to starring roles in musical theatre, cabaret and on national television as well as being actively involved in areas of fine art and dance.
Ignatius Jones (John Trapaga)
Joylene Hairmouth (Bill O’Riordan)
Andrew de Teliga