Canterbury brothers Trevor and John Evan-Jones started playing music together at a very early age, and when their family emigrated to Australia in the early 60s, the two boys found themselves playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band called Chaos & Co, with a single in the Tasmanian charts courtesy of a recording deal with EMI.
John returned to England to escape being drafted to fight in Vietnam, while Trevor remained in Australia playing in a number of bands before eventually returning to the UK at the beginning of the 70s.
Reunited, the brothers formed Jonesy, but differences in musical taste (Trevor wanted to play prog rock while John favoured a funkier direction) split the group – and the brothers – in 1971.
With Trevor out of the picture, John recruited new personnel (with David Paull taking brother Trevor’s place) and recorded No Alternative (1972) – the first of three LPs Jonesy delivered for the Dawn label (the prog rock subsidiary of Pye). The album spawned a mini-hit in lead guitarist/vocalist John Jones’ Ricochet.
More friction within the band resulted in Paull and Payne being replaced by Nick Greenwood and Richard “Plug” Thomas.
A Miles influence became more dominant in the group when Alan Bown moved in on electric trumpet. Trevor Evan-Jones (aka ‘Gypsy’) returned shortly thereafter and the group went into the studio to record their second album, Keeping Up (1973). The album received very favourable reviews and the band toured England and Europe to promote it.
Despite the band’s reservations, the third album Growing (produced by Rupert Hine) was released to great critical acclaim and in 1974 received the Montreux Diamond Award as the top rock/pop album of the year.
The band foraged hard to make some headway against Yes and King Crimson (whose recording facilities at Command Studios they shared) but the breaks never really came their way.
Trevor and John went back into the studio to start recording their next LP, Sudden Prayers Make God Jump. They were joined by Bernie Hagley (electric saxes and flute), Dave Potts (drums) and Ken Elliott (keyboards).
Unfortunately, the album was not released, despite all involved considering it to be Jonesy’s finest hour.
After the birth of his son Alex in 1984, John Evan-Jones left the music industry (with 44 Platinum, Gold & Silver Record awards to his name) to pursue doctoral studies in psychology.
He lives in Copenhagen and together with his wife Marianne runs acclaimed coaching company Evan-Jones International and has authored more than twenty books on coaching and management psychology.
As of 2010, Trevor Jones was planning new Jonesy releases, containing previously unreleased and newly recorded material.
Trevor “Gypsy” Evan-Jones
Saxophone, flute, vocals
Richard “Plug” Thomas
Electric trumpet, electric flugelhorn