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Steve Jones (musician)

Steve Jones
Jones in 2008
Background information
Birth name Stephen Philip Jones
Born (1955-09-03) 3 September 1955 [1][2]
Hammersmith, London, England
Origin Shepherds Bush, London, England
Genres Punk rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Instruments Guitar, bass, vocals
Years active 1972–present
Labels Virgin, MCA, Warner Bros.
Associated acts Sex Pistols, The Professionals, Chequered Past, Fantasy 7, P, Neurotic Outsiders, Iggy Pop, Megadeth,[3] Insane Clown Posse,[4][5] Joan Jett,[6] Sham Pistols
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul
Gibson SG
Gibson Flying V
Gibson Firebird

Stephen Philip "Steve" Jones (born 3 September 1955) is an English rock guitarist, singer and actor, best known as guitarist with Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop. He was ranked in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[7]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • 1970s 2.1
    • 1980s 2.2
    • 1990s 2.3
    • 2000s 2.4
    • 2010s 2.5
  • Equipment 3
  • Jonesy's Jukebox 4
  • Solo discography 5
  • Partial filmography 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Early life

Jones was born in Hammersmith, London, where he grew up with his young mother, who worked as a hairdresser, and his grandparents. He then moved to Benbow Road in Shepherd's Bush. He was an only child and his father, Don Jarvis, an amateur boxer, left when he was two years old.

With fourteen criminal convictions he was the subject of a council care-order and spent a year in a remand centre, which he says was more enjoyable than being at home. He's also said the Sex Pistols saved him from a life of crime.

His early influences were Iggy & The Stooges, New York Dolls, Small Faces, and glam rock icons like Roxy Music and David Bowie.



The Sex Pistols in Amsterdam in 1977.

Jones co-founded The Strand (named after a Roxy Music song) with Paul Cook and Wally Nightingale in the early 1970s. The Strand were a precursor to the Sex Pistols, and it's where Jones first learned to play guitar. After dropping Wally Nightingale in the mid 1970s, the band was known as The Swankers. In 1975, Jones went on to co-found Sex Pistols with Paul Cook, Glen Matlock, and later, John Lydon.

Jones is a self-taught guitar player, primarily playing Gibson Les Paul electric guitars in his early years. He had allegedly only been playing for three months before his first Sex Pistols gig, and has said that practicing under the influence of black beauties helped him focus well on learning the instrument.[8]

His usual guitar was a cream coloured Gibson Les Paul Custom which Malcolm McLaren had acquired from Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls. According to Filth and the Fury, he had also stolen equipment from a truck parked behind the Hammersmith Odeon where David Bowie was playing, when he and his fellow Sex Pistols members posed as road crew members, stealing amplifiers and other equipment.

Bill Price, the engineer on Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols called Jones one of the tightest guitar players he has ever worked with, this is due to his "chuggy" playing in the studio as Price had described it with very little sustain and echo, which required overdubs to hide.[9]

Due to the inability of Sid Vicious to perform to a satisfactory standard in the studio Jones also played the bass guitar parts on Never Mind the Bollocks, the sole exception being "Anarchy in the UK", recorded whilst Glen Matlock was still in the band.

Currently Jones also uses Hamer Sunburst double-cut guitars, and prefers the White Les Paul Custom as his primary guitar, as stated in the Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock Sex Pistols video.

Jones became well known among fans for his "hanky on the head", and his perm. When the Sex Pistols were interviewed by Bill Grundy on the Today show on 1 December 1976, Jones openly swore at Grundy after being goaded to do so, causing much controversy and elevating the band's profile.

After the Sex Pistols broke up in 1978, Jones and drummer Paul Cook co-founded The Professionals.[10] They released four singles, recorded a self-titled LP that was shelved until 1990, and released I Didn't See It Coming in November 1981.[11] The band's American tour to promote the album was cut short when band members Paul Cook, Paul Myers, and Ray McVeigh were injured in a car accident.[12][13] While The Professionals did return to America in the Spring of 1982 after recovery, Jones (and Myers') drug problems further hampered the band's prospects.[14] They declined an opening spot offer on tour for The Clash, and broke up.


Jones was also a member of Chequered Past (led by Michael Des Barres) from 1982 to 1985. They released a self-titled album in 1984. Jones performed alongside Sex Pistols bandmate Paul Cook on Johnny Thunders's solo album So Alone. Siouxsie and the Banshees thought for a while to engage Jones after the departure of two of their original members. Rehearsals took place in early 1980, and Jones recorded the guitars parts on three songs of the album Kaleidoscope. The experience did not go further than a simple recording session.

Jones also played with Thin Lizzy, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Kraut, Adam Ant, Bob Dylan,[15] Iggy Pop, Andy Taylor, Megadeth,[16] Neurotic Outsiders, and had a solo career in the 1980s and early 1990s. His song "Mercy", from the album of the same name, was used in a Miami Vice episode called "Stone's War" and was featured on the Miami Vice II soundtrack album and in the film Homeboy 1988. "Pleasure and Pain" also from the album Mercy, was included in the 1986 film Sid and Nancy. In 1989, he released his second solo album, titled Fire and Gasoline, which featured Jones on guitar and vocals, Terry Nails on bass, and drummer Mickey Curry. Jones was a guest star in an episode of the television sitcom Roseanne. He had previously played a private detective in The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, and had a role in the 1981 film, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains.


In 1992 a project called Fantasy 7 (known as F7) was recorded, and remains officially unreleased. They toured locally in Los Angeles and a few shows in South America featuring singer Mark McCoy. In 1995, Jones played guitar on the self-titled and only album released by P. The band featured Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers and actor Johnny Depp.[17]

In 1996, Jones formed Neurotic Outsiders, that featured himself on guitar and vocals, former Guns N' Roses members Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum on rhythm guitar and drums, and John Taylor from Duran Duran, on bass. They released a self-titled album in 1996. "I call him Uncle Steve," remarked Amanda Rootes of Fluffy, who supported the Outsiders on tour. "I've got uncles just like him, East End gangster types."[18]

Also in 1996, he took time out to record guitar tracks for The Great Milenko, an album by Insane Clown Posse. Jones produced the self-titled debut albums of the Los Angeles-based Buckcherry and American Pearl, released in 1999 and 2000.


He participated in the Sex Pistols reunion concerts and currently resides in Los Angeles. He has since engaged in session work, playing guitar on Lisa Marie Presley's 2005 album, Now What. Jones played lead guitar on two tracks. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" which was originally recorded for The Ramones tribute album We're a Happy Family but only appeared as a hidden track on Now What.

The Sex Pistols, including Jones, played a gig for the 30th anniversary of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols at the Brixton Academy on 8 November 2007. Due to popular demand, two further gigs were announced on 9 November and 10 November. This demand led to two further gigs being announced, making five in total. A further gig in Brixton on 12 November was followed by one at the MEN Arena in Manchester on 17 November. The Glasgow S.E.C.C on 18 November completed the tour.

Jones has recently played with Hollywood United F.C., an American amateur soccer team based in Los Angeles, California, United States, made up mainly of celebrities and former professional footballers. In 2008, The Sex Pistols appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival as the headlining act on the Saturday night, the Peace & Love Festival in Sweden, and the Live at Loch Lomond Festival in Scotland. Jones made a cameo appearance on Portlandia's second season finale, "Brunch Village," which aired on 9 March 2012.[19]


In May 2012, Jones appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in a sketch playing himself as the roommate to Prince Charles (played by Craig Ferguson), as well as playing guitar on a cover of Ninian Hawick's Scottish Rite Temple Stomp in a cold open to a week of shows shot in Scotland. He was ranked 97th in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". After an appearance as the guest on Russell Brand's FX television program Brand X with Russell Brand in 2013, Jones has assumed the duties of the house band on that program. He performs solo on the electric guitar. In 2013 and 2014, Jones appeared as recurring character "Krull" during the sixth and seventh seasons of Showtime television series Californication, playing the road manager of Tim Minchin's character Atticus Fetch.


While with the Sex Pistols Jones mostly played two Gibson Les Paul Customs,[20] a black 1954 Gibson Les Paul Custom and his most famous white 1974 Gibson Les Paul Custom (with the pin-up girls on it) that formerly belonged to Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls.[21] In the late 90s, Jones was offered free Burny Les Paul Customs, straps, picks and cables if he played their guitar. They made two models for him which he used on the 2002-2003 North American Piss Off Tour. At around 2005 he went back to using Gibsons, but has still been seen playing his Burny. In 2008, Gibson put out a "Steve Jones Signature Les Paul Model"[22] to the exact specs of his original white 1974 Les Paul Custom.

While Jones typically since the 1980s plays through Marshall JCM 800 Stacks, he used a silverface Fender Twin Reverb (reportedly stolen from Bob Marley at the Hammersmith Apollo) with Gauss speakers to record Never Mind The Bollocks.[20][21] He also used Musicman Amps and a Fender Super Reverb during the 1978 US Tour.

Jonesy's Jukebox

In February 2004, Jones began hosting a daily radio program in Los Angeles, called 'Jonesy's Jukebox', on Indie 103.1 FM, where he could do whatever he wanted (within FCC rules), with no direction from station management. Jones mixed an eclectic playlist with rambling and often humorous interviews of guests from the entertainment industry. He kept an acoustic guitar in the studio and frequently performed stream of consciousness songs about the current topic of discussion. Notable guests included Johnny Ramone, Brian Wilson, Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop, Robert Plant, Gary Oldman and Sex Pistols vocalist Johnny Rotten.

Indie 103.1 last broadcast Jonesy's Jukebox 14 January 2009; Indie 103.1 ceased to exist as a broadcast radio station on 15 January 2009.[23][24] In November 2009 he guested on BBC Radio's 6Music with five Sunday shows titled 'A Month of Sundays with Steve Jones', playing a mix of tunes from his childhood through to the current day. In December 2009, the show was revived ran via internet radio on, a website run by producer Ryan Kavanaugh.[24][25] This incarnation of the show ended in late March 2010.[24] Jones was picked up by LA radio Station KROQ in October 2010 to continue his Jonesy's Jukebox segment.[24][26] Jones's last show on KROQ was March 2013.

Solo discography

Partial filmography


  1. ^ "Jones, Steve".  
  2. ^ "Today in Music: a look back at pop music". United Press International. 3 September 2002.  Indicates Jones' 47th birthday.
  3. ^ "Dave Mustaine Refused Sex Demands of Ex-Pistol". Metal Underground. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Juggalo Sex Pistol Shocker: Insane Clown Posse Totally Pulled a Sid Vicious on Steve Jones". JG2LAND. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  5. ^ "Piggy Pie (Old School)". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Buskin, Richard (February 2010). """Classic Tracks: Joan Jett "I Love Rock & Roll.  
  7. ^ "Steve Jones". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  8. ^ kevinpollakschatshow (21 February 2011). "KPCS: Steve Jones #101". YouTube. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Director - Matthew Longfellow (19 November 2002). "Classic Albums: Never Mind The Bollocks".  
  10. ^ "The Professionals". Discogs. 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Night & Day: Still Packing Heat". The Prague Post Online. Archived from the original on 4 November 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2008. 
  12. ^ "Paul Cook Bio". MTV. 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Paul Myers in conversation with Phil Singleton (part 2)". 25 March 2007. 
  14. ^ "Paul Myers in conversation with Phil Singleton (part 3)". 25 March 2007. 
  15. ^ "Review: Down in the Groove". Rolling Stone. 14 July 1988. 
  16. ^ "Megadeth Refused Jones' Sexual Demands". 28 February 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  17. ^ "P - P".  
  18. ^ Select, November 1996
  19. ^ a b "Portlandia Season 2 Finale". IFC. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  20. ^ a b Kitts, Jeff; Tolinski, Brad (2002). Guitar World Presents the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time!: From the Pages of Guitar World Magazine. Hal Leonard. p. 108.  
  21. ^ a b Marshall, Wolf (January 2013). "Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the U.K.--and Beyond".  
  22. ^ "Gibson Steve Jones Les Paul Custom". Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  23. ^ Boucher, Geoff (3 February 2009). Jonesy's Jukebox' runs out of nickels"'".  
  24. ^ a b c d Roberts, Randall (7 October 2010). "Jonesy returns to KROQ Sunday".  
  25. ^ "Steve Jones brings his "Jonesy’s Jukebox" to starting today, December 4". Mitch Schneider Org press release. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  26. ^ "Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones Returns To LA Radio With Jonesy’s Jukebox". KROQ. 6 October 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 

External links

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