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TomAz
11-29-2007, 08:40 PM
Ballad of a Thin Man (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003677447)


"Mr. Jones," Who Likely Inspired Famed Dylan Anti-Press Song, Dies at 63

By Greg Mitchell

Published: November 28, 2007 11:55 AM ET updated Wednesday

NEW YORK The release last week of the Todd Haynes film sort of based on Bob Dylan, "I'm Not There," has brought a new focus (if only briefly) on all sorts of facts and myths about the songwriter/musician.

But one matter has so far drawn only local attention: The man who has most often been identified as the "Mr. Jones" who inspired one of Dylan's most famous songs -- and one of the great media-bashing epics of all-time -- passed away two weeks ago.

This was covered only by the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle, where this Jones worked as a copy editor many years later.

Jeffrey Owen Jones, a film professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology died of lung cancer on Nov. 10. He had interviewed Dylan, as a summer intern for Time magazine, shortly before the bard wrote his song, which begins:

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say, "Who is that, man?"
You try so hard
But you don't understand
Just what you'll say
When you get home
Because something is happening here
But you don't know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?

Jones had interviewed Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 just before he shook up the music world with his first "electric" performance.

"I was thrilled — in the tainted way I suppose a felon is thrilled to see his name in the newspaper," Jones wrote in a story for Rolling Stone much later. "I was awed too that Dylan had so accurately read my mind. I resented the caricature but had to admit that there was something happening there at Newport in the summer of 1965, and I didn't know what it was."

The Rochester paper relates: "Indeed, much more happened to Jones in the ensuing years. He had been born in Manhattan and raised in Westport, Conn., going on to become a star athlete and Rhodes Scholar finalist at Williams College, Williamstown, Mass. He spent time in Uruguay on a Fulbright Scholarship, earned a master's degree at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt., and lived in Spain for a while, writing and directing films.

"He returned to Williams College to teach Spanish and take on the post of dean of freshmen, moved on to become editor of Psychology Today magazine, worked for CBS, produced promotional and educational videos and won a New York Emmy in 1997 for Outstanding Fine Arts Programming."

His sister Pamela Jones said, "Dylan didn't paint a vignette of my brother that one would necessarily be proud of. But I think my brother was in the middle of history making. As my brother Christopher said, he was highly educated, but full of soul himself, and played the harmonica himself. And he drove a VW."

The Wikipedia entry on "Ballad of Thin Man" declares: "One common theory is that the Jones in question was film professor Jeffrey Owen Jones (died November 10, 2007 of cancer). As an intern for Time Magazine, Jones inteviewed Dylan just a day before the musician's legendary performance at the 1965 Newport Jazz Festival." But it adds that Dylan himself has also tossed out other candidates, including a British journalist named Max Jones.

full on idle
11-29-2007, 09:32 PM
I really love that song.

full on idle
11-29-2007, 09:32 PM
Gonna listen to it right this second, in tribute.

full on idle
11-29-2007, 09:37 PM
what it iiiiiiis

wmgaretjax
11-29-2007, 09:48 PM
hey Tom, did you realize this reference in "I'm Not There?" I had no clue:

http://imdb.com/title/tt0070518/

TomAz
11-29-2007, 10:47 PM
hey Tom, did you realize this reference in "I'm Not There?" I had no clue:

http://imdb.com/title/tt0070518/

not sure what you're linking me to there, on the IMDB database. but in "I'm Not There" there's that british journalist with the confrontational interviews who outs Jude Quinn with his (her) real name. which I take as a reference to Max Jones. not this Mr. Jones.

TomAz
11-29-2007, 10:49 PM
what it iiiiiiis


yeah. that's it. right there.

wmgaretjax
11-29-2007, 10:50 PM
look who is in the cast... that's what the whole Gere bit was about (well, not necessarily about, but inspired by).

TomAz
11-29-2007, 10:54 PM
look who is in the cast... that's what the whole Gere bit was about (well, not necessarily about, but inspired by).

I'm sorry, I'm too stupid to get this tonight. are you referring to LQ Jones?

wmgaretjax
11-29-2007, 10:58 PM
I'm sorry, I thought I was being cryptic clever.

This is a movie Bob Dylan starred in about Billy the Kid, and it was the source of inspiration for the segment in "I'm Not There" with Richard Gere in it (he was Billy the Kid), as an alternative "ending" or afterwords to the original film.

TomAz
11-29-2007, 11:05 PM
Yes I've seen "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid", and i got the Gere association with it in the movie. I don't get the "Mr Jones" association though.

I get the feeling that I'm being really, really dense.

wmgaretjax
11-29-2007, 11:14 PM
there is no Mr. Jones association. I just got excited because I found this out (I had no fucking clue). and this was the closest thread available. this is peripheral information that is something you already knew. i'm worthless basically.

TomAz
11-29-2007, 11:25 PM
I'm just older than you. that's all it is. "Pat Garrett" was required watching back in the day. its where he met Kristofferson and hung out with Kinky Friedman. for worse, for better, I guess. have you ever read any Friedman mysteries? they're total throwaways, absolute trash, except that he's brilliant and funny.

wmgaretjax
11-29-2007, 11:38 PM
no I have not. but I will be making a trip to the library tomorrow. I like trash. especially around christmas time. any recommendations in particular?

TomAz
11-30-2007, 05:50 AM
no I have not. but I will be making a trip to the library tomorrow. I like trash. especially around christmas time. any recommendations in particular?

they're all kind of the same. "Roadkill", "Armadillos & Old Lace", "Spanking Watson", "Elvis Jesus & Coca Cola" are the ones I remember. his sense of humor is not for everyone though.