Michael Geoffrey "Mick" Jones (born 26 June 1955) was the lead guitarist and a vocalist of the British punk rock band The Clash until his dismissal in 1983. He went on to form the band Big Audio Dynamite with Don Letts before line-up changes led to the formation of Big Audio Dynamite II and later Big Audio.
Early life: Jones was born in Brixton, South London, England to a Welsh father and a Russian Jewish mother. He spent much of his early life living with his maternal grandmother, Stella, in South London. Jones went to Strand School - and then on to art school, because " thought that's how you get into bands and stuff".
“ But even before the Dolls, I used to follow bands around. I followed Mott the Hoople up and down the country. I’d go to Liverpool or Newcastle or somewhere—sleep on the Town Hall steps, and bunk the fares on the trains, hide in the toilet when the ticket inspector came around. I’d jump off just before the train got to the station and climb over the fence. It was great times, and I always knew I wanted to be in a band and play guitar. That was it for me. ” –Mick Jones to Gibson Backstage Pass Holiday Double Issue 2006.
He started gaining recognition as a guitarist in the early 70s with his glam rock band, The Delinquents. A short time later, he met Tony James and formed the proto-punk London SS. By 1976, the band had broken up and remaining members Jones, Paul Simonon and Keith Levene were seeking a new direction.
When he was 21, he (and Paul Simonon) were introduced to Joe Strummer by Bernie Rhodes (the self proclaimed inventor of punk rock) in a dirty squat in Shepherd's Bush. The band practiced in a disused railway warehouse in Camden and The Clash were formed. Jones played lead guitar, sang, and co-wrote songs from the band's inception until he was fired by Strummer and Simonon in 1983. Jones' lack of punctuality played a major role in his dismissal from the band. For his time with The Clash, Jones, along with the rest of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
After his expulsion from The Clash, Jones was briefly a founding member of General Public. However, by the time that band's debut album appeared, Jones was no longer an official band member, although he did play guitar on many of the album's tracks.
Leaving General Public behind, in 1984 Jones formed Big Audio Dynamite with film director Don Letts, who had directed various Clash videos and later the Clash documentary Westway to the World. The band's debut album This Is Big Audio Dynamite was released the following year, with the song "E=MC²" getting heavy rotation in dance clubs, and both singles "Medicine Show" and "E=MC2" charting in the UK Singles Chart.
For Big Audio Dynamite's second album, No. 10 Upping St., Jones reunited with Strummer. Together, the two wrote several songs on the album, including "Beyond the Pale", "V. Thirteen", and "Sightsee M.C."; Strummer also co-produced the album. Their reunion did not last long, and following that collaboration, the two did not work together again for some time.
Big Audio Dynamite's third album, Tighten Up, Vol. 88, featured cover art painted by the ex-Clash bassist, Paul Simonon. Shortly following its release, Jones developed chicken pox, along with pneumonia and spent several months in hospital. After his recovery, Jones released one more album with Big Audio Dynamite, Megatop Phoenix, before reshuffling the line-up, renaming the band Big Audio Dynamite II and releasing The Globe album.
The band's line-up was reshuffled again in 1994, and they released the album Higher Power under the name Big Audio . In 1995, a greatest hits album, Planet B.A.D. was released as well as a studio album called F-Punk under the original Big Audio Dynamite name. A further album, Entering a New Ride was recorded in 1997, but was only released on the internet due to disagreement with Radioactive Records, their then record label. One more "best of" collection, called Super Hits, was released in 1999.
In 2002, Jones teamed up with his former London SS colleague, Generation X and Sigue Sigue Sputnik member, Tony James to form a new band named Carbon/Silicon. The band has toured the United Kingdom and has performed a number of anti-fascist benefit concerts; they have also recorded three albums: A.T.O.M, Western Front and The Crackup Suite which were available online for free. Their first real release was The News EP. The band encourage their fans to share their music on P2P networks, and allow the audio and video taping of their shows. Their first song, MPFree is an anthem for P2P file sharing.
Jones has also become an occasional producer. He was at the controls for the London based band The Libertines debut album Up The Bracket. The CD was critically well received, both in the UK and U.S. Jones stayed on to produce the band's second and final album The Libertines. He also produced Down In Albion, the debut album of former Libertines lead singer and guitarist Pete Doherty's new group Babyshambles.
Jones is also credited with contributing guitar and vocals to "Mal Bicho," the lead track of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs' album Rey Azucar.
He recently provided the score for Nick Mead's film, Dice Life - the Random Mind of Luke Rhinehart, a contemporary dance film created by Nick Mead and Wayne McGregor, featuring Luke Rhinehart, author of The Dice Man.
At the NME Shockwave 2007 awards, Jones took to the stage and performed White Man in Hammersmith Palais with Primal Scream.
Richard Archer first met Mick Jones when he was still with Contempo. The band were looking for a producer when one of the members of the record company suggested Jones, to which the band agreed to. At a rehearsal in Putney, Richard compared his dress sense to that of "the Godfather". Archer worked for a year on the band's first record, but things didn't work out as planned due to problems with the record company.
Talking about Archer, Jones said: "I guess I can have a lot of fun at this stage in my career and I like working with young people such as Rich because they're full of new ideas. I wouldn't say I'm a mentor to him, though. I just like to try to have some fun and play a few tunes.
At Hard-Fi's NME Awards show at the Koko club on 6 February 2008 Jones appeared with Hard-Fi to perform the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and Hard-Fi's "Stars of CCTV".
On 1 March 2008, rumours started appearing that the two would be forming a new band after Archer joined Jones and his new band, Carbon/Silicon, during a show in London. They revealed that they were thinking about combining the two bands to form a project called "Hard Carbon".
Jones reunited with Simonon on the 2010 Gorillaz album, Plastic Beach, on the title track "Plastic Beach". Jones is also performing in the Gorillaz live band supporting Plastic Beach, playing Rhythm Guitar, along with Simonon.
Jones' first guitar was a Gibson Les Paul Junior with a P-90 pickup, which he bought since Johnny Thunders used one. The Junior were his main guitar up until late 1977 early 1978 when he it got smashed at a gig. He then switched the regular Gibson Les Paul. He also occasionally played a Fender Stratocaster and several Bond Guitars that were donated to him by good friend Andrew Bond who made the guitars. For effects Jones mainy used MXR pedals including a 100 Phaser, a Flanger, an Analog Delay and a Noisegate as well as a Roland chorus or Space Echo effect. During the early times with The Clash, Jones used Marshall Plexi amplifier as well as occasionally an Fender Twin with a 2x12 cabinet. He later changed to Mesa Boogie amplifier with two Marshall 4x12 cabinets that he used throughout the rest of his career with The Clash.
2. The other Mick Jones: Michael Leslie "Mick" Jones (born 27 December 1944) is an English guitarist, songwriter, and record producer best known as the founding member of the rock band Foreigner.
In 1976 he formed Foreigner with Ian McDonald and recruited vocalist Lou Gramm. Jones co-produced all of the group's albums and co-wrote most of their songs with Gramm. Jones wrote the band's biggest and most successful single, "I Want to Know What Love Is", with some degree of uncredited contribution by Gramm. Tensions developed within the band during the early 1980s and were attributed to a difference in musical taste between Gramm, who favoured a more hard edged rock, as opposed to Jones' interest in synthesisers. Gramm left the band in 1989 but returned in 1991. Also in 1989, Jones released his only solo album titled Mick Jones on the Atlantic Records label. Jones is the only person to play on every Foreigner album.