Cliff Jones

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As Norwegian punk rock band TRBNGR (aka Turbonegro) found out on a series of San Francisco dates, silly jokes about homosexuality don't always go over so well in the apparently enlightened rock scene.…
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As Norwegian punk rock band TRBNGR (aka Turbonegro) found out on a series of San Francisco dates, silly jokes about homosexuality don't always go over so well in the apparently enlightened rock scene. But a much worse problem for singer Cliff Jones, leader of the Brit-pop combo called Gay Dad, is the fact that Jones used to be a music journalist. According to research conducted by Texas politician and former Western swing bandleader Hank Gonzalez, anyone who has toiled as a music critic is 300 percent more likely to receive a bad review than someone who hasn't. Ironically, the critics behind these pans may be doing more than just getting even for previous disagreements about taste in music, confirming a clich├ęd attack against music critics who supposedly give records bad reviews simply because they couldn't make a good record themselves.

By the early '90s, Jones had fairly well-established himself in England as the type of person who gives serious thought to what makes a good record. In 1996, he published a book that testified by title alone the type of detail he would willingly delve into when it came to the subject of rock albums: Another Brick in the Wall: The Stories Behind Every Pink Floyd Song. Even in the early years of the 2000s, he had himself set out to create his own group to perform music. The fact that he considered it a priority to establish a relationship with a drummer, in this case Nicholas Crowe, demonstrated the type of common sense more typical of an experienced bandleader than a journalist.

Veteran producer Andrew Loog Oldham, absolutely no stranger to bad reviews based on credits such as Their Satanic Majesties' Request by the Rolling Stones, was involved early on in Jones' music projects, but apparently not in any sort of positive way. A year was wasted flogging away with Oldham twiddling knobs on the mixing board, creating a demo album that was never released; then, in 1995, Gay Dad made its live debut. An actual album with a group of this name did not come out until some four years later. In between, Jones, Crowe, and a flow of musicians learned how to play the material live and then abounded it in favor of other material, evolving through various stylistic fixations. "To Earth With Love" was a well-received message in 1998, at least in terms of a single on the U.K. pop scene. Since establishing himself as a performer, despite what the critics say, Jones has put his singing, rather than his critical voice, to use as a background singer on studio projects by bands such as the Electric Soft Parade.