The great British folkie Donovan had a hit called "To Susan on the West Coast Waiting," and it comes to mind when considering the plight of Bim Skala Bim, one of the Boston area's premiere party bands. By 2004, the party seemed to be in a holding pattern. "Jim is out west and we are in hibernation" is about the total report for a 12-month period in which a functioning band on this level would have plenty of accomplishments to boast about. The Jim who is on the West Coast while the band is waiting is none other than guitarist Jim Jones, not to be confused with the guitarist with Pere Ubu, to bring up just one of many potential mistaken identities involving someone with this name carrying an instrument case.
Jones has been with Bim Skala Bim ever since the group's first recording sessions on the edge of the mid-'80s. The group's history actually begins in the summer of 1983, but lack of certain attributes such as a steady drummer kept the group out of action for as much as ten months in a row. Boston scenesters might find it ironic that drummer Jim Arhelger was finally put into play through a Boston Phoenix classified ad; in the ensuing decades it would be hard to find an issue of this publication that didn't list Jones and company performing somewhere in the city. Once the guitarist announced his intentions of moving to Los Angeles these became a set of final promotions, last of which was a New Year's show on Cape Cod. The Joint Chiefs was a late-'90s side project involving Jones.