We here at AM HQ would like to pay tribute to the life and artistic endeavours of Spencer P Jones. From The Johnnys to The Beasts, PK to Maurice Frawley, Spencer was a musician’s musician who was sought after for his inspired guitar playing, and deep knowledge of blues, rock, country and soul music. He also was an exceptional songwriter and bandleader, building a long and celebrated discography leading various acts carrying his name.
Kiernan was a member of one such band, Spencer P Jones and The Last Gasp, that recorded one album and performed from 1997-2001. The images of Spencer, Kiernan (in the background with Brian Hooper in the foreground), and Matt, Ken and Adam (the Arnold Horns who have recorded and toured with AM since 2002) are from the 1998 Meredith Music Festival where SPJ & TLG appeared on the Sunday morning line-up (and as luck would have it, an hour or so after a very young and green AM played).
Spencer's performance that day contained all the customary power, intensity and humour that he was known for and it was great for us young bucks still finding our way in the Rock n Roll circus to witness. Said Kiernan of performing alongside SPJ “…Spencer was a unique blend of gentleman and rogue, scholar and punk. He was an absolutely top-shelf songwriter who blossomed late. The Last Gasp would play at gloriously insane volume levels, propelled by the leader's chainsaw rhythm guitar. Spencer was completely authentic, and often relentless. One night in Canberra I wasn't playing in a part of an especially loud song, probably trying to add some unnecessary dynamics. Spencer detected this, turned, fixed a menacing glare and screamed over the maelstrom: "Play motherfucker, play!!!…”
We doff our collective cap to mark the passing of one of the most distinct musical voices ever to sound across the Australian music landscape.