Jones appeared for the interview with his shirtsleeves rolled up
in 1950’s style, some Indian-looking bracelets and jewelry on
his wrists, a big grin and talking non-stop. This was a man who
had to be practically nailed down before I could get him to stay
still long enough to talk through some subjects. The energy was
just bursting out of him in spurts that I do not believe even he
can control! “Give and Live is the most worthwhile thing for
me,” said Scott, and this was before we had even sat down, or
he had explained just what he meant by that sentence!
Attempting to restore some order to the
interview, I asked where he was born. “Music came into my life
with a vengeance,” said Scott, but did then add that he was
born in North Dakota, in Fargo. His father was a musician who
sold insurance, and Scott began to play when he was old enough
to reach the keyboard. I suppose that could be considered ‘a
vengeance’, especially if they closed the lid!
By the time he was old enough to open the lid
on his own, Scott was warming up the audience for his father’s
musical performances, and probably passing out insurance
policies as well. I do not believe the hyperactive Scott Jones
could have just played the Star Spangled Banner and then sat
When he grew tall enough for military service
he was drafted, but gained a deferment to study Political
Science at the University of Wisconsin, with a minor in East
Indian studies. During this time, he also joined the University
Singers and sang at the Pentagon during the Vietnam war. I doubt
very much that the Pentagon had sent them an invitation.
However, “When you have feelings about something, music is the
way to get it out,” said Scott.
He did graduate, but never put the
qualification to any good use. “I keep looking for a job as a
political scientist, but I’ve never seen one,” quipped
Scott. I must admit I haven’t either.
However, our unemployed political scientist
had already found something to do which had begun during his
undergraduate years. This was entertaining and touring. Going to
university colleges for soirees and then branching out further
into the commercial arena for corporate events. “I didn’t
have a job. I play for a living. I don’t work,” said Scott.
It is often said that when you enjoy what you
are doing, then you can’t consider it work. Since Scott Jones
appears to enjoy just living, he is correct. When you also find
out that he is still recovering from a horrendous motorcycle
accident in which he broke his neck, fractured his skull,
fractured his pelvis and assaulted several other parts of his
body, then again it appears that Scott Jones has every good
reason to celebrate just living!
He traveled for 15 years, on the road,
entertain, on the road and entertain again. He met people like
Timothy Leary, so I asked Scott if he had ever needed acid (or
alkaline) substances to keep going. “Performing is my craft. I
never took drugs as I needed the control and facility, but I
certainly had a lot of beer. When you are on the road, you are
He played on stages with people such as
Roseanne Barr, who later rose to host her own TV show, but Scott
found his dough was not self-raising and became more
‘commercial’ moving into sales and marketing positions where
he could still let his innate energy come through in creative
advertising, but he was no longer on the road.
There was another couple of reasons for this.
Women and weeds. Firstly he met the girl of his dreams in
Minneapolis and they were married, and secondly, “I love to
garden and it’s hard to garden in a truck!”
Life continued in this vein for a few years,
but then two women upset his applecart. The first was his wife
who decided she had heard his jokes enough times and left, and
the second was a woman who was under the influence of alcohol
and arrived. Right in the space where Scott was riding his
motorcycle, with the resultant aforementioned multiple
fractures. 2002 was not to be one of his better years!
After rehabilitation, Scott decided it was
time to get away and since he had never been to India, despite
his university minor in East Indian studies, came to SE Asia
first, on his way to India.
However, Chiang Mai sidetracked and seduced
the traveler. India will have to wait. “I love the mountains.
I’m back on a motorcycle. I love the food. I just feel at
home.” He went back to the US to form a non-profit charity
organization (Give and Live) with the idea being to assist
worthwhile charity projects he will identify around Chiang Mai.
That done, he has returned here to do some volunteer teaching,
some entertaining, playing music at The Hug Restaurant in
Rajadamnoen Road and generally becoming the high energy Scott
Jones person he used to be, overflowing with creative juices.
Scott detailed his hobbies as hiking,
wilderness backpacking, biking, in-line skating, water skiing,
running, outdoor gardening, gourmet cooking, composing, stunt
kite flying and motorcycling. He is probably the only man on the
planet who will also attempt to do these all at the same time!
He may even get more than 50 percent of them completed
simultaneously, knowing his energy levels.
At one stage during the interview, Scott gave
me a sheet of paper with his career objectives on the top as,
“To write, to photograph, to create, to perform, to teach, to
live, to give.” Whilst he has already done all these, this is
a man who has just rediscovered himself, and rediscovered the
joy of just simply living, so he needs to do them all again.
Scott Jones, the firebrand from Fargo, may just have found
his Nirvana- right here!