this page was updated
Jan. 4th 2005
One of the best singer/songwriter albums' of the last century, and I picked it up for 3
bits at a factory outlet.
For 30 years I was completely oblivious as to who, what, where, and whatever Jack
was... totally incapable of scrounging up any piece of information. So
by the time of the emergence of the web, I put the scan of the album cover,
and what little info can be qouted from it on the net - and lo and behold
eventually a few bits of information surfaced:
Jack Bonus is a SF Bay Area session musician, who played the 'Dead' scene in the late sixties early
His only solo album (to date) came out on Grunt Records - a Jefferson Airplane project to release choice
recordings, that the big recording companies wouldn't take.
The album contains a
number of very heartfelt, heartbreaking tunes as well as joyous toetappin'
diddies. Unfortunately the beautiful 'The Hobo Song'
has become famous as an Old & In The Way
tune in a bluegrass version and is therefore always covered that way. It is
an grand emotional song worthy of Curtis Mayfield -- and I'd rather hear tearjerk par excelance Aron
Neville cover it!
seem to be the only band to have covered any of the other songs from the album, namely 'Sweet Mahidabelle'.
Diligent fans have tried to trace Jack for years at no avail - and then lo and behold, word has it
on the mailinglist, that Jack is
still seen riding his bicycle in his old stomping grounds.
...one expert tracker
Steve Anthony at oldies.about.com.
Steve told me, '...Jack also played on The Rowan Brothers lps and also appeared on a Tom Paxton lp. I have been trying to locate old Jack for several years now, with no success, but I will keep trying. You can also read a review of Jack's album at
Billboard [can't get that link to work any longer]. The place to get a complete listing of
Jack Bonus contributions to other artists' works is at
where is Jack ??!
The Jack Bonus mailinglist
had one of Jack's old neighbours from way back as a member for a while, and we were able to
establish, that Jack was around and doing fine, which was great to hear.
However, that member's mail is bouncing [ as did the mailinglist at Yahoo -
or rather Yahoo stepped in a cable and I had to restart the thing a couple of times, so it's now running at GoogleGroups ].
Well Jack, we all hope you're still fine and picking those strings --
of course we'd all
love to hear you do another show, be it on stage, vinyl, or just hummin' a tune while standing in line waiting for the bus.
Bless you maestro !
www.allmusic.com attempts to show you all relations, where Jack Bonus took part.
e.g. Jack has recorded with :
Papa John Creach 'Papa John Creach' (1971) Saxophone
Earth Opera 'Great American Eagle Tragedy' (1969) Wind
Grootna 'Grootna' (1972) Saxophone
Tom Paxton 'Things I Notice Now' (1969) Flute, Sax (Tenor), Wind
Tom Paxton 'I Can't Help Wonder Where I'm...' (1999) Flute, Sax (Tenor)
Peter Rowan 'Texican Badman' (1981) Saxophone
The Rowan Brothers 'Rowan Brothers' (1972) Flute, Saxophone
The Rowans 'Rowans' (1975) Flute, Sax (Alto), Wind
Chris & Lorin Rowan 'Texacan Badman' (1980) Saxophone
Various Artists 'Bosstown Sound, 1968: The Music &...' (1996)
Old & In The Way was :
Jerry Garcia - banjo, vocals
David Grisman - mandolin, vocals
Peter Rowan - guitar, vocals
Vassar Clements - fiddle
John Kahn - acoustic bass
Earth Opera was :
PAUL DILLON drms, vcls, perc, gtr A B
DAVID GRISMAN mandolin, piano, sax, vcls A B
JOHN NAGY bs, cello A B
PETER ROWAN gtr, sax, vcls A B
BILL STEVENSON vibes, keyb'ds A
(BILL MUNDI drms A)
(WARREN SMITH drms A)
(JACK BONUS sax B)
(HERB BUSHLER double bs B)
(JOHN CALE viola B)
(DAVE HOROWITZ keyb'ds B)
(RICHARD GRANDO sax, bass recorder B)
(BILL KEITH pedal steel gtr B)
...when I last checked using Google, I noticed John Herald
had recorded Sweet Mahidabelle and
Jetembocooh (Live at Max's), which is credited to Jack Bonus ...I'd love to hear that one =:)