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- Posted on Mar 17th 2010 12:00PM by John D. Luerssen
Born in Merthyr Tydfil, Jones co-founded Man after first performing in the pop outfit the Bystanders in the early 1960s. By 1968, Jones and Bystanders bandmate Deke Leonard had embraced the hippie lifestyle and formed Man.
Man had four UK Top 40 albums between 1973 and 1976, including 'Back Into the Future' and 'Rhinos, Winos and Lunatics.' The group had a number of famous fans, including Frank Zappa, who once referred to Jones as "one of the 10 best guitarists in the world," according to a friend and one-time collaborator Phil Little.
Little played with Jones in the London pub-rock band the Flying Pigs, which formed in the early 1980s, long after Man's 1976 break up. "I did hundreds of gigs with him and I never saw him have a cross word with anybody," Little told the BBC. "He had maximum respect from all the musicians. He had great command of melody. He would improvise fantastically. He also had a very pure and soulful voice."
Man reformed in 1983 but in 2002, when Jones was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he left the band. He again played briefly with the group in 2004 before being forced into retirement by his illness. His son, George replaced him in the band for a time.