Born here, made name in Aussie

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Te Awa­mutu’s most fa­mous un­known mu­si­cian, gui­tarist Spencer P. Jones, has died fol­low­ing a bat­tle with liver can­cer.

Born in Te Awa­mutu in 1956, Spencer moved to Aus­tralia in 1976, where he quickly joined a num­ber of groups in­clud­ing Coun­try Killed, Cuban Heels and Beats Work­ing.

In a ca­reer span­ning five decades, Spencer was part of a wide range of dif­fer­ent bands and projects that helped de­fine the sound of rock in the 80s and be­yond. Col­lab­o­rat­ing with many of Aus­tralia’s most no­table play­ers through­out, Spencer was an icon of the Aus­tralian scene.

In the early 80s he joined The John­nys and formed the Beasts of Bour­bon, which re­main his most well-known out­fits.

Spencer was also known for play­ing in Paul Kelly’s band and along­side Chris Bai­ley of The Saints.

In ad­di­tion to play­ing in bands and col­lab­o­rat­ing, Spencer re­leased 10 solo al­bums, fea­tur­ing con­tri­bu­tions from mem­bers of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Dirty Three, The Trif­fids, and in later years, The Drones.

His most re­cent record was Ru­n­aways, writ­ten and recorded with ex-Beasts Of Bour­bon band­mate Kim Salmon.

In 2012 Aus­tralian Gui­tar mag­a­zine ranked him in the top 40 Aus­tralian gui­tarists of all time.

Spencer P. Jones re­vealed his strug­gle with liver dis­ease in 2016.

A num­ber of ben­e­fit gigs and fundrais­ers fol­lowed through­out Aus­tralia.

His lat­est di­ag­no­sis was made public in June.

As the Vi­o­lent Femmes’ Brian Ritchie de­scribed him, Spencer was like “the Keith Richards of Aus­tralia, but with­out the rock star­dom.”

Photo / Steve Ford-Wiki­me­dia

Spencer P. Jones in con­cert with The Beasts of Bour­bon at By­ron Bay Blues­fest in 2013.

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