Drummer Mickey Jones with Dylan ’66: Restoring a Legacy

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SKF NOTE: If I were a rich man, I would certainly own and listen to the new 36-CD Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings boxed set. Bob Dylan going electric. Bob Dylan and The Band’s early collaboration — except Levon Helm. Levon had more than enough abuse from audiences during this tour’s early dates.

So we have multiple CD’s of historic music with drummer Mickey Jones with Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson. Thank you, Houston Chronicle Entertain Writer Andrew Dansby for helping restore Mickey Jones’s historic legacy.

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Bob Dylan. 1966. The drummer from Houston
Mickey Jones and that mythical tour
By Andrew Dansby
December 15, 2016

Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings,” that enormous new boxed set, shows that the year 1966 was a big one for Dylan. In 1965, he’d issued “Bringing It All Back Home” and “Highway 61 Revisited“; in ’66, “Blonde on Blonde.” Then, when he went on the road, he counfounded audiences by playing a set of solo acoustic folk-inclined music before returning with his band to fry eyebrows with a loud, electric set.

Nestled amid the music and the mythology is Mickey Jones, a guy from Houston. The glowing reviews for the new Dylan set include references to Jones’ drumming. Pitchfork writes that Jones “galvanizes the band from April of 1966 onward, providing gun-shot snare-cracks to start songs and a dependably rolling thunder.”

It’s a glorious interlude in a curious entertainment career — that included drumming for both Dylan and Kenny Rogers….

Jones…grew up in Dallas, where he hooked up with musician Trini Lopez for four years. Jones jumped from Lopez’s band to Johnny Rivers. And that’s how he ended up at the Whiskey a Go-Go…with Bob Dylan in the audience.

“He said, ‘You’re my favorite drummer and I’d love to record with you,'” Jones recalled.

Six months later [Jones] got a call. Dylan had been playing with the musicians who would go on to become The Band. Drummer Levon Helm had to drop out of the tour, so Jones was hired as his replacement at $750 a week.

He found himself at the center of a tour that has become mythical.

Jones was in many ways an outsider on the tour, the sole member of Dylan’s band that hadn’t spent years playing with the others.

[Levon Helms’s] biography…was dismissive of Jones — “He called me a clubber….”

But the release of dozens of shows from that 1966 tour serves as a reminder….

It was, Jones said, “the greatest rock ‘n roll tour in history.”

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