Musician and Actor Mickey Jones Passed Away At Age 76

'Mickey Jones' might not have been a household name, but chances are you'd recognize his face. You probably also heard his music. Jones was a freelance drummer who worked with a number of bands in the 60's and 70's, then went on to become a character actor who appeared in dozens of films and television shows.

Jones began his career in the 1950's, drumming for Trini Lopez. He left music to get a degree in Business Administration and began working in a factory in an administrative position, but he soon realized that a 9-to-5 job was not the life for him.

He packed up and moved to Los Angeles to continue pursuing a career in entertainment. He worked again with Lopez and other bands. He traveled with singer Ann-Margret to entertain troops in Vietnam and later joined Bob Dylan for a world tour.

Eventually he found success with the group First Edition, featuring famous country singer Kenny Rogers. They turned out several hits, such as 'Something’s Burning', and 'Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town'. They landed a short-lived variety television show, 'Rollin' on a River', in the early 70's.

The First Edition broke up in 1976, and Jones went on to pursue acting. He's appeared in a number of films, including, 'Wild in the Streets', 'Starman', 'Nadine', 'Tin Cup' and 'Necrosis'.

His most notable roles were in 'National Lampoon's Vacation' with Chevy Chase, in which he played a crooked auto mechanic who shakes down the main character for everything he's got. When Chase asks what the local sheriff must think of his business practices, he produces a badge.

He's also known for appearing in 'Sling Blade' (1996) as a drummer, and had a prominent speaking part in that film.

Jones also appeared in episodes of many television shows, such as the 'Dukes of Hazzard', 'Boy Meets World' and 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'. He had a regular role on the short-lived 80's spin-off, 'Flo'.

He had a recurring role on the popular Tim Allen sit-com, 'Home Improvement'. Jones played Pete Bilker. He was best remembered for a Mother's Day episode in which his character recited a poem to his mother on the fictional show, 'Tool Time'.

Jones most recently had a recurring role on the FX crime drama 'Justified', playing Rodney Dunham, a weed dealer.  

Jones penned his memoirs, 'That Would Be Me,' a line he became famous for after using it in 'Home Improvement'. The book, which Jones authored himself, is a charming and candid retelling of some of his amazing adventures.

“Looking back over these years, there is no question-I would not change a thing. I've been around the world. My family has never been across the ocean. I've met presidents, movie stars, and all the great rockers from Hendrix to the Beatles, and dined with royalty. Oh, by the way, Princess Grace was beautiful!” he writes in his introduction.  

Jones was originally from Houston, Texas. His father was a Naval Officer and his mother was a homemaker. He learned to play the drums when he was in high school and began working with local bands before even graduating.

He and his school friend formed a band called 'The Catalinas', but as they started finding local success they replaced the 16-year-old drummer in favor of someone who was of legal age.

Jones died of an unspecified illness, from which he was reportedly suffering for some time. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Jean Starr, and their two children.

Source: Yahoo
Photo: YouTube

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