Counting Crows – Mr. Jones

If you were reading music magazines in 1993 you know this band was really overhyped. There is no way any band could have lived up to it. When I heard this song though I could tell the singer listened to Van Morrison because some of the phrasings are the same. In 1993 The song went to #5 on the Hot 100 Airplay, #1 in Canada and #28 in the UK.

From Songfacts about the song.

This was written by lead singer Adam Duritz and guitarist David Bryson (the other three band members also got composer credits). On an episode of VH1’s Storytellers, Adam explained: “It’s really a song about my friend Marty and I. We went out one night to watch his dad play, his dad was a Flamenco guitar player who lived in Spain (David Serva), and he was in San Francisco in the mission playing with his old Flamenco troupe. And after the gig we all went to this bar called the New Amsterdam in San Francisco on Columbus and we got completely drunk. And Marty and I sat at the bar staring at these two girls, wishing there was some way we could go talk to them, but we were too shy. We kept joking with each other that if we were big rock stars instead of such loser, low-budget musicians, this would be easy. I went home that night and I wrote a song about it. I joke about what it’s about, that story. But it’s really a song about all the dreams and all the things that make you want to go into doing whatever it is that seizes your heart, whether it’s being a rock star or being a doctor or whatever. Those things run from ‘all this stuff I have pent up inside of me’ to ‘I want to meet girls because I’m tired of not being able to.’ It is a lot of those things, it’s about all those dreams, but it’s also kind of cautionary because it’s about how misguided you may be about some of those things and how hollow they may be too. Like the character in the song keeps saying, ‘When everybody loves me I will never be lonely,’ and you’re supposed to know that that’s not the way it’s gonna be. I knew that even then. And this is a song about my dreams.”

Mr. Jones

Sha, la, la, la, la, la, la
Mmm
Uh huh
I was down at the New Amsterdam
Staring at this yellow-haired girl
Mr Jones strikes up a conversation
With a black-haired flamenco dancer
You know, she dances while his father plays guitar
She’s suddenly beautiful
We all want something beautiful
Man, I wish I was beautiful
So come dance the silence down through the morning
Sha la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Yeah
Uh huh
Yeah
Cut up, Maria!
Show me some of that Spanish dancin’
Pass me a bottle, Mr Jones
Believe in me
Help me believe in anything
‘Cause I want to be someone who believes
Yeah
Mr Jones and me
Tell each other fairy tales
And we stare at the beautiful women
She’s looking at you
Ah, no, no, she’s looking at me
Smilin’ in the bright lights
Coming through in stereo
When everybody loves you
You can never be lonely
Well, I’m gonna paint my picture
Paint myself in blue and red and black and gray
All of the beautiful colors are very, very meaningful
Yeah, well, you know gray is my favorite color
I felt so symbolic yesterday
If I knew Picasso
I would buy myself a gray guitar and play
Mr Jones and me
Look into the future
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She’s looking at you
I don’t think so
She’s looking at me
Standing in the spotlight
I bought myself a gray guitar
When everybody loves me
I will never be lonely
I will never be lonely
Said I’m never gonna be
Lonely
I wanna be a lion
Yeah, everybody wants to pass as cats
We all wanna be big, big stars
Yeah, but we got different reasons for that
Believe in me
‘Cause I don’t believe in anything
And I wanna be someone to believe, to believe, to believe
Yeah!
Mr Jones and me
Stumbling through the Barrio
Yeah, we stare at the beautiful women
She’s perfect for you
Man, there’s got to be somebody for me
I wanna be Bob Dylan
Mr Jones wishes he was someone just a little more funky
When everybody love you
Oh! Son, that’s just about as funky as you can be
Mr Jones and me
Starin’ at the video
When I look at the television, I wanna see me
Staring right back at me
We all wanna be big stars
But we don’t know why, and we don’t know how
But when everybody loves me
I’m wanna be just about as happy as I can be
Mr Jones and me
We’re gonna be big stars

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

102 thoughts on “Counting Crows – Mr. Jones”

  1. I would have to go back and look over what came out in 1993- but I was still a regular listener then of FM Radio- and this was one of my favorite songs from that time. The album is good too. Liked the Van like singing and the reference to Dylan’s Mr. Jones!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to admit this and I felt foolish. I woke up early in the morning with a radio alarm…I heard it…I thought WOW a new Van Morrison song…kind of like his older ones… I had to find out more about them. The overhype didn’t kill it for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They were very hyped- there was also a b-side to a single called Einstein On The Beach or something like that -that was played on the radio a lot that I liked… a few years ago they had an album out- and a song that was played a lot on Sirius XM- can’t think of the title…their peak seemed to be that first album. .. Van should cover the song!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That would be great if he did…I would love to hear it…. One of my favorites of them is Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby… it was a toss up between that and this one…but the Dylan and Mr. Jones reference won the day.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I had to listen to it real quick and yes I remember it. It’s a wonder because I havent been tuned in the modern world for a while. Blogs have helped me get back into modern times…
        I watched a BBC bio last night on Stuart Sutcliffe… I’ll get the name for you. You may have seen it.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It was…his sister is featured a lot. It could have been better but we don’t have many options when it comes to Stu. They do talk to a roommate of his and John’s…the name escapes me right now. They go back to the flat and bring a guitar they had there. I was nodding… I’m going to watch it again.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You are right- my first thought was- it would be a difficult thing to document. He lived such a short life and many who knew him best are probably gone. I remember seeing his sister interviewed somewhere once..

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m going to watch it again and I’ll give you a better answer.
        I’ve been reading recently and she says some bold statements… Her name I think is Pauline…she sometimes blames John…says he is the one that kicked Stu…There is no evidence to point to that. No letters saying that or even Pete Best…
        She just sold a lot of his art recently…I saw that… I don’t think she says this in the documentary…I need to watch it more awake.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. I always find it fascinating when people who weren’t there- make these big claims- usually try to sell something- and often with the principals involved long gone and silent to rebutting the claims. Did she write a book?

        Liked by 1 person

      8. The Beatles’ Shadow: Stuart Sutcliffe & His Lonely Hearts Club
        I havent read it. You would think it would be in the letters he wrote.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. You have me curious…I want to see when she sold the art work also and when the claim started… I agree… Astrid would have said something.
        One my, of many, favorite parts of the book is where Stu had enough of Paul needling him and goes on the attack…

        Liked by 1 person

      10. What I am gathering just from reviews on amazon is- her book reads more like a memoir than a biography. Also Pauline Sutcliffe is psychologist…

        Liked by 1 person

      11. especially when you are writing a book- in a field with so many books- you have to have something in that book that gets people to buy the book and let’s see Stuart is dead- John is dead- it’s pretty wide open as to what i can write….. i always find it amusing when all the sudden a celebrity type is all the sudden everywhere – you know they are selling something…

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Albert Goldman is the grave digger than came to mind when you said that.
        Yes they are plugging something…that is why I don’t watch talk shows as much now. Yes they did it back in the day but not as much.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Yes Albert Goldman was the worst- he hated his subjects and he had no understanding of the music- [Elvis and John} what a miserable human being he must have been. … this year I have found myself watching very little tv-unless there is something I specifically want to watch.. to just have the tv on – no. I’d rather listen to music.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Well I’m watching again but things recommended first by Bailey or you. We are almost at the end of season 2… He let Jesse’s girlfriend die…I can see him turning worse…Gus just came in the picture.
        I’m listening more to music now…

        Liked by 1 person

      15. There was a time when I would just have the tv on even if I were reading etc- now unless I am watching something I have it off… and I no longer watch the news- and I used to be a news hound… It just gets better I think season 3 may be the best season. enjoy… of course they are all good….Never A Dull Moment- came in yesterday and I read a chapter[ between reading All These Years} I got a big kick out of how much things cost back in 1971…crazy.

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I hope you enjoy the book. He is really has his opinions but I liked it.

        The news…people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this…you may do the same. I just want someone reading the news and not giving me their opinion…maybe that is too much to ask for in this day and time.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. EXACTLY. There is no objectivity and all the news is slanted one way or the other- and the real truth is probably somewhere in between. I think back in the day when you had a half hour world news every night it was better than the 24/7/ 365 of today- they have too much time to fill- and too many people wanting fame and $$$$$$$ from giving their opinions. Yes give me the straight news without a slant or opinion. … Maybe I am wrong but we have the folks on the left and on the right- but no one it seems is in the middle- I would think there would be a market for that.

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Oh Thank you! Finally someone who knows what I’m talking about. The middle has dissappeared…it’s like a sporting event now…one team against another…they are killing everything pitting one against the other. We are in this together.
        I’ve stopped watching and find out my news mostly from the internet.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Yes each side is rooting against the other- rooting for the worst to happen so they can blame the other side. They should both be more concerned about what is best for the county. It is ok to disagree but they take it much too far.

        Liked by 1 person

      20. When they refuse to work together nothing gets done. They are afraid of the other side of taking credit if something works. When did this start? In the Clinton years they did work together as I recall. Was it after 911? Or in the Obama years?

        I mean it’s always been there but not to this degree.

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I think it has been a gradual slide… the reason Nixon resigned was he no longer had the support of his fellow republicans in the senate- they were going to vote impeachment- he couldn’t win in a trial in the senate so he went home..

        Liked by 1 person

      22. I always had the feeling with the Anthology get together’s that George was still harboring some ill feelings toward Sir Paul. I think the major obstacle to that ‘Beatle reunion” wouldn’t have been getting John and Paul back together- but in convincing George to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Yes and it shows in George. Paul gave in to George’s demand about letting Lynne produce it.
        It has been said right before George died…I’m sure you have read it… that everything was finally put to rest…I hope that is the truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. Indeed I hope that it was. I forget who said it- someone close to both guys- that they may have had their troubles but deep down they were brothers. .. speaking of Anthology- I haven’t watched that in some time- may have to get it out soon..

        Liked by 1 person

      25. I was really happy to hear that.

        I started to watch it again. Maybe I missed it but I don’t think they talk about Stu’s death really… I also have a version called “The Directors Cut” it was the first version of it. Again it’s a bootleg. I hate bootlegs…I wish they would release the real things. It’s some different interviews. I’m just fortunate to know a friend who has some Beatle things. He really collects Kiss bootleg lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Isn’t it funny how sooner or later most of this stuff gets out anyway? Pauline Sutcliffe from what I understand accuses The Beatles of whitewashing their history a bit over the years…no doubt but I don’t think it is nearly as bad as what Mick and Keith have done to Brian. It isn’t like Stu was the main cog in The Beatles and they put him in the background… I think the best word on The Beatles will be told as we have said- by Mark Lewisohn. I see no bias -except he like we- love the beatles.

        Liked by 1 person

      27. I think Mark would have said something if he found it. Why would Pete Best of all of them not say anything? He has nothing to lose.
        Mick and Keith…love their music but there was no sense of fair play with them. Unlike the Beatles where everyone had their chance…maybe not many but a chance all the same to share the spotlight.
        Again it comes to the Beatles being friends and they cared about each other. You hurt the ones closest to you more than anyone else.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Oh I agree if Mark found anything he would have wrote about it – I don’t see him protecting anyone in the book- he seems to be telling the story like some invisible person in the room at all times – like a documentarian. … you are right in the early days- they didn’t have to give George or Ringo a song on every album but they did.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. I see Mark telling the truth through out. I think that was his goal…a book as true as it could be warts and all.

        Sorry for the Stones rant…but the last comment got me thinking about it…

        I’ve read in 95 when Microsoft wanted to use Start Me Up…Mick and Keith were going to re-record it so they would get all of the money…performance fee’s etc…but Microsoft balked and said no…they wanted the orginal.

        Here it is… wanted to make sure I was right
        https://www.businessinsider.com/windows-95-rolling-stones-2010-8

        Liked by 1 person

      30. I agree with you on the stones- love their music but they have always been cut throat about things…. another ten years and Brian Jones will never have existed if they had their way….. Is Start Me Up the most overplayed song in history!

        Liked by 1 person

      31. I just wish they would realize they don’t have to play Satisfaction or Jumping Jack Flash anymore…I don’t think anyone would care. I would rather hear Monkey Man and early Brian Jones era music.

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Yes- they have more than enough gems to spread it out and play other songs. Its the same old songs played to death. … listening to an album now i am sure you love– The Who Sell Out- their most underrated album in my opinion… love those little commercials between the songs!

        Liked by 1 person

      33. I love that one..that was a great idea to do it off the Pirate Radio back then….I’m still listing them in order…The reason its taking so long is I’m listening to Endless Wire again…that is the only album I havent listened to a lot.
        I will say this…Tommy is The Who’s Sgt Pepper to me anyway…hard to place it.

        Like

      34. I haven’t listened that much to Endless Wire either- yes Tommy- a great album but like Sgt. Pepper isn’t The Beatles greatest- Tommy isn’t The Who’s greatest although many consider it to be.

        Liked by 1 person

      35. It’s that whole culture impact thing also. It became bigger than the creators. I do like the album but the production makes them sound so thin and the songs lose their impact. It’s the one album that sounds better live.

        Liked by 1 person

      36. Oh I thought we were talking about Endless Wire lol- I was a little disconnected there- I agree with you on Tommy- and it has been a while since I’ve listened to it but I’ve listened to it a lot over the years- Who’s Next is my favorite- then I think Sell Out..

        Liked by 1 person

      37. My fault!
        I went in with too high of expectations for Endless Wire…. I want to give it a chance before I make that list.
        Oh Who’s Next is number 1 no doubt…on many levels.

        Like

      38. This is true… I was looking at the list of fellas who were in the Quarrymen at one time or another earlier today- and sadly it looks like more are dead than still alive. Have you ever read Pete Shotton’s book?

        Liked by 1 person

      39. I haven’t either- going to have to- I’ve heard good things about it… Yes they do seem like tell it like it is- good or bad- type people.

        Liked by 1 person

      40. There is another documentary- The Brian Epstein Story: The Sun Will Shine Tomorrow

        I have seen that one and it is good…. When you told me about the 1966 book by Jon Savage I knew I heard his name before…he wrote this documentary.

        Liked by 1 person

      41. I’d like to know more about Brian after they got famous and the last years. From what I’ve read he wasn’t sure they would resign with him…Paul was the one he thought would say no…I think they would have.
        How about Astrid? Has she ever written anything? I wonder if she made a dime out of those photos she took of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      42. I think Paul would have been outvoted and John would have went to bat for Brian…. I don’t think Astrid has ever written a book and those photos she took were amazing- I hope she made something from them….

        Liked by 1 person

      43. I agree with you. I think they would have outvoted him. It would have changed their projectory if he would have lived I think.
        Paul taking charge…which it’s hard to blame him would not have happened to that degree I don’t think.

        Liked by 1 person

      44. I agree Brian’s death did change everything- they weren’t business people they were musicians- and still in their mid 20’s. When Brian died there had to have been mass confusion within the group- what do we do? How do we do it? etc..

        Liked by 1 person

      45. And they ended up letting the wrong one in the door…but you could not find another Brian who cared about them like he did.
        Looks like his brother Harry or Peter Brown would have stepped in but they might not have been quailified.

        Liked by 1 person

      46. There was no way they would get lucky enough to find another Brian. I think had he lived they would have realized that in a world of sharks they had someone who was doing his best for them.

        Liked by 1 person

      47. I think that was about the time Paul found out about the seltaeb deal from 64… Brian did renegotiate it so he did get some back…but without him…no Beatles. Like we have said…they were surrounded by people who cared…very lucky but some was by Brian’s design.

        Liked by 1 person

      48. In the Lewisohn book- one thing I never knew was how close John and Paul were to losing interest- and then at the right moment- Mr Brian Epstein enters the picture. .. In Brian’s defense he was in an incredibly difficult position- with a job to do- that no one had ever done. In his wildest dreams he may have imagined it- but for it to actually happen… He did them good. They couldn’t have done better than Brian and George.

        Liked by 1 person

      49. The timing was too perfect…not saying I don’t believe it…just saying as corny as it seems it almost meant to happen. You couldn’t make this stuff up.
        Dick James…as much as Paul thought he was getting ripped off by him…he treated them well compared to others in his position…I just wish he would have sold the catalog back to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      50. I think overall yes- James treated them well- when you consider how things went back then.. can you imagine if the beatles had had for example a manager like Tom Parker?

        Liked by 1 person

      51. Or Arden? Brian didn’t try to take everything over and gave them room to grow.

        I didn’t know him of course but Parker didn’t care about Elvis as a person…he was just a money machine to him.

        Liked by 1 person

      52. As they have said- the beatles were lucky to be 4 having the same experience- Elvis had to have been incredibly lonely going through that all alone…and have a carny running the show- who looked at him as $$$$$ signs and could care less about him… It’s too bad he couldn’t have stayed with Sam Phillips.

        Liked by 1 person

      53. He should have stayed with Sam Phillips. Parker was a parasite to me…and not to travel internationally was on him. I don’t know what is true but he didn’t want to go out of the country because of a crime…

        Liked by 1 person

      54. I am glad a lot of people involved have told there story- but I do think it is kind of neat that a Neil took his story to the grave- and Jane Asher has never said a thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      55. Yep Neil knew where all the bodies were buried… Mal has been gone now over 40 years you would have thought it would have turned up by now- but stranger things have happened. Maybe it is sitting buried somewhere in an attic…

        Liked by 1 person

      56. Neil had to balance the Best family and The Beatles. He never seemed to hold back. It would have made a great book…for the fans anyway.

        Mal’s story is just so sad. I’ve read where Paul helped his wife Lil out and bought some things from her and then gave some of it back.

        Liked by 1 person

      57. Yes Neil was in a difficult place there I forgot for a moment about him and Mona Best. .. and with Mal the story of his lost ashes…very sad story with him all over.

        Liked by 1 person

      58. He tried producing…did well with Badfinger and NO ONE could have saved that Keith Moon album. He got fired in the middle of that but I’ve heard his version and the other producer version…no different.
        Being a minder was a thankless job.

        Liked by 1 person

      59. That job would have been a thankless and difficult job- I can’t imagine the stories he would have had especially about the earlier years.

        Liked by 1 person

      60. Get this and that…at whatever time. Have you ever read…I forget the name but The House Hippie at Apple? Richard….something. Anyway he goes into the wants and needs they had at the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      61. I read it years ago- I would like to re-read it- my mind is a little foggy on it- it must have been 40 years ago! That was a pretty good book.

        Liked by 1 person

      62. It was very funny. He was eventually fired by Klein I believe… he tells about the Hell’s Angels visiting the Apple Offices…people just walking out with TVs and stealing lead off of the roof.

        Neil was more of an officer right? Mal was more of a minder I believe.

        Liked by 1 person

      63. I read where he was just so nice. Other rock stars liked him like Alice Cooper, Moon and others. I know all the Beatles cared for him.

        Liked by 1 person

      64. How far are you from Lexington? I see Sir Paul Lexington June 1, 2019….. I think that is another thing- the beatles not only fortunate to be surrounded by good people- but those people were lucky to be with the beatles as far as how they were treated by them.

        Liked by 1 person

      65. It’s around 220 miles or so…I’ve had to go there a few times for business. Thats nothing to see Paul. That is doable….
        Yes you are right… I’m not trying to pick on the Stones today but they hung with Drug dealers, crooks and Kenneth Anger… and the people around them often died or finally got kicked out of the circle.
        The Beatles were more like a family. John could be nasty but from what I’ve read…also the most generous to people and fans alike.

        Liked by 1 person

      66. The Stones were probably fortunate at some points to get out alive considering the folks they hung out with…. I always think of what Robert Hilburn has said in all his years as a critic he met them all and John was the most down to earth rock star he ever knew. Yes The Beatles were brought up right- and treated people right for the most part.

        Liked by 1 person

      67. George always seemed so private and his mother was the same way in the book. They didn’t like gossip and nosy neighbors. All of them had strong households…Ringo’s mom seemed very good and hard working…same with Paul’s dad… Mimi was just strict and stern.
        Charlie and Bill seemed like the normal ones. Isn’t it Charlie who loves reading and collecting items from the Civil War?

        Liked by 1 person

      68. I think you are right on Charlie- I forget which stones book i was reading and it hit- me- Charlie is hardly mentioned- of course he wasn’t always carrying on like the others- been married to the same woman since 1964!

        Liked by 1 person

      69. I’ve always liked him and Bill. Charlie seems like an honest no nonsense guy. My favorite part of Keith’s book is when Charlie punches Mick. I know I shouldn’t like it but I can see it.
        Unlike Bill, Charlie had Mick and Keith’s respect anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      70. Would have liked to have witnessed Charlie punching Mick… I’ve seen the Stones a few times and everytime the one who gets the biggest applause when they introduce the group is Charlie.

        Liked by 1 person

      71. It would have been great to witness.
        You are right now that I think about it. I’ve seen them twice…both outside shows and he does get a big round.
        He reminds me of a business man…not a rock guy…which he probably would not count himself as one.

        Liked by 1 person

      72. I like the story about when the stones were invited to the playboy mansion- charlie took advantage of Hugh Hefner’s game room- instead of the women.

        Liked by 1 person

      73. I never knew that. I never knew he went there with the rest. I heard about the damage that was left behind but not of Charlie going. That is great

        Liked by 1 person

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