You can have Bruce, Mick Jagger, and the Beatles. I’ll take Boz Scaggs. He’s the greatest musician of all time. I came to the realization this week while listening to his song “Lowdown” while driving my car to Burger King.
Study the words in this stanza from “Lowdown.”
You’ve gotta have a jones for this
A jones for that.
Running with the Joneses boy
Just ain’t where it’s at.
Let’s boil this ocean in several different ways.
He brings in the Joneses, a typical American family name. Great art always has universal overtones or undertones. The name Jones is more universal than the Smith’s and in America, there are 100 million families named Smith.
The four-lines to Boz’s song are like the classic tune “American Pie.” Everybody gets what America is and they like eating pie. Everybody gets who the Joneses are. He’s hooked us by bringing them into his song.
But he plays around with the Joneses in a way that even the Joneses would never have imagined.
The Joneses, a plural noun, became a verb. Because of Boz, the Joneses became more than just a popular family last name.
Wikipedia explains that “to jones is to crave something in an unhealthy way. Example: Sportface joneses for more Fiddle Faddle and Fanta Grape Soda.”
So Boz says “you’ve gotta jones for this and that” but never says exactly what this or that could be. It’s like the song “Let it Be.” Let what be? Life? Koepka? Brady? Boz? The Joneses?
Contemplate “jones for this and that.” What are this and that, Boz? You can’t be vaguer. Vagueness is a turn on.
I have a suspicion Boz doesn’t know what “this and that” are either. In the off chance he does, he doesn’t want us to know. We’re left wondering “what should I Jones for? The Joneses?”
But he takes this mystery into a darker place. “Running with the Jones boy just ain’t where it’s at.”
Does he mean don’t go over to the Joneses family crib in our neighborhood because they watch too much “Housewives of the Joneses”? Are all Joneses creeps or just the ones in my neighborhood? Or does he mean don’t run with your jones to spend more time at the Joneses house?
Maybe Jones is just a placeholder for all sorts of people such as Darden Jenkins and Rudyface. Maybe Boz Scaggs means don’t run with DJ and Rudyface because they aren’t where it’s at. In the case of DJ, I disagree. He and Sportface need to hang out soon. Rudyface? He definitely ain’t where it’s at.
Where are the Joneses at? Why are they not where it’s at? Where are they? Where do they live?
You see how confounding this is. He wrote this four-line stanza to a song and he’s got us all bewildered and bemused.
You can be sure he’ll never tell us what he meant about any of this.
Because that ain’t where it’s at.
To be continued…
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