There were moments on stage when Ignatius Jones ceased to be human; when his bloodied face, bondage mask, obscene leotard, dripping sweat and Neanderthal gyrations culminated in a grotesque indefinable creature, both frightening and fascinating. Like footage of Nazi Concentration Camps, Ignatius commanded attention, no matter how horrifying the spectacle. Teetering between drama and depravity, lunacy and lucidity and rock and repugnance, Australia's Jimmy and The Boys could scarcely be described as just a rock group. Sadomasochism, transvestitism, self-mutilation, drug abuse, inebriation, simulated sex and mock rape all took starring roles in their blisteringly paced tribute to cultural degeneracy. The double-jointed, bisexual, Ignatius Jones was an extraordinary creature.
Nick Conroy, former flatmate for Michael Hutchence recalls a typical Ignatius spectacle from the first INXS gig he saw:
One Saturday night in 1980 I went, as usual, to the old Seaview Ballroom in St. Kilda. Everyone would meet there in those days to find out who was who, what was what and where it was. Jimmy and the Boys were playing that night. Ignatius Jones was quite an entertaining spectacle in those days, able to sing and seemingly lick his balls at the same time. People were muttering about going upstairs to see this unknown band from Perth (INXS), and I was thinking "Gee, they're gonna really have to be something to surpass a small man in tights simulating cunnilingus on a blow-up teenage doll with its loving mouth held by a six-foot transvestite with a giant red beehive hairdo."
The band somehow managed to achieve a top 5 single and a gold album despite their stage antics. However soon after this, Jimmy and the Boys would break up and Ignatius would go solo. In 1982, Jones would release the single Like a Ghost- a song written by Steve Kilbey. You might recognize that name from a much more famous Australian export, the Church. While the Church had already had a handful of releases, Kilbey was writing songs for others and later, the B-side It's No Reason would appear on the '83 Church album, Seance. A few years down the road, Kilbey would again mine his own back catalog and record his own version of his song Like a Ghost for his '89 solo album, The Slow Crack.
After his brief solo life Ignatius started directing theatre and beyond Down Under and had great success all over the map. He can be heard crooning on the highly acclaimed soundtrack to the film Strictly Ballroom. He personally directed the three largest live events in Australian history, which included the closing ceremonies of the Sydney Olympics. He is also one of the few directors ever to direct the "opening night of a country", when he staged the Independence Ceremonies of East Timor in May 2002. This ceremony, to mark the birth of the world's newest nation, was attended by 200,000 people. Not bad for a guy who was known for licking his own balls on stage eh?
Ignatius Jones - Like a Ghost (An M&M Mix)
Ignatius Jones - Like a Ghost (original mix)
Ignatius Jones - It's No Reason