Earlier this week, New England BMX legends Bill Jones and Gary ‘Wildcard’ Jones (no relation) were killed in a tragic army surplus store shooting incident in New Hampshire, while driving home from a roadtrip to Maine. Both were fixtures on the New England BMX scene for years, having been close friends with Sean Burns and long standing members of the Bonedeth crew. Details of the tragic shooting can be found here: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO56390/
And since I’m at a loss of what to say over this, I’m just gonna relate my experiences with Bill Jones from last summer. The Metal Bikes team arrived at my house in Bill’s dirty ole van, which stunk to high hell and burned so much oil that the rear end of it was covered in a fine mixture of oil/exhaust. Bill sat on my bed, sorely in need of a shower and a place to sleep. He told me that his shoes smelled like dog crap, then proceeded to take a shower. Prior to their New Jersey visit, Bill had been robbed of $900 from his van in Montreal, and nearly avoided a brawl with the Asian mafia over a filthy proposition to a prostitute. He also had a mohawk.
The next day, he got left behind in New York City, ending up crashing at Darrly Nau’s house, then somehow found us later that day, wearing the same clothes with a huge smile across his face. I drove his van into Brooklyn, parked it later at Seaport among a line of cars, and Bill’s van was the only one of about 30 cars to receive a ticket. A few days later, Bill and the rest of the crew took off into the night, and he would later retire that beast of a van for good.
This past February, Bill came to Philly with Burns and helped us do the Sean Burns interview from issue 59. Burns proffered up some of the wildest Bill Jones tales he could remember, and then they took off for Miami the next morning.
This was my favorite Bill Jones tale from the interview, as told by Burns: “When I was like 16, I moved into the basement. For some reason, my parents had a garage full of old appliances. We took them all into the basement, and we’d just go in there with sledge hammers, smash things till it was two-feet deep in glass. And there was a mirror in there, my mom’s hundred year-old mirror and my guitar. And I said, “Bill, you can smash everything except for the guitar and the mirror, so he picks up the guitar and smashes the mirror.”
Rest in peace Bill and Gary. Your memory lives on and your enthusiasm for chasing fun will be missed.