Admiral Howard Jones

Twenty years ago I was an intern reporter in Washington, D.C. and regularly took the metro to and from work. The metro is nice, but it’s not the most social place, so I usually had my headset. When I wasn’t listening to U2 and Bruce Springsteen, I was often listening to Howard Jones.

He’ll be performing Friday at the Admiral.


Now I find people asking me, “Who’s that?” At first I would answer with “You can look at the menu, but you just can’t eat.” I’ll even sing it for people.

Blank stares. Could be my singing, but when I used to cover Bainbridge Island and lived in Poulsbo I thought my renditions of “No One Is to Blame” on the way home from late-night council meetings were pretty fair.

“Whoa, whoa, whoooaaa, whoa, whoa, whooaaa, oh”

That, they remember.

It’s a tune you don’t have to sing well for people to remember.

For me there could have been other reminders:

Don’t try to live your life in one day.
And do you feel scared, I doooooooooo.
He wasn’t looking for a pretty face.
Hope you find it in everything, everything that you see.
Aspirations in the clouds, but your hopes go down the drain.

I’m a fan, but it took getting married to realize how much. While Diana and I were engaged she got to see him in Salt Lake City (I was working.) and he asked the crowd if anyone was engaged out there. She let out a big “Woo Hoo!” and he looked her way.

After our daughter was born our first date leaving her home with her grandmother was to Park City to see Howard Jones. After our son was born, same thing. First time he gets left home with grandma was for Howard Jones. We were a few rows from the stage and I yelled some sort of request that came off as obnoxious and won’t be something I’ll repeat on Friday.

Jones has a pretty solid following in Utah, so when we moved away six years ago we didn’t think we’d get much chance to see him again. We certainly didn’t think we’d be able to see him in Bremerton.

I’ve seen the Admiral’s scheduled events in the past and haven’t taken in as many as I wanted to. I’ve heard people complain about how big the Admiral’s share of hotel/motel tax money is. They get all that money to bring in people no one’s ever heard of is what someone said to me recently. Howard Jones is coming, I responded. I don’t know who that is, she replied. I didn’t sing for her, because I got that it wouldn’t have mattered.

I’m not saying what the Admiral gets is or isn’t justified. I will say getting Howard Jones was a big deal for Diana and me, a show we wouldn’t miss even if we would have had to travel to Portland to see. To be able to see him in Bremerton, that’s more than we would have expected.

6 thoughts on “Admiral Howard Jones

  1. I don’t know who in the world Howard Jones is, but you’ve inspired me to hear him too. Thank you for the tip… thanks too for the sweet story behind the singer.

  2. I will enjoy the show, thanks. I just bought a 5th ticket for someone who knows and enjoys his music…this is turning into a real treat…

  3. How can anyone not know who Howard Jones is? Of course, I was in high school when he was at the top of the charts and music seems to go with your life then doesn’t it? I remember more vividly the music from that time than some now. If anyone out there watched the short lived taken from across the ocean “Hit Me Baby One More Time” show where they took 4-5 muscial artists/bands that had hits 20 years ago–they sang their hit and then a hit from today and the watching audience voted on who was the best and who they would listen to now. Howard Jones won the show he was on. He was well known back in the 80’s because he brought keyboarding to a new level even winning Keyboarder of the year in the 80’s. If you watch VH1 Classics, you probably will see one or more of his videos. I will be there Friday night! Can’t wait.

  4. Actually, Shannon, Howard Jones lost on the show that night to Irene Cara. He did win the phone-in vote, where people demonstrated they had a lot more taste.
    I hope he performs “White Flag,” Friday.

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