This page started as a cool trip into our musical past...and an archive of some of the most fun all of us ever had! But now, the Pluto Jones 30th Anniversary Reunion (March/April 2008) gave us the chance to re-record the original tunes we crafted back when we were kids! Visit this page often...over the next few months we'll be adding various versions of what we recorded, and giving you guys the chance to win copies of the new CD when it's finished.
Pluto Jones is a band that existed under this name for a few years in the late '70s and into 1980. It evolved from a band formed in 1976 called The Memphis Rockers. Members of Pluto Jones were John Lubotsky (piano, organ,synth, vocals), Joey Arata (electric guitar, pedal steel guitar, vocals), Michael Arata (drums, vocals), Jimmy Thornton (bass guitar, vocals). We played full-time, performing at many hotels and bars in the Eastern US. Other members of the Pluto Jones/Memphis included Tommy Browning (drums), Ray Gann (bass guitar vocals), Rick Harvey (guitar), Paul Foisy (bass guitar, vocals), Scott Knight (drums), Bill Brookhart (sound engineer). It was once assumed that Pluto Jones would probably never again play together. But we recently completed a 30th Anniversary Reunion...three days of rehearsing and recording in March 2008 celebrating Michael's (our drummer) 50th Birthday! We re-recorded all of our vintage originals. The new recordings will be posted in various stages of completion on this page beginning May 11th, 2008.
Have you performed in front of an audience?
Not since '79 or '80...but who knows what the future holds. A special moment was the opportunity to open a show for Steppenwolf sometime in the late '80s.
Your musical influences
Pluto Jones' influences were the Rock and Prog Rock bands of the late '60s and '70s.
What equipment do you use?
On the 1980 recordings...Joey - Gibson guitars, MXR effects pedals, Fender & Yamaha amps; John - Hammond B3, Leslie & Randall Amps, Yamaha CP-70 Electric Grand Piano, Rhodes electric piano, ARP Odyssey; Jimmy - Rickenbacker 4001 bass, Fender Jazz Bass, Acoustic 360 amp; Michael - Pearl Drums, Zildjian & Paiste cymbals. For the reunion, Joey used Fernandes, Fender & Takamine guitars, Roland VG-99 Guitar Processor & BOSS GT-10 Multi-EFX; John used Roland & Yamaha keyboards; Jimmy used Ibanez basses; Michael used DW Drums, Roland electronic percussion & various percussion accessories. The 2008 Sessions were recorded with the incredible Roland VS-2480 Digital Workstation.
The cuts not designated with a "2008" reference posted here were recorded live at the Brass Monkey in Marathon, FL in June 1980. The sound quality is not pristine, due to the extremely primitive methods and equipment used. But fortunately, the energy and enthusiasm of the performances were definitely captured. They're best enjoyed with a good set of headphones in a quiet room. The "2008" tunes were recorded with much more care, and will appear in various forms over the next few months as we feel they're ready to listen to...there will probably be several versions of each posted along the way, until they're completed. Your comments are welcome...and invited. Ultimately, we'll have a CD that will chronicle the kick-ass opportunity we had to revisit a cool part of our lives and that , hopefully, will open the door to new Pluto Jones musical endeavors.