“As promoters and musicians will tell you, a brilliant soundman with a sense of humor and an inviting personality is a hard man to find. That’s how Pittsburgh musicians remember Geoff Jones, who was a fixture as the sound engineer at the Oakland rock clubs Graffiti and Club Laga, beginning in the late 1980s.” So began Scott Mervis’ obituary in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Geoff died on June 4 from a heart attack at age 63, leaving behind a wife and two sons, the youngest of whom is still in high school. Geoff also left a hole in the hearts of many. Those who knew him will tell you that he had more than technical expertise; he had human expertise. He was adept at putting people at ease and defusing tense situations. He was the sort of man who inspired people to become better. [Read the Pittsburgh City Paper’s feature from June 2000.]
Geoff’s viewing and funeral were filled with musicians, but someone like him requires – in the words of Geoff’s widow – “a rock ’n’ roll sendoff.” This show was created to be that.
Rather than a firm cover charge, donations will be accepted at the door. We suggest $5-$10, but please give what you can. Donations will be used first to pay the evening’s sound engineer a fair wage, and the remainder will be given to Geoff’s family. While we can no longer give back to him, we can give to his loved ones in his absence.
|The Rowdy Bovines (rockabilly, 1990-1995): This band helped put Pittsburgh rockabilly on the map, becoming known as a regional legend. Their vocalist is James Morrow, a well-known bartender from Burt’s Tiki Lounge and The Upstage who currently fronts the rockabilly combo The Bessemers. Their guitarist is Mike Metzger, who went on to front his own band, Memphis Mike & the Legendary Tremblers, and is currently a freelance musician with different groups including The Devilz in the Detailz. The Rowdy Bovines will reunite to give a special performance in honor of Geoff, who frequently introduced them at Graffiti, gave them their nickname “800 Pounds of Sound” and even sang backing vocals on one of their songs on a live radio broadcast.|
|Nox Boys (garage punk, 2014-present): This four-piece from Blawnox, PA are signed to Get Hip Records. They were on the bill at the last show for which Geoff ever ran sound, in May 2016. They were negotiating with Geoff to run sound for them fulltime on their next tour.|
|Band of Angels, Saints and Sinners (classic rock, 1986-1991): Geoff ran sound for many of singer/guitarist Tom Reilly’s various bands between 1967 and 2013. For the memorial show, Tom will reunite members of Band of Angels (his 1986-1988 project), and Saints and Sinners (his 1989-1991 project, which took third place in the Graffiti Rock Challenge). The band Tom is assembling includes longtime collaborator Lee Robinson on saxophone.|
|Agnes Wired for Sound (electro-industrial, 2000-present): Geoff ran sound for Agnes Wired for Sound a number of times while he was the house engineer at Club Laga, and the members of Agnes are good friends with several of Geoff’s assistants and protégés from the 2000s. Agnes still performs regularly around Pittsburgh.|
|DJ KellyA: A resident DJ at Club Laga from 1997-2002, Kelly booked several dozen national acts to perform there, with Geoff behind the board. She is collaborating with those who knew Geoff best to present a selection of his favorite songs in between bands.|
When: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Where: Cattivo, 146 44th St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (main level)
Who: Ages 21+
What to bring: Your best Geoff stories; $5-$10 suggested donation (proceeds benefit Geoff’s family)
RSVP: Facebook event page