Jonesin'

2013 - Band

Band Members:  John Christensen, Tom Lenz, John Engstrom, Brent Warford, Dave Christensen
Mark Nelson, Steve Plotner, Bill Tompsen, Dave Munger, Gary Wood, John Paquette
Rick Schaeffer, Steve Boyce, Steve Jensen

Jonesin’ was formed in 1969 by graduates of Newton, Iowa, high school, and they quickly established themselves as a Des Moines based band. The group was first named Schlitz Betty, a name they went by for several years. However, in the mid-70’s, the band became concerned about a conflict with the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company and changed to Jonesin’, the name they played under until 1982.

As Jonesin’ gained in popularity, they branched out and played other areas around the Midwest. By the mid-‘70’s, they found they had developed a particularly strong following in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area. The group moved its base to Omaha, Nebraska in 1977 to take advantage of the strong music scene and to capitalize on the strong following they had developed. While based in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, Jonesin’ performed regularly in Southwest Iowa in towns such as Shenandoah, Clarinda, and of course Council Bluffs. By the late ‘70’s the band was playing major venues and opening for major rock and roll acts in Nebraska and Iowa.

In 1979 Jonesin’ was the opening band at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha for Santana and Marshall Tucker. Over the next two years Jonesin’ opened for Head East and Savoy Brown at Septemberfest in downtown Omaha, Elvin Bishop, Nantucket, Commander Cody, and others, at the Music Box in Omaha, and for U2 at the Filmore in Ames Iowa in 1981.The group is especially proud to be named as a “Special Guest” on a poster from the U2 show in Ames that is displayed at the national Rock & Roll Museum in Cleveland. The name on the poster is misspelled slightly, but the Special Guest was definitely Jonesin’!

Along with opening for major acts during the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s, Jonesin’ took their show on the road for weeks at a time touring through Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and even once in Canada. Jonesin’ wrote a significant number of original songs, many of which were written while on the road for those tours. Even though Jonesin’ did not create a recording for release, they did record an Iowa Public Television show in 1981. They also recorded some demos at Rainbow Studio in Omaha.

Schlitz Betty/Jonesin’ generally consisted of six members at any given time. Over the years, there were 14 people who were members of the band: John Christensen-drums; Tom Lenz-bass guitar; John Engstrom-lead guitar, vocals; Brent Warford-guitar, vocals; Dave Christensen-vocals, guitar, sax; Mark Nelson-keyboard, vocals; Steve Plotner-lead vocals; Bill Tompsen-keyboard; Jim Mertz-drums; Gary Wood-drums; John Paquette-keyboard; Rick Schaeffer-drums; Steve Boyce-guitar; Steve Jensen-drums.

Jonesin’ retired in 1982, but they get together occasionally for band reunions. Today members of the band are located in several states including Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, and Arizona.

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