Chopper Blues is the apex of a unique evolution: it grows from the script of a mixed media introduction performed live for a body of viscerally intense woodcuts, drawings and paintings first exhibited in East Texas at the Tyler Museum of Art and last honored at the Marine Corps Museum in San Diego, California.
Musician, painter, printer, sculptor and maturing poet, Jones sustained the experience which made both these images and this text necessary during the three years he served the Marine Corps, almost all of it as Platoon Commander, Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, this enlistment culminating in his ’65-’66 Vietnam duty tour and his combat decoration, the Silver Star.
These poems and prose were originally written to accompany the “Vietnam Suite,” 40, 38” x 50 inch multimedia works on paper and an accompanying performance piece entitled “Chopper Blues.” However, this limited print edition has been expanded to include drawings from Jones’ sketchbook from his time in country, Vietnam, 1965—1966, as well as images from the “Vietnam Suite” and woodcuts from a recent publication, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, co-written with a Vietnamese Artist from Hanoi, Dinh Viet Luc.
Also included in this spectacular collection are never before published photographs of Jones’s tour in Vietnam, photographs of villages and schools that vanished immediately after the camera’s flash. Finally, included in this limited printing is a cd of the performance piece, featuring a reading of the poems and songs from the book with original and traditional music performed by the artist and friends.
Published by Stephen F. Austin University Press