Jones and Dixon manage to work in harmony

February 01, 1991|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

Marti Jones/Don Dixon When: Feb. 2-3, 8 p.m.

Where: Max's On Broadway, 735 S. Broadway.

Tickets: $13.50 in advance, $15 day of show.

Call: (800) 448-9009 for tickets, 675-

MAXS for information.

In many ways, Marti Jones and Don Dixon seem like the perfect pop couple. Married two years, their careers have been intertwined since Dixon produced Jones' debut, "Unsophisticated Time." Since then, they've been inseparable, contributing to each other's albums, singing together, weiting together and touring together.

In fact, they make such a great duo that their fans can't help wondering why these two don't do a duet.

"If I had to say what question people ask the most," says Jones over the phone from a tour stop in New York, "it would have to be, 'Are you and Don ever going to do a duet record?' " She laughs, and adds, "That just seems way too obvious to us. Why bother, when we can do separate records, alternate them, and still be supportive?"

According to their alternating-albums schedule, the duo's next big tour should belong to Dixon. "He's working on a concept for the record," reports Jones. "He wants to call it '16 Singles.' "

"Yeah, and we'll make a little box set with real singles in it," says Dixon. "And then a CD in the back, because nobody will actually ever play those antiquated vinyl things. But I figure maybe a few idiots will want it as a collectible. I would certainly like to own it myself.

"If I can talk some record company into giving me the money," he says, "that's where we're going."

Realizing that concept, however, will likely take more luck with record companies than either has been having lately. Last fall, Jones was dropped by RCA Records. "They fired Bob Buziak, the president who signed me, and brought in a new president," she says. "And he did the traditional thing that everyone does as a new president: He dropped about 25 acts, of which I was one.

"So I don't feel alone."

Shortly after Jones had her contract pulled out from under her, Enigma Records -- the label Dixon was signed to -- decided to fold up its tents and slip off into the night. "It's real convoluted," he says of the label's dissolution. "It was one of those things

where they tried to be a real record company, and ultimately they hated that."

But Dixon, who has never had much interest in the calculatedly commercial side of record-making, empathizes. "I would love to have a hit," he admits. "I think hits are wonderful things. But by the same token, that isn't the end-all, be-all of the experience for me. It's more a matter of doing it because I just like doing records."

Besides, you can never tell what sort of song will end up going to No. 1. Just ask Jones, who happened to cut the demo on a future chart-topper called "Walk Like an Egyptian." When she first heard the song, which was written by fellow Akronite Liam Sternberg, did she think it sounded like a hit?

"Heck no," she laughs. "Liam was finishing it up, and I read these lyrics while he was writing another line. I said, 'Are you sure about this?'

"He said, 'Oh, it's just a song I wrote for Toni Basil. You have five minutes? Throw this vocal on here, would you mind?' And then he'd written another song for the Bangles, which was a totally different song.

"Two years later, I'm sitting at a friend's house and I heard something that sounded real familiar. 'What is that? Where have I heard this song before?' And there it was, 'Walk Like an Egyptian.'

"I just about died," she laughs. "Who would ever have thought it?"


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