Jim Pons

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Jim Pons
Jim Pons in 1966
Background information
Born (1943-03-14) March 14, 1943 (age 80)
Santa Monica, California, United States
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
Instrument(s)Bass, vocals
Years active1964–1973, 2000s–present

Jim Pons (born March 14, 1943) is an American bassist, author, singer, and video director who most notably played for the Leaves (1964–1967), the Turtles (1967–1970), and the Mothers of Invention (1970–1971) and Flo and Eddie (1971-1973).[1]

After leaving the music scene in 1973, he worked as a video director for the New York Jets, and briefly the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jim designed the team logo for the New York Jets, which lasted from 1978 to 1997.

Early life[edit]

Jim Pons was born in Santa Monica, California.

The Leaves[edit]

In 1964, he formed the garage rock band The Leaves. The band was founded by Pons and guitarist Robert Lee Reiner, who were Fraternity students at Cal State Northridge (then known as San Fernando Valley State College).

The Leaves in 1966. (Pons top left)

They were originally called The Rockwells, prior to changing their names to The Leaves. They got the name Leaves when one of the members greeted another by saying “What’s happening?”, and the other responding with “The Leaves are happening”.[2]

The Leaves eventually secured a regular gig replacing the Byrds as the house band at the popular nightclub Ciro's on the Sunset Strip.[3] They signed with Mira Records after being heard by Pat Boone, who got them the position.

The Leaves are noted for recording an early version of the song Hey Joe, which they recorded along with their debut album in 1966. Their version of Hey Joe was #1 on the Los Angeles stations and peaked at #31 on the Billboard pop charts in May 1966.[3]

Hey Joe would achieve greater popularity in 1967 when it was covered by Jimi Hendrix. Pons stayed in the Leaves until 1967.

The Turtles[edit]

Pons joined The Turtles shortly after the Leaves. He played bass on their hit songs She'd Rather Be With Me, Elenore, She's My Girl, and You Showed Me. As a member of the Turtles, he appeared on television on both of their appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and American Bandstand, among many others. Jim continued to tour with the Turtles until they split in 1970. He played on their albums, Happy Together, The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands, Turtle Soup and The Turtles Greatest Hits Vols, 1 and 2.

Since the 2010s, he has occasionally guest-starred with The Turtles alongside Flo & Eddie. Pons will usually join them on stage if they are performing in Florida, where he lives.

The Mothers Of Invention[edit]

Pons was a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention (1970-1971). He played bass on their albums "Live at the Fillmore East", "Just Another Band From L.A.", and "Playground Psychotics". Pons portrayed himself in Zappa's 1971 surrealist film 200 Motels, starring the members of the Mothers Of Invention. [4]

Video Directing[edit]

In 1973 Pons left the music industry to become the film and video director for the New York Jets football team; he designed the team's 1978–97 team logo.[5][6] He held this position until around the year 2000.[7]

Pons and his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 2005, where he did game day video for the Jacksonville Jaguars, until he retired.

Personal life[edit]

Pons plays a U bass in a bluegrass band called Lonesome Ride in Jacksonville, Fl.


In 2017, Pons wrote an autobiography titled Hard Core Love: Sex, Football and Rock and Roll in the Kingdom of God which won the 2017 Florida Writers Association BOOK OF THE YEAR award.[8] The book describes his spiritual journey during his careers in the music and sports industries.


With The Leaves[edit]


  • Hey Joe (1966)
  • All The Good That's Happening (1967)
  • The Leaves 1966 (1982)


  • "Love Minus Zero" / "Too Many People"
  • "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go" / "Be with You"
  • "You Better Move On" / "A Different Story"
  • "Be with You" / "Funny Little Word"
  • "Hey Joe" / "Girl from the East"
  • "Hey Joe" / "Funny Little World"
  • "Too Many People" / "Girl from the East"
  • "Get Out of My Life Woman" / "Girl from the East"
  • "Be with You" / "You Better Move On"
  • "Lemmon Princess" / "Twilight Sanctuary"

With The Turtles[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Label
1968 The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands White Whale
1969 Turtle Soup


Year Title (A-side / B-side)

Both sides from same album except where indicated

Album Label
1967 "She'd Rather Be with Me" / "The Walking Song" Happy Together White Whale
"Guide for the Married Man" / "Think I'll Run Away"
"You Know What I Mean" / "Rugs of Woods & Flowers" (from Happy Together) Golden Hits
"She's My Girl" / "Chicken Little Was Right" (Non-LP track. A re-recording of this song later appeared on The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands) More Golden Hits
1968 "Sound Asleep" / "Umbassa the Dragon" (Non-LP track)
"The Story of Rock and Roll" / "Can You Hear the Cows" (Non-LP track)
"Elenore" / "Surfer Dan" The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands
1969 "You Showed Me" / "Buzzsaw"
"House on the Hill" / "Come Over" Turtle Soup
"You Don't Have to Walk in the Rain" / "Come Over"
"Love in the City" / "Bachelor Mother"
"Lady-O" / "Somewhere Friday Night" (From "Turtle Soup") More Golden Hits
1970 "Teardrops" / "Gas Money" Non-LP track (released under the alias: "The Dedications")
"Who Would Ever Think That I Would Marry Margaret?" / "We Ain't Gonna Party No More" More Golden Hits
"Is It Any Wonder?" / "Wanderin' Kind" (from Wooden Head) Golden Hits
"Eve of Destruction" / "Wanderin' Kind" (from Wooden Head) It Ain't Me, Babe
"Me About You" / "Think I'll Run Away" Happy Together

With The Mothers of Invention[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Year
Burnt Weeny Sandwich (with The Mothers of Invention) 1970
Weasels Ripped My Flesh (with The Mothers of Invention)
Chunga's Revenge
Fillmore East – June 1971 (with The Mothers of Invention) 1971
200 Motels (with The Mothers of Invention)
Just Another Band From L.A. (with The Mothers of Invention)


Single (A-side, B-side)

Both sides from same album except where indicated

Album Year
"Tell Me You Love Me"

b/w "Will You Go All the Way for the U.S.A.?" [sic]

Chunga's Revenge 1970
"Tears Began to Fall" (remix)

b/w "Junier Mintz Boogie" (non-album track)

Fillmore East – June 1971 1971
"Magic Fingers"

b/w "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"

200 Motels
"What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning"

b/w "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"



  • Hard Core Love: Sex, Football and Rock and Roll in the Kingdom of God (2017)


  1. ^ Steve Moore (April 24, 2000). "Frank Zappa Tribute: The Jim Pons Interview". Archived from the original on July 7, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  2. ^ "Hey Joe. Exploring the Leaves". The Music Court. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  3. ^ a b "The Leaves". IMDb. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  4. ^ a b 200 Motels (1971) – IMDb, retrieved 2023-02-16
  5. ^ Ronald N. Campbell (December 14, 1981). "A LOT OF GOOD TEAMS FUMBLE WHEN IT COMES TO DECORATING THEIR HELMETS". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  6. ^ Randy Lange (April 4, 2019). "A Timeline of the Jets' Uniforms Through the Seasons". NewYorkJets.com. New York Jets. Retrieved April 6, 2022.
  7. ^ Richie Unterberger. "Jim Pons". AllMusic. Retrieved December 8, 2010.
  8. ^ "JIM PONS". JIM PONS. Retrieved 2022-02-15.

External links[edit]