The Smith Brown Jones Instant Blues Kit

By | Friday, June 25, 2021 Leave a Comment
Waaaaaaay back in 1998, my friend Mick introduced me to Smith Brown Jones. It was a very funny and clever comic by a gent named Jon "Bean" Hastings and was one of the first non-superhero books that I started buying. I'd read plenty of my dad's indie-type books but this was the first I sought out and purchased on my own.

I recall that Hastings had put a call out somehow (probably in the back of one of his comics) that he was looking for new/different/interesting music that he could play while he was drawing. I sent him a CD of a band called Brand X, a jazz fusion group that released a handful of albums in the late 1970s. I think I sent a copy of their first album, Unorthodox Behaviour, which featured Phil Collins, Percy Jones, John Goodsall and Robin Lumley.

In return/thanks/appreciation, Hastings sent me this Smith Brown Jones Instant Blues Kit...

Yes, it's a half-sheet of paper with a small, plastic harmonica twist-tied to it. The instructions, if you're having trouble with the photo, read as follows...
  1. Remove Mini-Harmonica from backing. (Kiwi Studios is not responsible for any papercuts incurred while trying to play Mini-Harmonica if it is still in its package.)
  2. Try to play anything remotely resembling a tune on your Mini-Harmonica.
  3. Get the Blues.
  4. Write a song about the funk your Mini-Harmonica has put you in. (Bonus points for mentioning your baby leaving you, that old devil alcohol or the man taking your money.)
  5. Enjoy your new career as a master blues musician!
I don't know how many of these Hastings actually sent out over the years, or how many are still around, but it's definitely a treasured part of my comic collection!
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