"I am not interested in who you were or what you were before you met me."
Every now and then, without warning, a certain individual finds himself being mailed to this planet by accident. Unfortunately for him, as always with most strange packages, there was no return address: left on the third rock from the sun and given a neon throne in the cold, dark heart of Europe.
Yet over the years it has turned fortunate for the ones who have come across such an individual, because being that this man was not designed by the Great Mover to co-exist with the you's and me's of earth, he has been forced to open doors that would have forever remained shut to the rest us in order to compensate.
The being creates its own world, or in this particular case, it's own stage for all to come. But be forewarned that it has been said by many a greater-person than you or I, that every blessing is a curse, and of course, no one gets in without admission.
For most of the natives who have an inkling as to what's going on in this city, the name Curtis Jones should sound quite familiar.
Known throughout the Europe and much of the rest of the world, the man has made his name by submersing himself in various fields of endeavors that are either among the forefront of arts or lost somewhere far beyond the Outer Rim.
But of course, often in those two choices you'll find him playing key to the latter. Whether being directed by Fellini in Roma or running full-bore into the hyper-subjective, hedonistic binge that is his Circus of Sensuality; if it has happened Curtis was either doing it, or ringing in it in. And just back after calling in the New Year at Monte Carlo, Think sat down with Curtis Jones in Akropolis for an interview at point-blank.
Those that know him are as prepared as one can be, but for those don't, there should be a written warning stamped his forehead stating that they should lock away their children, grab a rosary and bring a priest...too bad the new guy assigned to interview this sexy beast didn't know any better...
Whether one conducts countless hours of research or even more countless hours with the man in person, the background of Curtis Jones is dangerously elusive. His history is locked up in him, the few that have been accepted into his tight circle and, more than likely, the CIA. Few fields regarding his past were filled during the THINK interview, which causes one to garner an uneasy comfort level once within arms length of the man.
Vague clues to his past were inadvertently leaked, but only when they served as a building block to another outlandish tale. But after something was mentioned about the existence of his two sons, or his life in America prior to his migration across the ocean, any back-tracking or questions bearing down on that note were killed with a 'That's for part two...'
Nevertheless, what was let loose were a series of 'I remember when's' and 'I recall's', but only after a sufficient amount of substance abuse geared into overdrive. Primarily because prior to that, all that was heard was "jeste jedno" and "roll another one, will you darling." So just as long as the booze kept coming and the herb was making the rounds, the man continued to speak.
THINK: When did you first come to Europe?
I came to Europe when I was ready.
THINK: Well, then what were the circumstances of you being "ready"?
Someone bought me a ticket.
Over the past 30 or so years Curtis has been around the world doing just about everything you wouldn't dare write home to momma about. From pulling larceny in Afghanistan to living in the bowels of an opium den in India. Just about the only place he hadn't exposed himself to is South America. When asked why, he stopped nursing on the Capt. Morgan, leaned in and with a stare: "Because I don't like crazed Catholics on cocaine."
While Europe, for the most part, has been his mainstay, it's of no consultation that in a city chalk full of artists, thinkers, thieves and wannabes, Prague has been the closest thing he has chosen as a home.
THINK: Do you believe in God?
I am a God.
Although no concrete description can hammer down what it is exactly that Curtis Jones does and since his works are something to be seen and experienced, the least one can do is say that he is a performer. He dances, he sings, he composes and in the past he has directed for both the stage and screen.
He founded and directed the infamous Circus of Sensuality and serves as the Prague ambassador to the Amsterdam-based group SpeedFreaks. In his most recent dive into film, he played one of the few redeeming roles in the disastrous film Andel Exit,
THINK: What is it, exactly, that you try to give your audiences?
I try to give people, my public, something they've never had before. It's about energy. I try to give positive energy in all my shows. I never try to be vulgar, but I do believe the memory will last until the next time...I mean you don't get it unless you bought a ticket.
THINK: What do your audiences give you?
My public makes me feel that they really like what I'm doing and that's satisfying. I remember the first time I saw a girl cry... And I mean crying like they do for Michael Jackson... and that's energy. It recharges my battery.
THINK: How is the Prague audience different than elsewhere?
Prague audiences are closer. I mean I've been here a long time and people here have seen me do things, so I always try to do something different. I don't want people to say 'Aw I saw that before'. They're important. I mean, God forbid if somebody threw a tomato or booed... I'd be crushed. One must feel where they are.
And he certainly does that. At one point during the interview, after the dope was spent, a young man walked into the bar and Curtis motioned him over, said something that was too low to make out and then sent him away. Minutes later the guy returned, laid a big nugget on the table smiled at Curtis and walked out.
Curtis then turned and said simply: "A fan."
The incident later repeated itself as the session migrated and we stopped in an Italian restaurant. Walking up to a waiter at the bar, he again said something that was inaudible, but whatever it was, it caused the waiter to grab a bottle of wine off the shelf and hand it to him with a smile.
No charge and no bad noise. Again, the explanation merited only that he was another fan. After all this one has to think that he's either got something pinned on these people and is extorting whatever he can get away with or that they simple are in fact "fans".
Yet to give somewhat of a brief impression as to what it is that the man does and gets paid for, the following is an excerpt of a story that he told which was his finale to the interview.
Curtis Jones vs. Misty Rain.
"So during the last SpeedFreaks show, since I am the ambassador, I more or less host the show. And before they came they called and told me 'Curtis, our friend, Misty Rain, the L.A. porno star is going to be in the show and she's coming out of this cake and we want you to present her.'
So before the show started she was backstage and I looked at her and said, 'I have just the thing for your pubic hair!' So I came back with gold glitter, because she's a blonde and so I got on my knees and with a tiny brush, I started brushing the hairs of her pussy. But then her manager started to have a sh*t and then she goes 'Oh quiet, he knows what he's doing...'
So when I finished with her pussy, I did her nipples and her belly button and then went back on stage to my thing. So when it came time for me to present her, I was wearing this white jumpsuit that had SpeedFreaks written on it and all, and so she comes out of the cake with all the glitter and start wiggling. I introduce her. Da-da-da-da-da...and then she starts to take off my jumpsuit.
And the crowd starts going YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! And I was like 'Okay, okay.' But then she wants to take off my g-string! And so I thought to myself, 'Oh f*ck, I can't let the b*tch upstage me, but do I really want them to see my dick for the same price?'
So I was thinking about it and figured 'Well I am representing Prague. So if Holland can bring this b*tch from L.A., Prague can certainly count on me from Zizkov.' So anyway, she pulls the g-string down, and the crowd really starts to get into it.
Going 'YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!'
A couple fainted. Some left the room. Some threw their phone numbers. So, because I have to get out of the jump suit, I have to get down. And so I do, but as I do this, I see this vacuum cleaner that was left on stage by the last act...
So I take this long tube from the vacuum cleaner and put it between her legs, while I'm blowing on her golden navel...and I must say, that afterwards, when I saw the video and I saw just how f*cking gorgeous my ass is, I raised my prices immediately."
(If I was preacher, I would'a lost my religion.)
And so, to some degree, that is who he is. Built and ready to serve in ways formally unimaginable to all that are either willing and open or able to offer an overindulgence of unabashed flattery. The public that he speaks of will always exist, and the day it doesn't I doubt we'll see much more of Curtis Jones.
At 60 years old, the sheer fact that the man is boiling over with some sort of raw, adolescent wet-dream vitality constructed on a similar frame that carried the Marquis De Sade; coupled with the reality that the rates and demand for the abomination to show up on the doorstep in your sister's hometown are rising, one tends to doubt the fading out of Curtis, just as one also tends to doubt that his goal of offering something entirely new will go stale.
He continues to maintain his beyond-cult status as the reincarnated whore of Sodom and Gomorrah, just as long he has his public and just as long as they paid admission.
- Sadly, Curtis passed away in the summer of 2009. Photos by Derrik Radovan