Bill Bryant and Howard Jones
Whilst a devotee of the Indian master Sree Sree Mentu Maharaj, Bill met a young student called Martin Jones, Howard Jones’s brother. Bill was working as an instrument maker in High Wycombe and Martin Jones joined the company for the summer break from University. Bill and Martin would regularly speak together and a strong friendship based on love developed between them. One day, Martin invited Bill to his house to meet and speak with one of his other brothers, Roy Jones. The meeting went extremely well and from it developed regular meetings at which Bill would talk to a small group of people on spiritual matters.
The meetings ultimately became the catalyst for putting Bill’s words to music. Bill would provide the lyrics, Martin the music and Roy the vocals. From this small beginning came the songs ‘Conditioning’, ‘Equality’ and ‘What Is Love?’ songs that would later appear on Howard Jones‘s first album Humans Lib.
It was inevitable that one day, Bill and Howard Jones, Martin and Roy’s brother, would eventually meet. Howard Jones attended one of Bill’s spiritual meetings and became a follower of Bill. Bill recalls Howard sitting on the floor listening to him speak day after day, night after night. Eventually, Howard asked if he could re-work the songs that his brothers, Martin and Roy, had first composed.
Bill acknowledged that Howard Jones had a special talent for music and set out to bring Howard’s music together with his own lyrics to the wider public. To this end, Bill persuaded Howard to start playing live gigs in and around their hometown of High Wycombe. The group around Bill had increased in size, providing a ready audience for Howard’s music. Bill used the influence of the group to attract more supporters to Howard’s gigs. He also used the manpower and skills of the group to assist Howard in the logistics involved in the large number of gigs necessary to raise Howard’s profile in and around the London music scene. Bill, who shared his creative ideas with Howard, suggested that Jed Hoile, a member of the group that followed Bill, should perform with Howard on stage.
For several years, Bill motivated, encouraged and guided Howard Jones to the brink of success. Bill was Howard Jones’s spiritual guide, activist, sponsor and best friend, each being best man for the other at their weddings. In due course, Howard attracted an experienced manager and promoter by the name of Dave Stopps, the promoter of the Friars Club in Aylesbury, England. As success beckoned, the relationship between Bill and Howard began to break down. Relations within the group supporting Bill and Howard became strained. What developed was later described by Bill as improper and should not have happened. Shortly before Howard’s first appearance on BBC Radio One’s Kid Jensen Show, Bill and Howard split. The majority of those people who had worked and stayed together over the years promoting Howard Jones departed Bill’s company and remained with Howard; including Bill’s then wife.