PJQ is back

If you lived in the Rogue Valley back in the late 1970s and early '80s, chances are you heard the local band PJQ. They played regularly at some of Ashland's popular watering holes which have since closed and become restaurants.

There was the Boar's Head on Siskiyou Blvd. which later became Jazzmin's and is now House of Thai. Then there was Brooklyn just off the Plaza on North Main that is now a new building and is Creekside Pizza. PJQ also played at the Vintage Inn on Granite which has since become Il Giardino.

The band will reunite for a 3-night run in a venue that didn't exist back 30 or 40 years ago during the band's heyday. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, June 25-27, at the Avalon Bar and Grill, 105 W. Valley View Road, Talent.

PJQ was part of the golden era of Ashland nightlife and was known for its mostly original music that featured three-and four-part vocal harmonies. Band members included Paul Jenny on trumpet, guitar and vocals; Tom Freeman on drums; and three Quinbys: Priscilla Quinby, guitar and vocals; Jim Quinby, piano and vocals; and Bill Quinby on tenor sax, vocals and bass. All of the band members composed music.

"We had four voices to work with, and nobody ever wanted to double anybody else, so sometimes we sounded a little like the Four Freshmen," said Jim Quinby in a press release. "The best word we ever came up with to describe us was 'eclectic' because, in addition to our many original songs, we did Tom Waits, Beatles, Martin Mull, The Band, Latin jazz."

PJQ also performed as the pit band for "Gumm to Garland," a stage musical featuring Priscilla Quinby as Judy Garland. In 1982 PJQ appeared in the TV pilot "Fat Chance" for which Jim Quinby and Jenny wrote the title theme.

Four of band members are still active in Ashland music and arts. Freeman is involved in a number of music projects. Jenny has performed in musicals at Camelot Theatre Company in Talent and performs with Freeman at the Bella Union in Jacksonville. Priscilla Quinby has performed in musical and dramatic roles at Camelot and at the Craterian. Jim Quinby is a regular performer at Alex's and the Wild Goose in Ashland and at the Avalon in Talent.

Bill Quinby will travel from Reno for the Avalon shows. Joining the original band members for the Avalon shows will be Ashland bassist Jeff Addicott who also plays at local clubs.

Admission is $20 and reservations are required. Call 512-8864.

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