For our special Christmas interview this year AmeriCymru spoke to David Garland Jones - Welsh living legend, Actor, Guru, Raconteur, Poet and future Penderyn Whiskey, Welshman of The Year 2010. David took this opportunity to introduce a selection of his groundbreaking work on YouTube. He would also like to wish all our readers Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
David: He… (or should that be ‘I’. Think I’ll go with I… but then ‘I am an actor…’ sounds a bit grand and pompous). Ok, have another shot of Penderyn’s Finest Welsh Whiskey… I (cue fanfare), am an actor, guru, raconteur, poet, and latterly male model and YouTube phenomenon. I was born on the grubby fringes of Port Talbot, South Wales in 1962. ‘Anthony Hopkins, Ivor Emmanuel, Michael Sheen, Richard Burton, David Garland Jones… what other town ever produced such a quinvirate of acting talent?’ as the Port Talbot Guardian (now sadly defunct) put it. A potted history of my life featuring Michael Sheen (as well as Brothers & Sisters’ Matthew Rhys) and can be found here:
Americymru: What was your first big break and how did you come to star in so many groundbreaking roles on YouTube?
David: I realised that to reach an audience I needed two things: I needed a small cheap camera (for any nerds out there I use a Flip video camera and the Power Director 7 editing suite). Three things. I needed three things. The above two things and an amiable presence to hold the camera and do all the technical stuff. So I enlisted my brother Jake. As I produce the films actually getting the leading role in them isn’t so difficult. I was up against Rhys Ifans for the lead role in my epic, Grand Theft Actor, but he didn’t return my call so I stepped in.
Americymru: Has fame changed you?
David: No. There are still holes in my socks, but there are still dreams in my soul. One change is that I have started acting as a guru to younger actors… though in the case of Jonny Hollywood I encountered a few difficulties.
I also have a number one fan/stalker…
Americymru: What is the current supply situation with 'David Garland Jones In A Can'? Will you be continuing this line after the holiday season?
David: Sales have been better than expected especially since our US rep, Mr Iain Sewell has been appointed. I may become the first actor who breaks America in ‘can’ form. In the UK there have been reports that fake DGJIAC (for short) have been seen in marketplaces alongside fake Prada, Gucci and Calvin Klein handbags. There have been reports of other actors crudely jumping the bandwagon, or can-wagon if you prefer, e.g. I’ve heard that the light entertainer, Rob Brydon, is bringing out ‘Bob In A Bag’.
Americymru: Many of our readers have asked what really happened at the Damian Dark audition. Care to elaborate?
David: Let’s just say that there is now a legally enforced exclusion zone around the BBC in Cardiff which I am not allowed to enter:
However, I did manage a brief live appearance there:
Americymru: Does David Garland Jones have any future plans for live stage appearances after the triumph at the Goldie Lookin Chain concert last year? Can you tell us how that appearance came about?
David: It was all down to Jay-Z and Alisha Keys. Thanks guys! They recorded a song called ‘New York’ which was then appropriated by some Londoners and re-recorded as ‘New-port’. However, it quickly emerged that they had never been to Newport. I was in a bar one evening and someone suggested that I did a song called ‘Ain’t Seen Ruthin Yet’ based on the classic Bachman-Turner Overdrive song ‘Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ as I had never been to Ruthin. My brother Jake downloaded the karaoke track, I sang it and the rest as they say is history. To date it’s had over 31,251 hits. So thanks Jay-z and Alisha, if you’re ever in Treforest please pop in.
But here’s some more history – Newport’s finest Goldie Lookin Chain then recorded their own version of ‘New-port’ then spotted the ‘Ruthin’ track and went on Sky News and mentioned it…
A relationship developed and they kindly asked me to appear with them at their big Ryder Cup gig… Which I’d rather not talk about, what with the booing and the heckling and the breakdown I suffered afterwards…
(However, if I was asked to perform it again I would remember the pink suitcase air guitar solo…)
Americymru: More 'spoofs' along the lines of 'Aint seen Ruthin Yet' have been promised but I notice that Pontypool was not on the list. Is that because it's hard to rhyme or is there some other, more sinister, reason?
David: Someone suggested Little Jimmy Osmond’s ‘Long Haired Lover From Pontypool’ (formerly Liverpool) but it’s not even funny when you read it, let alone when you try to sing it. There will be a video in February featuring 12 of the best, ‘Spoof Songs With Welsh Place Names In The Titles’. Some of my favourites include Boston’s ‘More Than Rhydfelin’, KD Laing’s ‘Constant Aber-craving’ and my personal favourite, Odyssey’s ‘How ‘Bout Usk’.
Americymru: You're a shoe-in for Penderyn 2010 Welshman of The Year, what will you do when you win?
David: Not a shoe-in, or even a shoo-in. I will need the votes of my Americymru friends first. Can I just mention that Penderyn’s Whiskey is the finest whiskey and the drink of kings. When, or indeed ‘if’ I win, I will run naked down the lanes of Treforest … ah, already done that.
Americymru: After your principled stand on cigarette smoking did you succeed in getting any sponsorship money from Big Tobacco?
David: Interestingly the pro-smoking lobby group FOREST regularly blog about my work. Did they not realise that this video is actually anti-smoking? And no. No sponsorship. Nothing at all.
Americymru: What's next for David Garland Jones? Any plans to visit the US?
David: I would love to visit the US. I have a live show which includes performing Under Milk Wood in mime. This went down really well at Treorchy Rugby Club where Max Boyce famously made his name:
Americymru: Any messages for the members of AmeriCymru and your other fans?
David: I am an internet pioneer. Like all the great pioneers of yore I am badly dressed, ill-prepared and lacking funds. However, I am not asking for clothing, skis or money. I simply ask that you keep watching my videos, subscribe to my Youtube channel and pass the links on to your more sophisticated and cultured friends. Have a lovely Yuletide weekend and an inspiring and theatrical 2011!
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