J i m P o n s
Yes. Singer and bass player in the '60s with The Leaves, The Turtles and Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.
Yes. NFL Film and Video Director for 27 years with the New York Jets Football Club.
Yes. Jim has written an autobiography called Hard Core Love: Sex, Football and Rock and Roll in the Kingdom of God
Son of God?
Yes. Aren't we all?
A Far Country Boy?
Yes. It's a long story so I wrote a book about it.
As a young boy Father Harris and Sister St. Lawrence instilled in me a love of God that I never lost. The problem is I was never really sure that God loved me. I was taught to believe He watched over me from some far distant place, but I wasn't good enough for Him to come any closer. It didn’t seem right in my heart, but it was a separation that man had to live with and I learned to accept it.
Lacking the approval of God, as a young man I gravitated to the world for validation and a sense of my own self-worth. I started a rock and roll band, had some hit records, and for ten years entertained adoring fans around the world. The 1960s were a time of “free love” and “love the one you’re with.” and I indulged in everyone and everything that came my way. Strangely enough, at the same time I was still engaged in my search for God. I knew the lifestyle I was enjoying couldn’t be pleasing to Him but by then I needed someone to help me. I had lost all sense of self control. The best I could do was offer up the prayer once uttered by St. Augustine, “God make me good. But not yet”.
Ten years in Hollywood was followed by 27 more in New York City where I satisfied my needs in the city that never sleeps. I was living the high life with the New York Jets Football Club but I felt myself sinking lower and lower into depths of depravity. My friends and associates were now bartenders, exotic dancers and performers in the adult film industry. After my retirement from the Jets I came to a sad realization. All my worldly achievements hadn’t fulfilled my greatest need. I still had no peace in my soul. I still felt an emptiness that only God could fill. But what could I do? I had forsaken him in my misguided attempt to find my sense of self worth. I felt so guilty. How could I go back to him now? But He was all I had left so I had to try.
It was there at the end of my rope that everything changed. When I finally came to my senses and returned home I found God waiting for me with a love I had never known. Instantly I knew I had never been separate from Him. I only thought I was. But God never saw it that way. The son of God never exists outside the love of the father. Right away I remembered the bible story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). If ever there was a living person who embodied that description it was me. If ever there was a Far Country of promise and riches where one can lose his way it is the world of music and sports. Jesus’ parable was the story of my life.
Jim Pons is a Far Country Boy.
Read the whole story in my new autobiography published by Waterfront Press, Inc.