"There aren't too many people like Ann Jones," says a society writer who used to attend Jones's frequent dinner parties at the San Remo in the eighties -- affairs that might attract, as Jones herself offhandedly says, "oh, the Lorne Michaelses, the Wenners, the Yokos, the Kathleen Turners, and just regular people."
"Ann's society with a small s," Jones's writer friend says affectionately. "She's the kind of person Nan Kempner thinks it's terribly amusing to know -- but little do the Nan Kempners and Brooke Astors know, someone like Ann Jones is supplanting them."
Jones calls herself a "rock wife," and while the fashion statement for socialites of old may have been a perfect string of pearls, hers seems to be the perfect pair of leather pants. She is tirelessly self-promoting; if there were a marathon for name-dropping, she'd beat Donald Trump and Russell Simmons faster than you can say "Philip Seymour Hoffman." But like her son, she's also connected in a way that begs an addition to Ripley's. "Do you need any more people to talk to you about Mahk?" she asks on the phone. "Michael Douglas? . . . Ahmet Ertegun?"
It's as if a good part of Jones's copious maternal instincts is directed toward making sure her children enjoy the best of everything -- which in this age seems to include a certain amount of stardom. Her efforts seem to be working.
"They're everywhere," Liz Cohen, social gadabout and flack for Lizzie Grubman Public Relations, says of Jones's clan. "They're a sign of the times. They're a part of every scene -- rock, hip-hop, and high-society."
"I love how the kids show up everywhere in limos," says another female publicist.
"I am known as Mummy Dearest," says Ann Jones. "I changed the locks when Mark snuck out to Sean Lennon's because Pearl Jam was coming over. I told the nanny -- I was away at the time -- he will not sneak in the back door."
"It's not like we're the Kennedys or anything," Mark says blandly.
In addition to the beautiful and talented Mark, there are four other Ronson-Jones children -- starting with, in order of their number of "Page Six" mentions, Samantha Ronson, 22, who is also a D.J. Homeboyish and platinum-banged and given to wearing red -- her "signature color," report the papers -- she got her first gig at Veruka when her brother Mark was unavailable; now she's in demand anytime Mark is unavailable.
Recently, Samantha was included in Quest magazine's "Ultimate Guest List" alongside several Roosevelts, Rockefellers, and Phippses. Close to her stepfather, she sports a FOREIGNER tattoo on her back. "I have no idea why the media's so interested in us," she tells me, blowing smoke from a Marlboro red, "but as long as I'm makin' loot, it's all good."
Next, there is Samantha's twin, Charlotte, tawny and shy. Last year, Charlotte became a fashion designer, like her Nightingale-Bamford friend Shoshanna Lonstein (who is a socialite via another route, bedding a celebrity; witness the New York ascension of Monica Lewinsky, seen out at night lately with chums Molly Ringwald and Serena Altschul -- who's a very good friend of Samantha Ronson's).
Seemingly overnight, Charlotte's C. Ronson T-shirts have begun appearing at major outfits like Tracey Ross -- "Mummy introduced me to her," says Charlotte -- Henri Bendel, and Fred Segal.
"We had her T-shirts in our Tommy 2000 fashion show," says Andy Hilfiger. "And Mark D.J.'d. It was like a Ronson-Hilfiger show! I'm friends with Ann," he adds.
It was in "Page Six" when Charlotte accidentally trapped a friend, agent Patrick Whitsell, against the wall of his Malibu garage by mistaking the gas pedal for the brake, after which he needed 100 stitches. "Well, her stitching is superb," said a "spy," "so if she sewed him up, no doubt he will look terrific." Charlotte's stitching is actually done, however, by a seamstress.
And then there are the two children of Ann and Mick Jones -- Alexander, 15, and Annabelle, 13, students at St. Bernard's and Chapin. Alexander plays drums ("but not for Samantha's band," Ann insists. "I am not the Partridge Family") and wears a diamond stud in his ear; Annabelle is a golden beauty who delights in handing out "fashion violation tickets." "I would like to be a designer," she says, "like Charlotte, or Anna Sui." Both children have been "getting D.J. offers," says Ann, "despite child-labor laws" -- and, apparently, reason. Ann herself recently D.J.'d at Joe's Pub; she played "The Age of Aquarius" and "Purple Haze" -- at the wrong speed. "I never span before," she laughs.
The Ronson-Jones five-story, beaux-arts Stanford White family home is decorated with lots of marble, silver, a Picasso, a Helmut Newton, and many, many pictures of the family posed with other celebrities.
". . . And there's Mick jamming at Mark's bar mitzvah," says Ann, giving the tour. "Mick's Church of England, but he did a wonderful job."
"People used to tease me, like 'Oh, you think you're so cool your dad's a rock star,' but I figured they were probably just insecure," Annabelle says sweetly.
She's sitting at the dining-room table playing hand-slaps with her father; she's winning.
"Annabelle doesn't believe I played with Hendrix," Mick pouts affably, apropos of, really, nothing, like some Monty Python character.
Annabelle protests, "Yes, I do!"
Mick has played with, produced, or sung vocals for seemingly everyone (he may in fact be the rock-and-roll Kevin Bacon) -- Billy Joel, George Harrison, Van Halen . . . and, of course, Foreigner, which in its eighties heyday made tour-busfuls of money.