Welcome back to another instalment in PSU.com’s on-going Spotlight series, where we scrutinize some of the most iconic faces to have graced a PlayStation platform in the past 17 years. So, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and indulge with us once more.
This time around, we shine the spotlight on the multi-million dollar-selling Grand Theft Auto franchise, and have a look at one of its most famous ‘celebrities’ – Lazlow Jones. Bizarrely enough, Lazlow has earned himself the reputation as one of GTA’s most popular characters despite the fact you don’t even see him in person during any of the games.
Unlike most video games which feature fictional characters, radio DJ extraordinaire Lazlow is actually based on the real-life individual of the same name. In-game, poor old Lazlow is a wannabe rocker and insecure chap who has had his fair share of career ups and downs over the years, including being run out of two of the series’ major cities, Vice City and San Andreas. Now at 46-years-old, Lazlow is no stranger to clashing with both family and work colleagues alike (perhaps owing to his own insecurities), and is noted for having particular disdain for his step-father and daughters, and has amassed a fairly colourful, albeit minor criminal record over the years.
Jones’ career began nearly 30 years ago when he got a gig as an intern on Vice City’s V-Rock radio station with fellow DJ Couzin Ed. Despite suffering copious amounts of verbal abuse by Ed on the air, Jones eventually went on to take over the station as the head DJ in 1986 after accepting a lower pay off, forcing Ed out of a job (a fact which Ed would not take kindly to, and phoned in V-Rock to berate Lazlow briefly).
Unfortunately for Laz, his inflated ego and ‘bad boy’ persona quickly got the better of him, and his superiors sacked him from V-Rock not long after the events of Vice City. Fast forward to the early 90s, and Jones tried his hand at the chat show game, hosting Entertaining America. This stint would be short-lived however, as alcoholism resulting in him being fired yet again. At some point in his career he married, though most of his activities outside of his work remain a mystery.
After being run out of both Vice City and San Andreas, Lazlow re-emerged again in 1998, where he had a spot on Liberty City’s Free Radio station Chatterbox. Although having only a small spot on the show, Lazlow made it clear that he had big plans for the format, and indeed this would come into fruition when in 2001 he and pal Donald Love took over LCRF and rebranded it Chatterbox FM.
Sadly, Lazlow’s fortunes would begin to decline precipitously over the next 12 months or so. By 2002, just a year after achieving popularity on Chatterbox FM, Jones lost his gig, got divorced by his wife, and was banged up for relieving himself at a Liberty City Swingers game. In 2005, he developed an odd penchant for exposing himself to elderly women, which saw him behind bars yet again. You can’t keep an old dog down for long though, and Lazlow ultimately managed to scrounge up enough cash to fund Integrity 2.0; a new radio chat show put out in Liberty City in 2008.
Quite where he’ll end up next is anyone’s guess, but you can be sure he’ll be putting in an appearance in 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V. The real-life Lazlow, of course, is responsible for writing material for all the major GTA games, including radio shows and in-game dialogue for minor NPCs, and once again worked alongside Rockstar for the latest game.
As such, you can be sure his in-game counterpart will be assaulting our ear drums again in the not-too-distant future.
Stay tuned for more In the Spotlight articles here at PSU.com in the coming weeks.