Exklusiv-Interview mit Laurence Juber (Ex-Wings)
Wie bereits hier → „Über den Autor der Seite“ erwähnt, bin ich seit vielen Jahren Teil der Beatles-Fan-Community bzw. Co-Administrator der Erdbeerfelder. 2002 besuchte ich in Bremen ein Konzert des Lead-Gitarristen der letzten Wings-Inkarnation: Laurence Juber. Vor dem Konzert konnte ich einen Interviewtermin mit ihm vereinbaren. Dieses Gespräch wurde bisher auf nur den Erdbeerfeldern veröffentlicht. Eine Ausnahme gab es allerdings: Laurence Juber persönlich hatte das Interview über einen längeren Zeitraum in seine offizielle Webseite integriert. Nachfolgend nun der für die Erdbeerfelder geschriebene Beitrag inklusive der Transkription des Interviews:
Relativ kurzfristig hatte ich davon erfahren, dass Laurence Juber zusammen mit den Gitarristen Ulli Bögershausen und Ed Gerhard auf Deutschlandtour ist. Das Unternehmen „Acoustic Guitar Night“ machte am 29. Mai im Kleinen Saal der Bremer „Glocke“ Station. Das siebte von neun Konzerten hier im Lande. Der Ticketpreis war mit 17,50 Euro völlig in Ordnung, so dass ich mir sagte: ‚Da muss ich hin!‘ Schließlich war Laurence Juber trotz seiner kurzen Band-Zugehörigkeit immer mein favorisierter Wings-Leadgitarrist. Ich schaute mir die Einzelheiten auf der Website der „Glocke“ an und ein paar Stunden später dachte ich mir ganz kühn und ohne dass ich jemals in diesem Bereich Erfahrungen sammeln konnte: ‚Warum sollte es nicht möglich sein, (für die Erdbeerfelder) mit Laurence Juber ein Interview führen zu können?‘ Ich richtete eine Anfrage an die „Glocke“, da ich Laurences Tourmanagement nicht kannte. Nach einem eigentlich stressfreien Hin und Her hatte ich dann die Handynummer des mitreisenden Gitarristen Ulli Bögershausen. Ich rief an und erwischte ihn gerade beim Mittagessen mit Laurence. In einer Viertelstunde sollte ich mich wieder melden. Währenddessen würde Laurence von meinem Vorhaben berichtet. Nach einer guten Viertelstunde hatte ich Ulli Bögershausen wieder am Apparat. „Er macht es gerne“, hieß es, und das war selbstverständlich genau das, was ich hören wollte. Dann folgte meine Planung des Termins. Ich kündigte auch auf den Erdbeerfeldern das Interview an und bot an, auch Fragen der Erdbeerfelder-Mitglieder in das Interview zu übernehmen. Ich selbst hatte Im Grunde ja schon über 20 Jahre Zeit, mir Fragen zu überlegen. Daher fiel es mir überhaupt nicht schwer, dieses Interview schon einmal vorzustrukturieren.
Vor der Abfahrt nach Bremen hatte ich alles beisammen: Fotoausrüstung (Dank an meine bessere Hälfte Katharina, die während des Interviews den „Job“ hinter der Linse übernahm), Aufnahmegerät und natürlich auch Wings-Devotionalien zum Signieren. Mein Termin war um 18:00 Uhr. Wir waren überpünktlich da. Nachdem ich mich an der Vorverkaufskasse vorstellte, wurde der Pförtner gerufen, der uns dann hineinließ. Die „Glocke“ ist ein prächtiges, altes Gemäuer direkt neben dem Bremer Dom. Und in einem Haus, in welchem normalerweise nur „klassische“ Konzerte stattfinden, platzten wir mitten in Laurence Jubers Soundcheck. Ganz gemütlich setzten wir uns in eine der mittleren Reihen und hörten andächtig zu. Zumindest für mich gilt das (Laurence spielte in seiner unnachahmlichen Fingerstyle-Technik z.B. „Yesterday“ und zeigte dem dazukommenden Ulli Bögershausen die Akkordfolge). Irgendwann gegen 18:00 Uhr lief Bögershausen an mir vorbei. Auch ihm stellte ich mich kurz vor und erinnerte ihn an unser Telefongespräch. Er war der Nächste beim Soundcheck und informierte bei seinem Betreten der Bühne Laurence über mein Kommen. Nebenbei erfuhr ich, dass die Rahmenbedingungen nicht sonderlich gut waren. Der Tourbus steckte im Stau, so dass der Tross mit einer Stunde Verspätung in Bremen ankam.
Dann hatte Laurence seinen Part erledigt und kam sicheren Schrittes auf mich zu. Schon die Begrüßung sagte mir, dass es sich hier wohl um einen sehr angenehmen Zeitgenossen handelt. Ich fragte ihn, ob wir für das Gespräch nicht zu einem etwas stilleren Plätzchen gehen könnten. Einzige Möglichkeit war das Foyer. Eigentlich nicht schlecht, jedoch stand die Flügeltür zum Kleinen Saal offen, so dass das Interview eigentlich ständig von Soundcheckklängen begleitet wurde. Ziemlich schnell zeigte Laurence auf mein Erdbeerfelder-T-Shirt und meinte: „That means ‚Strawberry Fields‘?“. Das brach eigentlich schon das Eis (wenn überhaupt welches da war) und gleichsam fiel damit schon ein Teil meiner Interview-Einleitung weg. Aber das war auch in Ordnung so. Ich muss zugeben, dass ich dann doch recht aufgeregt war. Zum Beispiel ein Fakt, den ich sonst im Schlaf herunterbeten konnte, war mir plötzlich ganz neu: Jimmy Page war nicht an „Rockestra“ beteiligt. Zudem fiel mir bei der Abschrift des Interviews auf, dass ich Laurence manchmal ins Wort gefallen war. Aber im Grunde bin ich vom Ablauf des Gesprächs begeistert gewesen und finde, dass es für ein Debüt ganz gut war. Auch meine Frau meinte am Ende, dass man gemerkt hätte, dass zwischen Laurence und mir schnell eine gute Verbindung herrschte, dass ein „echtes“ Gespräch stattfand und dass er wohl sofort gemerkt hat, dass da jemand ist, der sich schon etwas intensiver mit der Materie beschäftigt hat als vielleicht manch anderer Interviewpartner. Natürlich wollte ich nicht gleich mit der (Beatles-/ Wings-) Tür ins Haus fallen und tastete mich über die Gegenwart vorsichtig in die Vergangenheit. Aber das war im Prinzip gar nicht notwendig, da Laurence Juber ein gutes Verhältnis zu dieser Zeit hat und auch gerne darüber spricht.
Das Interview begann gegen 18:10 Uhr und wurde ein Mal unterbrochen, da Laurence erneut kurz zum Soundcheck musste. Insgesamt hatten wir ca. 30 Minuten Gesprächszeit. Im letzten Viertel des Interviews wurde Laurence etwas nervös, da es offensichtlich Probleme mit dem Feinschliff beim Soundcheck gab. Er fragte mich, wie viel Fragen ich noch hätte. Da es nicht mehr viel war, meinte er, dass wir nun doch noch ohne Unterbrechung das Gespräch zum Ende bringen würden. Laurence beantwortete ruhig und zum Teil ausführlich (z.B. die Frage das Wings-Ende betreffend) die letzten Fragen. Trotzdem: Es war so interessant, dass ich locker zwei, drei Stunden mit ihm hätte sprechen können. Das Thema Denny Laine hatte ich beispielsweise auch ganz ausgelassen. Ich denke, dass dies auch die richtige Entscheidung war, denn die Sache ist ja doch ein wenig heikel. Hätte es noch mehr Zeit für das Gespräch gegeben, wäre es sicherlich von mir thematisiert worden. Dann war es höchste Zeit für Laurence Juber, sich zum Soundcheck zu begeben. Ich hatte nun aber doch ein wenig die Befürchtung, dass es aufgrund des Zeitdrucks mit dem Signieren meiner mitgebrachten Sachen nichts mehr werden würde. Doch er versprach, deswegen noch einmal zu mir zu kommen. Was er dann auch tat. Was soll ich sagen? Für jemanden wie mich, dem die Karriere der Ex-Beatles sehr viel bedeutet, war es ein tolles Erlebnis.
(Text & Fotos: © Ansgar Bellersen – Verwendung nur mit ausdrücklicher Genehmigung)
AB: Before we start I honestly like to say that I’m really proud to do this interview, a real pleasure for me.
LJ: Oh, thanks. My pleasure.
AB: And I hope you don’t mind if I take this paper to look at …
LJ: Well, I don’t mind. (lacht)
AB: … and a few words to our website. It’s a german website that has about 600 visitors a day..
LJ: Well, that’s good.
AB: The main part is a discussion board. Probably the most respected german website about the Beatles.
LJ: Oh, very good.
AB: So, starting with the present day. Tell me about this tour you’re doing with Ulli Bögershausen and Ed Gerhard.
LJ: Oh, we did a concert together in Nashville in the year 2000. We do one concert and we enjoyed working together. We didn’t even play together, we just played our different sets. Ulli had the idea of doing some touring together in Germany. And then last year I taught for a week a workshop in Tuscanny in Italy. And Jürgen Hanke, who ist the promoter of this tour, was a student of mine. And he and Ulli got together and settled us to this tour, because Jürgen is also a big fan of Ulli and available. So they approached me about doing it and I said „Sure!“
AB: Will you perform together or can we expect separate sets?
LJ: Yeah, we perform together and separate, both. We each do a separate set then we perform together.
AB: Have you ever thought about a live recording?
LJ: Of this? I thought about a live recording of my own. I have a video. I have a concert video that was filmed in Nashville maybe four years ago. And I am planning a live album. This, I think we are videoing tonight’s show, but just for archives.
LJ: No. My record contract is with Solid Air Records, which is Acoustic Music Resource in the USA. He carries on his website and his catalogue … he carries Acoustic Music Records but it’s not the same label. I actually don’t have a german record deal.
AB: Okay … It’s very hard to get your records …
LJ: You can always get it through the Internet – laurencejuber.com
AB: You recorded a lot of albums with acoustic guitar music. No vocals, just the instrument. What is your main ambition if you go into the studio these days?
LJ: My main ambition is to make good music. And because I don’t sing – I do but I don’t sing really professionally – my voice is on the guitar. My personal voice is on the acoustic guitar. I still play electric guitar. When I make my own albums I just try to make interesting CDs for listening. Did you ever hear my Beatles CD „LJ plays the Beatles“?
AB: Yes, I’ve got it at home. Beside the „LJ“ album I like your „LJ plays The Beatles“ – of course – a lot. How did you decide which songs would be best for that project?
LJ: Well, I didn’t want to do any songs that were already fingerstyle. So that means no „I Will“, no „Julia“, no „Blackbird“, those kind of … except for „Here Comes The Sun“ which is fingerstyle but I do it differently, I do it in different tuning and I incorporate …
AB: Or „While My Guitar Gently Weeps“ take one, the demo version which is acoustic?
LJ: That’s acoustic but that’s not a fingerstyle.
AB: No, no.
LJ: Well, I’m talking about the kind of „White Album“ picking style and stuff. There are certain songs that have always been favourites. Some songs were a challenge like „Strawberry Fields“ was a challenge.
AB: The fade-out …
LJ: Yeah, but the whole thing was a challenge to get the bass line in the melody.
AB: There are many songs where you play the melody over the bass line and that’s amazing. Did that fingerpicking style develop during the last two decades or at a very early stage as a guitarist?
LJ: It’s something I’ve always done. It’s constantly developing, it’s only really the last 12, no, maybe 14 years that I’ve been doing it really constantly. When I first started recording my own compositions they were all fingerstyle.
AB: Which one was your first album?
LJ: The first album was „Solo Flight“, which was 1990. But even for example with Wings there was an outtake from „Back To The Egg“ called „Maise“. That was my first fingerstyle guitar piece.
AB: Now over to the year 1979. How did you get into Wings?
LJ: How did I get into Wings? Through Denny Laine. I had worked with him on a TV show with David Essex – english pop star – and Denny liked my playing and recommended me.
AB: So you had an audition?
LJ: I had an audition. I didn’t know any Wings tunes.
AB: Was that hard for you?
LJ: Ah, it was kind of fun actually. It’s Paul McCartney! (lacht) But he was very friendly and I didn’t have to know any Wings tunes. It worked out fine.
AB: What did you play?
LJ: Some Chuck Berry, some Reggae …
AB: What do you think is the difference between you and the previous Wings lead guitarists Jimmy McCulloch and Henry McCullough?
LJ: Well, in Jimmy’s case … Jimmy is no longer alive … (lacht) I think that for me my style, my approach to music is a little more versatile. I can do many more things. Jimmy didn’t really play acoustic guitar much, maybe a little bit. And Henry … both of them were more coming from strictly rock point of view: Whereas my playing intended a little bit of Jazz, a little bit of …
AB: Maybe a bit more Blues roots?
LJ: Well, I have a lot of Blues roots too. It’s kind of incorporated into more the pop kind. I think I was more the pop guitarist for Paul. But I think also, that I got the chance to do more guitar stuff at that time, because there was room to do that. And I kind of took the space to do that. So I think I got to play some guitar solos which is kind of unusual. Not too many McCartney albums have many guitar solos. Maybe „Flaming Pie“! (lacht)
AB: As a teenager or as a child, did you ever spend a thought on maybe playing one day with Paul McCartney?
AB: Was it a childhood dream or were the Beatles just one of many bands?
LJ: No, I was a big fan of the Beatles … and the Stones, the Animals and the Yardbirds …
AB: Small Faces …
LJ: Yeah, all the english bands. But, you know, as a little kid it was like „Wouldn’t it be great to play with the Beatles?“. Well, actually three out of four. That’s not bad.
AB: Three out of four?
LJ: Yeah, I played with George and with Ringo too.
AB: The Sessions for „Stop And Smell The Roses“.
LJ: „Stop And Smell The Roses“ and then with George for „Shanghai Surprise“.
AB: Oh, I didn’t know that. The song „Shanghai Surprise“?
LJ: No, „Breath Away From Heaven“, the version of it in the movie. It’s different from the one on „Cloud Nine“.
LJ: That’s a complicated question! Because I knew Paul had a reputation for being a little bit difficult to work with. And that didn’t come true. Mostly he was actually easy to work with. Except when he decided to carry marihuana into Japan. Generally he was a very easy person to work with and I found it was a great education for me. I learned a great deal from doing it. The one expectation that I had in joining the band was that I was giving up a very successful career as a studio musician because I couldn’t do both.
AB: But what did you learn? I mean, you are maybe technically better than Paul …
LJ: Yeah, but I learned how to make records. I learned how to write songs, I learned how to take are of the business side of songs. A lot of stuff. I learned it’s okay to work with your wife.
AB: Since that famous argument Paul had with George in the film „Let It Be“ everyone knows how Paul McCartney can dominate others. Did you have a certain freedom for your guitar parts during the recording of „Back To The Egg“?
LJ: I had a great deal of freedom. I mean, there will be times when I will be playing a solo and Paul would be there. I would be playing for him. There was only one occasion when he told me what to play and that was on „Daytime Nighttime Suffering“, because that’s what he wrote. And also on „Coming Up“, the riff from „Coming Up“ he wrote (summt) diddlelittlelitditdit…, that bit, and he told me that’s how he want it to be played.
AB: I often have the impression that the solos the studio guitarists play for Paul are almost identical with his style.
LJ: Mine isn’t that way. If you compare my style of playing on „Back To The Egg“ with the way Paul plays it’s quite different. And Paul didn’t play … like on „Spin It On“ or even the live „Kampuchea“. The „Let It Be“ solo that I did … that is pretty typical of the way that I play. He doesn’t play that way. He doesn’t come from that space …
AB: So, did Paul ask you to make any suggestions for recording?
LJ: Oh, he was very open for ideas. Really feeling into ideas. Sometimes he would say, you know, to me and to Denny, „That’s not what I want“ and then he go „That’s how I want it“. You know, anyone has the freedom to do that. But most of the time I was free to do what I want. Even when we were mixing the tracks he said „You take your guitar part“ and I controlled my guitar part.
AB: That’s very surprising. You always hear „Paul is such a bad guy“ and …
LJ: But it wasn’t like that.
AB: Seems like everyone of the former Wings members has positive things to say: Denny Seiwell …
LJ: Yeah. Denny I know very well. He is my neighbour.
AB: Oh …
LJ: He lives one street over.
AB: How was the harmony in the Band? In the documentary „Wingspan“ you got the impression as if there was some sort of tension…
LJ: That was not very well presented. It wasn’t really true the way that they presented it. Because with that last version of Wings it was actually quite successful. We had … even though „Back To The Egg“ wasn’t a huge hit in America … it sold quite a few million copies. A lot more records than his solo singles. We won a Grammy for „Rockestra“. „Rockestra“ was a big hit all over the place. „Goodnight Tonight“ was a big hit. But it wasn’t addressed in „Wingspan“. Because maybe they had two minutes. The first half hour on the breakup of the Beatles. This is because it was made for Network TV in America. And Paul apologized …
AB: And I don’t like the compilation of „Wingspan“ …
LJ: That’s another issue.
AB: 17 songs that have nothing to do with Wings.
LJ: (…) It’s „Paul McCartneyspan“ (lacht) … Paul apologized to me before „Wingspan“ came out. He explained that they were really making it for a TV show and it wasn’t gonna be entirely accurate. So later he said „Did you see yourself on ‚Wingspan‘?“ I said „Yes, a little“. (lacht)
AB: Were there any hints that Paul thought ‚Maybe this could be the last Wings album“ or was he rather enthusiastic about the future of the band?
LJ: He was enthusiastic but I really … I think after Japan in particulary, because after he got busted, he was in jail … Then they said „Do we really wanna be doing this after all?“ It was a change. It was a big change. He was 40 years old … it wasn’t the same. So it was clear that there were some questions as to what was gonna happen. But, you know, prior to going to Japan we already had plans to do an american tour and then I think there would have been an european tour too. So, the tour in 1980, if we would have done that tour, it would have been a different thing. Then it would have been „Okay, now the band has got its energy for live, now let’s make another record“.
AB: But in the UK it wasn’t a big production like „Wings Over America“ …
LJ: No, it wasn’t a huge production. It was more basic … „Back To The Egg“ meant come back to basics and Chris Thomas produced, came from the Sex Pistols, was working with the Pretenders … a different approach. And „London Town“ was a strange album. It was almost like a folk record.
AB: You recorded at Ranachan Ranch …
LJ: Ranachan. It was up in Scotland, yeah. And also Lympne Castle down at the south coast of England.
AB: Tell me about the „Rockestra“ sessions.
LJ: That was great.
AB: That was obviously a big production with all that superstars coming in…
LJ: All the guys in the studio. But nobody behaved like superstars (…)
AB: Some of your own idols?
LJ: Oh yeah! I mean, look at the guitar section. Pete Townshend and Hank Marvin and Dave Gilmour. Jimmy Page … Jimmy Page never showed up. His amplifier was there but he never came. John Paul Jones is on the record and John Bonham. No Jimmy Page. When we did it live Eric Clapton was supposed to come but he fell asleep …
AB: London Hammersmith?
LJ: Hammersmith, yeah. It was great, it was a great, great session. It was easy.
AB: How much time did it take?
LJ: Two songs – three hours. Professional musicians.
AB: How did you like Linda?
LJ: Linda was great. She was very Rock’n’Roll. She didn’t really get the kind of respect that she deserved. She was a great photographer. She was not a great musician, but she was good. A good band member. And she was very reliable. When she had parts to play they were always there.
AB: So, would you agree with Mick Jagger who once said „I wouldn’t take my old lady on the road“?
LJ: Well, you know, my wife produces my records. Actually I’ve been on stage with her because she used to have a band called „The Housewives“. A comedy Rock’n’Roll band and I would play in the band. And John Mayall with his wife Maggie …
AB: By the way, „Hope“ (Hope Juber, seine Ehefrau) is a strange name …
LJ: It’s american. In Spanish it’s „Esperanza“.
AB: „Hoffnung“ auf Deutsch.
LJ: Yeah, but that’s not unusual in America.
AB: Speaking for myself, „Back To The Egg“ is beside „Venus And Mars“ and – of course – „Band On The Run“ the finest Wings album.
LJ: Oh, I’m glad you think so.
AB: But the reception back then of album and tour wasn’t too positive.
LJ: Then, then it wasn’t particulary that positive. Now … I think it „Rolling Stone“ reviews of all the albums it went from two stars to four stars, because it’s one of the few albums that still sounds good. It has real energy to it. Some of those other Wings albums … they might have been good at the time but they don’t really have the … life? But „Back To The Egg“ still sounds pretty fresh. And I’m still waiting to … you never really heard the record, because it’s never been mastered like … except for „Rockestra“ on „Wingspan“ was remastered and that sounds really good as does „Goodnight Tonight“ and maybe „Daytime Nighttime Suffering“, that’s still a little bit debatable. But I’ve been trying to … We have been talking about reissuing all the Wings CDs and I would like to be able to give a listen to the remaster.
AB: But I thought they were remastered. Beginning of the 90s, the white edition?
LJ: Yeah, that’s not the same. They do it much better now. My friend Joe Gastwirt, he just did all the Grateful Dead CDs. He does great remastering. All analogue.
AB: What’s his name?
LJ: Joe Gastwirt. They just put out all the Grateful Dead CDs completely remastered. He did the best version of „Pet Sounds“ too.
AB: The box set?
LJ: I think so, yeah.
AB: So, can you explain why „Back To The Egg“ maybe didn’t work so well?
LJ: I couldn’t tell you.
AB: For the audience, for the critics …
LJ: What was going on in America, it wasn’t Boston, it wasn’t Aerosmith, it wasn’t that kind of Rock’n’Roll and in Europe it wasn’t Disco. Such as „Goodnight Tonight“! If „Goodnight Tonight“ had been on the album, I think it would have sold more copies, because „Goodnight Tonight“ was a big hit.
LJ: But that was part of that whole record making. It’s hard to explain. I think, you know, there were certain things about the album that could have been better. I think if „Goodnight Tonight“ had been on it, if „Reception“ had not been on there (…)
AB: There is that fine little tune „Maise“ which is on various bootlegs. And that was recorded during „Back To The Egg“. Was it ever considered as your contribution to the album?
LJ: It was recorded as part of that, but it never … You know, I think it would have been a more interesting album if that had been on there too. And I have been asking if maybe we can put it on the remastered version so it would be more complete.
AB: … because Joe English and Jimmy McCulloch contributed to „Wings At The Speed Of Sound“ …
LJ: Right, but Steve Holly didn’t have anything on „Back To The Egg“ either. We all for example … there was part of „Old Siam Sir“ that was really a group jam … but it didn’t really come out as a jam.
AB: Did you ever re-record it? Maise?
LJ: Yes, I did a solo version of it on „Naked Guitar“, which is my second CD … could we break for a minute?
(Unterbrechung, da Laurence beim Soundcheck verlangt wird)
AB: What are your memories of the sessions for Ringo’s „Stop And Smell The Roses“ album?
LJ: Well, that was fun, because we went to the south of France. It was in the summer and I remember sitting there with an acoustic guitar and there was Paul and there was Ringo and I was thinking „Yeah!“ That was great. I remember we had Lloyd Green playing pedal steel guitar and that was very cool. Those sessions were very smoothly, it was very simple. The music wasn’t very complicated. We did one song a day … and we did also „Love’s Full Glory“ with Linda at the same time which was on … (überlegt)
AB: „Wide Prairie“.
LJ: Yeah, „Wide Prairie“. And also a song called „You Can’t Fight Lightning“ with Ringo. That was … strange. Ringo was playing one of my guitars and he cut his finger while he was playing and he was bleeding and you can still see inside the guitar the specks of blood. It has Beatle-blood in it! (lacht)
AB: Never washed it?
LJ: No, you can’t. It soaks into the wood.
AB: What songs did you rehearse for the UK tour that didn’t make it on the setlist?
LJ: „With A Little Luck“ I think was the only one. When we were going to Japan we changed the setlist. I remember we did „Another Day“, we were gonna do „Live And Let Die“ … I forgot … a few other things … Oh! We almost did „We Can Work It Out“. Paul pulled out the acoustic one day. We just never quite got that, but it would have been cool.
AB: The only Beatle track that didn’t make it on the setlist?
LJ: Yeah, that’s right.
AB: Tell me about that tour and how Wings came to an end?
LJ: Well, the UK tour was actually a pretty good tour. I mean, every venue we played was sold out. The band really started to get very tight. The Glasgow concert, when we recorded the whole concert – you may have heard that there’s a bootleg – the band sounds pretty good that night. After we did „Kampuchea“ we had like Christmas off, and everybody is kind of too full of that Christmas spirit. But even then I thought we played quite well. The band was just starting to really kind of be a good band. And Paul was playing great! I mean, his bass part was fabulous. But then after Tokyo when there was no touring we were still working. We got back together, we mixed „Coming Up“ for the single. We were working on and off all through that year. We rehearsed some of the stuff that ended up on „Tug Of War“. But the problem was that you had a band that was really kind of rock band playing tunes that were not rock tunes. If we’ve just gone into the studio instead of rehearsing and rehearsing and knocked out and got straight back out on the road like, you know, we would normally do, I think things would have gone very well. But then George Martin got involved. So by the end of 1980 Paul was working on „Tug Of War“ but the band was still together, because we then went into the studio and finished up some of that he called „Cold Cuts“. I looked at the situation and said, you know, „This is not gonna continue“ and I started planning to move to New York. So, actually I left for New York at the beginning of January ’81. Wings officially didn’t break up until April in ’81 but I was already gone because there was nothing to do.
AB: Continuing your career after the breakup, was it rather good or a burden being a former Wings member?
LJ: Mostly it was good. It kind of opened some doors for me, that people were more prepared to listen to me. That’s always been a kind of useful thing. Much like studying at London University or Liverpool University … McCartney University! (lacht)
AB: Is it more fun for you these days making you own albums as playing with Wings?
LJ: Well, I have certainly more responsibilities now. I compose for television, for movies and I play on movie scores, TV shows … and make my own records and I play in a blues band and … I have a very diverse career. With Wings you’d do that one thing and the phone rings and Paul needs you. It’s hard to raise a family when you do that.
AB: I’ve read, that you had a small Wings reunion in ’97?
LJ: Yes, in New York with Denny and Steve. That was fun.
AB: What did you play?
LJ: I don’t remember.
AB: It was just that one occasion?
LJ: Yeah …no, I actually played with Denny a couple of times. We played in Liverpool, I think in ’92 or ’93.
AB: Are you still in contact? Even with Paul?
LJ: Yes, I saw him a couple of weeks ago when he was in L.A. in Anaheim.
AB: Among the music press Pauls latest album „Driving Rain“ is highly acclaimed. On the other hand, the sales are rather poor. Did you hear that album?
LJ: I’ve listened to it a number of times. I just think he could have done a better job.
AB: Ever thought of a Wings acoustic album?
LJ:Yeah, Paul actually. When I told Paul I did an album with Beatle tunes he said „What about Wings?“. I have „My Love“. I do it on my latest CD „Different Times“.
AB: Final questions: What are you favourite guitar players?
LJ: You got a week? (lacht) Many, many players, all different styles. Classical and Jazz … it’s too many. Joe Pass, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Django Reinhardt, Julian Bream …
AB: O.K., thanks a lot.
LJ: I thank you. You’re very welcome.
AB: Mr. Juber, thanks a lot for this conversation!
Drei Jahre nach diesem Interview verwirklichte Laurence Juber tatsächlich das Album mit Wings-Songs in Fingerstyle-Technik. Mit „One Wing“ ist Laurence Juber ein nicht nur für Beatles- und McCartney-Anhänger überaus hörenswertes Album gelungen:
Veröffentlicht: 21. Juni 2005
Solid Air Records
Band On The Run / Another Day / Jet / My Love / Every Night / With A Little Luck / Maybe I’m Amazed / Silly Love Songs / Listen To What The Man Said / Coming Up / Arrow Through Me / Live And Let Die / Mull Of Kintyre