Interview With Paul From Jerusalem   1 comment

Jerusalem were are still are one of the best of the underground bands from the early 70’s.They have always been known as a cult band but in recent years have become a favorite of most 70’s hard rock fans.With the re-release of their classic debut album,i thought it was only fitting that a interview should take place.Paul Dean the bass player agree to talk with me about the band and the upcoming re-issue of the monster of a debut album.

The early days of Jerusalem and pre-Jerusalem is something hard to get info on.What happened leading up to the formation of the band.What bands did you and the other guys play in?

We occasionally played under different names but the intention was always to be called Jerusalem once we felt ready. All the players throughout the existence of Jerusalem were ‘virgins’, no one had really been in a band before. Even Lynden had come out of Drama college, so had no real band experience.

The late 60’s and early 70’s era is something that has always excited me mainly because i was a bit too young to fully understand what the time was like.Was it really as exciting as it sounds or has it been hyped up over the years.I am guessing there is a bit of hype involved these days.

Yes, it was exciting. Suddenly a new generation was throwing the rule book away and pushing the boundaries way beyond anything that existed before. Not everything was good, but it allowed everyone the freedom to experiment with anything they wanted to try and do. It was the biggest cultural revolution ever and it did change the World, in some places incredibly fast and in others very slowly, bit by bit even up until today.

How did the band originally get together?

Ray and I started it at school with another friend after seeing John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. None of us had ever played an instrument before, it really was a case of starting from nothing. Things then progressed through school and after with a few changes from time to time until we ended up with the lineup that did the album. The full history of Jerusalem is included in the booklet with the new official reissue of the album.

Was it hard getting noticed in a world full of Sabbath’s and Zeppelin’s?

It’s always hard for anyone to get noticed in the beginning including the Sabbath’s and Zeppelin’s. You’ve just got to really want it more than anything else in your life, work your arse off and above all, be different.

How did the first album deal with Deram come about?

Deram (Decca’s Rock label) and Harvest (EMI’s Rock label) both wanted us. Ian decided to go with Sam Hamilton, A&R at Deram. Nick Mobbs A&R at Harvest was also a great guy (first person to sign the Sex Pistols a few years later). They both offered us a contract the night we played with Status Quo at the Red Lion, Leytonstone.

How did you come to work with Ian Gillan? (who is one of my musical heroes by the way)

He was an old friend of my sister Zoe from his Episode Six days, she worked for Pye records at that time. He was on a Purple Tour in Southampton or Bournemouth and my sister ran into him again. Anyway he came back to the house that night and we ended up talking about my band. He kept tabs on our progress over a period and eventually decided he wanted to get more fully involved. Zoe and Ian became our managers and Ian eventually was also Producer of the album. That first meeting was also quite interesting because I was playing Black Sabbath’s first album when Ian arrived. He asked who it was, little knowing that a few years down the road he would front them for a bit!

Ian Gillan made this quote once – .

This is the first album by Jerusalem, a band which excites me very much; they are rough, raw and doomy with their own strong identity. As they are young and a bit green, they don’t follow many rules, so their material is almost crude – but still immensely powerful in content.

I believe that, whenever possible, the work of writers and players in their formative stages should be recorded; before inhibition and self-consciousness set in, before fire and aggression die down, and while they are still absorbing influences and doing things which others might consider ‘uncool’. Most important though, before they might develop that self-imposed rigidity which afflicts so many. I hope none of these things happen to Jerusalem, we’ll have to wait and see, this album is just in case. I hope you like it as much as I do.”

I like the comment he makes about “doing things which others might consider uncool”.Did you know you were ahead of your time in this regard?

Not really, we just appeared to be a bit different to most things going on at the time. People either liked us or hated us. There was no obvious clue to the fact that within 10 years there would be bands all over the World heading in a similar direction. I must admit sometimes it is quite amusing now when I read the odd review or comment on the web comparing or accusing Jerusalem of being influenced by bands that actually didn’t even exist at the time and who came a few years later (even saw one about Metallica).

You share the same stages as bands like Sabbath,Uriah Heep and Status Quo.Did you look up to these bands at the time?

Probably one of the the most extraordinary facts about Jerusalem was the fact that we didn’t actually have any real influences. Our individual listening tastes covered pretty much every form of music that existed. We really didn’t have any major musical heroes and therefore we had no models to follow. We just kind of happened! In those days there was no ‘them and us’. All the bands mixed, drank, clubbed, travelled, talked, eat together (even your genre was irrelevant). These were the days when everyone ‘paid their dues’, there was no such thing as an overnight success, there were no superiority complexes or arrogance. If someone suddenly became huge, everyone else was pleased for them and life still carried on the same way, although success usually carried the burden of buying more ’rounds’ than the others. Maybe the camaraderie and acceptance of reality are why many of the artists from those days are still going strong now? You, mention Uriah Heep. We knew the bass player Paul, he was from a nearby town called Andover. We actually both got signed around the same time, UH with Gerry Bron and us with Ian. They were also just beginning to build a following and as I said earlier we got signed when playing with Status Quo on the London pub circuit (this was the very beginning of their second evolution). Sabbath were now quite big but we had seen them play at the Alexander Rooms in Salisbury to about 150+ people in their early days, along with bands like Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, The Nice (ELP), so we knew from an early stage that anything was possible if you wanted it (we sometimes played to the same 150+ audience).

I read once you played in front of 50,000 people several times,i gather this was at some major shows or festivals.Have you got some fond memories you would like to share?

I specifically remember there were to two festivals in Vienna and Frankfurt over the same weekend. We played Vienna the first day and then all the bands moved to Frankfurt for the next day and the first day Frankfurt bands went to Vienna. We used Purples gear in Vienna and were the first band to arrive in Frankfurt the next day, but all the equipment lorries had been delayed at the border, so we didn’t have enough gear to play early. Rory Gallagher only had a 3 piece, so we lent him what we had with us, guitars and drumkit plus the promotor found an old AC30 etc., which enabled Rory to get the Festival started. As I said earlier, in those days everyone helped everyone, didn’t matter who you were.

The biggest discovery for us was to find out that it’s actually far easier to play to 50,000 than it is to 50!

Oh yes, nearly forgot, most of the bands were flown to Vienna on a chartered bright yellow WW2 Dakota from Heathrow, the pilot was late and the last to arrive and gave the impression he was suffering from an acute hangover. The journey took hours but was highly entertaining as you can probably imagine with at least ten bands and some interesting characters.  The next day we heard the undercarriage had collapsed after landing the bands from Frankfurt!

What happened to the band to cause you to do only one album?

The answer is probably found in Ian’s quote on the album as to why he wanted us recorded. To Ray and I, Jerusalem was about rock in its purest and most basic state. Lynden and Bill were evolving and wanted to move in a more polished and progressive direction. Bob at that time just enjoyed playing. The Rock scene was exploding in so many directions within a very short period, from the Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, etc. These bands themselves changed overtime and experimented in different directions, some of them returning to their roots many years later. Studio production was advancing in leaps and bounds. Ray and I felt that we had made our statement and didn’t want Jerusalem forced into areas created by peer pressure and the accountants and lawyers who were beginning to takeover and run the Music business based purely on commercial terms. Luckily, up to this point in time, most of the Record/Music Industry, etc. was run by ex-musicians and people with some understanding of music and the vision necessary to take gambles. Without these pathfinders many of the most successful bands of the 60’s and 70’s would never have been given a chance.

After Jerusalem you went on to form Pussy who are another underrated band.I might be wrong with this but didn’t the album the band recorded remained unreleased to this year?

That’s right. There was only a single released on Deram called ‘Feline Woman’, which was unofficially banned by BBC radio, but Alan Freeman still played it on his UK’s no1 music show! Over a period we did record an album, which was never released mainly because it didn’t fit with what the record companies considered commercial at that time. Yes, it will be released for the first time ever by Rockadrome during 2009, now that I have found all the tapes.
http://www.myspace.com/pussybanduk

Back to Jerusalem,the band had a real underground cult status all through the 70’s,80’s and 90’s but in recent years they have become one of the more well known “obscure”bands of the early 70’s.I think great music will always get noticed eventually.How does it feel for it to have taken this long?

It’s really amazing. It’s nice to think that maybe now Jerusalem well be recognised for the small part it played in probably the biggest music revolution ever. One of the most extraordinary things I have found over the years in all the places throughout the World I have lived or travelled (believe me, some of them really obscure!), is that so many people seem to know of Jerusalems existence, but many have never heard the music. Maybe this time?

The original Jerusalem album is full of classic tracks,have you any personal favorites?

Has to be ‘Primitive Man’ which was one of my earliest compositions. I think many now consider it the Jerusalem anthem. Also, ‘She Came Like A Bat From Hell’ because it was the first riff I ever wrote

Was there a lot more songs that the band did that never made onto that album?

Actually not that many, mainly because we were fairly busy at that time. Plenty of ideas, a few we tried out on stage, but nothing recorded.

The re-release is something mainly brought about by you,what inspire you to make this happen?

I had always hoped that Jerusalem would one day gain the exposure it missed by being in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’ . I was actually unaware that Jerusalem had been bubbling under the surface for many years and it was just through accidentally coming across things on the internet e..g blogs, comments, reviews and the great job of Aki creating a fan site (www.myspace.com/jerusalemheavy72) that triggered me into action. It was only then that I found out that Universal had re-issued the original album in Japan as recently as 2005. All of this gave me a feeling that maybe now was the ‘right’ time for Jerusalem. I was then approached by Dennis Bergeron of Rockadrome Records and thus we now have the re-issue + extras.

I have read there will be some extras,would you like to fill us in on those?

There are a couple of early demos we did of Primitive Man and Beyond the Grave with the previous singer Phil Goddard and some  alternate recordings of songs that were being considered as singles before Kamakazi Moth, plus a 20 page booklet of the Jerusalem Story

In 1984 you did a album with Pauline Gillan(Ian’s sister),what was that like?

It was a great experience, using many different musicians, some very experienced, some first timers.  Lots of different studios. I really enjoyed it, plus it was a good fast learning curve for Pauline who went on to form her own band.

http://www.myspace.com/gillandean

Do you still keep in contact with Ian Gillan and has he been involved in any way with the re-release of the Jerusalem album?

As you probably know, Ian never stops working and is constantly coming up with something new. I think the last time I physically saw him was in Dublin about 7 years ago at the beginning of a Purple tour. For once we were both in the same country at the same time! Yes, he is fully aware of the re-issue and has also mentioned that he is often asked about Jerusalem all over the World.

You are also a fully qualified golf coach and has played in many competitions as well as the EPD and Senior Professional Golf Challenge Tours in Europe.Do you like this more than playing music or would you still like to be up there rocking?

Once music is in your blood it never leaves. Wherever I have lived in the World , I always somehow get involved with the local music scene and always try to help others in any way I can. The golf was an accident. I started playing in Southern Africa and it clicked in a big way. More of a hobby that turned into a job

Finally,have you ever tried to get Jerusalem back together over all these years.Some 70’s bands have done it and done well like Leafhound etc.Is this something that has crossed you mind at any time?

No, in all honesty it has never crossed my mind. There was something about Jerusalem in 1972 that was special and different, a one off moment in time, which is also why Ray and I never contemplated continuing to use the name Jerusalem for anything else we did.. That would have been an insult to what Jerusalem created.

Having said all that, I’m reminded of that quote ‘ never say never!’

21.Thanks Paul,i know a lot of people are dying to get hold of this re-released version of the album including me.My old vinyl copy has seen better days.Any last words?

Just a big thanks to everyone for all the support over the years and allowing the surviving members of Jerusalem to feel that we did actually leave a mark in this great continuous musical revolution. I would also really like and be interested to hear from anyone as to what Jerusalem means to them and why and any questions they may have? Contact me at: jerusalempaul@yahoo.com or http://www.myspace.com/pauldeansite

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Posted January 6, 2009 by doommantia in Jerusalem

One response to “Interview With Paul From Jerusalem

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  1. cool interview, thanks for the effort and interesting questions!Marc

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