Wednesday, July 01, 2015

One of those GOOD Hollywood stories....

They do exist.  Every now and again.  Once every five years... okay, ten.    So this is a refreshing change from the horror stories that Hollywood seems to take particular delight in.

It involves Laurence Juber.

Mr. Juber is a guitar player. He played lead guitar for Paul McCartney’s WINGS, so you know “that little country boy can play.” ( Actually, wrong country. He’s from England)

One day, as a tadpole, Juber wandered into an East London movie theater and saw an early James Bond movie. What knocked him out was that great guitar riff that twangs the melody in the first stanza of the James Bond theme. You know the one.

From that moment on, when every boy wanted to be secret agents, he wanted to play guitar.

And so he did. You can’t do too much better than being in a Paul McCartney band.

After the group disbanded he moved to California and became a session player. Lots of albums, soundtracks, commercials, etc.

One day he got a call to lay down some tracks for a movie soundtrack. There was nothing from the somewhat generic title that gave him any clue as to what the movie was about. The title was “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Yes, it was that "Spy Who Loved Me." And his assignment: to play lead guitar on the James Bond theme.

Now, seriously -- “How cool is that?”

Talk about a dream come true, or coming full circle, or six other Hollywood clich├ęs. Every time I hear the James Bond theme it gives me chills… because of that. I, on the other hand, never became a secret agent. It’s a lot harder to ask Mom for espionage lessons rather than guitar lessons.

26 comments:

Hamid said...

Hmmm...I see no mention of this ON Wikipedia. If I insert these assertions, will my edits be challenged? Will this blog be a sufficient citation? That would truly be coming full circle.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

IF you have a chance to see Juber in person, please make haste to do so. He is a GREAT guitar talent.
Here's his concert list: http://www.laurencejuber.com/concerts.html
He's playing in Los Angeles for the summer.

Two clarifications in your post Ken.
The Spy Who Loved Me was released in 1977, 2 years before Juber joined WINGS.
Also, The Spy Who Loved Me, like all Bond films are made by Eon Productions...not technically a Hollywood Studio.

Curt Alliaume said...

And, of course, Juber married into Hollywood as well - he's married to Sherwood Schwartz's daughter Hope.

Hamid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hamid said...

This is to the total psychotic who's now taken to registering under my name on Blogger and even using the same avatar as me:

The fact that you are going to such lengths only tells me how important I've become to you, which if you stop to think about it you'd realise shows you in a really sad light and shows you're devoting an enormous amount of time and energy over one person who has no bearing on your life. What you think you're achieving from this is a mystery beyond just proving you're completely certifiable. If this is all because of my comment a few months ago to stop repeating the same post about script readers, then I suggest you develop a thick skin because if you seriously want to be in the film industry, you're going to get a lot of comments far worse than that and they'll be from people who are liable to unleash an army of lawyers on you if you stalk them in the same way.

There's no point in me continuing to comment here as this nutjob is just going to keep copying whatever username/avatar I have. I'll keep reading of course. And to my stalker - I'd say get a life but I think that's probably impossible for you, so I suggest you try and make enough money at McDonald's to get yourself a good psychiatrist.

Sorry again to Ken for having somehow provoked this freak. If you're able to at least block his IP address, it would at least save you and other readers from having to read his shit. I may post from time to time under various names, but anything else posted after this under my name won't be from me.

Oat Willie said...

"You can’t do too much better than being in a Paul McCartney band." This post is a reprint from 1972 I guess. Jimmy McCullough anyone?

Igor said...

Cool story. (Though I was thinking the punchline might be: He walked out of the session and was struck by an Aston Martin. OTOH, that's not a "GOOD" story.)

Not the same exactly, but does remind me that James Brown, as a kid, shined shoes in front of a radio station, and a few years into his success he bought that station.

John Nixon said...

You can see what a great guitar player he is when you listen to the opening licks on this Wings song "My Baby's Request" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPXnPdsJQOY

Todd Everett said...

Last I heard (which was several years ago), Vic Flick (really!), who played guitar on the original John Barry version of the James Bond theme as well as many of Barry's other records, lived in the Valley.

Dan Ball said...

I used to play online Star Trek chat simulators on AOL with Laurence's daughter WAY back in the day. I remember playing it when hearing that Phil Hartman had died.

Anonymous said...

I have read a few stories of Wings and all state that Paul and Linda rarely paid them. That the mere fact that they were playing with Paul was payment enough. Wonder if that was true?

Susan said...

Well Hami maybe you should fill out your profile with some details so people can tell who is who. You both look the same from here.

Anonymous said...

I think Hamid has tried everything, but this is a sad day for readers of this blog. Hamid has been a long time commenter who has contributed a lot and carried on some very interesting conversations.

Charley


MikeK.Pa. said...

GOLDFINGER was the first adult - in terms of what people older than a kid saw, not the other kind of "adult" - movie I ever saw. I was at a Sunday matinee and while the rest of the kids filed out, I sat and read the credits (something I still do, only they ain't kids filing out today). As the screen went blank and the curtain closed, I rose to get up and go home. Only the curtains re-opened as soon as they closed, and then previews and soon a movie - GOLDFINGER - started playing. Don't know how, or why, that happened. I think the adults were already in the lobby and filing in as the kids were filing out. I had no money on me (spent on popcorn and JuJuBees) to use the payphone, so I had to ask the theatre manager if I could call home from his office to ask permission to stay. Fortunately, my mom let me and I've been hooked on Bond every since. Movie magic.

Lemastre said...

Not just aspiring guitarists should have been grabbed by the Bond theme. Sounds like a bunch of great brass going on, too.

Robert Forman said...

Surprised there is no mention in the comments here regarding the controversy regarding who composed the song. Anyone interested can look it up by googling "James Bond theme controversy". It really is a hum-dinger!

ScottyB said...

Friday Question for Ken that has nothing to do with James Bond guitar, as awesome as the Dick Dale guitar sound was for anybody younger than 65 before 'Pulp Fiction':

Over the course of your blog, the subject of the laugh track (and sweetening and whatnot) has come up. Tonight, as I write this, a rerun of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' is on TV. Oddly enough, I started paying attention to the laughs. They seem very genuine, and oddly enough, very warranted, regardless of whether a stray laugh here or there was sweetened. Having been there on the scene both as a writer and director to hear the laughs as they actually occurred (and maybe compare it to the finished broadcast), my question is this: As a writer, would you prefer to be involved with a show like 'The Middle' (no laughs whatsoever, leaving it up to the audience to respond to what might be funny, or even the MASH episodes broadcast without the canned '70s laugh tracks) or a show like 'Raymond' where there were genuine audience laughs that might be jiggered with during editing?

ScottyB said...

Ken: Maybe another Friday Question here, in relation to your blog posts about casting since I just mentioned 'Everybody Loves Raymond' and 'The Middle' in my post just now. Which brings me to Deborah Heaton, and what you've had to deal with when it comes to casting.

When we think in general terms about "casting" actors, I imagine we just think about "the look": Do they look/seem babe-hot/geeky/morose/whatever? Do they look/seem nice, or have something about them that looks sympathetic to others? Do they "look" like they'd be a mom/dad type or someone working against type?

Which brings us to Deborah Heaton. In 'Raymond', she was basically a rompin' stompin' example of hypocrisy that she railed against in her own married family. I couldn't stand her character despite how funny 'Raymond" actually was. But yet, on 'The Middle', she was someone very likable and endearing, at least to me and in comparison to her 'Raymond' character.

So — how do you cast that whole nutshell, especially when an actor has an established body of work (and even worse, when it's a character actor who has played the same type for years, but you know is more than that? And even more, how do you try to convince the network suits that your instincts are right?

ScottyB said...

As an aside, and just for amusement or comment conversation, when 'The MIddle' first aired, I sloughed it off as a bit of a ripoff of 'Malcolm in the Middle', except nowhere as crazy-ass as 'Malcolm' was. But the more I watched 'The Middle', I started to see that 'The Middle' was far more grounded (and maybe even similar to families we've known), even tho the Heck family was still and all played for laughs.

Then after that, it came down to one other thing: Who was way hotter and which mom would you rather do more if you had the chance: Lois or Frankie? C'mon, you know you were :)

Wilma and Betty and Ginger and Mary Ann have been waiting years for the pressure to be off them.



Anonymous said...

I'd rather do Reese. And by the beauty contest standards manual in "Mrs. Tri-County," he had the middle aged women beat anyhow.

Who the hell is "Deborah Heaton" it's Patricia!

Brian Phillips said...

Juber B. Goode!

(I'm so sorry, I had to.)

Johnny Walker said...

Very cool story! I bet there's more stories like that in Hollywood than you suggest... it's just that for every one of those, there's 100,000 more of heartbreak and bitterness :)

Mike said...

Except that Juber was working as a session guitarist in London and the film was made by Eon at Pinewood. Is this one of those Hollywood rewrites history things to make itself look good? Like Argo?
"And from Europe, we'd like to thank John Wayne for winning WW2 for us."

Steve said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned what a timeless classic the original version of the James Bond theme is, and how dated, cheesy and ridiculous the "Spy Who Loved Me" theme sounds in comparison.

cadavra said...

A couple of years ago, the Motion Picture Academy put on a show saluting the 50th anniversary of Bond's movie debut. During the evening, they surprised us all by having Vic Flick come out and play the 007 theme live over a backing track. It was absolutely electrifying to be in the room hearing him play it a half-century later, akin, I'm sure, to Shirley Bassey singing "Goldfinger" at the Oscars that same year.

Greg Ehrbar said...

Mr. Juber appeared on stage at a screening of "The Boys: The Sherman Brothers Story" at the first D23 Expo in 2009. He played "Feed the Birds" on guitar and there wasn't a eye that wasn't dry. He did an album of Sherman songs -- http://www.amazon.com/Poppin-Guitars-Tuneful-Sherman-DVD/dp/B002DEM9DM

Little-known fact about Vic Flick -- as an arranger, he worked on several very groovy Golden Records LP's that were recorded in London in the early '70s with The Rita Williams Singers, including "101 Golden Nursery Songs", "On Top of Spaghetti" and "The Little White Duck".