Graham Parker Reunites With The Rumour

Jan 1, 2013 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz


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photo of Graham Parker and The Rumour

I emailed Stephen and Andrew, and both said, “Great, let’s do this,” and Steve made a little joke in his email, saying, “What if you got Martin [Belmont, guitar], Bob [Andrews, keys] and Brinsley [Schwarz, guitar]—that would be a proper band! Hahaha, kidding.” But like a kind of zombie, I went to the computer and emailed Martin and Bob, and they both came back and said, “Hmmmm, let me think about this for a minute—yes.” Suddenly I had four Rumour members, but then came the hardest part because Brinsley Schwarz is always rebuilding his house or something, and his electricity’s down, and his email doesn’t work. The guy hasn’t played with a band since 1989, when he was with me last. But he said, “Oh, okay.”

And I thought, “I’ve got the entire Rumour! Oh, shit! Oh no! What a can of worms I’ve opened. The recording costs. What am I going to do?” I’d thrown myself into this position without thinking it through, and that is always the best thing to do. Do not think. If I’d thought about it, I would have stopped the thing right there and then, because my philosophy on old bands re-forming is they do it for one reason: money. That means they’re stadium-sized bands, and the guys in the band didn’t make any money off the songs, or they’re running out of money after 30 years of hating each other, and they start to soften up as they get older; the drummer would like to make some money for his old age, so they do a tour. They make a record, which nobody wants to hear, and they tour, and they make a lot of money.

Graham Parker and The Rumour were a band that finished our career at the theater stage. This is not a money making proposition. And so I ended up doing it for all the wrong reasons, which are musical, musical and musical.

Where do all these guys live now?
Three of the guys live in England: Andrew, the bass player, lives in Yorkshire. He’s a librarian. Martin Belmont lives in London and plays in various little bands, and he’s also a music teacher. Brinsley Schwarz lives in Hampshire, and has been a luthier, working in a guitar store, since about 1989. Steve Goulding lives in New York, and Bob Andrews lives in New Orleans. The studio [Dreamland] is about 20 minutes from me, so I had to bring them all here.

When did the movie come into this?
It was May 2011. We had the studio [Dreamland, 20 minutes from his home] booked, and the band on the hook, when my publishing company, Primary Wave, got an email from Jonathan Karp, the music supervisor who works with Judd Apatow a lot, saying, “Judd would like to have a chat with Graham.”

We met up in New York, and he talked vaguely about this film, how two of the characters from Knocked Up, Pete and Debbie—Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann—are in it. It was alluded to in Knocked Up that Pete was working for a major record company and wasn’t all that happy with it. In this new movie, he’s started his own record company called Unfiltered Records. And what he wants to do is sign acts that he considers to be “real music”—’70s, ’80s, maybe ’90s acts—and one of them he’d love to get is Graham Parker.

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