Graham Parker Reunites With The Rumour

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


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Judd was filling me in on this, saying, “It would be great if we could have a song of yours or something”—kind of feeling me out. And I said, “Well, guess what? I just re-formed The Rumour, and we’re about to make an album. So not only does your fictitious record company man get me, he gets me and the reunion of The Rumour after a gap of about 31 years.” And he was like, “Whoa, okay, that’s interesting.”

We kind of left it at that, and a short time after, Judd emails me and says, “I got a lot of cool things we’re gonna do together.” And the next thing I know, it’s like, “We’re going to fly The Rumour to L.A. and we’re going to do a two-day shoot. You’re going to be in the movie acting as yourself. Let’s film you in a club. Pete the record company guy is showcasing you and The Rumour.” And then the other thing that Judd added to this mix was to give me a three-page email with ideas of songs to write.

Music for the film?
Yes, more music. It was during two weeks of rain in the summer here, and I just sat down and wrote a bunch of songs. The songs have got nothing to do with The Rumour album. I wrote nine songs based on Judd’s ideas, and about three weeks ago, they had me out in L.A., recording four of them, with a producer and composer, Jon Brion. This was a very weird thing for me, because I’m kind of a control freak, or I have been over recent years. I like to do the album cover, the concept of the album, everything about it. But this was like: I recorded the songs with Jon doing percussion, and then I left and said, “Okay guys, good luck.” It’s rather refreshing, but also rather scary. [Brion later fleshed out those tracks with music from avant-bluegrass group The Punch Brothers.]

How was it, going back into the studio with The Rumour?
It was basically like a Monty Python sketch. We just couldn’t stop laughing. That’s all we did. I don’t know how we got any work done. We just cracked up at the very idea of this thing happening, and it was all filmed. Judd insisted that we film this whole thing.

Suddenly I’ve gone from having a very simple, enjoyable life, playing little solo gigs and earning a living, to this. It’s weird. Ambition is something I lost a long time ago, and now this huge spanner has been thrown into the works, so it’s quite a prize really, I must say.

Barbara Schultz is a contributing editor to Mix and Electronic Musician, as well as a book editor and reviewer.

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