“In fact Rock ’n’ Roll is very disorderly music. There’s a lot of room for mistakes.
You don’t have to play everything perfect. The funny thing is even that perfection destroys much of the charm.
For instance: if we have to play live on the radio or if the TV is shooting, we’re tense because technicians are
walking about who’re hounding you. Then I can get constraint”.
In inner circles Mickey Jupp has the reputation of a rocker and songwriter, who’s not full of himself and hence
plays music which sounds as pure as the rock ‘n’ roll that started in the fifties. That wouldn’t be enough to speak
high of it were it not that this Englishman is a highly original song maker. Someone who has a knack to write
strikingly beautiful songs of some three minutes about everyday things. Because he does so for about seventeen
years already, with mixed success but also with an unslacking passion, he’s considered a hero nowadays.
Among the small group of Mickey Jupp’s admirers are prominent artists like Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe, Frankie Miller and 10CC.
Most of felt obliged, sooner or later, to thank Jupp for his many beautiful songs, so that he could have the disposal
of top producers and could always get a new recording contract, in spite of his comparatively meagre success.
Even in a period, in which the big companies are not really thriving, Mickey Jupp will not be “dropped” as it’s called
in the record business jargon. Apparently this sandy, somewhat obstinate Englishman gets pretty much respect,
because he – already ten years and more ago – released magnificent albums with his – by now – almost mythical
group Legend. Nevertheless Jupp’s a little suspicious: “I don’t know if that interest may be explained by the record
companies having the wrong idea of my potential. Like now they want me to get into the studio again to make a
quick sequel to “Some people can’t dance”. But I wouldn’t know how. I don’t have any songs ready.
Well, about three or four maybe.”
The “profession” doesn’t always provide enough to live on, but even at 39 it doesn’t disturb him.
“I’m writing almost twenty years now. And occasionally it provided enough to make both ends meet.
And often it didn’t. But so what? Then I would play some more, there’s always been plenty of work.
I do have a good band. We are more than able to give people a nice evening, to let them jump up and down
and afterwards go home and forget everything again. That’s because we don’t have any pretensions, not even an act.
We don’t enunciate any sensational opinion, we’re just singing about boys, girls and cars”. Jupp says he thanks his
lucky stars to the fact that he never had a big hit. “You never know. Now I’m still active in the music business.
After all these years there’s even a growing interest for my work. If I would have had a short-lived success,
it might have been all over now. Then I might have had some nine to five job. How often doesn’t it happen that
artists flame and next more or less “burn” in their own success?
I’m proud to say that people respect me for what I do and what I did.
“At least my music is reliable”. Suppose they’d look at me with this glance of: Oh well, he had a hit five years ago.
Good gracious. Thank you very much. No, I’m very happy with how things went. I can live my own life, more or less,
and I intend to keep doing that, so that I still will be having fun playing, when I’m 60”. Next his face clouds over a little.
“About five months ago I got married again. Actually that’s the devil for your work, because I am in a continuous state
of satisfaction. No traumas. You’ll understand that this doesn’t produce many songs. Normally you have to feel a little
sad or angry to be able to write. I don’t feel like that now. Not that I worry about it. It will return. The situation which
enables you the best to write, I mean”. The modesty of Mickey Jupp is only relative. He’s proud of his work and has the
view, that rock ‘n’ roll in the original, rhythm and blues based form, like he makes it, is intimate music, essentially.
“I don’t mean that only thirty people can listen to it at he same time, but that this music, as it originated in America,
had it’s natural environment in the clubs”. “Nowadays there are plenty of artists who think that you can bring rock ‘n’ roll
in sports halls or ice stadiums. I suppose that you can perform a show there, but you fool yourself if you think
that the music you bring is still rock”.
Thanks to Ron Bijnen for providing the article both as a scan and the translation.