Jupiter Limahl and Guy Phethean Interview pt1
Limahl and Guy Phethean Interview pt1
KajaFax readers may remember our recent article on Limahl and his work as a part of production team ‘Jupiter’. As a finale to that feature, KajaFax is proud to bring you an exclusive interview with Guy Phethean – keyboard player, incredibly talented songwriter, and the ‘other’ half of Jupiter!
Good Afternoon Guy. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to KajaFax about your work.
Thank you, Steve.
I understand that you and Limahl set up ‘Jupiter’ Productions sometime in the early 1990’s. Did you know Limahl prior to becoming business partners? If not, how did the partnership come into being?
Obviously I knew OF him as my girlfriend in 1984 was mad on Limahl and Alex Higgins too!! I first met him in about 1989/90 when I was living in Nottingham and keyboard-player for a stadium-rock type band called Angels of Hope. We were managed by a Mansfield night-club owner called David Knowles who was a close personal friend of Limahl’s and we all lived & worked in a 4-bedroom farmhouse in Derbyshire.
David brought Limahl over one day and he played my keyboards and sang for us!
Shortly after that, Limahl told David that he was working on some original tracks and needed some fresh input keyboard-wise and so I was asked if I’d like to pop down to London and do some keyboard sessions with him.
I went down to London for the weekend, stayed at his flat and worked on some tracks with him at his home studio. One of them was a version of Too Shy with a Soul to Soul type beat and a couple more which I still have the demo tapes for.
On the Saturday night, he took me to a night called Singers at The Cockney on Tottenham Court Road – a fabulous night where there was a house band and talented singers would get up and sing their hearts out! Limahl got up and sang ‘A House is not a Home’ and brought the house (and the home!) down.
It was at ‘Singers’ where I met many musicians and singers, which enabled me to move down to London in 1991 and become a professional musician down here.
At what time did ‘Red Spot Studios’ become Jupiter HQ?
After moving down from London, I was busy doing gigs with singers, when Limahl re-contacted me to tell me that he’d moved his studio to separate premises from his house to the floor above a record-company office, and would I like to work on some more projects with him.
So, I went to check out his new studio, really loved it and so we did our first track (written and recorded) as Jupiter – (The name was because we are both Sagittarians and Jupiter is our ruling planet)
The track was called Destiny and it was sung by session vocalist Sylvia Mason-James who has toured with very major artists including the Pet-Shop boys and is featured on the Jimmy Nail No.1 ‘Aint No Doubt’ as the girl who’s ‘lying’ !!
Destiny was released with a mix from Tuff n Jam and did relatively well in the clubs and on radio. This was followed by another track with Sylvia called ‘Reach Out’, before we concentrated on remixing.
We only stayed about 6 months in that office before taking over an existing studio in Shepherd’s Bush which we named ‘Red Spot Studios’.
As it’s so easy to make excuses not to work when your studio is at home, we had a strict working ethic at our new studio, working from Monday to Friday usually from midday to about 6.30pm, amounting something like 60 different projects from start to finish.
I read on Limahl’s website that ‘Jupiter’ did a great deal of remix work for some big names within the industry. Can you tell me more about that?
Yes. Our very first remix was for a guy called Toni Di Bart.
Toni was a soul singer and had written a song called Real Thing, the vocal of which was used on a house/dance remix which became massive and eventually reached number one in the UK charts. Toni asked us to replicate how the original song sounded but was more souly/funky than housey/dancey – still, it appeared as a ‘remix’ on the No.1 record.
Our other UK No.1 remixes were on ‘Mysterious Girl’ by Peter Andre and ‘Dreamer’ by Livin’ Joy.
Livin’ Joy – Dreamer – Jupiter 12″ Collision Mix
Courtesy of 16karakan16
The music that Jupiter produced was a world away from that of Kajagoogoo or Limahl as a solo artist. Did you hit any problems with ‘preconceived’ ideas when promoting your work?
Not really. Most people didn’t know Limahl was part of the team! In fact he actively discouraged it as 80’s artists at the time were perceived to be VERY uncool in a very cool-imaged music market. We had success because of the combination of Limahl’s excellent production & songwriting skills along with my keyboard-playing and the wealth of musical knowledge and experience between us.
This interviewed will be concluded in pt2 tomorrow.
The introduction feature on Jupiter: