Limahl and Guy Phethean Interview pt2
Limahl and Guy Phethean Interview pt2
Following on from yesterday, we have the second part of our fascinating interview with Guy Phethean.
May I move on now to the track ‘Destiny’ and its spectacular vocal provided by Sylvia Mason James. How did you discover her, and what was she like to work with?
I mentioned moving down to London in ’91 earlier and my association with singers and musicians there. Whilst hunting for a flat, a fellow keyboard-player told me of a room to let in a house owned by a singer called Ruby James. I moved in to Ruby’s house and discovered that she had two singing sisters, Joyce….and Sylvia….and thus the association was born.
Sylvia is another Sagittarian and as such, we all got along famously! Sylvia is a phenomenal singer (Limahl & I were gobsmacked when she started singing the vocals for Destiny – a real goose bump moment!) a consummate professional and best of all, a lovely and thoughtful person with whom I am still working with to date in a live capacity.
At what point did Jupiter as a production team cease to be?
I can’t remember the exact date but it sort of petered out around 1999/2000. As home studio technology was becoming ever cheaper and record companies could procure the services of remixers for next to nothing, we sort-of lost interest and after 7 happy & exciting years, along with many ups and downs, Jupiter ceased to be a working entity.
I assume that you have worked on some exciting projects and with some noteworthy people since the 90’s. What projects since Jupiter are you most proud of?
We are proud of all of the projects we have worked on. We made sure that they were exactly as we wanted them before they left the studio, such is our attention to detail.
Highlights obviously were the remixes on three UK No.1 singles, having OUR remix of Kim Wilde’s version of Evelyn Champagne King’s ‘Shame’ being used as the main mix and having Peter Andre in our studio to write and remix with us.
A funny ‘lowlight’ is this story. Limahl was good friends with the Dutch producers who wrote and recorded ‘(Our love is) History’ by Mai Tai – a song which Limahl always loved. As a project, we were sent the vocals and did our own house/garage remix on it. I can’t remember how it came about, but we had a meeting with then the relatively unknown SIMON COWELL in his A&R office in West London. Mr Cowell went bananas after hearing our remix saying how he’d missed signing this the first time round and will not be missing it this time, asking us to do 2 more mixes by the end of the week and he was going to release and sign it. We did a high five after leaving the office, spent the next 3 days working like dogs to complete the requested remixes and then called his office to tell him the good news but were greeted by his secretary saying that she would pass the message on.
We waited. Nothing. We called again and were again greeted by his secretary saying she would pass on the message. We waited again. Nothing. We called a third time to say that we had done as he requested and could he get back to us, to which her reply was ‘can you stop calling us please – Mr Cowell is very busy with Zig and Zag’ (who are/were 2 stuffed puppets) !!
Finally, I would like to move on to the present day. I know that your services are much in demand, and as such you are incredibly busy. What is forthcoming in the Guy Phethean diary?
I am now proud to be Musical Director of a group of session musicians called The Allstars Collective. This is an outfit formed and run by musicians FOR musicians. We all have terrible stories of how we’ve been ripped off by unscrupulous band leaders, so everything to do with the Allstars is transparent – anybody can see the accounts. We currently have something like 50 active members, all with great skill and great attitudes
Four of our members have just come off tour with George Michael and should anyone require more work due to financial worries, we will endeavour to spread the gigs around.
One of our first gigs in the mid 2000s was backing Heather Small at the Albert Hall along with a 150-piece gospel choir, for an NSPCC charity fundraiser, which raised over £2m!
We do everything from a jazz trio, session work, big and small corporate events, festivals here and abroad…even the odd wedding when they want something really special!
We are very proud to be closely associated with soul singer, Jocelyn Brown for whom we do many gigs and are close personal friends. Jocelyn sang the title track of our debut original album called ‘All About the Music’, which was also produced by Average White Band’s frontman, Hamish Stuart.
Our finest achievement came recently in Nov. 2009 when we were the house band at another charity event at the Albert Hall, this time for Gloria Hunniford’s ‘Caron Keating Breast Cancer Foundation’ where we backed Brian May, Joss Stone, Mel C, Sharon Corr, Nerina Pallot, Bananarama and Bonnie Tyler.
Allstars Collective have many videos on YouTube, are constantly doing charity fundraisers and we are in the process of recording and releasing our 2nd original album, which features performances from James Brown’s sax player Maceo Parker, our good friend Jocelyn Brown, Edwin Starr’s brother Angelo and Level 42 saxman, Sean Freeman.
The website is www.TheAllstars.co.uk
Limahl is a lovely and kind person. We still keep in touch; occasionally going for lunch or myself and my daughter popping in to his flat.
I still do the odd gig with him on his fantastic ‘Tribute to the 80s’ show where he sings the best of not only Kajagoogoo & Limahl songs but also Tony Hadley, Duran Duran, Nick Kershaw and many more. And long may he continue!
Thank you for speaking to KajaFax, Guy. It’s been a really interesting interview and a pleasure to chat with you.
A huge thanks to Guy for that interview – a really interesting read and a wonderful insight into the whole Jupiter project.
Please remember to visit http://www.theallstars.co.uk/ for more information on both Guy and the Allstars Collective.