3 Reasons to Buy Mickey Jupp’s New Book
There are singers, guitarists and instrumentalists so good that once given a song, they can make it soar. Still, the songwriter’s talent is at the epicenter of any great work. Think back on the hand full of artists in the history of rock who have mastered not one but all of these disciplines. Chances are, Mickey Jupp wasn’t oneof the names that came to mind. Well, maybe it should have.
With his new book, A Hole In My Pocket: The True Legend of Mickey Jupp. , writer Mike Wade takes the reader behind the scenes for a first hand look at the man who wrote hits for Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe and The Judds among others – and had a voice that should have made him millions. Its the story of a man determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
A must for any fan of late 70’s early 80’s AM radio, blues and rock fans and anyone with an interest in the music industry (particularly the early Stiff Records gang), A Hole in My Pocket chronicles the steps (and missteps) in Jupp’s promising career, personal accounts from those who were part of the Southend / Canvey Island clique and juicy tidbits about some of your favorite bands.
Reason #1: We learn interesting tidbits about some of our favorite artists.
For one, we learn that Mickey was approached by Dave Edmunds to join Rockpile before Nick Lowe was. Jupp turned down the offer (a terrible career move) and the rest is history…almost. When Lowe left, Jupp was extended an invitation to join the band one more time – and refused again. Seems he was determined to fail.
Additionally, commentary is provided by two eye-witness musicians of note, Will Burch (The Records, Kursaal Flyers) and Wilko Johnson (Dr. Feelgood). Their depictions are both descriptive and insightful, recollecting events that some might dispute so as to set the record straight.
Reason #2: You’ll learn dirty little secrets about the music business and the people in it.
Jupp sites an old industry adage when discussing the methods through which he was ripped off of song writing royalties. “Change a word, take a third” is the phrase used by the author to describe the practice of making inconsequential lyrical changes so as to claim partial royalties without making a real contribution to a song. There is little doubt he had Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe in his cross-hairs when discussing the ways in which artists plundered his royalties. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Reason #3: You’ll never wonder what the term “fear of success” means again.
Jupp’s need to fail manifested itself in his infamously prickly personality. For example, he didn’t much care for Elvis Costello or his silly stage name so Jupp would always address him as “Albert”. Instead of showing up at a gig he’s supposed to headline, Jupp spends his time with a girl he just met in a pub across the street from the venue. There are countless other examples of bad behavior, both humorous and head scratching.
In one short but very engaging chapter, Wade describes the psyche of the creative artist and what drives him to succeed (or undermine his own success) in a way that I’d not heard before. He uses quotes from David Byrne and other creative minds and is so convincing in his assertions that he had me wondering how he got into my head.
Fans of power pop will enjoy Jupp’s story, particularly when one considers that a strand of the powerpop DNA comes from him through Southend and the pub rock scene. Delve deeper into his story and music and you’ll find that there is more than meets the eye to the artists you know and love today. This book is highly recommended. Get it from Amazon.com or from the man himself.
Excellent review of a fine book devoted to a phenomenal musical talent.
Mickey Jupp is a genuinely great songwriter, singer and musician whose lack of commercial success was a head-scratching mystery until I read this book.
His unwillingness to play the music business game is highly frustrating yet ultimately commendable and simply confirms him as a die-hard individual determined not to compromise his soul.
Thankfully his extreme talent has meant that he has still managed to leave a highly impressive body of work – please do yourself a great favour and track down his wonderful demo CD’s – superb collections of witty and memorable unadorned gems – available from the great man himself via Facebook.
I was a late arrival at the Mickey Jupp altar but I’m bloody glad I stumbled across it.
A humble genius.