What happens when Paul McCartney asks, “What are you doing for the next few years?” Guitarist Laurence Juber (better known as “LJ”) says he thought about for a nanosecond, before saying “I guess I am playing with you.” The musicologist, former Wings guitarist and Grammy-award winning composer with 25 albums to his name describes rehearsing with Paul and Linda before their next tour. McCartney wanted to record some tracks, but his favorite studio, Abbey Road, was unavailable — so he built an exact reproduction of Abbey Road inside his own studio. He was invited to join Paul McCartney’s band Wings in 1978 for their world tour.
Juber explains the finance of music these days, how composers and performers get paid only a meager amount from the business of streaming music, and why the real money is in television and movie soundtracks. The music business model has changed from record sales to live performances and merchandise sales.
By his own account, he began playing guitar the week that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles was released. He was earning money playing guitar at the age of 13, and began to study classical guitar at 15. He was voted “Guitarist of the Year” by readers of Fingerstyle Guitar magazine, one of the top acoustic players of all time by Acoustic Guitar magazine.
If you are at all interested in either music, copyright law, guitars, The Beatles or Paul McCartney & Wings, then you must check out this conversation with Laurence Juber. Be sure to stick around until the end of the podcast, where he demonstrates his unique style on multiple songs. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to grab the iPhone and record videos of two of his songs here.