Legendary Finnish Blues & Rock musician Jim Pembroke talks about the Rock n' Roll counterculture

"Hopes... Peace and Happiness, Liberty for All Goodwill Throughout All Nations of the world A Brothers'/Sisters’ hood A Global Backyard Need's to be Kept Clean A Coming of Together and rock n'roll 4 ever!!! Fears…That all the above doesn't work out."

Jim Pembroke: Peace, Rock & Happiness

The titled album "If The Rain Comes" (2014, TUM Records) represents the return as a solo artist of Jim Pembroke, who first became more broadly known as the frontman of the highly influential Finnish progressive rock group Wigwam. It was his first new release after more than three decades since his last solo album and almost ten years since Wigwam's last recording. Born in London, Pembroke now lives in Kansas City in the United States. For the band on the record he chose both old and new acquaintances. The former includes keyboardist Pedro Hietanen, a bandmate in Wigwam since the 1970s, and guitarist Jukka Orma from Pembroke’s Jimbo group in the 1980s. New acquaintances to Pembroke include two of Finland's leading jazz musicians, bassist Ulf Krokfors and drummer Mika Kallio. The recording also features guest artists, such as saxophonist Manuel Dunkel and organist Jukka Gustavson.            Photo by Katherine Mathis

Jim Pembroke began his musical career in various groups (The Runaways and The Taverner’s Guild) performing in London’s rhythm ’n’ blues clubs of the mid-1960s, but came to Finland already in 1965, first to visit and then to stay. Soon Pembroke had been invited to join a number of local groups (The Boys, The Beatmasters) and also began recording and performing with his own band (The Pems). Most importantly, Pembroke made his mark on the history of Finnish rock music as one of the founding members of Blues Section in 1967 and as the driving force of Wigwam throughout its existence, in both its classic early lineups (with Jukka Gustavson, Jukka Tolonen, Pekka Pohjola, Ronnie Österberg et.al. – Hard N' Horny, 1969; Tombstone Valentine, 1970; Fairyport, 1971; Being, 1974; and with Pekka Rechardt, Pedro Hietanen, Måns Groundstroem, Ronnie Österberg et.al. – Nuclear Nightclub, 1975; Lucky Golden Stripes And Starpose, 1976, and Dark Album, 1977) and its more short-lived later incarnations (Light Ages, 1993; Titans Wheel, 2002, and Some Several Moons, 2005). With these groups, Pembroke began his cooperation with producer Henrik Otto Donner, which also continued on several of Pembroke's consistently well-received solo albums. Pembroke was also one of the vocalists on Donner’s classic recording En soisi sen päättyvän (1970).

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has the Blues and Rock counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

Well, for me it was the rhythm & blues sounds of the early 60s pre the emergence of The Beatles & Stones et al that caught my ear and eventually drew me into a life in bands, initially following the road charted out by such blues artists such as BB King, Jimmy Reed, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Lightinin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Bo Diddely, Chuck Berry and James Brown with I'll Go Crazy and Please Please Please. All these guys had a profound effect on me, and numerous other London kids, and I found myself in a band in London about 16 years old, which would make me about 16/17 at the time so the year would've been around 1962/63 when I'd first heard all these guys - starting with BB King Live at the Apollo, which a good friend of mine, Mick Francis, had somehow got hold of this record at a time when only British sailors that had visited America and spotted that there was a market for blues recordings of American artists in England.  So they brought back armloads of various blues, jazz and rock records from there and sold them in the pubs and alleyways in these cities, Newcastle (The Animals) and other places but not everywhere available, until someone had the bright idea to import en masse, hence record shops and jazz clubs like Ken Colyers Jazz Club in Great Newport Street in Soho London overnight morphed into the Studio 51  R&B club, a kind of Cavern-like in Liverpool small club, where "You-Know-Who" played 5 million times before they made up a little song they called  I Want To Hold Your Hand which started a mania initially all over the British Isles and eventually went Mega Global wide etc..

For example, Liverpool was a main harbor docks city where these records eventually ended up in the hands of the already numerous bands in that city not least, including a band formerly known as the Quarrymen, evolving into The Beatles - Same goes for London, an even bigger Dockland city, which produced a vibrant underground scene with bands, or "groups" as they were then known, like The Stones, The Who, The Pretty Things, The Downliners Sect, The Yardbirds and numerous others, including a short-lived and unknown little "R&B" band called The Taverners Guild.  The name I thought up for our North London band/group offering their pale-faced North Finchley N12 versions of Smokestack Lightnin', Bright Lights Big City, Spoonful, Killing Floor, Got My Mojo Working', Boom Boom, Dust My Broom, Roll 0ver Beethoven, No Money Down,  Johnny B. Goode, Rock and Roll Music, Little Egypt, 0h Carol, Memphis Tennessee, Back In the U.S.A. Reelin' and Rockin', Sweet Little Sixteen, Maybellene, Around and Around, Little Queen, I Can Tell, Good Morning Little School Girl, Ain't That Loving You Baby, (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man, Call It Stormy Monday, My Babe, I'm A King Bee, Big Boss Man, Shame, Shame, Shame  Bright Lights Big City, Hush Hush Hush Your Mouth, Baby, What You Want Me To Do, Bring It To Jerome and Hey Bo Diddley and on and on and on... Anyway, I'd have to say that all these guys and their songs and sounds changed and influenced my views on everything going forward from day one since I heard them all in the early 1960s. Steppin' out With My Baby...

Photo: Jim Pembroke

What were the reasons that make the 1960s to be the center of Blues Rock Folk researches and experiments?

Probably got a lot to do with Her Majesty's Royal Navy, as mentioned above, and thanks to HMRN that the American Folk & Blues Festival came over to England and elsewhere in Europe. Also, many of the names already mentioned toured England playing to rapturous receptions in every club and concert hall they played at all over the place. They were celebrities soon as their shoes touched British soil, or tarmac, at London Airport, nowadays Heathrow.

Howlin' Wolf went into studios as guest of honor with the Stones, Clapton & others - Same Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry. John Lee Hooker I met in Helsinki after he played to a full house at Tavastia Club there (The Marquee of Finland) also Freddie King. Albert King. BB I only seen live in concert in Kansas City a few years back. Same ol' BB.  Also, the drummer in the very first band I was in, also mentioned above (the TG), was an American and he had stuff by Mingus, Bird, Miles & 'Trane. He rated Danny Richmond - Charlie's drummer, but he also had other stuff like, Jimmy Reed, Wolf and Muddy so, although I admired the virtuosity of the, "out~there" jazz guys, (Thelonius, Slam Stewart, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, 0rnette, Roland, Pharaoh etc) it was the other stuff (Jimmy Reed, Wolf, Muddy, Chuck) which really caught my ear right off and, they all wrote their own stuff, as did the jazzers of course, but firstly I needed a vocal in there, and I found it quite easy to bash out a rudimentary version of Jimmy's Bright Lights Big City or Baby What You Want Me To Do, or the Wolf's Smokestack Lightnin' or Spoonful, all of Chuck's stuff and Muddy too, Lousiana Blues or Mojo Workin' ~ Ah, If the river was whisky n' I was a divin' duck'  said, If the river was whiskey n' I was a divin' duck  I'd dive down to the bottom an' I never come up..that one too. Rollin' an' Tumblin' uh huh. Much more accessible and easier for me to play was say, Reelin' and Rockin' and Ain't That Lovin' You Baby than, say ~ Mingus' Pithecanthropus Erectus (gulp) or Monk's Ecclesiastics or 'Round Midnight.

So maybe that's part of it. The simplicity and feel in the blues guys' playing and vocals caught the teenage kids ears in London, and elsewhere, much like punk did with the Ramones and the Sex Pistols that went back to stripping everything down to 2 & 1/2 chords - or maybe 3, the direct opposite to what the progressive rock crowd were doing, with multiple chords changes filled with intricate time signatures and virtuoso guitar playing and complicated 'B' parts. And C,D,E and F parts, even G & H parts, with multiple chord changes filled with intricate time-signatures and virtuoso guitar parts - (Wigwam included - although I never considered myself a progressive anything, just a singer and writer of songs, that had the good luck to be in a band where everyone else, in my book, was a virtuoso at his chosen instrument and liked playing their versions of stuff I would, and still do, come up with in rehearsal rooms and studios. Anywhere really.)

So, simplicity and feeling - maybe that's what's behind what made the 60s the center of Blues Rock Folk.... 0h, and don't forget the Royal Navy.          Photo: Blues Section

btw. John's father, Freddie Lennon, was a steward on the ships that went to and from Liverpool and New York. John had all those records way before Mick and Keef. So that's it. The reason and responsibility for all the research and experimentation, progressive music, punk and everything else was all Freddie Lennon's fault. If he hadn't given all those records to John, then we all wouldn't have had to listen to those songs John made and Sergeant Pepper would never have got made. Mick Jagger wouldn't have the one blues record in southern England that Keef saw on that train station one day, and Brian Jones would never have gone from Cheltenham to London. To look for other blues fans and players and we'd all never had to put up with The Rolling Stones being formed, because they would never have heard Muddy Waters song Rollin' Stone and Charlie Watts would have a regular jazz trio gig at Ken Colyer's Jazz Club. Bill would've owned his own delivery van and delivered stuff to people and Ringo would've been a percussionist in a Butlins holiday camp somewhere. George would've worked in a garage and played country music in a pub part-time and John? John would've joined the Merchant Navy and discovered that people liked Indonesian music in Liverpool and so brought records of it and sold them to budding Indonesian pop musicians found in one or two restaurants near the popular jazz club called The Cavern and there'd be nothing but Indonesian pop groups playing 5 million shows there and John, being smart, would become a manager of one these groups, make them famous all over Liverpool and buy a Rolls Royce and brought it to the garage where George worked so he could polish it and, Paul? He'd be a farmer to get away from his drab old life as a vegetarian milkman in Liverpool and raise sheep and cows and grow flowers up north, and top of the pop charts would always be Alma Cogan and Frankie Vaughan or Perry Como, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra or Bruce Forsyth and Vera Lynn singing "We'll Meet Again" or Winifred Atwell singing a remake of "The White Cliffs of Dover" and peace and quiet would reign throughout the peaceful British Isles, and N0T having to put with all noise and bloody revolution and carnage that happened because of people like The Who and The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, who would've stayed in the US Army as a paratrooper, reaching the rank of lieutenant after multiple years of dedicated service.  The Kinks would never have happened and there wouldn't be such turmoil if Syd Viscious had simply become a pharmacologist and Johnny Rotten wouldn't have a nice hideaway place in Malibu, and Eric worked in a cozy petrol station in a nice quaint village south of London and Cream wouldn't be around ever and… and… and...

It all boils down to being Freddie Lennon's fault - aided and abetted by his son John. And that's about it in a nutshell. All the researchers and experimentalists in the 1960s wouldn't have had to bother so much about everything, if Freddie Lennon had not had the brainwave did - So, Guilty as charged, for all the bother and confusion caused from 1962 onwards in England, by Freddie Lennon, and his son John, and the rest of the Lennon family in Liverpool, for not stopping him from running away to sea, causing him to leave John's mother and John, forcing him to go to sea and bring all these blues and rock records back for John, in the formerly peaceful, and still beautiful British Isles. Causing John to learn all Chuck Berry's great songs, leaving him no alternative but to take the treacherous path of having to be a musician and having to form a group and make all these songs for this group that caused so much mayhem, tears (of joy) and confusion, throughout the entire world, that we'll never hear the end of to Kingdom Come and back again..    

That's why the 1960s ended up being the center of Blues Rock Folk and all the researches and experiments… Freddie Lennon.

Photo: Jim Pembroke

How do you describe your songbook and sound? What are the differences between European & US music scene?

Well, last time I saw it there was a picture of me on the cover, sitting in some sailors’ bar waiting for the Royal Navy to arrive, I think. I know there must have been some reason or other, and somebody just snapped a photo. I must have had a hangover and I was looking to cure it, and what was in the glass on the table, was either a cold beer or Coca-Cola. If it was just coke then I was planning to write "Simple Human Kindness" cold turkey as a sort of punishment for myself. Penance, for "tying another one on" in another all-night Blues Rock Folk party that I'd just attended with scientists and business men, in one of my multi-millionaire friends' luxury penthouses, across the way from the dive in which I was waiting, for either the sailors or a song to arrive. The size of it, the songbook, not the hangover, was a bit bigger than a "normal" book, more like the size of Mad Magazine, but without the pictures of Mort Drucker, not counting the one on the cover, which was me, not Alfred E. Neuman.

Less pages than Mad Mag, and when you opened it, there were lots of little black dots going higgledy-piggledy and erratically up and down, like flies or fat ants, along all these straight lines with words and chords written in here and there. It's been a while since I last saw it, after it fell on the floor somewhere one night, making a sound a bit similar to: "thwack!" or a bit like a wet flannel thrown against a wall-papered wall, kind of "Thwack gwhuufgfa" as if someone had thrown a full English breakfast at you and you'd ducked, just in the nick of time as it whistled past your ear with a whooshing high pitched whistling sound followed by the Thwackgwuufgf! sound as it hit the wall and slid slowly down like a slithery alien sea urchin. After that I think the songbook must've been picked, or swept up by trash men, swept into a plastic bag, mistaken for rubbish or common random litter, and perhaps in reality it was, and disposed of in an orderly and humane fashion in a local rubbish tip or waste garbage landfill facility that deal with random rubbish left and forgotten on streets outside bars in many countries by pre-occupied people in a hurry somewhere else, but this occurs especially in Finland.

Meanwhile the people in a hurry, who are probably thinking about either the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, or then the similarities or differences of the price of beer from place to place. Then there people who, through no fault of their own, have ended up having to be musicians, whom, being one of them alone, can set up people like that with their own unique set of problems like: what would it be like to try to make a song that used every chord and every key, every major and every minor starting from a key he's never played much in and go from there.

Then bring it to a group, or band of musicians, up for a laugh somewhere in present day Finland or Europe - or America for that matter and see if they can play it, in any of these countries, if just to keep boredom at bay even. First, they may ask, in say Europe or the U.S.A. "Well, how does it start or, what key is it in?", and the guy in the photo might say:  "Well, try F for a bit, then a short, quick F6 followed then by Fmaj7 suspended4th., with a natural /E on the bass. (or C7sus4/E.) Then Ab with /Eb bass then Bbsus4 resolving to Bb.

Then, repeat that once which is followed by Db Cm7 Bbadd9 Eb7/Db Ab/C and Bbsus add9. Then a little staccato riff in Fm7 for a bit, then a bit that goes up high starting from Gb (or F#) up to Bb descending chromatically to D.

Then: Dmaj7 sus4 E/B F# F#maj7 F6/9 C11 (or Bb/C) then the same bit from Fm7. After that a bouncy polka-like part for a bit: Bbm7 for two bars, followed by Absus4  Ab Absus4 Ab twice,  then a bit of Fm7 again continued to the tricky: B/F#  B6/G#  B7/A E/B E6/C#  E7/D A/E A6/F#  A7/G D/A D6/B D7/C G/D G6/E  G7/F C/G C6/A C7/B  Then, repeat the polka bit and the other bit just played, which brings you back to F again for a bit. Next, to Fmaj7sus4 Ab/Eb Bb F Fmaj7sus4 F6/9 Esus E & rpt. After that ascend and descend to *riff C*.  Then to F# G#6/F# A6/F# B/F# C#7/B D/A  E/G# C# (x8) (instr) (4x) (gtr solo) *riff C ~ Rallentare Gradualmente in Modo Signifcativo ~ (slow down - a whole bunch) F# and, end." If you play all this then, you've just played "Simple Human Kindness". (Proof that it can be played is found on a recording of a long-playing vinyl disc/album called "Nuclear Nightclub" originally released on Love and Virgin Records. Also made available later in the day on CDs. (Can't beat the original vinyl version though imho)     

If you want, or need more punishment, then progress, or regress if you prefer, down to the absolute nadir and try taking on the murk of "Bertha Come Back."   An attempt to meld discordance and cacophony with clashing stabs of polyphonic rhythmic mayhem, guitars and screaming organs bound together with a tragic, tone-deaf urgency of deconstructed chord fragmentations, streaked with intermittent and occasional interludes of sweet threads of the crystal melody, tonal blending of opposites attracted, as a magnet to a tangled mess of harmonic contradictions and atonal confliction, married to a lyric of star-crossed lovers, lost on the shifting sands of a constantly revolving eternity of disassembling and reassembling and de-constructed the jumble of the false notion of spending their hallucinatory, delusional lives together forever, in the car crash of their dysfunctional relationship, as noisy as a freight-train going in one ear and out the other. This song has also been performed and played first in Finland, but also elsewhere in Europe. This particular song have not been attempted or played in the music scene in the U.S., not counting the odd rendition by the odd obscure versions played by an odd wandering obscure minstrel or so. Doubtlessly it would be possible to attempt a version in U.S.A. as that country is well endowed with numerous talented musicians, but whether it would possible anytime soon is really only one small step, but maybe too much a leap for musical mankind at this point in time. 0therwise there many similarities in both scenes on this and that side of the pond, and thank heavens, or Chuck Berry, for all that. Time To Drink Lunch is a song no-one's written yet - still stuck on steppin out with me baby…. Anyway.

Photo: Jim Pembroke

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

OK...I was sitting on the tour bus one day somewhere hours and hours south of Stockholm, where we'd just played a few places around the nightlife stone-village part of XXX-rated movieland Gamlastan (The 0ldtown) in Stockholm, on our way to Copenhagen for the first time. We'd been booked to play at a few places around, including the Tivoli Gardens Fun Fair Amusement Park, the Star Club and Kristiana, the first "free city/town/village" in the world. I was getting bored. Endless forests and open fields with cows and sheep scattered around under a blue sky with sunshine beaming down with the birds of a coming summer singing their heads off, on their way north, as far as Lappland, a thousand miles or so for them to go. They didn't seem bored and I envied them I guess, as I listlessly turned my eyes back to endless road, snaking past more beautiful lakes and gas stations dotted here and there.

I lit another cigarette, opened a new can of beer and put my feet up on the table like you usually do when facing the endless road ahead. Phsssst pop. (Glug glug) As I took a swig and idly blew some smoke rings, watching the hypnotic effect they can have on the discerning eye of the discerning smoker, when I found myself drifting away and thinking "Well, this is bloody boring enough, so where was I and what was I doing about a year ago, back home in London. Well, hell, I was working in an awful, filthy factory making plastic-mouldings of garbage like telephone dials and boring miniature Eros's figures for bleedin' ashtray decorations and push-button boards parts for a boring whatever. This place was straight out of 1837GooG England's Charles Dickens era, for 12 hours out of every 24 hours, on nights. Yes on the night-shift. ( 6PM in - 6AM out.) like the song, Working' In a Coalmine, whoopsa, for three whole fucken months.

That's 12 weeks. 84 nights. 1008 hours. 60,480 minutes. 3,628,800 seconds. That's three million and six hundred and twenty eight thousand and eight hundred seconds, including a couple of "tea" breaks. "Tea" because it was always the same old re-cycled re-heated gunk left over from the day-shift mob, but in spite of the awfulness of the taste, which matched the dungeon-like colour scheme of the faded grey walls of this place of relentless grinding din and screeching jarring sound emitted incessantly from the iron monsters belching out mouldings and steam and gas groaning and moaning under the 24 hours that these alien-like colossal dragons in a Chaplinesque horror movie from Hades that made "Modern Times" look like a cake walk to the discerning eye of a smoker. (me) That's long enough to play a good few seasons of excellent Premier League Football in England or walk from Land's End to John O' Groat and back again probably (have to check data on that somehow) or climb Mount Everest a good few times, if yer luck's in. Mine wasn't, but I knew there was a light at the end of this ghoulish ghost ride through the horrific lands of the dreaded Beelzebub. I knew it was only gonna last for 3 months 12 weeks etc etc. (see above for full timetable details on estimated arrival back to the "normal" world, whatever that was) and will have made enough money honey to buy a ticket (to sail) ride.

"But where?" Asks the shop-floor comedian.

"To go to Finland." I says.

"Whaddafuck ya wanna go there for? Everybody knows there ain't nuffin there 'cept forests an' lakes an' reindeers an' snow. Yor bonkers mate!"

"That may well be," I says, "but I ain't going there for the scenery, I'm going' there 'cos the most beautiful girl in the world wit long blonde hair who lives there wants me to." 

"Ya gotta a pickchur of her then?"

"Sure." said I ~ whipping out a picture she'd sent me in one of the precious letters she she'd written during the field grey days and stone cold nights, since she'd had to leave at the end of the previous glorious blissful days and months we'd been together. (Cue: Gone With The Wind theme song again.)

"0h." said the wag of the shopfloor. "Bit of alright, eh." with his twisted face gurneying into the shape of a "knowing" grimace, or "smile" in his book. "She good in the sack then?"

"I ain't telling' you, ya peasant." I offered in response, as he winked a wrinkled bloodshot eye my way, and I with my best "happy-go-lucky" Elvis curled-lip smile cum scornful sneer impression, responded "Wouldn't you like ta know ya filthy ol' bugger." said I like Marlon Brando in   "Mutiny 0n The Bounty. "You gonna be working' the next 35 years here in this hellhole then?"

"Nah. I could get a job sweeping' the floor in a glue factory any day mate." he says.

"Well good luck with that then." I said sympathetically.

"Some blokes have been working here 30 years." he says, as if that's the way to go, with the glue factory being a good alternative. "Since 1935 mate. That's before war ya know."

"How come this dump wasn't bombed ta hell by the Fueher and the master race then? Woulda saved you an' all these poor sods havin' ta work in this shithole all their lives. I'm outa here next week and lying in a meadow kissing' an' hugging' me girl in the sunshine while you lot of poor sods are here dreaming' 'bout nuffin 'cept going' down the pub an' goin' ta see Arsenal again on Saturday an' down the pub again an' then off to th' fish an' chip shop for a right royal weekend and then back to this dump with a hangover, or worse - or yer glue factory? Who's bonkers in this horror movie then? I'm only here for a few more days, Grab the money, which I'll give ya that, is good, but get the fuckoudda Dodge is my plan mate. Next week, but good luck to ya mate, your poor sod."

And on and on and on... until suddenly we'd arrived in Copenhagen and I thought of all the poor buggers still buggering away on their buggering machines, having a laugh, passing the time of day as best they could, and me? Made me think that the never ending journey we'd just made from Stockholm with me bandmates wasn't all that bad after all as we pulled into the Tivoli Gardens where we were playing for 2 or 3 nights on the huge stage next to the Ferris Wheel and Big Dipper, to thousands of punters and fun-folks before moving on to the Star Club where we had been booked for a week's residency before playing in Amsterdam. 0n the road. The long and winding road. 0h well, it ain't that bad, I thought, as I lit another cigarette. Still on it fifty years later and only once in a while do I wonder what happened to all those poor sods back at that hell-hole. Which actually burnt to the ground two weeks after I left the place for the last time. Frazer & Glass Plastic Moulding Factory, Lodge Lane, Whetstone, it was called.

I wonder did the comic ever get the glue factory job, or did he find something else other than being fine at the glue factory? Own TV Show? I bloody well hope so, but I doubt if I ever will know.

Blues Section / Photo by Jukka Vatanen, Blues Section 1967

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past?

I don't really miss any music from the past 'cos I got copies of most of the music and bands a songwriter that I've loved from the first day I heard ever 'em, usually off Radio Luxembourg in Europe for the GIs station in Germany. We got a strong signal then from RL in London where I first heard most of the stuff. Same people. Like Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Del Shannon, Dion (with/without The Belmonts), Bruce Chanel (for "Hey Baby" alone), The Everley Brothers, Duane Eddy, Floyd Cramer (for "Last Date" alone), Brenda Lee, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Bobby Darin, Bobby Lee, Bobby Rydell, Jerry Lee Lewis...the list is endless. Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl, The Band, Dylan, the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Kinks, The Who, Hendrix, Clapton, Cream, Animals, too many!!

What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

Hopes... Peace and Happiness, Liberty for All Goodwill Throughout All Nations of the world A Brothers'/Sisters’ hood A Global Backyard Need's to be Kept Clean A Coming of Together and rock n'roll 4 ever!!! Fears…That all the above doesn't work out.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

That, I had met Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix by chance one night in a bar in Brewer Street, and we decided to make a band, like you do, and we went to some club Bag o' Nails or St. James, and John Lennon and Keith Richards were there, and they wanted to join. So, there was only a drummer missing when walks in Keith Moon with Ringo, and they both wanted to join. Just when you least expect it who walks in but Pete Towshend and Eric "slowhand" Clapton.  They both want to join. Then just when you think you seen it all...Who walks in but Charlie Watts and Mitch Mitchell. They wanna join. We went around to Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club and secured a year's residency and then back to the Scotch, and who was there but, Bill Wyman and Gary Brooker. They both want to join. Then - John Entwistle walks in with Ray Davies, shortly before Pete Quaife and Ray Davies and they all wanted to join too. Just then... who walks in by himself? Bob Dylan. That's who. He wants to join. Slash sets his gear up and starts wailing - he wants to join. Neil Young wakes up and he wants join too. The rest of this dream I don't recall wha happen.

0h! Now I recall! The Jimi Hendrix All Starrs and Moons Experiment walked out onstage at a Hyde Park London Free Concert, summer 2017 to celebrate 50 years of performing, with everybody from the original line-up STILL ALIVE - an' kickin' ass, (Jimi was a lively 75 year-old, and as wild and personable as ever), to an estimated crowd of approx. 95,000,000 (95 million) fans, who were invited to donate their extra pocket-change, no matter how massive or minuscule, to: "The Food & Medicine For The Needy Children & Mothers of the World Rock n' Roll Relief Fund") or RRRF for short ~ which ended up being a handy few billionollars, which helped getting things going. Bill Gates grew his hair out, and joined the band on kazoo, as did Travolta and Tarantino. Frank Zappa too joined, Along with Jeff Lynne and Brian Wilson. Then Joe Cocker and Leon Russell heard something was up and they joined.

Photo: Jim Pembroke

Especially when the band announced later that year, they would be doing it every summer from then on until forever, in Hyde Park. AND Central Park and Candlestick Park, where John,76, would always end the concert with singing Imagine and Twist & Shout where EVERYBODY came out onstage to boogie down 'til the cows come home. Releasing CDs, vinyl of the complete concert(s) accompanied by full video footage, all-access backstage, rehearsals and interviews inc. for a special bonus low-priced box-set, of which all the bread, minus event staging and arranging expenses, of course, would be forwarded to the RRRF creating trillionsanollars and the Answer to life on earth, for the recreation of a pure fresh, new Garden of Eden, or East of Hendon, with all forms of life, anything that has a face including: from the smallest most inconsequential insect to the smallest consequential new-born child (warm underwater births being the normal accepted practice) on the face of our wonderful new crystal clear and cleaned-up planet - our dear Mother Earth. Where the rain forests will have been restored to their former glory, and the Monarch butterflies grown immeasurably abundant, noticeable as dense red and orange clouds, on their perilous journeys from Northernmost beautiful forests and lakes of Canada (like Finland) to the same little clump of trees on a slope in a beautiful veiled valley in central Mexico since for how long, no-one knows, 'til forever-after until no-one remembers anymore.

And all the lost miniature rainbow-splashed parrots and exotic birds would return to Brazilian rainforests and water would run pure, crystal and cold, to an ocean teeming with fish in the bright shimmering-clean oceans, stretching forever in front of them, stretching and reproducing everywhere, everything all across Mother Earth. (ME for short:) With possessions shared, in a world of hope, as one, for dreamers of a nobler life of Peace, and the pursuit of happiness, religion too, ok but lose the fanaticism. The freedom to worship whomever or whatever you wish, without having to try forcing your personal beliefs on your brothers and sisters, neighbours, non-believers. Leave them be and get on with your own life. No preaching. Advancements in the Medical Field(s), by the creating trillions of more dollers ($) for innovations in eradicating all ills inc. all cancers, all diseases etc. thereby extending the sources of life-spans, extended or eternalized, with good health rampant, taking over the world, healthy bodies making healthy minds, colonizing the star(r)s, starting with Mars - that rhymes, so it must be true - for me and you (From Me To You and from You To Me - with LOVE), and Love Records will forever be in fashion, All 0tto Donner's records would be re-released regularly + Wigwam (of course!) - and everybody else, will be re-released. Guns & Roses will tour everywhere, forever, and promote this and regularly, voluntarily and with gladness, donate to the RRRF, as would every other band or group that chose to do so.

The Sex Pistols will reform. With a great new album "Never Mind All That Old Bollocks-Here's Yer NEW BOLLOCKS MATEY!" and they will tour also with Jimi Hendrix and The Starrs and Moons Experiment ~ Forevermore. It, (THE NEW B0LL0CKS) sells a gazillion which they donate (minus running expenses maybe - bollocks ta that) and the vocalist, J.J.Lydon, (J. for John and J. for Joseph) will have to relocate to a bigger mansion, Malibu can be nice, to have room for all the platinum records and stuff he'd have to accept, like 'humanitarian of the week' awards and poet awards, ribbons and medals and stuff like that. Steve would think it's a: "load of old bollocks", but that just Steve. Syd and Cookie would tag along. They'd all join Jimi's group, or band, or experiment.

Photo: Blues Section

More Jazillionsanollers for RRRF, (R3F) to create the new technology of the impending, inevitable-brilliant future. People living for today, above them only sky, to mount a New Space *Columbus to discover (*America?) New Planets to populate Mars and way beyond (*he, Columbus didn't actually discover America *awak. [as.we.all.know] He was really looking for new sea route west - to India, (hence Native American tribes got labelled "Indians"}India- with its spices, treasure and booty, in the guise of spreading Christianity, but in actuality only reaching the outer islands north of Haiti or someplace, in the holy name of the lord.

Details details - So, he was actually paddling around hoping to find-a sea route, a short cut, west to the mysterious Orient (No, not Leyton 0rient ya daft brush) and since the thickos in charge at that time believed, the Earth was flat, like a pancake, and ye'd fall off yon edge-to Hades or worse, like the Titanic going over Niagra Falls, if ye went too close, thicko. All in the "enlightened age" of 1492 that'd get yas burnt at the stake back home as a heretic for believing otherwise. Stuff like everything revolved, and around Earth and heresy if you thought it was the sun and, off with his head.  Thanks to the 'ignorance is bliss' attitude of all the thicko ignoramus' running things in their blissful ignorance, popular at the time (any before or after 900s 1000s 1100s 1200s 1300s 1400s 1500s 1600s 1700s 1800s 1900s) and until early 2000s UNTIL the summer 2017 when the RRRF was launched and accepted as THE Moment In Time, in a future history book-somewhere, when something or someone SWITCHED THE LIGHT BULB 0N! and even people in tunnels could see the light at the end of any of them. And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git, while yer at it. Gotta light? A drink, a drink. My mind is on the blink. My kingdom for a drink. Or a lil'ol'horsey'll do. War had been mercifully disposed of, deemed obsolete, into the Dust-bin & Garbage wheelie-bins of the "Eternal Historical Errors To Be Learned From ~ Bin*." + (*g Crosby & bob HOPE tours) And Elvis, would finally tour Europe.(in livin'hologram form of course). So will Jesus Christ tour, walk on water at Caesar's and pack the joint at the MGM Grande with Resurrections and feeding of the Five thousand and ther'll be no heaven above him either, or us, or anybody - and no hell below us, or him neither, nor for anybody else, only the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, happiness and good vibrations, mon. Bob Marley will reform and tour forever in his eternal live hologram: "Rejoicing the Global Recognition and Acceptance for the Greater Good of His "I an' I" Favourite 'erb mon, Take A Toke Off This Tour""

So will Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. Smokey Robinson and The Miracles will be already out there touring, forever. As will Bob Dylan, and with any goddamn band he likes, or chooses to. Young will reform The Byrds with Crosby Stills and Nash, with McGuinn often opening for them with Easyrider or something. Dylan always doing a spot with them (Goddam acoustic and harmonica, if the man wants!) and everyone will be imagining "can this goddamm life on this planet, our beautiful swirling blue marble suspended in space planet, get any better? Yes! 

So it will, when Sir Thomas John Woodward 0BE (Tom Jones, Sir to you) joined and all members of Wigwam as well. And Ron Wood and George, the quiet one, would join, and their mates Rod and Elton, with David Beckham and Pele, as well as Sir Richard Branson (sir to you) and Stephen Spielberg (Steve to him), on tambourine and maracas respectively, with Virgin Air sponsoring, (in perfect harmony and synchronisation with IcelandAir and Finnair, of course) all flights for all the to-ing and fro-ing necessary, culminating each year with a free festival on one of *his (*Richard's [sir2U] private islands somewhere.) [KneckerIslandssshush], and shared with the Rest of the World, live via satellite and available later on Virgin Records & Movies, as well as Love Records reforming and taking care of the Scandinavian and Nordic markets, and Russian demands from the Kremlin House of Rock of: больше, больше, больше!! (Bolshe, Bolshe; Bolshe - more! more! more!) 

Wigwam 1974 / Photo by Risto Vuorimies

Macca and Harrison Ford joined too. Here and There. It's easy if you try. You may say it's all "Freddie & the Dreamers", and Walk on, Walk on, ya dummy, and all that. With hope that people start living for today, everyone having nothing to die for, no army to join, nothing to conquer, nothing to fight for, except perhaps voluntary participation in the continued rejuvenation of Dear Mother Earth and her gardens, that had been in need of care and attention, and a facelift, for such a long, long time. And the hanging gardens of Babylon will be revived, back to its lost splendour, for everybody in the world to visit, at least once. Especially after the Industrial Revolution Disaster (circa. Europe between 1820 and 1840) on the fragile and pristine environment, unlike the Apache, Sioux and all the "Indian" tribes left ~ forced into alcoholism, despair, winter, death.

Mother Earth in America was-in as-good a shape as when they first found it back in the day. Way before John Wayne arrived from *Hollywood. (*a formerly nice tranquil orange grove run by peaceable Mexican farmers and peasants, who kicked out the peaceable indigenous people there at the time, called the Chumash (bead-maker or seashell people) Who had been there in Southern California for-at least, the previous 13,000 years, inhabiting the area around Malibu and to the north from Morra Bay 'til back to the 'bu, where Johnny Rotten now lives, Cheech too, in the south, including the islands of paradise called Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and San Miguel; the smaller sister-Isle Anacapa,which was likely inhabited only-seasonally. Due to the lack of consistent water source apparently. Before, everything was just dandy in their warm Mediteranean-like climate gathering harvest and stuff. Until. The EUROPEANS ARRIVED. The Spanish. In September of 1542. Quote (from the diary of Commander Juan Cabrillo):  "We, entered the bay Thursday evening, September 28th, 1542, a storm from the southwest at our heels.“Having cast anchor in it, men were sent ashore where there were people. Three of these waited, but the rest had fled. To these three they gave some presents, and they said by signs that in the interior men like the Spaniards had passed. They gave signs of great fear. On the night of this day they (the sailors) went ashore from the ships to fish with a net; and it appears that here there were some Indians and that they began to shoot at them with arrows and wounded three men.

“Next day, in the morning of the 29th, the.men went with the boat farther into the port, which was large, and brought back two boys, who understood nothing by signs. They gave shirts to both and sent them away immediately. The Chumash had been met by the sight of astounding and gigantic sailing vessels under the command of Juan Cabrillo. Short story was: Quote - "came a series of unprecedented blows to the Chumash and their traditional lifeways", put it mildly, sure thing. Quoting entries from Cabrillo's diary went thus: “Then, the next day after,in the morning of Saturday 30th, three adult Indians came to the ships and said by signs that in the interior men like us were traveling about, bearded, clothed, and armed like those of the ships. They made signs that they carried crossbows and swords; and they made gestures with the right arm as if they were throwing lances, and ran around as if they were on horseback. They made signs that they were killing many native Indians and that for this reason they were afraid. These people are comely and large. They go about covered with skins of animals.

“While we were in this port a heavy storm occurred; but since the port was good, we did not feel it at all. It was a violent storm from the west-southwest and south-southwest. This was the first storm which we had experienced. We remained in this port until the following Thursday. The people here called the Christians Guacamal-(?). On the following Tuesday, October 3, we departed from this Port of San Miguel.”  During early October their expedition/invasion was on the Island of San Miguel kickin' it, when suddenly Cabrillo broke an arm. Though greatly inconvenienced, he again sailed northward, encountering such storms as have seldom elsewhere been recorded. The men suffered from scurvy and were getting mightily pissed off. Piercing cold added to their agony. Cabrillo’s arm became infected. The ships were forced to turn southward, became separated; but finding one another again the fuckers returned on November 23rd to San Miguel Island. There Cabrillo died January 3, 1543, and was buried.

Anthropologists, historians, and other scholars had long been interested in documenting the collision of cultures that accompanied the European exploration and settlement of the Americas. Spain had settled in well on the former territory of the Chumash by 1770. They founded colonies, bringing in missionaries to begin the Christianizing of these Native Stone-Age Americans found in the region. Due to the large mission and Christian influence, Chumash villages began moving to the many missions springing up along the coast. So they were there long before Custer's Last Stand in 1876 and all that.

Anyway, same ol' story. "Olde World" diseases, culture devastated, displacement, discombobulation,look it up, scattering of population, disorientation, life on reservations, lower birth rate, language forgotten, echoes in Apache land and what happened to all of them that fell to The Europeans, pre-Alamo times and after.. until the late 19th century, were the Indians not finally beaten at Wounded Knee on Monday, December 29, 1890 marking the wrapping up of that particular package of problems. Although researchers and scientists may cite the defeat of the Indians was not on Wednesday the this or that, it's like well before Cochise was having a time leading the U.S. cavalry on a merry goose-chase-dance north and south of the border with Mexico, before ...  y'know. *They never got him though. 

(ancillary.fyi) Mexican forces captured Cochise at one point in 1848 during an Apache raid on Fronteras, Sonora, but he was exchanged for nearly a dozen Mexican prisoners. War between the U.S. and Cochise, however, resulted from a misunderstanding. In October 1860, a band of Apache attacked the ranch of an Irish-American named John Ward and kidnapped his adopted son, Felix Tellez.  Although Ward had been away at the time of the raid, he believed that Cochise had been the leader of the raiding Apache. Ward demanded that the U.S. Army rescue the kidnapped boy and bring Cochise to justice. The military obliged by dispatching a force under the command of *Lieutenant George Bascom. Unaware that they were in any danger, Cochise and many of his top men responded to Bascom’s invitation to join him for a night of entertainment at a nearby stage station. When the Apache arrived, Bascom’s soldiers arrested them. Bastards.

Cochise told Bascom that he had not been responsible for the kidnapping of Felix Tellez, but the lieutenant refused to believe him. He ordered Cochise be kept as a hostage until the boy was returned. Cochise would not tolerate being imprisoned unjustly. He used his knife to cut a hole in the tent he was held in and... escaped. During the next decade, Cochise and his warriors increased their raids on American settlements and fought occasional skirmishes with soldiers. Panicked settlers abandoned their homes, and the Apache raids took hundreds of lives and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damages. By 1872, the U.S. was anxious for peace, and the government offered Cochise and his people a huge reservation in the southeastern corner of Arizona Territory if they would cease hostilities. Cochise agreed, saying, “The white man and the Indian are to drink of the same water, eat of the same bread, and be at peace.”

The great chief did not have the privilege of enjoying his hard-won peace for long. In 1874, he became seriously ill, possibly with stomach cancer. He died on this day in 1874. He was 69 years old. That night his warriors painted his body yellow, black, and vermilion, and took him deep into the Dragoon Mountains. They lowered his body and weapons into a rocky crevice, the exact location of which remains unknown. Today, however, that section of the Dragoon Mountains is known as Cochise’s Stronghold, and has a handy MacDonald's and souvenir shop oasis for tourists on their way back from visiting the amazing Clanton gang's house nearby in...? So, all bastards after him failed to capture and he died a free proud Apache warrior and Chief. Tough shit for all the generals and bounty hunters hot on his trail. About a decade after Cochise died, Felix Tellez–the boy whose kidnapping had started the war–resurfaced as an Apache-speaking scout for the U.S. Army. He reported that a group of Western Apache, not Cochise, had kidnapped him. Talk about injustice.  Cochise: (1805-1874)

Photo: Wigwam 1973

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your paths in music circuits?

0ther than learning how count up to four in Finnish, never slap a man who's chewing tobacco, and if you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. Never squat with yours spurs on and always drink upstream from the herd, as according to Cowboy's Guide to Life. Never arrive a month early for a gig at a concert house, while they are still building it. (Wigwam did once.) Always know where the next gas station night bar is, that has a pinball in it. Never arrive early for a rehearsal or on time, chances are everybody will be late anyway.  Always be late for the tour bus, and never do today what you do tomorrow. Never try to play a blues solo on piano in G7 when everybody else is playing in Db7. If the way to the stage isn't marked out clearly, always say: "Where's the stage." Never offer to help repairing equipment or finding things, always be more help not getting involved. Always pretend you know nothing about setting up equipment, much less about humping it around and upstairs. Get someone else to do it that's why roads assistants were invented, the burlier the better. Listen well and hear me now sir, no matter how much you wiggle or hop, the last little drop, will always end up in your trouser.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

In the past? OK. Thursday, February 6th, 1958. Back To Munich Airport to somehow convince all the passengers and flight crew NOT to try to take off for a third attempt to get airborne and just go peaceably back to their nice warm, hotel rooms, and try again if the snowstorm of the previous horrific day had lifted and the next day, 7th February, a Friday was bright and sunny seemed to me, and them (with eagles flyin’ overhead) and all got back safely to Manchester to all their gals and fans at home with waiting arms and so to bed, after a nice candle-lit supper with a crucial match against somebody the next day. slobber slobber zzz… OR… Maybe, back to a certain corporal serving as a motored-bicycle messenger-boy in the Der Germans Armies, sadly got hit by a Brit sniper, and the poor little bastard messenger-boy didn't make it, and World War II wouldn't have been necessary after all. I guess I'd have to go with option 2. Yep option two in the interests of the larger picture and humanity, and its continued comfort (circa throughout-1939-45).  

In-the-future? Maybe a semi-permanent residency at the newly opened JH Starrs and Moons club on the Moon with the Jimi Hendrix All Starrs And Moons Experiment. With all the guys making it safely to-and-from the gig. I could settle fer somethin like that Have to talk to Elon maybe… And, Sir 2u Richard--- Bill G. and "the guys" I gotta innerestin project fer you an "th boys" OR. Go and visit *The Galactic Noah's Ark Project a hundred years from now, in 2117 or two hundred, in 2217. *The Galactic Noah's Ark Project - or GNAP for short, (or NAP for even shorter), was an idea finally put into "Serious Planning Mode" in 2017 after a JH Starrs and Moons show at the London Palladium, in a backstage corridor men's room, where a group of hip Gazillionaires huddled together with Jimi, Ringo and Moonie and decided to ask JH and the guys what they think, and would they fancy being the figureheads and co-sponsors of this project and, be the first band to gig on Mars, after Mars had been manned  with a Hi-Class A ~ "Station Mars" Late-Nite 24/7 Nuclear-type Nightclub, much along the lines of a de luxe 'Station North Pole Hilton" that we have here on earth.

Photo: Blues Section on stage

Jimi and the guys jumped at it and “So it was Said, and So it was Done” and GNAP went into full development mode later in 2017/2018/2019/2020.  By 2117 significant progress should be discernible or at least very apparent, so it'd be a jolly good idea to check it out sir, ahead of time, and see how things had been going, and was there any progress, in the later project of: to actually develop a way to to warp time and space, like Einstein was going on about back a century ago, travelling' man in warped time or something. Perhaps by 2217 things would be twisting'; Twistin' an' a Warpin' - Yeah! Like we did last summer…Lets Warp again ~ Like we did last year Yeah Warpin' Time is Here! (Chubby’s still out there giggin' it, ’til the cows come home btw. Go Chubby!) and by 2317 we should be warping' an' a twisting' with the evacuation of Earth's population having developed into a regular to and fro job to the marvellous new, shining, domed space city on Mars called...called ..Pandora ('praps 'cos all species of life on earth will be part of the evacuation, including plants, trees, flowers, all types of fruit trees and evenall living, breathing things on earth that has a face (excluding perhaps: mosquitos, wasps and creepy poisonous spiders or snakes, or anything that could harm the first new born babe in Mars' new wonder future Space City. (named:  Let the people decide!) Otherwise ~ This way…All Aboard.        

By the year 2417 things should be really hummin' and although the lease/rental on Mother Earth still had billions of years to go, that by this time, in the far distant future, when it enters "micro-wave outa-control-level" when the Sun finally moves in to "close the deal of the lien/temporary rental planet" of M.E., the human race will have already found ThE Goldilocks planet (!!), called New Mother Earth, or something, (Goldirocks?) and evacuation from Mars would already be on-going and in deep progress from the handy staging-station on Mars, (hundreds of years earlier) to populate the distant near-mother-earth-sized Goldilocks, and it's three paradise moon~islands, easily accessible natch, ( Porridge, Little Baby Bear, and Big Baby Bear. Distant Future de-Luxe holiday studio apartments, book yours NOW! and your distant ggggg>>>etc grandchildren will have your portrait in the recreation room-recording studio downstairs, or if they discover eternal life pills, or something, you might be there with them! Yeah!!!) everything perfectly complete with water, air, rainforests, anything possible! No dinosaurs, meanies or things that would see you as potential lunch, like planet Goldilocks herself, by a then a thriving New World, no need for Columbus' or anybody like that (see: The awful horror of being part of the human race until 2017, with wars, wars, and more wars and diseases and all manner of crap stuff [pollution, starvation, drought, flood, despair, greed, money, malnutrition, you name it, al significant in their absence, on Goldirox) Yeah.) Join us on the "same player shoots again" and NEW world planet, where the human race gets to "Push start" on a brand-new bonus game of "make the new history" far, far from the old madding one. A bonus game ~ 'praps the last chance at the last pinball machine, in the last, Last Chance Saloon in the World, with the continued survival and thriving growth on the planet of our final, and eternal, Future (yet to be discovered, but details details. All in good time to pass shall). thx George xx !!

Photo: Most importantly, Pembroke made his mark on the history of Finnish rock music as one of the founding members of Blues Section in 1967

All perfectly wonderful, and a just reward for all the simple human perseverance and "go-ahead" spirit of humankind needed for this gig to get staged/played, and all it's friends, the gig of the "entire future history of the human race for eternity forever and ever, with no end in sight“,  all with a humble beginning in a men's room, like Love Records, because it was the only place you could smoke. Amen.  So, it is said ~ So let it be done. Gotta light mate? Yeah, sure you can have one. Perhaps I'd like to see what was happening concerning all this, about 500 years from now, in 2517 or, in a thousand years... 3017. Now that'd be sumtin...I'll think a bit more about it tomorrow maybe. Meanwhile I think I'll go and have breakfast and peaceful cigarette wit me coffee at Joe's diner ‘round the corner and read a newspaper or something...

Are there any memories from your gig in Greece which you’d like to share with us?

I was in Greece about late 60s I think. A big show at the Panathenaic Olympia stadium... full house! So, here we are in Greece. A show at the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium. 60,000 people. Lasse Martenson and Big Band. (I wrote the lyrics) Dinner on the rooftop 5 star restaurant at the Hotel Grande Bretagne Zazzoo or whatever, with views of the Akropolis, lit up by spotlights as the gentle warm breeze made the candle flames shiver at our table, in the sultry purple night of Athens under a pink haze of lingering misty heat. As gazillions of stars lit the dark lavender, where the orange and tangerine and emerald night sky, recovered slowly from an unimaginable flame pink and already set sun, that had disappeared slowly behind Lycabetta Hill (which I climbed). In the distance across the ocean, city lights melting and intermingling with the neon multi-coloured night lights of bars and clubs, scattered below and before us, in a kaleidoscope of diamondic convulsion of casmic proportions, above the deep turquoise of the Aegean sea, shivering, like the candle flame at our table. Trembling as the great liners made their way into and out, of Athens harbour, as the dark-gold beaches shimmered in the multicoloured neon signs, and night turned inky blue, for another unforgettable shade to bathe the light and balmy darkness with, and…OK enough of that.

Anything you'd like to say before you go?
Portions of these answers are excerpted from my upcoming book "Just My Situation".

Jim Pembroke and his band - "If The Rain Comes" (2014) / Photographed by Pete Lucas

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