We took some time out to have a chat with Dexys legendary songwriter, trombonist and all round top man
BIG JIMMY PATERSON!!
Here's how things went.
Tim: We won’t try and make this like Mastermind Jim, although we have prepared some questions; they are probably
Jim: If I remember back to the late 70's, then it doesn't matter what you ask.
Gina: LOL! So, Jim, first things first--what made you take up playing the trombone?
Jim: A big man from South Shields turned up at my primary school with a van load of instruments and we all got to choose
one. My first choice was flugelhorn, the Tenor horn, then I finally progressed to trombone, so it was a complete fluke really,
certainly not planned.
Tim: Turned out to be a good choice!
Jim: Yes, I think the music Gods were looking down on me that day.
Tim: hee hee!! OK, me next Jim, typical smash hits sort of question from me: What was your favourite Dexys song to listen
Jim: Very hard to answer that. It's got to be off SFTYSR; I find The Teams That Meet In Caffs quite emotional even though
it is an instrumental and I do like anything that puts a lump in my throat.
Tim: My fave instrumental from Dexys-OK G over to you!
Gina: Can you tell us which was your favourite song to perform on, Dexys or non-Dexys? Or both?
Jim: Again, very difficult probably the ones where I was totally drained at the end of it like, forgotten the bloody title
now, Robin hope you don't mind me etc, or usually the last one of the set so I could go to the bar.
Gina: There There My Dear
Gina: Brilliant song!
Tim: I prefer the slowed down version, but I liked the SFTYSR one, should have been the 2nd number 1 if it hadn’t
been for the beeb on strike.
Jim: Strike, what strike? Only joking!
Jim: To be honest, I don't think there is a bad song on that LP.
Tim: Right, here's one from me: Did anybody inspire you musically? Or do you have a music "hero"?
Jim: I've been planning this answer for years. My hero was Alice Cooper, I saw him/them perform Schools Out on TOTPs, and
I turned to my parents and said "You will see me on there one day". Of course I didn't mean it but life is funny that way.
I don't think I have been influenced musically by anyone other than Kevin and Dexys.
Gina: You knew subconsciously what you wanted even back then! Do you still play, then?
Jim: I haven't played for years, but recently I have been searching in my loft for my trombone with the intention of practising
again. You never know who's going to come knocking on your door.
Tim: OK then, Music today Jim, do you listen to anyone in particular; is there any good stuff out there today?
Jim: I don't listen to anybody in particular. Peter Innes sends me stuff, Brazilian, Scottish folk/traditional which I
find far more interesting than a lot of stuff that is supposed to be "it " at the moment, but yes there is still a lot of
talent out there. I do like Dizzee Rascal--he is trying to make things worth listening to, but I hate to say there is a lot
of boring stuff too.
Gina: Right, Jim, if you could go back and do anything differently regarding Dexys, what would it be?
Jim: Not drink as much would be the only thing really. I tried hard not to get drunk before a gig but I found it very hard
to pace myself. I know I let the lads down far too often, but I suppose it was just me being me.
Tim: Right then, gigs: Do you have a gig that stands out as being your favourite? Either with Dexys or any other one?
Jim: Ironically, the last one we did, the first band that is, in Zurich. It was one of those moments when everybody just
seemed to relax and enjoy it. Although I knew we were splitting up (Kevin told me, on stage , mid song), and I got this huge
burst of energy and concentration. A sportsman would call it being in the zone. It is an "awesome" feeling. The only trouble
was the next day was such a comedown.
Gina: Oh, what a kick in the teeth!
Tim: blimey-adrenalin rush, can’t imagine how that felt for you
Jim: Yes, but it was better to end on a high before things started to get nasty.
Gina: Yes, this is true! So, Jim, what was it like working with Elvis Costello then?
Jim: Well apparently he didn't really like us. I don't think he realised we didn't have a "session player" attitude. I
actually loved playing for him and I thought we got on OK. The 2 month tour of America was a brilliant experience for me so
I have to say I enjoyed working with him.
Tim: EC is right up there in my record collection, loved the TKO horns. I am such a creep, sorry, trying not to be starstruck
Jim: Get away with you!
Tim: Right, I will TRY and be professional now! With the release of Apples and Oranges this year, The Blue OX babes still
appeal to many people, do you think they should have had more success than what they did?
Jim: Absolutely, Kevin Archer was half of a very successful writing partnership and his style was/is commercial enough
but it was more complicated than most people realised. I don't know the absolute truth but I guess there were forces working
against him at the time, and I don't mean KR.
Gina: Inner demons...
Jim: I think so.
Tim: Yes, he did an interview on YouTube, scary stuff.
Jim: I saw it and was shocked.
Tim: Me too, I didn’t know what to think, my mind has changed several times, posted as much on [the] Delphi [Intense
Emotions forum] about it.
Gina: Think we'll never know the full story, to be honest.
Gina: So, Jim, fast forward a few years--were you asked to go on the 2003 To Stop the Burning tour?
Jim: Yes, I only turned it down because I'm stupid. I was still holding a grudge and I also didn't think I could do it
(self doubt and all that).
Tim: Did you see any of the gigs Jim?
Jim: No regrettably, I was going to the London gig but for some reason pulled out, I think I would have felt embarrassed.
I could have worn a hoodie I suppose.
Tim: LOL!!! Hug a hoodie!
Jim: Yeah, great idea!
Tim: Ok, I have agonised asking this question, just say no comment if you don’t want to answer.
Gina: Deep breath steady now...
Tim: You and Mr. Rowland-Are you in contact these days?
Jim: Yes we are good friends, better than ever. We are both clean/sober. Pete, his brother, died and I carried his coffin
from the Chapel to the hearse. We spoke politely that day and it was then that I realised what a prat I'd been. We met up
again at his niece’s wedding in Ireland and we got on like the Celtic Brothers should. The Rowland family treated
me like one of their own so I am so happy we are friends again.
Tim: You've just made my night!
Gina: Oh that is absolutely fantastic!!!
Tim: We are a patient lot, as I said, I really do wish to hear the "Celtic Soul Brothers" again, and it is relevant and
Gina: Perhaps one of these days soon--get that trombone out of the attic (loft), Jim!
Jim: Already got it. I tell people I have retired but I'm far too young, fit and handsome!
Gina: Right, Tim asked earlier about your musical heroes; who are your heroes otherwise, outside of music?
Jim: My Dad, he's been through so much and is still going at 91. Anybody who actually does something that helps people.
My wife for not giving up on me.
Gina: Awwww, beautiful answer!
Tim: OK-here’s an off the wall question for you Jim! I remember seeing on a show a few years back when Kevin was
talking about the "Jocky Wilson" incident on Top of the Pops and him saying the band played a lot of jokes; do you remember
any jokes at the time?
Gina: …and not the one about the middle class idiots, please...
Jim: Kevin was quite wicked. If we turned up at a University for instance we would ask somebody directions to the student
union. While he was giving directions Kevin would whack him over the head with a rolled up paper and we would drive off leaving
the person totally bewildered. One time he used a large road map and almost knocked the bloke out.
Gina: :O Y'all WERE bad! Nowadays you'd have filmed it on a camera phone and uploaded to YouTube!
Jim: I think that particular bloke was the Dean of St Andrews. We would have been arrested if caught!
Gina: Speaking of nowadays, have you heard any Dexys tribute bands?
Jim: Yes, the band from Glasgow, It is such a thrill knowing that people are willing to do that. I have been in contact
with Gavin Paterson of course as we are the same clan.
Tim: Good ol' Gavin!! He is a top man. I’ve only seen the clips on MySpace but they are very good, very committed
to the sound.
Jim: I don't like the trombone player cause he sounds better than me.
Jim: Will try and get to see them one day.
Tim: Right, Pride-- 2 part question: 1-Proudest moment in music and 2-Proudest moment in your life in general?
Jim: Anyway, my proudest moment in music was doing TOTPs for the first time even though it is actually boring doing it.
My proudest moment in life was not losing it at my Mam's funeral a couple of years ago and heading for the pub. She was so
proud of me; I could never let her down again.
Tim: Having lost both of my parents, I know exactly what you mean.
Gina: :) I'm sure she's looking down and is still proud of you, Jim.
Gina: So, onto more mundane matters...is the music business better now than it was back in the glory days of Dexys?
Jim: Maybe. I never liked the "business" or at least all the bullshit but I'm here now because of it so I can only appreciate
my own experiences.
Gina: Jim, what keeps you busy these days? Fishing, gardening, collecting antique thimbles...?
Jim: Thimbles, how did you know? I go to the gym four mornings a week, I do some writing of my own and Pete [Rowland]'s
stuff. I promised him I would get some songs finished and heard at least. I do some housework because my wife goes out to
work, and I definitely don't watch Scottish football. Luckily I haven't got Sky.
Tim: Pete was well known to the rest of the Delphi Dexys lot, he went to the Dexys convention a few years ago, a really
nice man. I'm a bit of an outsider and never turn up for anything, Neil Warburton told me that (he ran the Dexys Keep on running
fanzine back in the day)
Jim: He was a special man.
Tim: We didn’t really know Pete Rowland that well Jim; what was he like?
Jim: He was lovely man with a great sense of humour, was a great husband and father and son, nearly the whole school where
he taught turned out at his funeral, which says a lot.
Tim: I remember hearing about it, Kev was due at some "do" in Cardiff and I got told about it and had to let the people
here know he wouldn’t be performing. Well, what a wonderful gift to his memory in having those songs done. Great stuff
Jim: If I get them finished.
Tim: Yeah, you will.
Gina: *has faith*
Tim: We still believe in the soul.
Tim: God, that was corny.
Gina: LOL! Any excuse to quote a Dexys lyric, Tim!
Tim: One question left Jim!!!
Tim: …and it goes to Gina!!!
Tim: Go Gina!
Gina: Right, Jim, what did you think of the Bureau reformation?
Jim: I thought it was the right thing to do, but I couldn't see any long term thing happening as they are scattered all
over the place and some were more into it than others. It was great to see my old mates, but think there was too much time
between then and now.
Tim: Well, that's about it Jim--thank you ever so much for this, you were fantastic.
Jim: I have really enjoyed it, thank you both for giving me this chance.
Gina: Thank you again for agreeing to it, Jim! It does mean the world to us!
(c)Webb/Hepler 2009 All rights reserved.
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