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Laurence Juber (born 12 November 1952) is an English-born musician. Often considered most famous for playing lead guitar in Wings from 1978 to 1980, he has since had a distinguished career as a solo fingerstyle guitarist.
Born in Stepney, East London, Juber was raised and went to school in North London. By his own account, he began playing guitar the week that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles was released. Beginning on a cheap acoustic guitar, he learned to read music early, figuring out the system of music notation for himself. He began to earn money playing the guitar at 13, and began to study classical guitar at the age of 15. Enraptured by the sounds on records of the mid- to late 1960s, he set his sights on becoming a session guitarist in London’s music studios. He earned his music degree at London University (Goldsmith College) where he expanded his horizons playing the lute. Upon graduation, he immediately began work as a session guitarist, working on his first project with producer George Martin on an album for Cleo Laine. Amongst other studio work, in 1977, Juber was booked by London-based orchestral contractor David Katz along with session drummer Peter Boita to go to Paris for a week to record in Barclay Records’ studios to make an album with Charles Aznavour. Sung entirely in French the album, Je N’ai Pas Vu LeTemps Passer, went on to become one of Aznavour’s biggest selling French language albums of all time.
Juber gave up a lucrative and successful studio career when invited to join Paul McCartney’s band Wings in 1978. Juber later said that he agreed to join immediately “because you don’t turn down that kind of job”. He played on the band’s Back to the Egg album (1979), as well as their subsequent UK tour. In 1980, he garnered his first Grammy Award, when Wings’ track “Rockestra Theme” won the award for Best Rock Instrumental. He was miscredited as Lawrence Tuber on the sleeve for Back to the Egg. From this period dates his first solo album Standard Time (only released on vinyl). McCartney and former Wings guitarist Denny Laine played on the track “Maisie”.
After Wings disbanded in early 1981, Juber moved to the United States. In New York City he met his future wife, Hope, and soon moved to her native California. He subsequently resumed work as a studio musician and played guitar for numerous television shows, including Happy Days and Family Ties, and for movies, directing the music for the 1988 Very Brady Xmas reunion, perhaps most famously playing the James Bond theme for the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. […]
Lawrence Juber, a top professional session guitarist, has recently joined Wings, along with the band’s new drummer, Steve Holly, to bring the group back to full strength.
At the age of 25, Lawrence has an impressive musical history. Although he has never before played full-time with one band, his seven years experience as a session musician has allowed him to explore and develop many different styles of playing. He has worked on albums by such diverse talents as Cleo Laine, Shirley Bassey, John Williams, The Dead End Kids, Jimmy Rafferty, and Cerrone. Early in 1978 he was seen on the Granada TV Series “Get it Together” and “Paul Nicholas.” He was also the featured guitarist on the soundtrack of “The Spy Who Loved Me,” and has recently been working on a new musical by David Gordon, Cat Stevens’ brother, which will be produced by Cat.
Despite all this, Lawrence is also highly qualified. He left school in North London with an A in music “A” level exams, and after a year working in Irish dance-halls, jazz clubs and a short stint with an 8-piece jazz-rock band called “Gramophone,” he got a place studying music at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. In early 1974, when he was in his second year at college, Lawrence joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. An appearance on BBC-2’s “In Concert” programme with the NY JO was the basis for much of the session work he was given when he graduated as a Bachelor of Music in 1975.
Lawrence’s introduction to Wings was through Denny Laine, who he met when Denny was a guest and Laurence a member of the back-up band on the David Essex TV Series. Lawrence played an inspired guitar solo on “Go Now,” and later in conversation with Denny hinted that he would like to audition for Wings. In April this year, Lawrence received a phone call asking him to play a session with Wings. He did so, and was then asked to join the band. Undoubtedly he will make an interesting and useful contribution to the sound of Wings.From Club Sandwich N°9 June / July 1978
Touching on his tenure with the legendary Beatle, Juber described the time as an educational experience. Juber pointed out the Beatles song “Blackbird” as McCartney’s own distinct approach to the instrument.
“He (McCartney) has a certainly eccentric style on acoustic guitar, particularly his way of left-handed picking,” Juber said. “I learned a lot about the music business, about music production and about being an artist from him … I think that experience opened some creative doors for me. It furnished my resume nicely.“
No disrespect to them, but by the time we got Steve Holley and Laurence Juber in Wings I was getting a little bit fed up with ‘yet another new line-up’. It was getting a bit boring, to tell the truth – another dollar, another day, kind of thing. Even though they were good players, the whole Wings thing was becoming boring to me.Paul McCartney, in Wingspan, 2002
Last updated on March 6, 2020
Albums, EPs & Singles which Laurence Juber contributed to
Dec 29, 1979 • United Kingdom • London • Hammersmith Odeon