New style old tunes

Jeremy Lubbock takes over keyboard duty on Piano Pops

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From the TVTimes for week commencing 1 May 1960

JEREMY LUBBOCK, who brings a new face and a new style of playing to Granada’s Piano Pops, is including many “oldies” from the pages of composers like Gershwin, Rodgers and Jerome Kern.

“And why not?” he said, “Their numbers may not be in the Top Twenty, but some of them are still as popular as ever. An up-to-the-minute example is Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, which is enjoying new lease of life.”

Not that Lubbock’s appreciate of music is restricted to any particular style. His musical education has ranged from harpsichord classics to the latest thing in “rock.”

It all started when Jeremy was a toddler. The Lubbock home in Berkshire was the centre of musical life in the neighbourhood. At the age of four he began to explore the keyboards of the two pianos his parents owned.

He had a strictly classical upbringing. Beethoven and Bach were his childhood heroes.

Jeremy Lubbock
Big man – at a big piano

But as Jeremy grew older his taste changed to lighter compositions. “My preference,” he says, “is for tunes that are of popular appeal and yet have a lasting value … and it is my opinion that there are only half-a-dozen people who have written tunes that come into this category.”

Lubbock admits that none of the tunes he has written has reached the high standards he has set. His own contributions to music so far have included jingles for television commercials and a score for a short film.

He has also written a blues number, which had its first public hearing in Piano Pops. It took him 10 minutes to compose and is called Nameless. “It is tremendously difficult to find a title for a blues, so I just took the easy way out,” he says.

Lubbock is 6ft 3in tall and in the studios is provided with a grand piano that matches his proportions. But he tends to dwarf the miniature piano he uses for rehearsing the programme in his flat in London’s Holland Park.

This is an unusual instrument, decorated in Chinese lacquer — jet black with gilt illustrations of traditional Chinese figures with a background of rustic bridges, pagodas and willow trees.

Lubbock, now 28, was originally meant to be an architect. It was only three years ago that he decided that he wanted to be a full-time musician.

“I’d always had a hankering to move into show business, but it took me a long time to take the plunge,” he said. “Whether I took the right decision remains to be seen, but right now I don’t regret the change.”

Even so, he’s not taking any chances. On the drawing board in his flat are the plans for a shop he is designing for one of his friends. “An interesting project which I cannot resist doing,” is how he describes it.

Since his appearances in The Sunday Break last year, he has spent three months playing in a Paris night club.

“I suppose it was good experience,” he says, “but I didn’t care much for the hours. I was on duty from nine o’clock at night until four or five o’clock in the morning. Then I would have breakfast and take a swim in a floating pool moored in the River Seine before going to bed.”

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