The History of Jupiter ……….so far
Jupiter formed in 1976 in Sydney Australia
Ron Mazurkiewicz and Philip Edwards had played together for many years in a well respected band called Elmtree. The band had been through many incarnations and was heading towards a more Jazzier Fusion focus and so needed the talents of a great guitarist which led them to Dieter Kleeman who was playing with local band “Forever”.
It certainly was a meeting of the spirits for these 3 musicians who quickly realised that they were well suited to be playing together. Next they needed that special bass player…………..
By placing an advertisement in the paper they thought there would be a line a mile long of talented bass players eager to join this new outfit…..
The one and only Bass player who answered the advert was Phil Laycock, which in hindsight was a great relief to the other members as he was perfect for the job of completing the new line up now called Jupiter.
It didn’t take long to have a wide ranging repertoire of tunes drawn from their musical influences. This included the likes of Chick Corea, John Mclaughlin, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, to name a few. Eventually the list would include some memorable original tunes like Full Moon, Camellia and much more.
Gradually, after being isolated for months in a small house on the outskirts of rural western Sydney the band ventured out to hit the traps with their new and innovative style of music.
Jupiter didn’t fit into the normal jazz scene, they were to rocky, they didn’t fit into the rock scene as they were to jazzy. They had to forge ahead by astounding people at places like French’s Wine bar in Oxford Street, and the Pinball Wiz at Circular quay.
Once at one gig out of town they were told they would not get the full fee promised as their singer had not turned up…… these early days of Jazz/Fusion instrumental music were tough but the band continued to develop a strong loyal following of people who needed more than the usual 3 chords, without the tradition of some Jazz gigs.
The band contributed to the sound track of a surfing film called ‘Drift Away” and played live at the old Regent theatre in George St Sydney. One of the last bands to play there.
The ABC radio station “JJ” as it was then called were having a series of live performances and were inundated with requests for Jupiter to play a “Live to Air” concert. This occurred in late 1976 and was a wonderful night for all concerned this helped the band to develop a wider audience.
The band recorded reel after reel at Atlantic studios in Sydney’s Earlwood with a goal of releasing an album. Unfortunately trying to get backing to release this material proved all to hard and eventually the band broke up with members going in vastly different directions.
Jupiter have just had a 34 year reunion. Although Ron Mazurkiewicz and Philip Edwards have jammed regularly over the last 10 years or so, its only been the occasional session that Dieter has been able to play with them. Phil Laycock has been busy and had not been seen for some time. So it was April 2010 that the lads were able to get together in the same studio at the same time.
It was at Atlantic studios in Earlwood that Jupiter spent so much time recording and generally fooling around, so it was wonderful they should have their reunion in the same studio.
Phil Laycock arrived, and within 5 minutes had his bass out and was encouraging the rest to get started, well what a night, the very special feeling that a band such as Jupiter created had not been lost, just faded a bit. Gradually the tunes came back and a fantastic night was had.
The evening was recorded and filmed for a future project.
It was a massive surprise when Phil Laycock reminded us all that we were filmed at Frenchs wine bar in Oxford St around 1977, it was even more surprising when he told us that he had the video tape.
The tape was quickly passed to Philip Edwards, who is now involved with video production, and immediately he had to find someone with a machine that could play a “Helical Scan 1 inch video reel to reel tape”. Eventually finding someone with a old machine, the tape was baked to remove 30 years of moisture and turned into a digital file.
Jupiter are now watching themselves play a gig recorded over 30 years ago, and it has been a fantastic find.
Gradually this will be part of a documentary of the band that we are putting together and soon will be available for all to see.
Thanks to all those people that still remember the band and the effect we had on them…. all good we hope
The journey continues….
- Ron Mazurkiewicz – Keyboards
- Phil Laycock – Bass
- Philip Edwards – Drums
- Dieter Kleeman – Guitar
I have it on good authority that Dieter Kleeman played one of the more famous versions of the Triple M theme. Does anyone know if that’s correct?
Dieter did play the “TRIPLE M “theme song I can assure you .
Yup he did the second one championed by Uncle Doug Mulray – there is even a video clip of it somewhere ..
dieter now plays with the Urban gypsies and The robertson Bros . He also is a sometime player with the Bodacious Cowboys .
Of all the musos I have known And had the pleasure to sing with I would have picked him easily as the one to get international acclaim — yep he’s that good …
Wow, what a great article about a superb band.
How can I purchase the dvd of the band from 1977?
Hi Rob, thanks for your very generous comments, we loved the band also. Right now I am still editing the old video, firstly finding someone who had a machine that would run a half inch Helical tape. (This was pre VHS) It will take a little time and the rest of the band will then decide what we do with it. I may put up some short bits of it on youtube as a few people have shown interest in seeing this piece of musical history. Please keep in touch and I will let you know if and when some footage is up for viewing or purchasing. Regards Philip Edwards
Philip, have you contacted Barry Leffler to see if he has a machine to run the half-inch helical tape? His company Lefflerpost, located at Crows Nest, has stacks of vintage production gear. My brother John and I have been very happy with Barry’s services. Their website is http://www.lefflerpost.com.au. On a different note, do you remember when our band Conic Section and your band Jupiter went in a band competition in one of the huge barns at the Flemington Markets site in 1977? I’m very keen to see the Jupiter footage! Regards, Rob
The Flemington market gig I sure was in 1976 , they played in the middle of a huge shed , on the side, with bands playing all around. A small group of friends watched but little seemed to come of it. They had regular Thursday night gigs at Frenches. I think they played Jan Hammer numbers from OH Yeah ?. I seen dieter play bass in one off gigs in Liverpool town hall.
I was a big Jupiter fan in 76/77 & used to see them all the time at French’s Wine Bar on Oxford St . A decade or so later , Dieter Kleeman was in my band for a few years & contributed his fantastic composition ‘Facing it’ to my 1989 album ‘Homebase’.
I too enjoyed lying on the carpet with my mug of apple cider watching Jupiter playing the sort of music I was mad including covers by tge bands mentioned above.
I love to see that video. Maybe Steve and I are in it. Ha ha.
You mention Jupiter recorded “reels and reels” of material towards an album. I’d very interested to hear / purchase those.
Hello, I remember going to see Jupiter at French’s, Sunday arvo rings a bell. I remember being very impressed with them and in particular Dieter’s playing as I was right into Return To Forever and Al DiMeola’s playing and Jupiter did a few covers of their material. Very fond memories, Philip Edwards have you put anything on Youtube yet ? I did a search and couldn’t find anything but if you have a link would be appreciated … cheers
I was in a band ‘Rainshine’ that had a saturday afternoon slot at French’s and we followed Jupiter. I still remember their spot and I remain impressed. I would be keen to view any footage. Jupiter – excellent.
Hey Phillip , I would love to be kept up to date , I only got to see Ron now & again & was unaware that all this was happening . Great to see , please fill me in with progress thank you . Col .
hi phil …long while between drinks …eh?
Hi Phillip ,Would love to purchase any available footage of Jupiter . Regards Mary,
Love all the nostalgia about old sydney bands, does anyone remember what became of the Sandmen a club group playing around the cross circa1970, and the rhythm beats circa, easy beats Beatle village Taylor square, love to know any feedback, John