Eddie Jobson: Great musicians have the fearlessness to risk ridicule
From joining Curved Air as a teenager to picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Prog Awards, Eddie Jobson has had a long and illustrious career – we catch up with him below
A professional musician since his teens, after filling roles vacated by violinist Darryl Way and keyboardist Francis Monkman in Curved Air in 1973, multi-instrumentalist Eddie Jobson went on to work with Roxy Music, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, UK and Jethro Tull. During the 80s he was even recruited to Yes, appearing in the video of Owner Of A Lonely Heart, despite not having played or recorded a note with the band.
After releasing his celebrated solo record in 1983, Zinc – The Green Album, on which he also sang lead vocals, he went on to enjoy a career as a producer and composer of numerous film and TV scores.
In 2008 he returned to gigging, guesting with artists as diverse as Patti Smith, Fairport Convention and various King Crimson members, going on to reform UK in 2012 for a series of live dates with John Wetton and a career retrospective tour celebrating his four decades in 2013.
Given all this, it’s no surprise Jobson was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Progressive Music Awards in September 2017. Just before attending the ceremony, Jobson talked to Prog about some of those achievements.
How did your parents react to you becoming a rock musician?
They always thought I would be a classical musician. At first, they were unsure about what I was doing, but once I made my first album with Curved Air, they were onboard. My dad was a member of the local arts council and used to bring classical orchestras to my home town, as well as playing piano himself. He broadened his range of music appreciation considerably once I became a rock musician and a synthesiser player.
You were denied entry to the Royal Academy Of Music because you were too young. Do you ever wonder what might have been if you’d entered the Academy?
I’m not sure how long I would have lasted as an orchestral violinist. I suspect I would have striven to become the orchestra’s conductor and almost certainly a classical composer.