Whatever Happened to Jugula?

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Whatever Happened to Jugula?
Roy Harper & Jimmy Page - Whatever Happened to Jugula? album cover.jpg
Studio album by Roy Harper & Jimmy Page
Released March 4, 1985
Recorded Clapham
Mamaraneck, West Cork
Boilerhouse Studios, Lytham
Genre Rock, folk rock, progressive folk
Length 45:25
Label Beggars Banquet BEGA 60,
Science Friction HUCD032
Producer Roy Harper
Roy Harper chronology
Born in Captivity
(1984) Born in Captivity1984
Whatever Happened to Jugula?
(1985) Whatever Happened to Jugula?1985
Descendants of Smith
(1988) Descendants of Smith1988
Jimmy Page chronology
Death Wish II
(1982) Death Wish II1982
Whatever Happened to Jugula?
(1985) Whatever Happened to Jugula?1985
The Firm
(1985) with The Firm The Firm1985

Whatever Happened to Jugula? is the thirteenth studio album by English folk / rock singer-songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper. It was first released in 1985. Jimmy Page contributes.


With a working title of Rizla, Whatever Happened to Jugula? was released on the Beggars Banquet label (BBL60) and reached the UK Top 20. It is recorded in a fresh and spontaneous manner, often with only the unique sound of Ovation guitars and vocals. Occasionally, the arrangements are filled with synthesizer and electric guitar. The album's cover art shows (an unravelled orange Rizla pack.

The album was partially recorded in the basement of an old school friend's house in Lytham. Boiler House Studios were run by Tony Beck who encouraged Harper to renew his acquaintance with Jimmy Page. Together they began work on what was to become this album.[1]

'Jugula' exposed Harper to a new and wider audience, mainly due to his and Jimmy Page's appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1984, an album tour (of which four performances were filmed and exist on archive footage[1]) and a 15-minute televised interview by Mark Ellen on the Old Grey Whistle Test (16 November 1984). The interview featured Harper and Page playing their acoustic guitars on the side of Side Pike in the English Lake District, a somewhat different and unusual interview for the time. Songs played included "Hangman" and a section from "The Same Old Rock".[2]

The album was the fifth that Harper and Page had worked on, though the first entire record they made together.[3] Page's guitar playing is quite evident throughout the album, and is a natural complement to Harper's unique guitar work. The first track, "Nineteen Forty-Eightish", a reference to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, crescendos with lead guitar by Page. Other tracks include "Hangman", a song that expresses the feelings of an innocent man condemned to die and "Frozen Moment", a song played entirely in the chord of C.

The title for 'Jugula' came from playing Trivial Pursuit, in order to explain to everyone how they should go about answering the questions as straight and honestly as possible I'd say, "Go for the jugular". It was going to be 'Harper & Page' for a while, but that's like selling Jimmy's name, then it went to '1214' which is the year that the Magna Carta was signed... but that was a bit esoteric. So one day we were talking and "jugula" came up, so I phoned the artist and they'd designed up to the 'Whatever happened to...' bit so I said leave it there and put Jugula at the end.[4]

The track "Hope" originated as a tune written by David Gilmour for his second solo album About Face.[5] He asked Pete Townshend to supply lyrics, but felt that he couldn't relate to them, so Townshend used the song instead, as "White City Fighting", with Gilmour playing guitar,[5] on his album White City: A Novel.[5] Gilmour sent the same tune to Harper, whose lyrics had the same effect on Gilmour.[5] Harper used the result, "Hope", which has a markedly slower tempo,[5] on this album, with his son Nick Harper (16 years old at the time), playing the lead guitar (not Gilmour as is often mistakenly stated).

"Hangman" is about the feelings of an innocent man condemned to be executed for a crime he did not commit. Of capital punishment Harper stated "That people can even think about bringing back the death penalty is profane. Yes, some people deserve to be locked up forever, but they're the responsibility of society. They are part of what we are. We have to be able to civilise, to teach with heart, and to keep the savage in ourselves under scrutiny rather than allowing the mob in us to rule."[6]

Cover version[edit]

A cover version of "Hope" (with "Bad Speech" read by Harper as an introduction) can be found on the album Eternity by the Liverpudlian band Anathema.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Nineteen Forty-Eightish"Harper9:45
2."Bad Speech"Harper1:17
3."Hope"Harper, Gilmour4:31
Side two
2."Frozen Moment"Harper3:18
3."Twentieth Century Man"Harper4:27
4."Advertisement (Another Intentional Irrelevant Suicide)"Harper8:19


12" Single cover link

"Elizabeth", a song that originally appeared on Harpers 1984 release Born in Captivity, was re-recorded and released as a 12" single. Again the artwork featured an unravelled Rizla package, this time in green. The 12" was released on Beggars Banquet Records (BEG 131T).

  1. Side A – "Elizabeth"
  2. Side B –
    1. "Advertisement (Another Intentional Irrelevant Suicide)"
    2. "I Hate The White Man" (Live) (Recorded at Poynton, 18 October 1984)[7]

Chart positions[edit]


Year Chart Peak Position
1985 UK Albums Chart[8] 44
1985 US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart[9] 60



  1. ^ a b Boiler House Studios
  2. ^ Live performance history
  3. ^ Roy Harper official site
  4. ^ Naming The Album
  5. ^ a b c d e Miles, Barry; Andy Mabbett (1994). Pink Floyd the visual documentary ([Updated ed.] ed.). London :: Omnibus,. ISBN 0-7119-4109-2. 
  6. ^ http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts_ents/14749067.Singer_songwriter_Roy_Harper_returns_for_Scottish_gig/?ref=fbshr Singer-songwriter Roy Harper returns for Scottish gig 2016
  7. ^ Harper single discography
  8. ^ Warwick, Neil (2004). "Jimmy Page – 16 March 1985". The Complete Book of the British Charts (3rd ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. 821. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. 
  9. ^ "The Billboard 200 – March 1985". billboard.com. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 

External links[edit]