TheRecordLabel: Pop & Rock

Progressive Rock > Jaugernaut


What is Jaugernaut?

I get asked that question a lot, quite frankly the answer is complicated; “Jaugernaut” is a deliberate misspelling of the word “Juggernaut” – meaning an unstoppable force. Back in 1978 a local band from Olympia, Washington (USA) called ‘Joint Effort’ was having difficulty landing high school dance jobs… The young men in the band, began to reason, and wondered if perhaps high school principles and PTA presidents were not too keen on hiring a group of young musicians, themselves still in high school, who used the word ‘Joint’ in their band name – This was the 70’s after all!!!….

So the decision was to go with the name Juggernaut… It turned out that the name “Juggernaut” was already in use by a very bad band in Seattle. Still, no one wanted to hire them because they were being confused with a different really, really bad band…

So, pooling once again what was left of their collective intelligences, they decided to change the spelling and pronunciation of the name of their band the ‘Jaugernaut’ (now pronounced “Jogger-not”) Anyway, the name stuck… When I joined the band in 1982, it was recognized in their hometown as a really great rocking 70’s progressive style band. The boys had done really well….

The band had self released their first self titled album in 1980, and were well into their second pressing of vinyl by 1982, when they decided that I would make a good bass player/vocalist for them. The band had gone from a five piece to four, and only two original band members were still with the band; Founders Jim Valentine (guits,keys and vox), and Geoff Woodhouse (keys and vox). Drummer Jeff Wade had recently joined the band as a monster drummer – in the vein of Neil Peart and Terry Bozzio.

Jaugernaut was never good at following trends…. We played and recorded music that we loved, not what was popular at the time. While the 80’s were bopping along to songs like “the Safety Dance” We were still into music like Yes, The Beatles, and Rush, So as we began to write new music for our second album we forgot to whet a finger and stick it up into the air to discover the current trends of popular music. “Take Em There” was released in 1984, and was roundly criticized by those who knew better than we, how to make something called “music for profit” that our songs were quite simply; ‘Dinosaur Music’ and hence good for nothing but to be made fun of…

Our Fans loved the album! …People who came to see the band were blown away by the music, -not the hair! But alas, those who could have assisted the band, were off counting their money and helping people listen to Men without hats…

Do I sound like sour grapes? – Sorry about that… This was a fact, the first nails were being driven into rock and rolls coffin by those claiming to have its best interest in mind… “Suits”…. Anyway, the album was a success to us, because it was what we intended to make. We weren’t very experienced in the production department – and the sound of the record reflected that, but like the first album, it was recorded, released and promoted without the aid of the deep pockets of a label.

The album ran its course, We sold close to two thousand copies off of the stage at our shows. With absolutely no interest from any label, in 1986 We began to realize that the band was not going anywhere. So we reluctantly said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways….

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