Mark Hershberger Interviews Rupert Perry!


1) Capitol Records signed Klaatu under some very unprecedented circumstances, i.e., never having seen the band or heard them play live etc. At what point during the process did you come into the Klaatu story?

RP: I came into the KLAATU story from the beginning because of my relationship with Frank Davies who I think came to Los Angeles and talked to me about the project and gave me some ideas. I think at the time we may have had a production deal with Frank Davies which also involved Terry Brown.

2) Do you remember who the executive was that actually signed Klaatu to Capitol and what possessed that person to take a chance on an unknown band that merely had a production deal through Terry Brown?

RP: I think the circumstances of KLAATU being signed to Capitol were actually that Deane Cameron was very involved and very keen on the project. We heard some of it and I think the overall opinion of the A+R department of Capitol at the time was we should sign the band. The reason for doing so was based on the music and the overall concept.

3) I understand that you are old friends with Frank Davies. How did you two originally meet and what was the nature of your business relationship?

RP: Frank Davies and I originally met in the days when he had his Daffodil label and we have always remained friends since that time. If you see him, please give him my best regards.

4) What was your impression when you originally heard "of" this band called Klaatu......and then what was your impression when you actually "heard" Klaatu's music?

RP: All of the initial impressions, including my own, were driven off of the music, which we thought was very good.

5) At what point did you actually meet the band "face to face" for the first time? Was this the first occasion that anyone from Capitol Records met the band? Or, were there other people from Capitol that met the band before you?

RP: I can't remember when I first met the band face to face; it was sometime on from the release of the first album, and probably even the second album. I think the people who first met the band were our people in Canada.

6) Where did Bobby Columby fit into the Klaatu picture?

RP: I can't remember where Bobby Colomby came into the picture but he probably came into the picture in relation to trying to help with the overall production of KLAATU.

7) What was your official title at Capitol?

RP: I was the Vice President of A+R for Capitol Records for the U.S. and Canada.

8) At what point in Klaatu's career did Capitol Records "take the reigns" , as it were, of their career?

RP: I would like to dispute your statement "take the reigns", obviously from the moment that we signed the KLAATU project Capitol Records was involved in the marketing, selling and promotion of KLAATU music, which was only one aspect of their career, so we didn't really get involved in the overall direction of KLAATU's career, that was left to Frank Davies and Terry Brown.

9) Whose idea was it to bring in an outside producer Christopher Bond for the "Endangered Species" album.

RP: I can't remember whose idea it was to bring in an outside producer, it might have been Bobby Columby's in conjunction with Frank Davies, I am not quite certain, you would have to go back to those two and ask.

10) Why was the decision made to record "Endangered Species" in Los Angeles?

RP: I don't know the answer to this.

11) The "Endangered Species" album seemed to be deleted from the catalog soon after it was finished, which seems to be very self defeating despite Klaatu's efforts to "play the game" and actually do interviews as a band....reveal themselves so to speak. Was there a conscious decision made NOT to promote "Endangered Species"?

RP: There was conscious decision to promote the "Endangered Species" album. We were very keen to move forward with this album. However, because of the uniqueness of the project and the manner in which the first album had been received, it soon became very apparent that radio and the media were not particularly interested in KLAATU. After a while it also became apparent that the first album was somewhat of a "one off". "Endangered Species" just didn't happen; we could not get anywhere with it and so therefore after a certain period of time it was deleted.

12) What are your thoughts on your contribution to the Klaatu song "Sell Out, Sell Out" where you are heard saying "Peddle yourselves"?

RP: I have no comment.

13) When was the decision made to cut Klaatu loose from their record deal? Who made the decision?

RP: The decision to cut KLAATU loose was probably taken by me in conjunction with other people at Capitol Records.

14) Were you involved in any capacity with Capitol Canada's decision to pick up the bands option for a fifth album?

RP: I was probably involved in Capitol Canada's desires, in conjunction with Deane Cameron.

15) Have you ever heard Klaatu's fifth album "Magentalane"? What do you think of the album?

RP: No, I have not heard the 5th album.

16) Why was Britain never able to get a hand on the Klaatu phenomenon?

RP: I can't really offer a view here, it would be highly subjective.

17) Do you have any contact information for Bobby Columby or Christopher Bond for an interview?

RP: I have given you a contact addres for Bobby Columby, I do not have any contact with Christopher Bond.

18) Do you have any idea how many copies each Klaatu album sold in the U.S.?

RP: I am not 100% sure of this but I think they did somewhere between 500,000 / 1,000,000.

19) Any idea on international sales of each album?

RP: No idea on international sales.

20) Do you know of anyone from Capitol U.S. that was involved in the Klaatu story that still works for Capitol today that I could contact for additional information?

RP: There is nobody at Capitol Records US today who was involved with the KLAATU story.

21) Do you know if Capitol will ever re-issue the back catalog properly in the U.S. or anywhere else in the world?

RP: I don't believe it has been re-issued.

22) The original cover artwork for the "Hope" album was an absolutely stunning piece of work by Canadian artist Ted Jones. When the original paintings were sent to Capitol Records in L.A. to be photographed for the album cover, they were never returned and presumed lost. Do you have any idea where these paintings might be? Do you know anyone who might know?

RP: No, I have no idea.

23) Have you heard Terry Draper's new solo CD "Light Years Later" is very "Klaatuesque" and very good!

RP: No, I have not heard Terry Draper's new solo CD.

24) Any other insights on the career of Klaatu that you could enlighten us with?

RP: All I would say is at the time it was a very exciting project to work on and we all had a lot of fun with it.

Hope this is of some help to you, as I have said my memory is very hazy and perhaps you should speak to Deane Cameron and hopefully Bobby Colomby as they may be able to "fill in the gaps".