Joe Jackson received the lion’s share of credit for his early classic albums (and understandably so – he penned and sang all of the tracks), but bassist Graham Maby seemed to lead the charge musically, as his bass was almost used as a lead instrument on many of the tracks.
Born during 1952 in Gosport, South England, Maby discovered rock music via the Beatles, but it wasn’t until he was 17 that he picked up the bass. Entirely self-taught, Maby began playing in a variety of local bands during the ‘70s, including Arms & Legs, a group which included Joe Jackson on keys and vocals.
When Jackson was signed to A&M Records as a solo artist in 1978, the singer/songwriter invited Maby to join his backing band. Merging several styles together (reggae, swing, punk, jazz, pop, etc.), the original Joe Jackson Band got off to a running start – issuing three exceptional albums right off the bat (1979’s Look Sharp! and I’m the Man, plus 1980’s Beat Crazy).
But afterwards, Jackson opted to move on with a new set of backing musicians – with Maby being the lone holdover from his previous band.
Subsequently, Maby has played regularly and toured with Jackson throughout the ‘80s, ‘90s, and early 21st century. In addition to his regular work with Jackson, Maby has guested on recordings by a variety of other artists, including Natalie Merchant, Marshall Crenshaw, Shania Twain, Freedy Johnston, Dar Williams, and They Might Be Giants, among others.
Shortly after the dawn of the 21st century, the original Joe Jackson Band reunited for the 25th anniversary of the group’s original formation – with an all-new album and supporting tour planned for 2003.