Jericho Jones

Jericho Jones was an Israeli hard-rock band that evolved from The Churchill’s, which made a 1968 pop-psych album in Tel Aviv with ex-Tornadoes guitarist Robb Huxley. They moved to London as Jericho Jones and signed with A&M for the 1971 album Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys, followed by a 1972 eponymous album as Jericho.

Members: Robb Huxley (guitar), Ami Traibetch (drums), חיים רומנו [Haim Romano] (lead guitar), מיקי גבריאלוב [Miki Gavrielov] (bass), Danny Shoshan (vocals)


Background

In 1965, Tel Aviv teenagers Yitzhak Klepter (b. 1950, guitar) and Miki Gavrielov (b. 1949, bass) formed one of Israel’s first rock bands with guitarst Haim Romano and drummer Ami Traibetch. They named their act after Klepter’s class presentation subject, Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister (b. 1874) who died that January at age 90.

The Churchills rehearsed and performed locally with singer Selwyn Lifshitz. Klepter left to answer his call of duty in the Israel Defense Forces, where he played in the armored corps band. (He later surfaced in Kaveret, aka Poogy, one of Israel’s biggest seventies rock bands.)

In 1968, The Churchills reconstituted with Gavrielov, Romano, Traibetch, and English guitarist–singer Robb Huxley (b. 1945; Gloucester), a late-period member of instrumental rockers The Tornadoes, who (in their pre-Huxley) years backed British teen idol Billy Fury and landed the first US Billboard No. 1 rock hit by a UK act (“Telstar,” 1962). The Tornadoes disbanded in 1968 in Israel after a residency at Mandy’s, a Tel Aviv nightclub owned by Welsh socialite Mandy Rice-Davies, a subject in the 1963 Profumo scandal (portrayed in the 1989 film Scandal by actress Bridget Fonda). Huxley and Tornadoes keyboardist Dave Watts stayed in Tel Aviv, where Watts joined The Lions of Judea and Huxley first played in the trio Purple Ass Baboon.

The Churchills welcomed Canadian singer Stan Solomon and signed with the Israeli branch of CBS for one single: the Tornadoes cover “Too Much In Love To Hear” backed with the Solomon original “Talk to Me.”


Churchill’s = צ’רצ’ילים

The Churchills released their self-titled debut album in 1968 on the Israeli record label Hed-Arzi. It features two songs (“When You’re Gone,” “Subsequent Finale”) by Robb Huxley, who co-wrote six songs with Stan Solomon, including “Comics,” “Song from the Sea,” and “Open Up Your Eyes.” Conductor Noam Sheriff produced and co-wrote the final track, “Debka.” Solomon and Miki Gavrielov co-wrote “Strangulation,” the climax of Side One. Haim Romano performs mandolin on Churchill’s in addition to guitar and backing vocals.

A1. “Open Up Your Eyes”
A2. “Song From the Sea”
A3. “Pictures In My Mind”
A4. “Comics”
A5. “When You’re Gone”
A6. “Strangulation”
B1. “Straight People”
B2. “Subsequent Finale”
B3. “So Alone Today”
B4. “Debka”

Sessions took place in Tel Aviv at Kolinor Studios, where Solomon produced the album with Gabriellov’s assistance. Churchill’s was engineered by Amnon Roberman and Dori Herschgal, both credited on assorted seventies Israeli titles, including the 1974 Phonodor release Slow Down, a collaborative album between Gabriellov and singer Arik Einstein.

Churchill’s remained an Israel-only release until 1989 when it appeared on the German unofficial reissue label Fantazia Music, which also pressed early reissues of titles by Dragonwyck, The Freeborne, Gandalf, The Id, Julian Jay Savarin, Pussy, and The Third Estate.


1969 Singles

In 1969, The Churchills backed Einstein on five tracks on the actor–singer’s Phonodor release Poozy (= פוזי), which features arrangements by Solomon, who subsequently left the band. The Churchills hired singer Dani Shoshan and released three 1969 Hed-Arzi singles: one devoted to Bach adaptations and the other two split between rock covers and band originals.

Churchill Sebastian Bach
A. “Concerto In Double”
B. “Chorale for Young Lovers”

A. “Living Loving” Led Zeppelin cover
B. “Signs of You” Chaim Romano, Ami Treblits

A. “She’s a Woman” Beatles cover
B. “Sunshine Man” Huxley

The Churchills appear as backing musicians on the 1970 Phonodor titles Shablul and Plastelina, both collaborative efforts between Einstein and singer Shalom Hanoch. Meanwhile, Huxley wrote songs for Oshik Levi collaborated with Einstein on the 1971 album Children Songs (שירי ילדים).


1971–1972

In 1971, The Churchills moved to London, where they adopted the name Jericho Jones and released two albums on A&M (the second as Jericho).


Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys

Jericho Jones released their first of two European albums, Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys, in March 1971 on A&M. It features two numbers each by Miki Gavrielov (“Mare Tranquilitatas,” “Triangulum”) and Robb Huxley (“There Is Always a Train,” “Yellow and Blue”). Dani Shoshan (credited as D. Sousan) wrote “Freedom” and collaborated with Huxley on “No School To-Day,” “What Have We Got to Lose,” and the title track. The three writers joint-wrote “Man In the Crowd.” Side Two features “Time Is Now,” written by Mungo Jerry frontman Ray Dorset.

A1. “Mare Tranquilitatas” (2:21) concerns the dark plain on the face of the moon.
A2. “Man In the Crowd” (3:11)
A3. “There Is Always a Train” (6:28)
A4. “Yellow and Blue” (5:13)
A5. “Freedom” (3:52)
B1. “Triangulum” (0:48)
B2. “No School To-Day” (5:53)
B3. “Junkies, Monkeys and Donkeys” (7:38)
B4. “Time Is Now” (3:03)
B5. “What Have We Got to Lose” (4:28)

Jericho Jones co-produced the album with Ellis Elias, who co-wrote “Listen (To All of the Children)” for the Israeli folk duo Shuky & Aviva. Byzantium guitarist Robin Sylvester co-engineered Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys (with one Jeff Culver) amid work on 1971 titles by Jan Dukes de Grey, Marsupilami, Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, Rory Gallagher, and Ricotti & Albuquerque.

Graphic illustrator Tony Kite designed the Junkies Monkeys gatefold cover, which shows a beige-backed line illustration (same front and back) of a hand emerged from rubble under a red arched nameplate. The inner-gate shows the band’s disembodied heads in blue surround. Kite also did the lettering on the 1971 Dawn release First Utterance by freak-folksters Comus. The credits anglicize Gavrielov’s name as Mike Gabrielle.

A&M lifted “Time Is Now” as a single (b/w “Freedom”).


Jericho = יריחו

Jericho released their self-titled second European album in February 1972 on A&M. It features three lengthy epics and two numbers of conventional length, including the album’s single, “Don’t You Let Me Down” by Miki Gavrielov (anglicized here as Michael Gabriellov). Robb Huxley composed “Justin and Nova” and co-wrote the rest with Dani Shoshan, including the Side One centerpiece “Featherbed” and the eleven-minute album closer “Kill Me With Your Love.”

A1. “Ethiopia” (4:35)
A2. “Don’t You Let Me Down” (3:41)
A3. “Featherbed” (9:41)
B1. “Justin and Nova” (8:30)
B2. “Kill Me With Your Love” (11:17)

Jericho co-produced the album with Junkies Monkeys soundman Ellis Elias, who also worked on 1972 titles by Paul Brett’s Sage, Schunge, and Yellowstone & Voice. Huxley and Shoshan handled the album’s string arrangements with orchestrator Rob Young, the guest pianist on “Justin and Nova.”

Jericho was engineered by Andy Hendrikson, a onetime soundman for the post-psych Middle Earth label (Arcadium, Writing On the Wall) who worked on the 1969 Kinks landmark Arthur or the Decline And Fall of the British Empire. Hendrikson’s concurrent credits include titles by Bobby Keys, Jonesy, Keith Tippett, and Roxy Music.

Jericho appeared in a thin paper sleeve with the band pictured outside a painted tenement with their name spray painted in Hebrew (front, under the ‘Jericho’ logo) and in English (back, under the logo in Hebrew). The photographer, Ruan O’Lochlainn, also has visual credits on 1971–72 titles by Jethro Tull, Shawn Phillips, and The Dubliners. Ruan played multiple instruments in Irish pub rockers Bees Make Honey and bass in Riff Raff, the starting vehicle of Billy Bragg.

A&M lifted “Don’t You Let Me Down” as a single, backed with the non-album “Mona Mona,” a Shoshan lone-write.

B. “Mona Mona” (3:23)


1972 Singles

After Jericho, Miki Gavrielov and Ami Traibetch returned to Israel, where they played on Arik Einstein’s 1972 album Jasmine. In 1973, they formed The New Churchills with guitarists Roni Demol and Shmulik Bodgov.

Meanwhile, Jericho continued as a London-based quartet composed of Robb Huxley, Haim Romano, Danny Shoshan, and ex-Grail drummer Chris Perry. Jericho rode out their A&M contract with two non-album singles.

On July 21, 1972, Jericho released their third A&M single: “Hey Man” and “Champs,” both produced by Ellis Elias and co-written by Shoshan and Huxley with third-party input by Cohen (side A) and Y. Alfi (B).

A. “Hey Man”
B. “Champs”

A&M issued “Hey Man” in Germany, Greece, South Africa, and the UK. The single also appeared on Parlophone (Australia, New Zealand), Regal Zonophone (Italy), and Stateside (Turkey).

On November 3, Jericho released their final A&M single: “Mama’s Gonna Take You Home” and “So Come On.” Shoshan and Huxley co-wrote both songs; the first with input by Samy Birnbach, who later surfaced in Minimal Compact.

A. “Mama’s Gonna Take You Home”
B. “So Come On”


Later Activity

Shoshan cut a 1974 single as Jericho Lol — “Flowers In the Morning” b/w “Do The Fernando” (coo-written by Birnach) — on French Eurodisc. In Switzerland, it appeared under the alias Heavy on the label Hot Pink, produced for Red Bus Records.

In 1982, Shoshan released the new wave single “What Did It” (b/w “Don’t Know What’s Best”) on the French Carrere label.


Discography:

  • Junkies Monkeys & Donkeys (as Jericho Jones, 1971)
  • Jericho (1972)

Sources:

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