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Subjects...

Kula Shaker
Name
Before
Other strange characters
Band Members
Marital Status
Birthdays
Nicknames
Food & Animals
India fascination
Other musicians
Music
Jerry was there
Tattva
Govinda
Namami Nanda-Nandana
Kula on Film
Covers
Collaborations with others
Other Info
Fanclubs

Name
Where on earth did that name come from?


Kula Shaker - spelled slightly differently ('Kula Shakhar' or something like that) - was the name of an ancient Indian emperor who was also a mystic and who lived in the 9th century. He was a very devoted religious person and every morning he cleaned the first step of the temple where he went to pray. He did this so that the other people could enter the temple in purity. That's why that step is now called the 'Kula Shaker step'. Kula Shaker was also the name of a mystical dude who hung around with John Lennon in the 70s.

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Before
What were they called before?


Their first (?) name was 'The Kays'. Probably inspired by Sir Kay, one of King Arthur's knights, the band had this name for some time but never had any success during this period. Then they were told to adopt the name Kula Shaker and instant happiness would find its way to our boys...and it worked because in no time, our lucky heroes had a record deal and the first single 'Grateful when you're dead' was released. Before the Kays, there was the Objects of Desire, a band fronted by Marcus Maclaine. In that band, Crispian, Paul and Alonza were also present. Crispian and Alonza also had a nightclub called the 'Mantra Shack' where bands like Dodgy performed.

 
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Marital Status
What is the marital status of the band members?


Crispian got married to Jo Branfoot in January 1996 in Vrindavan, India.
Jay got married to Emma Farmer on 10 March 1998 in England.
Alonza isn't married or engaged but is dating a girl called Tessa.
Paul is married (since autumn '99) to Katharine Blake of the band 'Mediaeval Baebes' and she's reportedly pregnant.

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Birthdays
When were Crispian, Jay, Alonza and Paul born?


Crispian : 18th January 1973.
Alonza : 24th October 1970.
Jay : 3th May 1968.
Paul : 19th September 1971.

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Nicknames
Are there any nicknames in the band?


Both Alonza and Crispian have already quite well-known nicknames. Crispian's nick is Dodge, while Alonza is called Shep. So, if you spot those names on a cd cover, don't think it's somebody else who plays intruments...no, it's just Lonz and Crisp.

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Food & Animals
What is their fave food and fave animals?


We all know that the boys love Indian food, but Crispian is not only a vegan, but he also has a wheat allergy. As for fave animals, I have heard that Crispian has (had?) a little dog, but I'm not sure if that was true.... If anyone knows more about their food and animal habits, let me know.

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Jerry was there
Who is Jerry and why was he there?


Jerry Garcia was the singer/guitarist with the Grateful Dead and saw himself as a bit of a guru. A guru on drugs, mainly. When he died, his ashes were thrown into the Ganges in India. Among the Deadheads (Grateful Dead fans), he was seen as a very spiritual and influencial person and when he died the fans 'felt' his presence.
Kula Shaker were jamming on 'Grateful when you're dead', when they heard that Jerry had died and thought it would be a good joke if they made an ending to the song as if Jerry had been there with them. The whole thing was very tongue-in-cheek but sadly not everyone got the joke.

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Tattva
What is Tattva all about?


Acintya Bhedabheda Tattva means the simultaneous oneness and difference of reality. We all come from the same source, we are made of the same material but we are all individuals, very much different from the next person. The same is true for everything in nature.Crispian put this in a song because two people said this to him, without knowing from each other and he thought it must have been some kind of sign.

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Govinda
Who is Govinda?


Govinda is a different name for Krsna. Govinda mainly refers to Krsna as a cowherder in India. All the lyrics in the song 'Govinda' refer to Krsna, it brings hail to this great deva.

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Namami Nanda-Nandana
What do the lyrics mean?


As Crispian explained in the NME, Namami Nanda-Nandana is about Krisna. More specifically, it's a warning. It warns young girls not to get too close to Krisna
because he's a very beautiful young boy and he'll steal your heart. The blessing you get when you listen to the song is that you will find love.

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Other strange characters
What other people were involved with Kula Shaker?


Saul Dismont : Crispian's cousin, one time vocalist of the Kays. He left and Crispian became the singer/guitarist. However, it was Saul that led the band into the mystical and spiritual world that still fascinates them. He also told them the importance of the letter 'K'. He now runs a club in London 'Magick'.
Don Pecker : Kula Shaker's 'madness guru'. An ex-con and ex-cabdriver. Crispian met him in a Krsna-temple in '93. Don was very much into the Knights of the Round Table and the Holy Grail. Together with him, Crispian was arrested in '93 over a 'stolen mercedes'. However, charges were dropped and the two could go to Glastonbury and play at the Krsna tent and this is how Govinda was aired for one of the first times.
Marcus Maclaine : one time boyfriend of Crispian's mum, Hayley. He had a band - the Objects of Desire - and Crispian played along at one of the gigs this band did and stayed longer than they planned at first. He played together in this band with Alonza. Marcus Maclaine dissappeared out of Hayley's life and also out of Crispian's life because some odd things must have happened there. Marcus had some links with far-right in his youth and this is one of the reasons the Independent could write a story about Crispian being involved in it too. They failed to mention that the journalist who wrote the story was on friendly terms with Marcus.
Mathura Dasa : Crispian's guru. According to him, Mathura was a revolutionary conspirator and had served time in a Siberian Gulag. He helped Crispian with his study of the teachings of Chaitanya and changed his life. He also introduced the band to Kula Shakhar.

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Kula On Film
Was any of their music ever used for movies or TV series?


With Crispian coming from family full of movie stars and the like, it isn't surprising that some of their music was used on screen. 'Hush' was used for the thriller movie 'I know what you did last summer'. Kula Shaker also did the soundtrack for the 60s movie 'Reflections of Love', which was re-released and shown in the UK before George Harrison's 'Wonderwall'. Songs from this soundtrack can be heard on the Sound of Drums singles ('Reflections of Love' & 'Smile') and on Peasants, Pigs & Astronauts ('Radhe Radhe'). Emily
(see guestbook) also pointed out that a couple of Kula Shaker songs were used in the movie 'Rogue Trader' with the brilliant Ewan McGregor.

And for those of you who know the English tv soap EastEnders, there was a character in this soap called Joe (played by the rather yummy Paul Nicolls) who had mental problems and everytime he had a crisis, he started playing 'K'.

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India
How did their India fascination start?


It all started when Crispian was just a young boy. When he was 12 years old, he fell in love with a girl from India. She had an enormous influence on him by making him aware of how cruel it was to eat animals, thus turning him veggie, and also by introducing her family to him. Their background inspired him enormously and this was the beginning of his love for everything Indian. Later on, he kept on being interested in Indian music, food, and of course the country itself.

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Covers
Did Kula Shaker ever do covers?


Yes, most famously of course,
Hush originally written by Joe South, later covered by Deep Purple. Gokula took the riff of Skiing by George Harrison, taken from his Wonderwall movie. Hurry On Sundown is originally by Hawkwind. During Govinda, they sometimes sing a part of I feel free by Cream and they also did a cover of Red Balloon and finally, they have also done a cover of Baby, you're a rich man during some gigs.

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Fanclubs
Do Kula Shaker have an (un)official fanclub?


As most of you know, Kula Shaker don't have an official fanclub. Which is a pity, I think. However, there is a fanclub, an unofficial one, based in Madrid, Spain. The fanzines are in Spanish but I think that the president of the fanclub (who is a really sweet girl) is planning to translate the fanzines into English. This is their e-mail address :
KULA13@teleline.es

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Other Musicians
Which people play along with Kula Shaker live?
 
In the past, Govinda was often performed with a female vocalist called Gouri Choudhury. Also nowadays, when they do a gig, most of the time there is an additional percussion person present and his name is Brett Findlay.
 
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Collaborations
Did Kula Shaker work together with other bands on albums?


Crispian provided vocals on 'Narayan', a track on the Prodigy album 'Fat of the Land'.

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