Graham Parker back with his band after 3 decades

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“I took it as a sign,” Apatow said.

“This Is 40,” which stars Leslie Mann and Megan Fox with Paul Rudd, is a sequel to Apatow’s comedy “Knocked Up.”

In the movie, Rudd’s character heads an independent music label who bets the success of his company on Parker. Not wise. Parker is the visible manifestation of a good artist forgotten by time. Apatow said the joke is on the industry, not Parker, although the laughs come with a wince when in the movie Parker complains about his gout.

The portrayal was fine with Parker.

“I’m very self-effacing about my position in the world of pop,” he said.

Apatow’s valentine to Parker was including Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong in the sparse crowd of people watching the band’s showcase set. That’s major cred by association for a young generation.

“Paul Rudd’s character is desperately trying to figure out how to help Graham sell records,” Apatow said. “Now that the movie’s coming out, we’re all desperately trying to help Graham sell records.”

Parker delayed the album’s release and tour for much of the year to coincide with the movie.

“Being famous has got to be the biggest pain in the neck in the world and I don’t want any part of that,” he said. “But at the same time, I want my songs to make a living for me and I always have from the very beginning. So if this helps me, that’s good. I think there are a lot of neglected great works there. There are songs that only fans know about. And I’m lucky that Judd Apatow is a fan.”

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Online:

http://www.grahamparker.net

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David Bauder can be reached at dbauder(at)ap.org or on Twitter: http//twitter.com/dbauder.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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