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They were so much older then, they're younger than that now: Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns reel in the years and riff on all that's new this week in the world's biggest library of music journalism – definitive interviews with legends of the last 60 years by the pop press' greatest writers ... and…

Mark Pringle, Barney Hoskyns, Jasper Murison-Bowie


    • Jan 16, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • every other week NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 8m AVG DURATION
    • 217 EPISODES


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    Latest episodes from Rock's Backpages

    E144: Pamela Des Barres on the GTOs + Peter Asher audio + Jeff Beck R.I.P.

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 16, 2023 56:32


    In this episode we welcome the truly legendary Pamela Des Barres, all the way from her native San Fernando Valley, and invite her to reminisce about the all-girl GTOs, Frank Zappa, Lowell George... and plenty more besides. The bestselling author of 1987's groupie confessional I'm With The Band describes how she entered the Laurel Canyon orbit of ringmaster Zappa, and how the motley troupe he christened Girls Together Outrageously came into being. The former Miss Pamela talks about her fellow "Misses" Mercy and Christine, then describes the sessions for the group's unruly 1969 classic Permanent Damage. This leads on to a discussion of the Groupie phenomenon and its problematic nature in the #MeToo era. In passing, we hear about Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco and 1974's Hollywood Street Revival and Trash Dance show. The somewhat different — yet not entirely unrelated — L.A. domain of the canyon singer-songwriter crowd is considered as we hear clips from co-host Barney Hoskyns' 2003 audio interview with James Taylor/Linda Ronstadt producer Peter Asher. Following discussion of Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell and their mutual paramour John David Souther, we circle back to the GTOs and the guest appearance of the late Jeff Beck on Permanent Damage. We then pay extensive tribute to Beck's eclectic genius and unique technique. We conclude with quotes from notable RBP library additions, including pieces about Bonnie Raitt recording at Bearsville, L.A. session bassist Carol Kaye and apocalyptic jazz trio Comet Is Coming. Many thanks to special guest Pamela Des Barres. Visit her website at pameladesbarresofficial.com for details of her podcast, books and more. Pieces discussed: The GTOs by Miles, A Requiem for Miss Christine, Girls Together Outrageously, Miss Mercy, Los Angeles Clubs, Rodney Bingenheimer, The GTOs live, Peter Asher audio, Jeff Beck audio, Jeff Beck by Eden, Jeff Beck by Alan Light, Jeff Beck by Kate Mossman, Bonnie Raitt, Ethel Merman, Carol Kaye, Compiling by gender and The Comet is Coming.

    E143: Nick Hornby on Prince (& Dickens) + Boz Scaggs audio interview

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 82:49


    In this episode we welcome bestselling author and screenwriter Nick Hornby to RBP's Hammersmith HQ and ask him to talk about his new book Dickens & Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius.We start by asking Nick if his original plan was to become a music journalist, then proceed to his first awareness of Prince in 1979. A broad discussion of the Minneapolitan marvel – and the parallels with Charles Dickens's "no off-switch" prolificacy – takes in his first London show in 1981, his mastering of multiple overlapping genres, his (and Dickens's) "weakness for women"... and the profound shock of his death in 2016.The imminent reissue of Boz Scaggs's 1969 debut album provides the opportunity to hear clips from the late Andy Gill's 1997 audio interview with the blues-soul smoothie. Among other things, Nick, Barney and Jasper touch on Muscle Shoals, Silk Degrees and Boz's spine-tingling version of Richard Hawley's 'There's a Storm Comin''.After Jasper offers his thoughts on newly-added library pieces about the Human League and British hip hop, we indulge in a brief chat with the Fever Pitch author about football's World Cup, which at the time of recording had reached the semi-final stage. Find out who Nick wanted to win...Many thanks to special guest Nick Hornby. Dickens & Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius is published by Penguin and available now.Note that this episode was recorded on December 14th, four days before the sad news came through that we'd lost Specials/Fun Boy Three star Terry Hall.Pieces discussed: Betty Page sees Prince live at the Lyceum, Prince airs his Dirty Mind to John Abbey, Prince in Pieces by Chris Heath, Boz Scaggs audio interview, The Human League do Christmas and Stevie Chick on how UK hip-hop got its groove.

    E142: Paul Gorman on the rise and fall of the music press + Time Out's Tony Elliott

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2022 84:45


    In this episode we welcome writer, curator and consultant Paul Gorman and ask him about his new book Totally Wired: The Rise and Fall of the Music Press.In a loose and free-ranging conversation, our guest reflects on various eras and aspects of all that Rock's Backpages is about, from the launch of Melody Maker almost 100 years ago to the online ecosystem of Instagram and Tik Tok in the present day.Along the way we cover everything from Crawdaddy! to Smash Hits via marginalised women writers and feuds between musicians and journalists. (Listen out for the unsettling sound of Nick Cave describing his new "hate" song 'Scum' to interviewer Mat Snow.) We also hear clips from Frank Broughton's 1998 audio interview with Time Out's late founder Tony Elliott.By way of paying tribute to the late Christine McVie, there are further audio clips in the episode, this time from John Pidgeon's 1977 interview with Fleetwood Mac, plus we bid a sad farewell to Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart.Mark selects his highlights from recent additions to the RBP library, quoting from pieces about Marianne Faithfull, Ravi Shankar, Alexis Korner and the mighty Pat Benatar, after which Jasper concludes matters with remarks on articles about Odd Future and the brilliant Billie Eilish.Many thanks to special guest Paul Gorman; Totally Wired is published by Thames & Hudson and available now from all good bookshops. Visit Paul's website at paulgormanis.com and follow him on Instagram at _paul_gorman_.Pieces discussed: US indie mags, The Decline and Fall of the UK Music Press, From NME to Smash Hits, How to be a Rock Critic, Rock Critics Rule..., Tony Elliott audio, Fleetwood Mac audio, Stax Records, That Memphis Sound, The 1973 Rock Writers Convention, Marianne Faithfull, Alexis Korner, Ravi Shankar, Pat Benatar, Odd Future and Billie Eilish.

    E141: RJ Smith on Chuck Berry + Ice-T + Black L.A. + Wilko Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 28, 2022 70:04


    In this episode we invite esteemed author RJ Smith to tell us about his career, his adopted Los Angeles, and his new biography of Chuck Berry.We start in Detroit, where RJ was raised on a diet of AM radio, the Stooges and Creem magazine, then follow him to New York and his decade of writing for the Village Voice. He talks about the impact of Lester Bangs and Robert Christgau before explaining why he followed the Voice's executive editor Kit Rachlis to California and the L.A. Weekly. We hear how he became fascinated by the pre-rock history of African-American L.A. and how that led to the publication of The Great Black Way (2008). His fourth book, Chuck Berry: An American Life, gives us the opportunity to discuss the problematic brilliance of St. Louis's "Black bard of white teen angst", a half-century after the creepy novelty comedy of 'My Ding-a-Ling' gave the Black-rock pioneer a No. 1 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.We return to our L.A. theme to hear clips from a 1991 audio interview in which Tracy "Ice-T" Marrow talks to Andy Gill about the birth of gangsta rap and his thrash-metal side project Body Count. RJ recalls his own writing about West Coast hip hop before we say a sad goodbye to the great Wilko Johnson and hear the-then Dr. Feelgood guitarist speaking to Mick Gold in 1975.Mark quotes from some of the pieces he's added to the RBP library, including interviews with Long John Baldry and Olivia Newton-John, after which Jasper wraps matters up with remarks on articles about Deadmau5 and Asian Dub Foundation.Many thanks to special guest RJ Smith. Chuck Berry: An American Life is published by Omnibus in the UK and Hachette in the US and is available now from all good bookshops.Pieces discussed: Chuck Berry, Chuck Berrier, Chuck Berriest, Interview with RJ Smith, Charles Brown, N.W.A., Ice-T audio, Dr. Feelgood, Wilko Johnson, Rab Noakes, Long John Baldry, Free, Captain Beefheart, B. Bumble and the Stingers, Simon and Garfunkel, Olivia Newton-John, Deadmau5 and Asian Dub Foundation.

    E140: Holly Gleason on Women in Country + Guy Clark + Taylor Swift

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 69:47


    In this episode we welcome the splendid Holly Gleason, all the way from downtown Nashville, and invite her to tell us about her life as a country music writer and publicist.Holly explains how, as a teenage championship golfer, she first became enamoured of country in her native state of Ohio, later writing about it (as well as about rap and R&B) for the Miami Herald. Tying in the episode's main theme with Woman Walk the Line – the wonderful essay collection she assembled and edited in 2017 – Holly's hosts ask her about her favourite female artists from Emmylou Harris to Taylor Swift. Along the way she gives us the inside lowdown on "Music City" – having just attended 2022's CMA Awards – and talks fascinatingly about Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus.The week's new audio interview, with the late great Guy Clark, gives us a chance to discuss that unpigeonholeable singer-songwriter, his complicated friendship with Townes Van Zandt, and his influence on disciples such as Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell. Two clips from John Tobler's 1986 interview with Guy prompt tearful memories of Holly's friendship with the Texan troubadour.After we've said our own sad goodbyes to Melody Maker mainstay Colin Irwin, Low's Mimi Parker and Nazareth frontman Dan McCafferty, Mark and Jasper talk us out with their favourite new additions to the RBP library including interviews with Patti Smith and Little Simz.Many thanks to special guest Holly Gleason; visit her website at hollygleason.com and find Woman Walk the Line at all good bookshops.Pieces discussed: Women in country, Taylor Swift, Holly Gleason in conversation with John Prine, Guy Clark audio, Guy Clark: Randall Knives, Desperados & Homegrown Tomatoes, Colin Irwin articles, Low, Nazareth, Patti Smith, Bobbie Gentry and Little Simz.

    E139: Billy James on Bob Dylan + Columbia Records + Laurel Canyon

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 68:21


    In this episode we welcome the legendary Billy James, all the way from the Bay Area, and tap him for his memories of working with Bob Dylan, the Doors and more.We start with Dylan and the interview the young Minnesotan gave to Billy in October 1961 in the latter's capacity as a Columbia Records publicist. Billy reminisces about his early interactions with the kid born Zimmerman; we hear a snatch of that 1961 audio, plus two clips from Eric Von Schmidt talking to Larry Jaffee about his friendship with Bob in that same period. In passing, we mention two great Dylan pieces by the week's featured scribe Greil Marcus, author of a new Bob "biography in seven songs" entitled Folk Music.From the early Bob years we switch coasts to California, where Billy worked in Columbia's Hollywood office and fell in with the Byrds between arranging press conferences for Patti Page, Percy Faith and his beloved Tony Bennett (pictured in the photo Billy is holding above). Finally, he talks about Terry Melcher, Elektra Records, the Doors, and the significant part he played in putting Laurel Canyon on L.A.'s pop map after moving up there from Beverly Hills in 1965...Many thanks to special guest Billy James; you can book his Airbnb in Redwood City here.Pieces discussed: Bob Dylan, Bob Dylan audio, Dylan #2, Eric Von Schmidt, The Billy James Underground, Billy James interviewed by Richie Unterberger, Time Out of Mind, Preemptive Obituaries and Prince's Dirty Mind.

    E138: Kid Congo Powers on the Cramps + the Gun Club + Brian Eno audio

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 17, 2022 68:17


    In this episode we welcome the delightful Kid Congo Powers, all the way from his home in Tucson, and ask him to talk about his former lives in the Gun Club, the Cramps and the Bad Seeds — as detailed in the riveting new memoir Some New Kind of Kick.The man born Brian Tristan looks back to his teen fanboy years from Frank Zappa to the New York Dolls, plus his memories of the L.A. glitter scene at Rodney's English Disco. He describes how it felt — as a gay Mexican American — to be a misfit among mainly white misfits on the punk scenes in L.A. and New York. He also explains how the Gun Club was conceived after he met Jeffrey Lee Pierce while queuing for a 1979 Pere Ubu show at the Whisky. We hear how Kid was then headhunted by the Cramps' Lux and Ivy, and what it was like to be part of their ghoulish B-movie aesthetic. We similarly learn how he was recruited (and "cast") as one of Nick Cave's drug-addled Bad Seeds in mid-'80s Berlin.From the decline and premature death of Jeffrey Lee Pierce — via Kid's own eventual long-term sobriety — we shift into the rarefied and erudite world of Brian Eno, an iconic glam influence on the young Brian Tristan. Clips from Mark Sinker's 1992 audio interview with pop's resident egghead are heard, leading in turn to discussion of Eno's collaborations with Robert Fripp and Toby Amies' remarkable new King Crimson documentary.Mark talks us through pieces about the Stones' 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' (1968), classic-blues septuagenarian Victoria Spivey (1975), the Police (1979) and Joe Bataan & Arthur Baker (1996) after which Jasper concludes the episode with quotes from pieces on bodyguard-to-the-stars Michael Francis (2003) and the "rise and rise" of Pharrell Williams (2015).Many thanks to special guest Kid Congo Powers; Some New Kind of Kick is available this week in all good bookshops. For more Kid, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @kidcongopowers.Pieces discussed: The Cramps, The Gun Club, Art Laboe, Brian Eno audio, Robert Fripp, The Stones, Arthur Baker, 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', Victoria Spivey, The Police, The Cramps live, Joey Ramone, Kiss and Cher's minder, Pharrell Williams and Jon Hopkins.

    E137: Luke Haines & Peter Buck on R.E.M. + The Auteurs + Pharoah Sanders

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 3, 2022 58:25


    In this episode we welcome the dynamic transatlantic duo of Luke Haines & Peter Buck and invite them to discuss their splendidly-titled new album All the Kids are Super Bummed-Out.Luke and Peter reflect on their musical partnership, working methodology, and relationships with music journalists — sometimes fractious, occasionally fruitful. Peter recalls growing up as a New York Dolls fan in the Allman Brothers country of his native Georgia, then listens to 1992 audio of himself and bandmate Mike Mills telling Ira Robbins about R.E.M.'s rise and decision not to tour the imminent Automatic for the People. Luke then reflects on his early preference for Sounds (over NME and Melody Maker) and the postpunk writing of the late Dave McCullough.Mark & Jasper pay fulsome tribute to the departed Pharoah Sanders, with both guests pitching in on the music of the intrepid jazz man — and we also bid farewell to 'Gangsta's Paradise' rapper Coolio. Marks then talks us through his highlights among the latest articles added to the RBP library, including pieces about the Beatles in America (1964), Otis Redding at the Whisky (1966) and Leon Russell at the Royal Albert Hall (1971) — the greatest gig he ever saw, he claims — and Jasper wraps matters up with quotes from articles about Harry Styles (2017) and Rose Royce (2021)...Many thanks to special guests Luke Haines and Peter Buck; their new album All The Kids Are Super Bummed Out is out October 28th on Cherry Red.Pieces discussed: Rock Criticism and the Rocker: Peter Buck in conversation with Anthony DeCurtis, Simon Price on the Auteurs, Peter Buck and Mike Mills audio, Don Snowden's tribute to Pharoah Sanders, Coolio Like That, The Beatles in New York, Graham Nash, The Beach Boys, Leon Russell, Otis Redding, Arif Mardin, Harry Styles and Rose Royce on making 'Car Wash'.

    E136: Richard Goldstein on 60s pop writing + The Shangri-Las + Shadow Morton

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 55:45


    In this episode we welcome the great Richard Goldstein and invite him to relive his days as the Village Voice's "Pop Eye" columnist in the '60s — and his heady experiences in New York and California in that tumultuous decade.Richard takes us back to his Bronx youth and the early discovery of writers such as Joyce, Dostoyevsky and Voice co-founder Norman Mailer. He also recalls his subsequent exposure to Tom Wolfe and Susan Sontag — both of whom he knew — and explains their influence on his very personal writing style. The second piece he ever wrote for the Voice gives us the chance to discuss that most outré of '60s girl groups, the fabulous Shangri-Las, and to hear clips from Tony Scherman's 1993 audio interview with the trio's mentor-producer George "Shadow" Morton.From the "Las" we turn our attention to the Byrds and the dawning "rock" revolution Richard chronicled so adroitly. We also discuss his immersion in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury scene — plus the attraction to hippie heroes such as Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir that indirectly led to his coming-out and to his militant fight for gay rights as he subsequently rose to the position of Executive Editor at the Voice.Notwithstanding his marvellous 2015 memoir Another Little Piece of My Heart — frequently cited in this episode — Richard poignantly explains how the deaths of Janis Joplin and others made it almost impossible to write any longer about music.Many thanks to special guest Richard Goldstein; find him at richardgoldsteinonline.com and buy his books, including Another Little Piece of My Heart, at any good bookshop.Pieces discussed: Pop Eye: Soundblast '66 — The Byrds @ Yankee Stadium, The Shangri-Las: The Soul Sound from Sheepshead Bay, Shadow Morton audio, Thinking about the Sxities and Talking Heads Hyperventilate Some Clichés.

    E135: Chris Blackwell on Island from Millie to U2 + Bunny Wailer

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2022 61:10


    In this episode we welcome legendary Island Records founder Chris Blackwell and invite him to reminisce about key moments in his career at the helm of one of the UK's great independent labels.Chris describes his youth in Jamaica, his early exposure to Kingston's sound systems, and his move back to England in 1962. From Millie's 1964 smash 'My Boy Lollipop' to Island's expansion from ska and blue beat into rock and folk, the Harrow-educated mogul reflects on the vital importance of artists such as Steve Winwood, Free, John Martyn and of course the Wailers, the band that made roots reggae a global phenomenon. Clips from a 1988 audio interview with Bunny Wailer prompt reflections on the "Blackheart Man" and his role within the group. A discussion of the Compass Point studio Chris built in the Bahamas takes us to the Island reinvention of Grace Jones and the stunning early '80s albums she made there with the immortal rhythm section of Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare.References to the week's featured writer Rob Partridge — Island's head of press from 1977 to 1991 — leads to recall of the label's biggest act, U2, and the eventual sale of Island to Polygram... not forgetting Chris' signing of the singular Tom Waits in 1983.Many thanks to special guest Chris Blackwell, whose autobiography The Islander is published by Nine Eight Books and available now.Pieces discussed: Maureen Cleave on Ska and Blue Beat, Chris Blackwell in conversation with Richard Green, Richard Williams on Island Records, David Toop on the sale of Island Records, Rob Partridge on Free, Rob Partridge on Reggae and Bunny Wailer in conversation with Mark Sinker (audio).

    E134: Wayne Robins on Steely Dan + Donald Fagen + Denny Dias

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2022 82:22


    In this episode we invite former Creem editor and Newsday critic Wayne Robins to reminisce about his journalistic journey from the Berkeley Barb to NYU's graduate school of journalism — and to hold forth on his (and our) beloved Steely Dan.Wayne recalls the suburban East Coast childhood he had in common with the Dan's Donald Fagen — and the music that set them both free from it. Jumping forward to 1969, he describes the Rolling Stones show he saw in Oakland a month before Altamont. He also paints a vivid and amusing picture of Bard College, the upstate New York institution he attended at the same time as Fagen and Dan co-founder Walter Becker. Clips from RBP audio interviews with the duo and original Dan member Denny Dias accompany an in-depth discussion of every rock egghead's favourite group, not to mention Fagen's 40-year-old solo album The Nightfly.The episode concludes with a swift survey of recent additions to the RBP library, including  pieces about Juliette Gréco (1961), James Booker (1976), Mark E. Smith (1990), Limp Bizkit (2000), Soul Train's Don Cornelius (2012), Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner (2017)… and the "atomic" Count Basie (2020).Many thanks to special guest Wayne Robins. Sign up for his newsletter Critical Conditions at waynerobins49.substack.com.Pieces discussed: Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Steely Dan II, Donald Fagen audio, Denny Dias audio, Donald Fagen, Steely Dan III, Juliette Gréco, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Culture Club, James Booker, Tom Petty, The Sixties, The Fall, Jann Wenner, Among the Mooks, Don Cornelius and Count Basie. 

    E133: Jason King on Queen + Sylvester + Boy George + Beyoncé

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 92:24


    In this episode, we invite Jason King to tell us about his multi-faceted career, from his Canadian upbringing to his chairmanship of Brooklyn's Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.Along the way, Jason talks about his writing on LGBTQ icons from Sylvester and Luther Vandross to Queen's Freddie Mercury, of whom he is writing a major biography. Jason recalls writing for Vibe and the Village Voice in the Noughties, listens to clips from Bill Brewster's 2002 audio interview with Boy George and discusses the brilliant career of — and new album by — Beyoncé.After Jason and his co-hosts pay homage to revered Warner-Reprise chief Mo Ostin, Mark quotes from newly-added library pieces about John Lennon, the Jam, AC/DC and Primal Scream. Jasper rounds things off with remarks on a 1998 interview with Mo Ostin signing Prince, then known as "The Artist Formerly Known as..."Many thanks to special guest Jason King. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @jasonkingsays.Pieces discussed: Little Richard, Queen, Pop's great awokening, Gay soul, Boy George audio, Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, Beyoncé in the movies, Mo Ostin, John Lennon, The Jam, Joan Jett, Primal Scream, Newport Folk Festival, Tim Buckley, AC/DC, Radiohead and Prince.

    E132: Steven Daly on Orange Juice + Suede + Sugar Hill + Lizzo

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 25, 2022 89:11


    In this episode we welcome "gamekeeper-turned-poacher" Steven Daly, who Zooms in from his adopted Brooklyn to tell us about drumming in Orange Juice and his stellar writing career in America.Steven revisits his musical youth in '70s Glasgow and his first encounters with Edwyn Collins and Postcard's Alan Horne. He talks about the creative divergences within Orange Juice, his eventual move into writing for The Face and Edinburgh's Cut magazine, and the decision in the late '80s to base himself in New York. His hosts focus on three of his pieces, written over the course of 15 years for Spin, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, with Steven reminiscing about meeting Joni Mitchell and Sugar Hill matriarch Sylvia Robinson.Clips from Steven's May 1993 audio interview with Suede's Brett Anderson and Mat Osman provide a good excuse to discuss the emerging "Englishness" of post-grunge Britain and the abiding fantasy of UK bands "taking America". Staying Stateside, Jasper praises the week's featured artist Lizzo, with reference to pieces about the funk-pop star that stretch back to 2013. Mark then pays tribute to former Miles Davis bassist Michael Henderson, who died on July 19th, and talks us through his favourite library additions from the past fortnight — including pieces about Yoko Ono, Pink Floyd, Juan Atkins and the aforementioned Miles Davis. Barney mentions pieces about Canned Heat and World of Twist, while Jasper concludes the episode with his thoughts on D'Angelo and the great Black-owned record labels...Many thanks to special guest Steven Daly; visit his RBP writer's page for more on him and his writing.Pieces discussed: Orange Juice, Joni Mitchell, Deee-Lite, Sugarhill Gang, Suede audio, Suede, Lizzo profile, Lizzo live, The Year of Lizzo, Michael Henderson, David Dalton podcast, Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Robert Fripp, Juan Atkins, Yoko Ono, Dusty Springfield, Canned Heat, Earl King, World of Twist, D'Angelo, Black Artist-Owned Labels and Sean Paul's teenage obsessions.

    E131: Robert Gordon on Memphis + Stax + ZZ Top + Robert Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 78:57


    In this episode we welcome the very engaging Robert Gordon "all the way from" his hometown of Memphis and ask him to talk about the music of his city from Sun and Stax to Alex Chilton and Big Star.Robert tells us about his childhood, along with the blues epiphany that was watching Furry Lewis support the Rolling Stones on the Memphis leg of their 1975 U.S. tour. Moving on to Stax, we look back at a great 1988 interview Robert did with the Memphis Horns' Andrew Love and Wayne Jackson — and then forward to the Wattstax festival, staged in L.A. 50 years ago this summer.Clips from the week's new audio interview — Tony Scherman asking Billy Gibbons about Robert Johnson — afford us the perfect excuse not just to discuss ZZ Top and their imminent new album but to revisit our guest's exhaustive 1991 essay on the "plundering" of Delta blues legend Johnson's estate.Mark talks us through a selection of newly-added library pieces about Frankie Lymon, Alma Cogan, San Francisco's Trips festival, Syreeta, Gang of Four and Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy. In the absence of a vacationing Jasper, Barney wraps things up with quotes from articles about rock scribe R(ichard) Meltzer, the Specials and — circling back to Stax — Booker T. Jones recalling co-writing Albert King's brooding 'Born Under a Bad Sign' with William Bell...Many thanks to special guest Robert Gordon; the 25th anniversary edition of It Came From Memphis is published by Third Man Books and available now. Visit his website at therobertgordon.com.Pieces discussed: The Memphis Horns, The plundering of Robert Johnson, It Came From Memphis, Wattstax, Wattstax, Wattstax, Billy Gibbons audio, Frankie Lymon, Andrew Loog Oldham, Syreeta, Punk magazine, XTC, Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, Alma Cogan, Trips Festival, Sly Stone, Gang of Four, Richard Meltzer, The Specials and Booker T. Jones.

    E130: Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton on DJ history + Dom Phillips + Elvis

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 89:17


    In this episode we welcome dynamic duo Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton to Hammersmith as they prepare for the publication of a newly expanded edition of their mighty Last Night a DJ Saved My Life.Bill and Frank talk about the original mission behind the book, as well as their different routes into dance music. They recall how they met and combined forces in '90s New York, where DJs such as Frankie Knuckles and Junior Vasquez proved transformative figures. Co-host Mark recalls seeing Bill and Frank DJ'ing at Fabric in 2000 and then reading the original edition of Last Night…Recalling their first articles for Mixmag in the '90s, the DJ History duo reminisce about the late Dom Phillips, the magazine's former editor who was so brutally murdered in the Amazon this month. They praise the courage Dom showed in confronting Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro and exposing the criminal gangs behind much of the Amazon's deforestation.Bill and Frank discuss the process of researching and writing Last Night…, barely knowing if figures such as Bronx hip hop legend were even still alive, and explain what turned clubs like Larry Levan's Paradise Garage into "religious" experiences.The week's new audio interview – Bill and Frank's own 2005 quizzing of drum and bass legend Fabio – proves infectiously enjoyable as they hear themselves asking the Brixton-born DJ about Crackers and Spectrum.The episode concludes with thoughts on Elvis Presley and the new biopic made by Baz Luhrman, after which Mark talks us through library pieces he's added about Bill Haley (1957), Billie Holiday (1959) and Buffalo Springfield (1968), while Jasper concludes proceedings with quotes from pieces about Kanye West (2016) and Arlo Parks (2019).Many thanks to special guests Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton. The new edition of Last Night a DJ Saved My Life is published by White Rabbit and available to pre-order now.Pieces discussed: House, Rave, DJ Kool Herc, Dom Phillips, Fabio audio, Elvis, Comeback Special, Elvis and Black Music, Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Bob Marley, Bill Haley, Buffalo Springfield, Kanye West and Arlo Parks.

    E129: Deborah Frost on heavy metal + Blue Öyster Cult + Grace Jones + Foals

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 73:59


    In this episode we welcome heavy metal expert Deborah Frost, Zooming in from her native New York City, and invite her to talk about her career as a writer and musician.Deborah reminisces about the all-girl "female Dolls" Flaming Youth, in which she drummed in the early '70s, and then explains how she came to write her first pieces for Circus in 1977. She talks about her love of hard rock and heavy metal, and about contributing to Rolling Stone and the Village Voice — including her acclaimed 1985 Voice piece 'White Noise: How Heavy Metal Rules', with its unflattering descriptions of the drug-and-groupie-addled Mötley Crüe.From the Crüe we segue into another great "umlaut" metal band, one beloved of Deborah's co-hosts Barney, Martin & Jasper. Yep, we're talking about Blue Öyster Cult, to whose drummer Albert Bouchard our guest was once married. After Barney & Martin attempt to do justice to what made the Cult so uniquely brilliant, we hear clips from 1978 audio interviews with the group's Allen Lanier& Eric Bloom, while Deborah talks about the "rock-critical" role played in the BÖC's development by Sandy Pearlman, R(ichard) Meltzer & punk poetess Patti Smith.An abrupt shift takes us into the amazing world of Grace Jones and her curation of the 2022 Meltdown festival in London. Guest and hosts alike celebrate the iconic Jamaican transgressor, focusing particularly on the Island albums she made at Chris Blackwell's Compass Point studios in the early '80s. Deborah also dumbfounds us with a story about getting naked in a New York sauna with Grace and her beefy boyfriend Dolph Lundgren.There's bonus audio in the form of Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis, talking in 2015 to Coup De Main's Pip Williams. Foals fan Jasper introduces the clips and — in the week that sees the release of their new album — explains why he rates his fellow Oxonians so highly. After that, he takes us through recent RBP library pieces added by the holidaying Mark Pringle, including Max Jones' 1959 Melody Maker homage to the departed Billie Holiday and Calvin Bush's 1998 Muzik profile of Jungle king Goldie.Many thanks to special guest Deborah Frost. Find out more about her and her writing on her RBP writers page.Pieces discussed: How Heavy Metal Rules, Rock Criticism as Brain Surgery, Allen Lanier audio, Eric Bloom audio, Grace Jones in 1977, Grace Jones in 1980, Chris Blackwell's Compass Point studios, Foals' Yannis Philippakis audio, Billie Holliday R.I.P., Goldie and Odell's disco.

    E128: Robert Greenfield on the Rolling Stones + Jerry Jeff Walker

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 79:06


    In this episode we welcome the great Robert Greenfield, beamed in from his home in Carmel, California, and ask him about his early '70s adventures with the Rolling Stones that inspired the seminal book S.T.P.. Robert recounts his journey from Fusion and Boston After Dark, via Rolling Stone's London bureau, to his stellar career as an author and biographer — including his celebrated books about Bill Graham, Jerry Garcia and Augustus "Owsley" Stanley III. He describes how he showed up at Keith Richards' Villa Nellcote in August 1971, during the recording of the now-50-year-old Exile On Main St.. After this we hear about the defining 1972 pieces he wrote for Rolling Stone about that album's final overdub/mixing stages in L.A., and about the start of the "Stones Touring Party" trek through North America. We also hear a 1997 audio clip of Keef looking back on Exile and its gradual rise to acclaim as the group's greatest album, plus there's a digression on photographer-filmmaker Robert Frank, whose Cocksucker Blues was (like S.T.P.) a key document of that triumphant 1972 tour. From there we go to clips from the week's new RBP audio interview, which features John Tobler in a 1992 conversation with folk-country legend Jerry Jeff Walker, the object of veneration on Steve Earle's new album Jerry Jeff. The genial and engaging Mr. Walker talks to Tobler about the difference between Nashville and his adopted Austin, his beloved 1968 song 'Mr. Bojangles', and (in the episode's outro) his encouragement of fellow troubadour Guy Clark — another object of Earle's Texan veneration. After valedictory reflections on Dylan crony and "stars' superstar" Bob Neuwirth, Microdisney/Fatima Mansions frontman Cathal Coughlan, and Greek prog-electronic deity Vangelis — news of the deaths of Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher and former Yes drummer Alan White came in after the recording of this episode — Mark Pringle quotes from his favourite new additions to the RBP library. These include pieces about Scott Walker, the Wailers, choreographer Cholly Atkins and self-proclaimed "bedroom bore" Aphex Twin, after which Jasper weighs in with remarks on the Streets and Shontelle. Many thanks to special guest Robert Greenfield. Find his books, including S.T.P.: A Journey Through America With The Rolling Stones, in all good bookshops. Pieces discussed: Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones tour, Keith Richards audio, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Jeff Walker audio, Al Aronowitz on Bob Neuwirth, Cathal Coughlan, Vangelis, Scott Walker, Cholly Atkins, The Wailers, Aphex Twin, The Streets and Shontelle.

    E128: Robert Greenfield on the Rolling Stones + Jerry Jeff Walker

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 78:36


    In this episode we welcome the great Robert Greenfield, beamed in from his home in Carmel, California, and ask him about his early '70s adventures with the Rolling Stones that inspired the seminal book S.T.P..Robert recounts his journey from Fusion and Boston After Dark, via Rolling Stone's London bureau, to his stellar career as an author and biographer — including his celebrated books about Bill Graham, Jerry Garcia and Augustus "Owsley" Stanley III. He describes how he showed up at Keith Richards' Villa Nellcote in August 1971, during the recording of the now-50-year-old Exile On Main St.. After this we hear about the defining 1972 pieces he wrote for Rolling Stone about that album's final overdub/mixing stages in L.A., and about the start of the "Stones Touring Party" trek through North America. We also hear a 1997 audio clip of Keef looking back on Exile and its gradual rise to acclaim as the group's greatest album, plus there's a digression on photographer-filmmaker Robert Frank, whose Cocksucker Blues was (like S.T.P.) a key document of that triumphant 1972 tour.From there we go to clips from the week's new RBP audio interview, which features John Tobler in a 1992 conversation with folk-country legend Jerry Jeff Walker, the object of veneration on Steve Earle's new album Jerry Jeff. The genial and engaging Mr. Walker talks to Tobler about the difference between Nashville and his adopted Austin, his beloved 1968 song 'Mr. Bojangles', and (in the episode's outro) his encouragement of fellow troubadour Guy Clark — another object of Earle's Texan veneration.After valedictory reflections on Dylan crony and "stars' superstar" Bob Neuwirth, Microdisney/Fatima Mansions frontman Cathal Coughlan, and Greek prog-electronic deity Vangelis — news of the deaths of Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher and former Yes drummer Alan White came in after the recording of this episode — Mark Pringle quotes from his favourite new additions to the RBP library. These include pieces about Scott Walker, the Wailers, choreographer Cholly Atkins and self-proclaimed "bedroom bore" Aphex Twin, after which Jasper weighs in with remarks on the Streets and Shontelle.Many thanks to special guest Robert Greenfield. Find his books, including S.T.P.: A Journey Through America With The Rolling Stones, in all good bookshops.Pieces discussed: Exile on Main Street, The Rolling Stones tour, Keith Richards audio, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Jeff Walker audio, Al Aronowitz on Bob Neuwirth, Cathal Coughlan, Vangelis, Scott Walker, Cholly Atkins, The Wailers, Aphex Twin, The Streets and Shontelle.

    E127: Chris Roberts on Radiohead + Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 76:07


    In this episode we are joined by the droll and charming Chris Roberts, who looks back on his career as a journalist, author and musician. Chris recalls the seminal early experience of first hearing T. Rex's 'Metal Guru' and explains how this led eventually to his writing for Sounds and then Melody Maker in the '80s. After detours via the ill-fated Ikon magazine and the fascinating Idle Worship anthology, we get to Chris' Uncut years and hear an audio clip of him being very cheeky to Debbie Harry. This brings us up to the present day and the publication of his fine new study of the Velvet Underground. We then turn to the week's featured artist, the divine Missy Elliott, and discuss her 25-year-old debut Supa Dupa Fly, reviewed by Chris for the Maker — and the "Misdemeanor" gal's amazing career in general. Another album turning 25 is Radiohead's towering OK Computer, which affords the perfect excuse to hear clips from not one but two audio interviews — the first with Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood from 1993, the second with Phil Selway from 1997, shortly after OK Computer's release. Chris reminisces about two Radiohead shows he saw, including a Royal Festival Hall gig he reviewed in 2000. Mark then runs through the articles he's most enjoyed adding during the previous fortnight, including pieces about the Ronettes, the Impressions, Ray Parker, Jr. and A Guy Called Gerald. Jasper finishes things off with remarks about interviews with Fall Out Boy and Grandmaster Flash. Many thanks to special guest Chris Roberts. His new book The Velvet Underground is published by Palazzo and available now. Pieces discussed: Debbie Harry audio, Chris on Supa Dupa Fly, Missy Elliott, Radiohead audio: Thom Yorke & Colin Greenwood and Phil Selway, The Ronettes, John Mayall, Stonewall riots, Popol Vuh, Guy Called Gerald, The Impressions, Ray Parker Jr., Fall Out Boy, Grandmaster Flash and Ayo.

    E127: Chris Roberts on Radiohead + Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 75:37


    In this episode we are joined by the droll and charming Chris Roberts, who looks back on his career as a journalist, author and musician.Chris recalls the seminal early experience of first hearing T. Rex's 'Metal Guru' and explains how this led eventually to his writing for Sounds and then Melody Maker in the '80s. After detours via the ill-fated Ikon magazine and the fascinating Idle Worship anthology, we get to Chris' Uncut years and hear an audio clip of him being very cheeky to Debbie Harry. This brings us up to the present day and the publication of his fine new study of the Velvet Underground.We then turn to the week's featured artist, the divine Missy Elliott, and discuss her 25-year-old debut Supa Dupa Fly, reviewed by Chris for the Maker — and the "Misdemeanor" gal's amazing career in general. Another album turning 25 is Radiohead's towering OK Computer, which affords the perfect excuse to hear clips from not one but two audio interviews — the first with Thom Yorke and Colin Greenwood from 1993, the second with Phil Selway from 1997, shortly after OK Computer's release. Chris reminisces about two Radiohead shows he saw, including a Royal Festival Hall gig he reviewed in 2000.Mark then runs through the articles he's most enjoyed adding during the previous fortnight, including pieces about the Ronettes, the Impressions, Ray Parker, Jr. and A Guy Called Gerald. Jasper finishes things off with remarks about interviews with Fall Out Boy and Grandmaster Flash.Many thanks to special guest Chris Roberts. His new book The Velvet Underground is published by Palazzo and available now.Pieces discussed: Debbie Harry audio, Chris on Supa Dupa Fly, Missy Elliott, Radiohead audio: Thom Yorke & Colin Greenwood and Phil Selway, The Ronettes, John Mayall, Stonewall riots, Popol Vuh, Guy Called Gerald, The Impressions, Ray Parker Jr., Fall Out Boy, Grandmaster Flash and Ayo.

    E126: Robert Duncan & Jaan Uhelszki on Lester Bangs + Creem + Suicide

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 72:26


    In this episode we mark the 40th anniversary of the death of arguably the greatest — and certainly the most "almost famous" — writer in the history of music journalism.Two of Lester Bangs's closest Creem colleagues (both wonderful writers in their own right) join us from California to reminisce about the man and his work. Jaan Uhelszki, who started in the Creem office the same day as Lester, gets the ball rolling by putting Detroit's "anti-Rolling Stone" in context. Robert Duncan, who arrived two years later in 1974, adds his recollections of "America's only rock'n'roll magazine" [sic] before paying tribute to Lester. Respect, laughter and sadness ensue as Robert & Jaan discuss their friend's gonzoid genius, his exasperating foibles and the addiction that killed him at 33, six years after Robert persuaded him to move to New York.Seminal New York duo Suicide — beloved of Bangs — are the subjects of the week's new audio interview, clips from which feature pioneering electropunks Alan Vega & Martin Rev talking in 1998 about their "confrontational" live act, their introduction of the word "punk" into NYC's music scene in 1971… and Vega's love of British comedy The Full Monty!Finally, Mark talks us through his highlights among the articles recently added to the RBP library, including pieces about the Righteous Brothers, Laura Nyro, Jeff Beck at the Fillmore East, Pharoah Saunders and England's miserable Bickershaw festival. Barney notes a 1988 Paul Morley rumination on, yes, music journalism… and Jasper quotes from a John Doran "review" of Aphex Twin's Collapse.Many thanks to special guests Robert Duncan and Jaan Uhelszki; you can visit Robert's website at duncanwrites.com and find more of Jaan's writing on her RBP writer's page.Pieces discussed: Lester on RBP, Lester Bangs and Almost Famous, Richard Riegel on Lester, Robert Duncan, Lester on the MC5, Lester on how to be a rock critic, Lester on Astral Weeks, Lester on punk/jazz, Suicide audio, Righteous Brothers, Laura Nyro, Pharaoh Sanders, George Jones, Grateful Dead & Jeff Beck Group, Bickershaw festival, KISS, Divine, Paul Morley on the rock press and Aphex Twin's Collapse.

    E126: Robert Duncan & Jaan Uhelszki on Lester Bangs + Creem + Suicide

    Play Episode Listen Later May 2, 2022 72:56


    In this episode we mark the 40th anniversary of the death of arguably the greatest — and certainly the most "almost famous" — writer in the history of music journalism. Two of Lester Bangs's closest Creem colleagues (both wonderful writers in their own right) join us from California to reminisce about the man and his work. Jaan Uhelszki, who started in the Creem office the same day as Lester, gets the ball rolling by putting Detroit's "anti-Rolling Stone" in context. Robert Duncan, who arrived two years later in 1974, adds his recollections of "America's only rock'n'roll magazine" [sic] before paying tribute to Lester. Respect, laughter and sadness ensue as Robert & Jaan discuss their friend's gonzoid genius, his exasperating foibles and the addiction that killed him at 33, six years after Robert persuaded him to move to New York. Seminal New York duo Suicide — beloved of Bangs — are the subjects of the week's new audio interview, clips from which feature pioneering electropunks Alan Vega & Martin Rev talking in 1998 about their "confrontational" live act, their introduction of the word "punk" into NYC's music scene in 1971… and Vega's love of British comedy The Full Monty! Finally, Mark talks us through his highlights among the articles recently added to the RBP library, including pieces about the Righteous Brothers, Laura Nyro, Jeff Beck at the Fillmore East, Pharoah Saunders and England's miserable Bickershaw festival. Barney notes a 1988 Paul Morley rumination on, yes, music journalism… and Jasper quotes from a John Doran "review" of Aphex Twin's Collapse. Many thanks to special guests Robert Duncan and Jaan Uhelszki; you can visit Robert's website at duncanwrites.com and find more of Jaan's writing on her RBP writer's page. Pieces discussed: Lester on RBP, Lester Bangs and Almost Famous, Richard Riegel on Lester, Robert Duncan, Lester on the MC5, Lester on how to be a rock critic, Lester on Astral Weeks, Lester on punk/jazz, Suicide audio, Righteous Brothers, Laura Nyro, Pharaoh Sanders, George Jones, Grateful Dead & Jeff Beck Group, Bickershaw festival, KISS, Divine, Paul Morley on the rock press and Aphex Twin's Collapse.

    E125: Vashti Bunyan on Wayward + Nick Drake + Joe Boyd audio

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 72:53


    In this episode we welcome the wonderful Vashti Bunyan — all the way from her home in Edinburgh — and ask her about her magical music and the remarkable memoir she's just published. The "freak folk" legend — though she strongly disavows the "folk" tag — begins by talking of her early musical memories, among them meeting an unhappy Cliff Richard backstage in Blackpool in 1961. She describes her dream of becoming a pop singer in mid-'60s London, and how that led her to the Mayfair office of Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Briefly and unhappily typecast as "a dark-haired Marianne Faithfull", she recalls the session for the Jagger-Richards song 'Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind', backed up in the studio by Jimmy Page & Nicky Hopkins. Vashti explains how she felt equally adrift in the world of folk, eventually dropping out of the London music scene to travel to the Outer Hebrides in a horse-drawn wagon. This is the journey she writes about so vividly in Wayward, leading circuitously to Joe Boyd producing her 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day. After a discussion of that exquisite record, she talks about why she neither wrote nor sang another song for 30 years… then admits how much it meant when younger admirers like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart discovered the album in 2000, subsequently appearing on her Lookaftering (2005) and Heartleap (2014). With Nick Drake's final album Pink Moon turning 50 this year, we take Vashti back to the awkward afternoon she spent trying to write a song with him after Joe Boyd had introduced them. Along the way we hear clips of Joe speaking to Gerrie Lim about Nick's guitar playing and "romantic doom" in 1994. After paying our respects to Saints frontman Chris Bailey, we touch on highlights among the 120+ articles just added to the RBP library, including pieces about Charles Mingus (1962), Dusty in Memphis (1969), the Smiths (1987) and Fatboy Slim (1997). Jasper's selection of a recent Michael McDonald interview gives us the perfect excuse to explain to Vashti what "Yacht Rock" is… after which we hear a final clip from the Boyd interview. Many thanks to special guest Vashti Bunyan; Wayward is published by White Rabbit and available now. You can visit Vashti's website at anotherday.co.uk. Pieces discussed: Vashti Bunyan, Heartleap, Robert Kirby, Lost Ladies of Folk, Joe Boyd on Nick Drake, The Saints, Chris Bailey, Muddy Waters, Jimi and Janis, The Smiths, Fatboy Slim, Charlie Mingus, Dusty Springfield, Robyn, Ry Cooder, Duke Ellington, ESP Disk, Michael McDonald and Phil Collins.

    E125: Vashti Bunyan on Wayward + Nick Drake + Joe Boyd audio

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 19, 2022 72:23


    In this episode we welcome the wonderful Vashti Bunyan — all the way from her home in Edinburgh — and ask her about her magical music and the remarkable memoir she's just published.The "freak folk" legend — though she strongly disavows the "folk" tag — begins by talking of her early musical memories, among them meeting an unhappy Cliff Richard backstage in Blackpool in 1961. She describes her dream of becoming a pop singer in mid-'60s London, and how that led her to the Mayfair office of Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Briefly and unhappily typecast as "a dark-haired Marianne Faithfull", she recalls the session for the Jagger-Richards song 'Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind', backed up in the studio by Jimmy Page & Nicky Hopkins.Vashti explains how she felt equally adrift in the world of folk, eventually dropping out of the London music scene to travel to the Outer Hebrides in a horse-drawn wagon. This is the journey she writes about so vividly in Wayward, leading circuitously to Joe Boyd producing her 1970 album Just Another Diamond Day. After a discussion of that exquisite record, she talks about why she neither wrote nor sang another song for 30 years… then admits how much it meant when younger admirers like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart discovered the album in 2000, subsequently appearing on her Lookaftering (2005) and Heartleap (2014).With Nick Drake's final album Pink Moon turning 50 this year, we take Vashti back to the awkward afternoon she spent trying to write a song with him after Joe Boyd had introduced them. Along the way we hear clips of Joe speaking to Gerrie Lim about Nick's guitar playing and "romantic doom" in 1994.After paying our respects to Saints frontman Chris Bailey, we touch on highlights among the 120+ articles just added to the RBP library, including pieces about Charles Mingus (1962), Dusty in Memphis (1969), the Smiths (1987) and Fatboy Slim (1997). Jasper's selection of a recent Michael McDonald interview gives us the perfect excuse to explain to Vashti what "Yacht Rock" is… after which we hear a final clip from the Boyd interview.Many thanks to special guest Vashti Bunyan; Wayward is published by White Rabbit and available now. You can visit Vashti's website at anotherday.co.uk.Pieces discussed: Vashti Bunyan, Heartleap, Robert Kirby, Lost Ladies of Folk, Joe Boyd on Nick Drake, The Saints, Chris Bailey, Muddy Waters, Jimi and Janis, The Smiths, Fatboy Slim, Charlie Mingus, Dusty Springfield, Robyn, Ry Cooder, Duke Ellington, ESP Disk, Michael McDonald and Phil Collins.

    E124: Devon Powers on The Village Voice + Red Hot Chili Peppers + White Stripes audio

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2022 68:21


    In this episode we welcome the excellent Devon Powers — beamed in from Philadelphia — and ask her to talk about The Village Voice, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the White Stripes… and music journalism since the turn of the century. Devon begins by talking about the music she loved when growing up in her native Michigan — and her first awareness of "rock critics". We hear about her move to New York City in 1999, her early pieces for the PopMatters site, and the Anglophilia that led to umpteen pieces about the likes of Clinic, Starsailor, Badly Drawn Boy and, yes, even Ocean Colour Scene. Citing a great 2003 piece she wrote about Red Hot Chili Peppers, who released a new album the week of this recording, we ask Devon what those punk-funk Californicators meant to her in the '90s and noughties. After a brief discussion of Devon's 2004 thinkpiece 'Is Music Journalism Dead?', we turn our attention to Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism, the 2013 book which came out of her doctoral dissertation at NYU. She talks about the vital New York weekly paper, and the "rock critics" who were such a key part of its arts coverage — particularly Richard Goldstein, several of whose '60s Voice pieces we have on RBP. We then pay tribute to another Voice contributor, John Swenson, lost to us a few days before this recording, as well as to Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins and Mighty Diamonds frontman "Tabby" Shaw. Two clips from Ira Robbins' 2001 audio interview with the White Stripes prompt a general chinwag about Jack, Meg, blues etc., after which Mark zips through the most notable of the interviews & reviews he's just added to the RBP library, including pieces about the Kingston Trio, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Canned Heat and Teddy Pendergrass. Barney then rounds things off by flagging up pieces on Marc Bolan, the Prodigy, Tony Hatch, Jack Good and the Descendents. Many thanks to special guest Devon Powers; visit her website at devonpowers.com and find Writing the Record in all good bookshops. The Rock's Backpages podcast is proud to be part of the Pantheon podcast network. Pieces discussed: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism, PJ Harvey, Is Music Journalism Dead?, Red Hot Chili Peppers audio, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Rick Rubin, The White Stripes audio, Taylor Hawkins audio, Foo Fighters, Crawdaddy, The Mighty Diamonds, Alexis Korner, Paul Revere, Disco, Teddy Pendergrass, Little Richard, Steve Paul, Canned Heat, Curtis Mayfield, Oasis, Marc Bolan audio, The Prodigy, Tony Hatch, Jack Good and the Descendents.

    E124: Devon Powers on The Village Voice + Red Hot Chili Peppers + White Stripes audio

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 5, 2022 67:51


    In this episode we welcome the excellent Devon Powers — beamed in from Philadelphia — and ask her to talk about The Village Voice, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the White Stripes… and music journalism since the turn of the century.Devon begins by talking about the music she loved when growing up in her native Michigan — and her first awareness of "rock critics". We hear about her move to New York City in 1999, her early pieces for the PopMatters site, and the Anglophilia that led to umpteen pieces about the likes of Clinic, Starsailor, Badly Drawn Boy and, yes, even Ocean Colour Scene. Citing a great 2003 piece she wrote about Red Hot Chili Peppers, who released a new album the week of this recording, we ask Devon what those punk-funk Californicators meant to her in the '90s and noughties.After a brief discussion of Devon's 2004 thinkpiece 'Is Music Journalism Dead?', we turn our attention to Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism, the 2013 book which came out of her doctoral dissertation at NYU. She talks about the vital New York weekly paper, and the "rock critics" who were such a key part of its arts coverage — particularly Richard Goldstein, several of whose '60s Voice pieces we have on RBP. We then pay tribute to another Voice contributor, John Swenson, lost to us a few days before this recording, as well as to Foo Fighter Taylor Hawkins and Mighty Diamonds frontman "Tabby" Shaw.Two clips from Ira Robbins' 2001 audio interview with the White Stripes prompt a general chinwag about Jack, Meg, blues etc., after which Mark zips through the most notable of the interviews & reviews he's just added to the RBP library, including pieces about the Kingston Trio, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Canned Heat and Teddy Pendergrass. Barney then rounds things off by flagging up pieces on Marc Bolan, the Prodigy, Tony Hatch, Jack Good and the Descendents.Many thanks to special guest Devon Powers; visit her website at devonpowers.com and find Writing the Record in all good bookshops.The Rock's Backpages podcast is proud to be part of the Pantheon podcast network.Pieces discussed: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism, PJ Harvey, Is Music Journalism Dead?, Red Hot Chili Peppers audio, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Rick Rubin, The White Stripes audio, Taylor Hawkins audio, Foo Fighters, Crawdaddy, The Mighty Diamonds, Alexis Korner, Paul Revere, Disco, Teddy Pendergrass, Little Richard, Steve Paul, Canned Heat, Curtis Mayfield, Oasis, Marc Bolan audio, The Prodigy, Tony Hatch, Jack Good and the Descendents.

    E123: Joe Carducci on SST Records + Henry Rollins + Paul Nelson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 71:49


    In this episode we invite SST legend Joe Carducci to join us — all the way from Las Vegas — and talk about his life and career in music from the mid-'70s to the present day.  We hear about Joe's childhood in Illinois, his move to L.A. in 1976 and his first pieces for Eurock and anarchist rag The Match! From there we learn about his forming record distributor Systematic in Portland; his working with Rough Trade US in Berkeley; and his helming of Black Flag's SST label from 1981 to 1986. Following his reminiscences of SST producer Spot and photographer Naomi Peterson, we hear clips from a 1994 audio interview with Henry Rollins — including the former Black Flag frontman's thoughts on his old band and its influence on the recently-deceased Kurt Cobain. Joe also discusses his controversial 1990 book Rock & the Pop Narcotic, as well as the legendary Sing Out!/Circus/Rolling Stone writer Paul Nelson and the vital importance of his Little Sandy Review fanzine (1959-1967). After paying our respects to Timmy ('Why Can't We Live Together') Thomas and NME/Daily Mirror journalist Gavin Martin, we hear from Mark about pieces on Country Joe & the Fish, Bette Midler and the Sex Pistols' famous Screen On The Green gig; from Jasper about Chicago's Tortoise and French pop; and from Barney about Little Feat's Lowell George, Texan "artlaw" Boyd Elder and Canadian rock'n'roller Jack Scott. Finally we hear a third clip from the Rollins audio, in which Henry harks back to his teenage infatuation with Ted Nugent. Many thanks to special guest Joe Carducci; find his blog at newvulgate.blogspot.com and his books, including Rock & the Pop Narcotic, in all good bookshops. Pieces discussed: Meat Puppets, The Descendents, Black Flag/SST, Henry Rollins audio, Paul Nelson, Timmy Thomas, Gavin Martin, Stiff Little Fingers, Bette Midler, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Country Joe & the Fish, Sex Pistols/Slits, Tortoise, French pop, Lowell George, Boyd Elder and Jack Scott.

    E123: Joe Carducci on SST Records + Henry Rollins + Paul Nelson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 71:19


    In this episode we invite SST legend Joe Carducci to join us — all the way from Las Vegas — and talk about his life and career in music from the mid-'70s to the present day. We hear about Joe's childhood in Illinois, his move to L.A. in 1976 and his first pieces for Eurock and anarchist rag The Match! From there we learn about his forming record distributor Systematic in Portland; his working with Rough Trade US in Berkeley; and his helming of Black Flag's SST label from 1981 to 1986. Following his reminiscences of SST producer Spot and photographer Naomi Peterson, we hear clips from a 1994 audio interview with Henry Rollins — including the former Black Flag frontman's thoughts on his old band and its influence on the recently-deceased Kurt Cobain. Joe also discusses his controversial 1990 book Rock & the Pop Narcotic, as well as the legendary Sing Out!/Circus/Rolling Stone writer Paul Nelson and the vital importance of his Little Sandy Review fanzine (1959-1967).After paying our respects to Timmy ('Why Can't We Live Together') Thomas and NME/Daily Mirror journalist Gavin Martin, we hear from Mark about pieces on Country Joe & the Fish, Bette Midler and the Sex Pistols' famous Screen On The Green gig; from Jasper about Chicago's Tortoise and French pop; and from Barney about Little Feat's Lowell George, Texan "artlaw" Boyd Elder and Canadian rock'n'roller Jack Scott.Finally we hear a third clip from the Rollins audio, in which Henry harks back to his teenage infatuation with Ted Nugent.Many thanks to special guest Joe Carducci; find his blog at newvulgate.blogspot.com and his books, including Rock & the Pop Narcotic, in all good bookshops.Pieces discussed: Meat Puppets, The Descendents, Black Flag/SST, Henry Rollins audio, Paul Nelson, Timmy Thomas, Gavin Martin, Stiff Little Fingers, Bette Midler, Nirvana, Rolling Stones, Country Joe & the Fish, Sex Pistols/Slits, Tortoise, French pop, Lowell George, Boyd Elder and Jack Scott.

    E122: David Dalton on The Beach Boys + The Beatles + Charles Manson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 64:29


    In this episode we welcome the legendary — and highly amusing — David Dalton to join us all the way from his rural retreat in upstate New York. We start by comparing our shocked reactions to Vladimir Putin's horrific invasion of Ukraine before asking David how he moved to America from England in 1961. He tells us about his mid-'60s adventures as a photographer of British Invasion acts like the Animals — with assistance from a pre-Beatle Linda McCartney — and then about his mid-stream switch to profiles of James Brown and Janis Joplin for Jann Wenner's nascent Rolling Stone. We revisit the award-winning 1970 Stone piece David co-wrote about Charles Manson and the Family, hearing along the way about Manson's connections with the Beach Boys. This leads almost seamlessly into clips from the late Andy Gill's 1988 audio interview with Dr. Eugene Landy, the shrink who "saved" Brian Wilson only to abuse his professional trust by inveigling his way into the singer's music and business affairs. We then return to the horrors of Manson when we ask David about the influence of Beatles tracks on the man who orchestrated the Tate-LaBianca killings. Our guest reminisces about working with Rolling Stone colleague Jonathan Cott on Get Back, the only book the Beatles ever commissioned, and we discuss with him the Fab Four's unhappy last days in the context of Peter Jackson's recent documentary of the same name. After David brings his American story full circle with memories of hanging out with Andy Warhol in 1961, Mark talks us through newly-added library pieces on Muddy Waters (1958), Brian Epstein (1963), the Who (1967) and Jerome "Doc" Pomus (1982), while Barney quotes from a review of a 1990 book about Eastern Bloc rock and Jasper mentions 2012 pieces about Kendrick Lamar and Green Day's American Idiot musical... Many thanks to special guest David Dalton; find his excellent biographies at any good bookshop and read his writing on RBP. Pieces discussed: David Dalton, Charles Manson, Eugene Landy audio, The Beatles, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, The Who, Brian Epstein, Johnny Mercer, "Doc" Pomus, Kendrick Lamar, Green Day musical, Rock around the Bloc.

    E122: David Dalton on The Beach Boys + The Beatles + Charles Manson

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 63:59


    In this episode we welcome the legendary — and highly amusing — David Dalton to join us all the way from his rural retreat in upstate New York.We start by comparing our shocked reactions to Vladimir Putin's horrific invasion of Ukraine before asking David how he moved to America from England in 1961. He tells us about his mid-'60s adventures as a photographer of British Invasion acts like the Animals — with assistance from a pre-Beatle Linda McCartney — and then about his mid-stream switch to profiles of James Brown and Janis Joplin for Jann Wenner's nascent Rolling Stone.We revisit the award-winning 1970 Stone piece David co-wrote about Charles Manson and the Family, hearing along the way about Manson's connections with the Beach Boys. This leads almost seamlessly into clips from the late Andy Gill's 1988 audio interview with Dr. Eugene Landy, the shrink who "saved" Brian Wilson only to abuse his professional trust by inveigling his way into the singer's music and business affairs.We then return to the horrors of Manson when we ask David about the influence of Beatles tracks on the man who orchestrated the Tate-LaBianca killings. Our guest reminisces about working with Rolling Stone colleague Jonathan Cott on Get Back, the only book the Beatles ever commissioned, and we discuss with him the Fab Four's unhappy last days in the context of Peter Jackson's recent documentary of the same name.After David brings his American story full circle with memories of hanging out with Andy Warhol in 1961, Mark talks us through newly-added library pieces on Muddy Waters (1958), Brian Epstein (1963), the Who (1967) and Jerome "Doc" Pomus (1982), while Barney quotes from a review of a 1990 book about Eastern Bloc rock and Jasper mentions 2012 pieces about Kendrick Lamar and Green Day's American Idiot musical...Many thanks to special guest David Dalton; find his excellent biographies at any good bookshop and read his writing on RBP.Pieces discussed: David Dalton, Charles Manson, Eugene Landy audio, The Beatles, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, The Who, Brian Epstein, Johnny Mercer, "Doc" Pomus, Kendrick Lamar, Green Day musical, Rock around the Bloc.

    E121: Peter Guralnick on Blues + Southern Soul + Jerry Wexler

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 91:32


    In this episode we invite the great Peter Guralnick — Zooming in from his native Massachusetts — to discuss his "adventures in music and writing"… to quote the subtitle of his wonderful 2020 collection Looking to Get Lost. Peter takes his hosts back to his discovery of Delta blues giants Skip James and Robert Johnson in the early '60s — and to the first pieces he wrote for Paul Williams' Crawdaddy! in 1966. He explains his approach to the masterful profiles he collected in Feel Like Going Home and Lost Highway, and the friendships with Charlie Rich and Bobby "Blue" Bland that resulted from them. Conversation leads from Howlin' Wolf to Solomon Burke and southern soul, and from there to the use of Val Wilmer's remarkable photos in Peter's books. Talk of Memphis and Muscle Shoals prompts Mark to introduce the first of three clips from Barney's 1985 audio interview with Atlantic Records legend Jerry Wexler. Peter reminisces about his relationship with "Wex" (and with Ray Charles), then follows up with riveting recall of Joe Tex and Jerry Lee Lewis. Pieces by Memphis writer Andria Lisle — one of many Guralnick disciples — brings us on to discussion of Bobby Bland and the late Hi Rhythm section drummer Howard Grimes. We also remember the brilliant Betty Davis and Syl ('Is It Because I'm Black?') Johnson. Finally, Mark quotes from newly-added library pieces about John Lee Hooker, Nik Venet, the Nazz and Simon Napier-Bell, while Jasper notes articles about Norah Jones and Robert Glasper. Bringing things full circle, Barney quotes from Peter's friend Bill Millar's tribute to recently-deceased soul specialist Bob Fisher. Many thanks to special guest Peter Guralnick. Looking to Get Lost is published by Little, Brown, and you can visit his website at peterguralnick.com. Peter Guralnick interviewed by Bob Ruggiero and by Maud Barthomier, Sweet Soul Music, Jerry Wexler audio, Andria Lisle on Memphis, Mick Hucknall meets Bobby "Blue" Bland, Hi Rhythm, Betty Davis, Syl Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Nik Venet, The Nazz, CBGBs, Hoagy Carmichael, Simon Napier-Bell, 'River Deep, Mountain High', Stephanie Mills, Norah Jones, Robert Glasper and Bob Fisher.

    E121: Peter Guralnick on Blues + Southern Soul + Jerry Wexler

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 21, 2022 91:02


    In this episode we invite the great Peter Guralnick — Zooming in from his native Massachusetts — to discuss his "adventures in music and writing"… to quote the subtitle of his wonderful 2020 collection Looking to Get Lost.Peter takes his hosts back to his discovery of Delta blues giants Skip James and Robert Johnson in the early '60s — and to the first pieces he wrote for Paul Williams' Crawdaddy! in 1966. He explains his approach to the masterful profiles he collected in Feel Like Going Home and Lost Highway, and the friendships with Charlie Rich and Bobby "Blue" Bland that resulted from them. Conversation leads from Howlin' Wolf to Solomon Burke and southern soul, and from there to the use of Val Wilmer's remarkable photos in Peter's books.Talk of Memphis and Muscle Shoals prompts Mark to introduce the first of three clips from Barney's 1985 audio interview with Atlantic Records legend Jerry Wexler. Peter reminisces about his relationship with "Wex" (and with Ray Charles), then follows up with riveting recall of Joe Tex and Jerry Lee Lewis. Pieces by Memphis writer Andria Lisle — one of many Guralnick disciples — brings us on to discussion of Bobby Bland and the late Hi Rhythm section drummer Howard Grimes. We also remember the brilliant Betty Davis and Syl ('Is It Because I'm Black?') Johnson.Finally, Mark quotes from newly-added library pieces about John Lee Hooker, Nik Venet, the Nazz and Simon Napier-Bell, while Jasper notes articles about Norah Jones and Robert Glasper. Bringing things full circle, Barney quotes from Peter's friend Bill Millar's tribute to recently-deceased soul specialist Bob Fisher.Many thanks to special guest Peter Guralnick. Looking to Get Lost is published by Little, Brown, and you can visit his website at peterguralnick.com.Peter Guralnick interviewed by Bob Ruggiero and by Maud Barthomier, Sweet Soul Music, Jerry Wexler audio, Andria Lisle on Memphis, Mick Hucknall meets Bobby "Blue" Bland, Hi Rhythm, Betty Davis, Syl Johnson, John Lee Hooker, Nik Venet, The Nazz, CBGBs, Hoagy Carmichael, Simon Napier-Bell, 'River Deep, Mountain High', Stephanie Mills, Norah Jones, Robert Glasper and Bob Fisher.

    E120: Kate Mossman on Joni Mitchell + Lou Reed + Morrissey & Marr

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2022 92:22


    In this episode we welcome the excellent Kate Mossman to our state-of-the-art recording suite and ask her about her writing career and musical passions. She talks about working with Mark Ellen at The Word and about her current employer the New Statesman, and Jasper quotes from a recent Statesman piece she wrote about her secret passion for jazz fusion. Kate's interview with "mean old daddy" Cary Raditz affords her the chance to talk about her beloved Joni Mitchell and the classic Blue song Raditz inspired. Joni's request to follow Neil Young's lead and have Blue and other albums removed from Spotify prompts discussion of the streaming platform's headaches in the wake of Joe Rogan's COVID disinformation. Another of Kate's Statesman pieces, about Lou Reed, gives her and co-hosts Mark & Barney the perfect excuse to riff on Reed's notoriously sadistic treatment of British interviewers — and the cue for Mark to talk about Martin Aston's 1989 audio interview with the ex-Velvets man. From there we turn to Lou's fellow contrarian Morrissey and the "severed alliance" between him and former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr. With the latter releasing a new album this month, Kate and the RBP crew reflect on the very different personalities (and values) of the two Mancunians. After noting the passing of folk matriarch Norma Waterson, Mark references recently-added library pieces about Sam Cooke, Todd Rundgren and the late Janice Long. Jasper then finishes things off with observations on pieces about Glass Animals and Adele. Many thanks to special guest Kate Mossman; find her writing in the New Statesman and on RBP. Pieces discussed: Jazz fusion, Carey Raditz, Lou Reed, Lou Reed audio, Johnny Marr, the Smiths, Morrissey, Norma Waterson, Sam Cooke, Scott Walker, Steve Paul, Nona Hendryx, Vicki Wickham, Black Sabbath, Todd Rundgren, Janice Long, Laura Barton's heckler's guide, Glass Animals and Adele.

    E120: Kate Mossman on Joni Mitchell + Lou Reed + Morrissey & Marr

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 7, 2022 91:52


    In this episode we welcome the excellent Kate Mossman to our state-of-the-art recording suite and ask her about her writing career and musical passions. She talks about working with Mark Ellen at The Word and about her current employer the New Statesman, and Jasper quotes from a recent Statesman piece she wrote about her secret passion for jazz fusion.Kate's interview with "mean old daddy" Cary Raditz affords her the chance to talk about her beloved Joni Mitchell and the classic Blue song Raditz inspired. Joni's request to follow Neil Young's lead and have Blue and other albums removed from Spotify prompts discussion of the streaming platform's headaches in the wake of Joe Rogan's COVID disinformation.Another of Kate's Statesman pieces, about Lou Reed, gives her and co-hosts Mark & Barney the perfect excuse to riff on Reed's notoriously sadistic treatment of British interviewers — and the cue for Mark to talk about Martin Aston's 1989 audio interview with the ex-Velvets man. From there we turn to Lou's fellow contrarian Morrissey and the "severed alliance" between him and former Smiths bandmate Johnny Marr. With the latter releasing a new album this month, Kate and the RBP crew reflect on the very different personalities (and values) of the two Mancunians.After noting the passing of folk matriarch Norma Waterson, Mark references recently-added library pieces about Sam Cooke, Todd Rundgren and the late Janice Long. Jasper then finishes things off with o