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Andrew Smith

Andrew  Smith

Andrew Smith was born in Greenwich Village, New York, to English parents. A stint living in San Francisco was followed by relocation to the Hastings in UK, where school classmates included the artist Dinos Chapman and the future Spice Girls/Pop Idol svengali Simon Fuller – whose attentions failed to save Smith's fourth-form band from obscurity.

After studying philosophy and politics at the University of York, Smith moved to London, where he toured and released records with post-punk and electro bands for a few years (at one point failing an audition for The Clash), before finally submitting to his first love, which was writing.

Starting at Melody Maker, he moved rapidly to The Face as a feature writer during its mid-'90s heyday under Sheryl Garratt, and from there to the Guardian, Sunday Times (as Chief Pop Critic) and The Observer. Along the way, there were articles on crop circle hoaxers; the ecstasy testers of Amsterdam; the secret world under London and human rights work of Bianca Jagger, not to mention interviews with everyone from Madonna to the architect Richard Rogers, artist Damien Hirst and founder Jeff Bezos.

In 2002, Smith left journalism to write his UK #1 and international bestseller Moondust: in Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth. Describing his search for the nine remaining men who walked on the moon between 1969 and 1972, Moondust was nominated for two British Book Awards and chosen by The Times as one of its 100 Best Books of the Noughties.

He now divides his time between writing and documentary film. His most recent book, Totally Wired: On the Trail of the Great Dotcom Swindle, is about the bizarre life of the New York Web pioneer Josh Harris, and was published in hardback by Simon & Schuster in October 2012, with paperback to follow.

List of articles in the library by artist

808 State, Andrew Weatherall, Coldcut, D Mob, M People, S'Express, William Orbit: Remixing: The DJ's DJ

Report and Interview by Push, Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, August 1990

A couple of years ago, the success of DJ-based groups such as M/A/R/R/S, Coldcut, S'Express and Bomb The Bass heralded a new musical era. Now, ...

A Tribe Called Quest: Storm Warnings

Interview by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, February 1991

Besides achieving Top 20 success with their new single, 'Can I Kick It?, A Tribe Called Quest have also been heavily involved with the re-recording ...

Björk: An International Word

Interview by Andrew Smith, Ray Gun, May 1995

HER HOUSE is set back from the street, on a wide avenue in Maida Vale. A pair of imposing, wrought iron security gates shield it ...

British Electric Foundation, Scritti Politti: Green Gartside and B.E.F.

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, October 1991

BEF (THE PART-TIME preoccupation of former Heaven 17 bods second Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh) have just released a Music Of Quality and Distinction ...

Kurt Cobain, Manic Street Preachers: Is This Music To Die For?

Report by Andrew Smith, Guardian, The, March 1995

AN ARTICLE in this week's Melody Maker describes some of the dozens of letters the paper has been receiving every week since Richey James's departure ...

Deacon Blue: Dominion Theatre, London

Live Review by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, November 1988

I'LL BET whoever signed Deacon Blue thought they were signing the next Prefab Sprout. ...

Elastica Limits

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, March 2002

As Britpop's queen, she had everything: In Elastica, she had a best-selling group and in Damon Albarn, a boyfriend lusted after by thousands. But then ...

Vincent Gallo: Buffalo Boy: Vincent Gallo

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, September 2001

He's a self-confessed sexual compulsive, a teetotal right-wing extremist who made the hit movie Buffalo 66. Andrew Smith meets Vincent Gallo, painter, actor, model, director, ...

Lee Hazlewood: The Return of Nancy's Boy

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, June 1999

NEW YORK CROWDS don't get much hipper than this. The women look either like a young Patti Smith or Marianne Faithfull circa Girl On A ...

Mark Hollis: Composing Himself

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Sunday Times, January 1998

ANDREW SMITH meets the former Talk Talk singer whose haunting new album marks the next stage in an intriguing musical odyssey.  ...

Jamiroquai: Lost In Space

Interview by Andrew Smith, Face, The, November 1994

JAY KAY shouldn't really be telling me shit like this. He and his band for — make no mistake, it is his band — have ...

The KLF: Burning question: The KLF

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, February 2000

Why did Bill Drummond set fire to £1 million? Why did he want to chop off his own hand on stage? And why did the ...

The Last Poets: ICA, London

Live Review by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, April 1989

WORDS FLY LIKE bullets from a scatter gun. They call Jalal Nurridin the "Godfather of Rap", but he's much more than that. ...

Manic Street Preachers: Our Manics in Havana: Manic Street Preachers

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, March 2001

THURSDAY MORNING and the short journey to the national radio station affords a first look at Havana, which turns out to be exactly what I ...

Moby: Definitely Moby

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, October 2000

"I was a rigid punk rock Marxist. Then I was a rigid vegan dance music Christian." Today, he's loosened up and become one of the ...

Yoko Ono: Just imagine: Yoko Ono

Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, November 2001

In the '60s, Yoko Ono married John Lennon and campaigned for peace in Vietnam. More than 30 years on, she's still irrevocably linked to her ...

Radiohead: Sound and Fury: Radiohead

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, October 2000

IN THE EARLY '90S, you knew you'd arrived as a rock group the day you made it on to MTV and the Beavis & Butthead ...

Nitin Sawhney : The Outsider: Nitin Sawhney

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Guardian, The, September 1999

Nitin Sawhney says he feels like a stranger in England, where he was born, and in India, the land of his parents. The tension has ...

Sigur Ros: So good they make you vomit

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer, The, April 2001

ON THE OTHER side of the door is a sprawling south London estate gathered round an old factory turned business park, as oppressive an environment ...

So Solid Crew: Ghetto Blasters: So Solid Crew

Profile and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, November 2001

SHOTS RANG OUT and a man collapsed in a heap near the dance floor. Another lay slumped, bleeding profusely, in a doorway near the toilet. ...

The Verve: A Lad In Spain

Interview by Andrew Smith, Melody Maker, May 1993

Verve were last year's second most likely contenders for world domination after You Know Who. At which point they threw several spanners in the works ...

List of genre pieces

Three Lions: Fat Les and 'Jerusalem'

Report and Interview by Andrew Smith, Observer Music Monthly, May 2000

After scoring with their World Cup hit 'Vindaloo', Damien Hirst, Keith Allen and Alex James are back with the official song for Euro 2000. But ...

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