Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages

Michael Watts

Michael Watts

Michael Watts (pictured with Richard Williams above him and Chris Charlesworth below) was Melody Maker's US editor for much of the 1970s. He’s since been an editor at the Financial Times, the Independent, the Evening Standard and Esquire. He now writes for Wired, Conde Nast and anyone else who’ll have him...

List of articles in the library by artist

Gregg Allman: Felt Forum, New York NY

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, December 1974

Greg — mining the blues ...

Amon Düül: Amon For All Seasons

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, December 1970

IN THE BEGINNING there was Amon Duul, and A.D. was a musical community of about a dozen people of varied musical backgrounds. Gradually, some of ...

Syd Barrett

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, March 1971

STORIES ABOUT Syd Barrett are legion. That he became overbearingly egotistical, impossible to work with. That he was thrown out of The Pink Floyd. That ...

Shirley Bassey: The Soul Of Showbiz

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1971

EVEN BEFORE she stuck out her bottom and waggled it provocatively at the crucial moments on 'Big Spender', yes, even before she and Eartha Kitt ...

Maggie Bell, Led Zeppelin: Peter Grant: The Man Who Led Zeppelin

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1974

With a background in wrestling, it's not surprising that Peter Grant is cast as a heavy. And as manager of Led Zep, the legend has ...

Ivor Biggun, Duffo, The Lurkers, Tubeway Army: Beggars Banquet: Where Taste is a Dirty Word

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, March 1979

Nick Austin and Martin Mills are the perpetrators of Duffo, Ivor Biggun and the Lurkers. They may have traded in their Jags for Cortinas. but ...

David Bowie: From Brixton To Berlin

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1978

Michael Watts reports from the German film set where David Bowie is making Just A Gigolo ...

David Bowie: Oh, You Pretty Thing: David Bowie

Profile and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1972

DAVID BOWIE, rock's swishiest outrage; a self-confessed lover of effeminate clothes, Bowie, who has hardly performed in public since his 'Space Oddity' hit of three ...

David Bowie, Mott The Hoople, Lou Reed, Mick Ronson: Tony DeFries: Bowie's MainMan

Profile by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, May 1974

Tony DeFries is Mr Big of today's rock —the 70s' Col. Parker. He deals in STARS, the most glittering of whom is David Bowie. He ...

Can: Tago Mago (United Artists)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1972

AS DUNCAN Fallowell says in his sleevenotes, Can could not be anything but German. ...

Harry Chapin: Short Stories (Elektra)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1974

BY NOW IT should be deemed a case of criminal neglect that Harry Chapin's 'W.O.L.D.' is not in the top ten or even higher, because ...

Harry Chapin: Avery Fisher Hall, New York NY

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, December 1974

NEW YORK: The trouble with Harry is that he's such a goddam regular guy. The way he handles himself onstage, for instance. Like a scoutmaster, ...

Chicago, The Doors, Emerson Lake And Palmer, Jimi Hendrix, John Sebastian, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, The Moody Blues, Pentangle, Procol Harum, Richie Havens, Taste, Ten Years After, Tiny Tim, The Who: The Isle of Wight Festival: Five Days That Rocked Britain

Report by Chris Welch, Michael Watts, Richard Williams, Mark Plummer, Melody Maker, September 1970

MM's Richard Williams, Chris Welch, Michael Watts and Mark Plummer present a five-page report on an amazing weekend of music and other scenes... ...

Alice Cooper: Spectrum, Philadelphia

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, March 1973

THE ROCK WORLD today mourns the death of Alice Cooper, who was accidently killed last night when the safety screws failed on the guillotine he ...

Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young: Joni and the Laurel Canyon Mob

Comment by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1971

SO YOU wanna be a rock and roll star, right? Well, our advice is to head out Laurel Canyon way. Take a tip from one ...

David Bowie: Stranger in a Strange Land

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1973

Aladdin Sane is the punning title of David Bowie's next album. It's more remote, more spacey, than anything he's done before says MICHAEL WATTS, who ...

Marlene Dietrich: Wimbledon Theatre, London

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1975

MARLENE DIETRICH: what is there left to say about her, except that the Blue Angel is now bluing a little around the edges? But even ...

Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Simon & Garfunkel, Velvet Underground: Tom Wilson: The Man Who Put Electricity Into Dylan

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1976

TOM WILSON is an elegant, very tall (6ft 4in) black American, a former Harvard man who talks a little like Bill Cosby but whose pencil-thin ...

Bill Evans: Living Time With Evans

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, December 1972

NONE OF THE other diners appeared to recognise the pianist, but to anyone with jazz inklings he was unmistakable. The long, thick hair, cut page-boy ...

Roberta Flack, Freddie Hubbard, War, Jimmy Witherspoon: War, Roberta Flack, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Witherspoon: Shea Stadium, New York NY

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, July 1973

War declared at Shea Stadium. ...

Grateful Dead: Dead on the Nile

Report by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1978

Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Keith & Donna Godchaux, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Hamza El-Din, Bill Graham, Ken Kesey & The Merry Pranksters, the Sphinx, the ...

Bert Jansch: An Everyday Story of Funky Folk

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1976

NOW THAT Bert has returned from the Continent, where he has been touring these months and more, he will have to find somewhere else to ...

Waylon Jennings: You Gotta Be A Man First, 'Fore You Can Be Anything...

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, August 1973

Waylon Jennings, the cowboy who finally hit that golden trail. By MICHAEL WATTS in New York ...

Amanda Lear: Who's Afraid of Amanda Lear?

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1979

She lived with Brian Jones, and was Salvador Dali's protégé. She took David Bowie to see Metropolis, and watched him turn Fritz Lang into hit ...

John Lennon, Yoko Ono: John and Yoko: A Press Conference at Apple

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, October 1971

THERE'S A GLINT of spectacles. Gathering recognition as the sandy hair, short and unfamiliar registers. Take in the smart grey trousers and the conventional shirt. ...

Leonard Cohen: New Skin For The Old Ceremony (CBS)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1974

LEONARD COHEN is an artist who worries a great many people. Dismissed on the one hand as pretentious, on the other as a plain old ...

John Lydon, Malcolm McLaren, Public Image Ltd, The Sex Pistols: Rotten v. McLaren: No Winner

Report by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, February 1979

AS JOHNNY Rotten savours his first victory in the Lydon-Glitterbest case, Public Image Ltd. prepare to record a second album with a new drummer, the ...

John Lydon, Malcolm McLaren, Public Image Ltd, The Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious: The Rise And Fall Of Malcolm McLaren Part Three: Last Tango In Paris — 'Je Ne Regrette Rien...'

Retrospective and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1979

WHEN HE WAS LYING, HE WAS MORE INTERESTING THAN MANY MEN TELLING A STORY TRULY. ...

Bob Marley & the Wailers, Bruce Springsteen: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley & The Wailers: Max's Kansas City, New York NY

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, August 1973

Wailers fail to catch afire ...

Paul McCartney, Wings: Paul McCartney: The Yellow Perils Of Paulie

Report by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1980

The Nips nabbed Big Macca last week as he allegedly lugged half-a-pound of marijuana through the Japanese customs. Is the naughty 'former Beatle' set for ...

Malcolm McLaren, New York Dolls, The Sex Pistols: The Rise And Fall Of Malcolm McLaren Part One: Tin Pan Alley Meets An Idea Whose Time Has Come...

Retrospective and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1979

The Man Who Sold The World ...

Malcolm McLaren, The Sex Pistols: The Rise And Fall of Malcolm McLaren Part Two: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse Go Riding...

Retrospective and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1979

EARLY IN July, 1978, the office of Glitterbest Ltd. at 90/98 Shaftesbury Avenue, which is the centre of London's Theatreland, received the following letter. ...

Joni Mitchell: Mingus

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1979

THE CONCEPT of Joni Mitchell singing Charles Mingus, the late and very great jazzman, is eccentric but not illogical. For her it is the culmination ...

Joni Mitchell: Court and Spark (Asylum)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1974

OF ALL THE female writers and singers post-dating Joan Baez in pop music, Joni Mitchell seems to me to have arrived at the most complete ...

Joni Mitchell: Glimpses of Joni

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1970

SCENE IN A television studio: a girl in a long pink shift, which catches at her ankles when she walks, picks hesitantly at a few ...

Essra Mohawk: Just Baiting for Laura Nyro

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, September 1973

THIS IS a slightly strange situation to be in. Over there, in the corner of the room, Sherry Bo Berry, a member of the Cockettes-derived ...

The Mothers Of Invention: Mother's Union

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Richard Williams, Melody Maker, December 1970

TELL ME, Mr. Zappa, what do you think of the critical reaction to your work over the past five years?  ...

Geoff Muldaur, Leon Redbone: Geoff Muldaur: Geoff Muldaur Is Having A Wonderful Time (Reprise); Leon Redbone: On The Track (Warner Bros)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1976

THE LINK between these two artists is by no means absolute, but the somewhat eccentric tastes of each have produced intriguing and offbeat albums. ...

Gilbert O'Sullivan: Working Class Hero: Gilbert O'Sullivan

Profile and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, October 1971

WHOEVER WOULD have thought it? Gordon Mills, manager of Tom and Engel, those popular, polished professionals, taking a shine to an odd young Irishman whose ...

John Peel: Unpeeled

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, April 1971

In the three years since he first won the Top DJ title in the MM Poll, John Peel has been mocked and worshipped. Today he wipes the ...

Iggy Pop, The Stooges: Lock Up Your Daughters, Iggy's Here

Profile and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, April 1972

AS MARC BOLAN swung his hips for the benefit of Ringo Starr's camerawork, did any of the 9,000 upturned faces notice the auburn-haired American fifth ...

Johnnie Ray: The Nabob of Sob

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, August 1974

Long before Beatlemania hit Britain, JOHNNIE RAY was the idol of the screamers and fainters. His highly emotional stage act included breaking down in tears ...

The Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers (Kinney)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, April 1971

Bands come and go – but the Stones keep rollin' on ...

The Sex Pistols: America Learns to Loathe the Pistols

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1978

Michael Watts reports on the Memphis hotel set-up (was it the CIA?); the two suspicious cowboys (were they big-time dope dealers?); the sociologists' poll (where ...

Patti Smith, The Stranglers: Patti Smith: The Roundhouse, London

Live Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, May 1976

Patti Smith: poet cornered ...

Steely Dan: Art For Art's Sake…

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, June 1976

In the space of five albums in four years, Steely Dan have created arguably the best rock music, and certainly the most erudite, of the ...

Billy Swan: Swan Song

Profile and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, December 1974

When Billy Swan cut a solo single, things started to happen — and they kept on happening until he reached the American No 1 spot... ...

Pete Townshend, The Who: Pete Townshend: Picking Up The Pieces

Report and Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, October 1978

"ROGER AND I have really got to get together and thrash out... not a compromise, but what is really gonna work.  And if we can't ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground: Loaded (Atlantic Super)

Review by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, March 1971

The most important album since Tommy? ...

Dionne Warwicke: Dionne

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1972

SHE USED to be Dionne Warwick, and before that Dionne Warrick. The extra letter is important. The rules of numerology dictate it. Just as it ...

List of genre pieces

Caroline Coon: The Underground Angel Of Mercy...

Interview by Michael Watts, Melody Maker, January 1971

Michael Watts talks to CAROLINE COON of Release ...

back to LIBRARY

COPYRIGHT NOTICE