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Mick Brown

Mick Brown

Born in 1950, Mick Brown is a freelance writer and broadcaster who has written on music and other cultural affairs for a wide variety of publications including the SUNDAY TIMES, the GUARDIAN, the OBSERVER, the SUNDAY CORRESPONDENT, ROLLING STONE and CRAWDADDY. He is now a regular contributor to the TELEGRAPH magazine and the DAILY TELEGRAPH newspaper in London. Mick is the author of six books: Richard Branson: The Inside Story; American Heartbeat: A Musical Journey Across America from Woodstock to San Jose; Performance - a study of the cult film; The Spiritual Tourist: A Personal Odyssey through the Outer Reaches of Belief; The Dance of 17 Lives - the true story of Tibet's 17th Karmapa; and Tearing Down The Wall of Sound: The Rise and Fall of Phil Spector.

List of articles in the library by artist

The Beatles: Miles: John, Paul, George and… Barry

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, October 2002

IN 1965, A YOUNG bookseller named Barry Miles decided to throw a birthday party in his London flat for his friend, the beat poet Allen ...

Bobby Bland: Charles Farley: Soul of the Man – Bobby "Blue" Bland

Book Review by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, July 2011

I HAVE TWO REASONS to vividly remember the first occasion I saw Bobby "Blue" Bland perform in a Los Angeles nightclub 35 years ago. ...

David Bowie: Lindsay Kemp: The Man Who Taught Bowie His Moves

Interview by Mick Brown, Crawdaddy!, September 1974

LONDON — Lindsey Kemp doesn’t converse. He orates. Words spill out, like wine from a jug, in a long, liquid flow; pictures spring to life, ...

David Bowie: Lindsay Kemp: Camp? No — Kemp

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, September 1975

Lindsay Kemp says it with Flowers. He also aided and abetted the transformation of David Bowie into Ziggy Stardust. Mick Brown reports. ...

David Bowie, Morrissey: Tony Visconti: Bolan, Bowie, Morrissey And Me

Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, March 2006

"WHAT A LOT of people don't realise about Morrissey," says the producer of his new album, Tony Visconti, "is that he has a sense of ...

Brand X: Marquee Club, London

Live Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, May 1977

"THIS IS our first gig for a while," joked Phil Collins, "so we celebrated by rehearsing this morning." ...

John Cale, Nico: John Cale: Fear (Island); Nico: The End (Island)

Review by Mick Brown, Crawdaddy!, May 1975

ALONG WITH Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico were members of the first – and definitive – incarnation of the Velvet Underground. ...

Captain Beefheart, Linda Lewis, Pink Floyd, Roy Harper, Steve Miller: Pink Floyd, Steve Miller, Captain Beefheart, Roy Harper, Linda Lewis: Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire

Live Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, July 1975

Floyd fly high with support ...

Ray Charles: Renaissance (London)

Review by Mick Brown, New Musical Express, 1978

TO SEE a Ray Charles album on the London label is to experience a flash of nostalgia. For in his greatest hour – the mid-1950s ...

Fats Domino, Ray Charles: Thorns In Velvet: Fats Domino and Ray Charles at the Capital Jazz Festival

Live Review by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1984

AMONG the collection of venerable antiques paraded for this year’s Capital Jazz Festival – couldn’t the organisers find anybody of note under the age of ...

Eric Clapton: Live At Wembley

Live Review by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1984

ONE HAS ALWAYS suspected that Eric Clapton's worst enemy was his own reputation. Few people live with – much less live up to – the ...

Gene Clark: The Soulful Return Of Gene Clark

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, January 1976

WHILE ROGER McGuinn plays with his electronic toys in his Hollywood mansion and makes records that are mere shadows of his past work; while David ...

Leonard Cohen: The Return of Leonard Cohen

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, July 1976

THE POSTER outside the Colston Hall, Bristol announced the appearance that evening of "The Poet of Rock and Roll". ...

Commander Cody: Lost Planet Airman Finds Lone Star, Starts Drinking

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, February 1976

THEY DIDN’T ask Commander Cody if they could use his face to advertise Lone Star beer, but he’s the first to admit it fits. "Country ...

Ry Cooder: All-American Music Man: Ry Cooder

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, May 1982

IT WAS THE MEXICANS that did it. The violent hue of his shirt notwithstanding, the tall, taciturn figure in the centre of the stage looked ...

Ry Cooder: Vinyl Choice: Ry Cooder

Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times Magazine, November 1980

RY COODER was once described as a "curator of American music". A fair assessment, but it hardly captures the joy and affection of his modern ...

The Damned, The Sex Pistols: U.K. Report: Sex Pistols And Beyond

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, January 1977

LONDON – So this is how legends are born. Not with a song, or even a death, but with an expletive. ...

Nick Drake: The Sad Ballad of Nick Drake

Essay by Mick Brown, Sunday Telegraph, July 1997

His records didn't sell while he lived. But since Nick Drake's untimely death he has become an icon. Mick Brown reports on a very English ...

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Dr Hook: Act Naturally

Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, June 1976

THE REPORTERS from the provincial press had gathered in the room where the press conference was to be held and were guzzling record- company wine, ...

Dr. John: Dr John: Hollywood Be Thy Name (United Artists)

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, December 1975

WHEN DOCTOR John failed to deliver a hit single (and album) to follow the success of 'In The Right Place' Atlantic promptly ditched him. That's ...

Dr. John: Dr John's Minstrel Trip

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, November 1975

WHEN DR John was coming off heroin some time ago, it was suggested that a visit to a faith-healing meeting might help in the cure. ...

Dr. John: The Doctor and the Duke: A Night with Mac Rebennack

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, July 1999

ON A WARM Saturday afternoon, in a studio just off 5th Avenue, in the downtown section of New York, Dr John is recording an album ...

Bob Dylan (1984)

Interview by Mick Brown, Rock's Backpages Audio, Summer 1984

On how he won't be understood for 100 years, always moving on, Woodstock and wisdom.

File format: mp3; file size: 3.8mb, interview length: 04' 11" sound quality: ***

Bob Dylan: 'Jesus, Who's Got Time to Keep Up with the Times?'

Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, July 1984

This week Bob Dylan comes to Britain. The folksinger-cum-folk hero of the 1960s has not always had a good reception here. In 1965 purists attacked ...

Chris Farlowe: Farlowe's Back In Time

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, August 1975

IT WAS, says Chris Farlowe, bloody fantastic. The Marquee Club packed to the limit; sweat staining the walls. A barrage of vintage blues-shouting from Farlowe ...

Rory Gallagher

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, December 1976

WE ARE going to the University to do a radio interview. Correction; we were going to the University to do a radio interview, but with ...

Rory Gallagher... And The Grain Grafts On

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, January 1976

"I USED to know the assistant manager at the Hammersmith Odeon when the Beatles played there. He'd deliver their fan mail and hang around while ...

Rory Gallagher: Calling Card (Chrysalis) ****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, October 1976

FOR RORY GALLAGHER to start making any radical departures from established style at this stage in the game would not only be out of character ...

Rory Gallagher: Hammersmith Odeon, Lindon

Live Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, January 1977

NOBODY PLAYS the blues anymore – not unless they're black and old. The blues tradition among young blacks has all but vanished in the mad ...

Rory Gallagher: Rory's full of nitty gritty

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, August 1975

After their recent success at the Montreux Festival, the Rory Gallagher band moved on to new ground, Finland. ...

Marvin Gaye: Heart and Soul

Obituary by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, April 1984

MARVIN GAYE, who was so shockingly killed in Los Angeles on Sunday, one day before his 45th birthday, was not only a consummate soul music ...

J. Geils Band: Backroom Stuff From Peter Wolf

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, January 1976

PETER WOLF lopes across his Savoy Hotel Suite to a tape-deck and slots in a cassette of Arthur Conley singing 'Sweet Soul Music'. "That opening ...

Bob Geldof: The Rat And The Band Aid "Saint"

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, December 1984

BOB GELDOF has been transformed from fading Boomtown Rat to charity superstar behind Christmas’s biggest pop hit, helping Ethiopian famine victims. Mick Brown reports. ...

Ian Gomm: Pop’s Happy Amateur

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, November 1979

"POP IS A MEANINGLESS term," Ian Gomm says as he takes a sip of beer in his manager’s London home. "But I’ve got a vested ...

Emmylou Harris: Elite Hotel

Review by Mick Brown, Street Life, January 1976

AFTER JUST one album (two and a half if you count her collaborations with Gram Parsons a couple of years back) Emmylou Harris' name is ...

Emmylou Harris: Sincerity in Sin City

Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, March 1976

OF COURSE, Emmylou Harris has to be staying in an elite hotel. Large, rambling, fin-de-siecle. The author J. P. Donleavy stays here when he's in ...

George Harrison: An Interview with George Harrison

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, April 1979

UP FOR THE DAY FROM HIS HOME IN OXFORDSHIRE, some 30 miles from London, George Harrison had spent the morning in the recording studio with ...

Steve Hillage: Watch Out There's A Concept About

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, October 1976

IT WAS instant karma out to get me. The sound of one hand clapping – so fast you can't even hear it. We had been ...

Michael Jackson: Inside the Jackson Dream Machine

Essay by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, August 1984

IN THE Helmsley Palace Hotel, New York – an establishment whose style is best described as neo-Liberace – the lobby was filling up with Michael ...

Elton John: Blue Moves (Rocket) ****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, October 1976

EVEN BEFORE I'd heard one note of Blue Moves I had divined that this album was going to be the Big One. ...

Bruce Johnston

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, January 1975

THAT BRUCE JOHNSTON should have chosen an old Beach Boys hit for the group California Music's first release on his (and Terry Melcher's) Equinox label, ...

Rickie Lee Jones: Life On The Edge

Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, August 2000

"EVERYBODY," Rickie Lee Jones sang on her 1997 album Ghostyhead, "starts out pure, starts out ridiculous, starts out beautiful..." And then? And then, says Jones ...

Ronnie Lane: All Roads Lead To The Big Top

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, April 1975

As Ronnie Lane prepares to take his Passing Show back on the road, Mick Brown reports ...

Led Zeppelin: The Songs Remain The Same: Led Zeppelin at Knebworth Park

Live Review by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, October 1979

...

Lene Lovich: The Bits and Myths of Lene Lovich

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, August 1979

A VISION IN black, even her gingerbread pigtails decorated with a wedding cake of black lace, Lene Lovich sits in the unassuming offices of Stiff ...

The Pogues, Shane MacGowan: Shane MacGowan: One More For The Road

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, November 1997

THERE ARE THOSE who believe that Shane MacGowan is among the most gifted and singular singer-songwriters to have emerged in British music in the past ...

Joni Mitchell: Lookin' Good, Sister

Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, February 1991

THE HAIR still tumbles to the shoulders, sunshine blonde; the smile is as winsome as ever; the perfect bone-structure remains, well, perfect. ...

Joni Mitchell: The Travailer's Tale

Review and Interview by Mick Brown, Times, The, November 1985

At 41, Joni Mitchell remains to all appearances, very much the idealistic woman who embodied an era of pop music at its most wistfully self-absorbed ...

Van Morrison

Interview by Mick Brown, promo for 'No Guru, No Method, No Teacher', 1986

Musical Roots ...

The Neville Brothers: Live At The Shaw Theatre, London

Live Review by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1984

THE NEVILLE Brothers are an institution whose time would seem to have come. Four brothers from New Orleans, their contribution to Crescent City music over ...

Mike Oldfield: Boxed (Virgin) *****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, November 1976

ONE LAVISHLY illustrated and highly informative booklet, four albums, two hours 40 minutes plus of music – Boxed is the almost complete Mike Oldfield. ...

Buck Owens: You Don’t Buck The Rules On The Bus: Buck Owens

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, February 1976

IT’S LIKE Tom Wolfe said: you’re either on the bus or you’re off the bus. No three ways about it. ...

John Peel's Perfumed Garden

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, May 1977

THERE IS no need to ask where John Peel was in the summer of love. Anybody with enough brain-cells left to recall the era will ...

The Police Take to the Street

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, May 1979

"STREET CREDIBILITY..." mutters Stewart Copeland, the American drummer in Britain’s Police, as he wearily runs a hand through his peroxide-blond hair. "Street credibility is full ...

Lou Reed: Iron Glove, Velvet Fist

Interview by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, May 2007

The legendarily cantankerous Lou Reed's definition of abject misery is being interviewed by an English journalist. But get him on the right subject and he ...

The Rolling Stones: the greatest rock and roll band in the world? That's a bit rich

Comment by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, November 2012

Their latest shows prove the Rolling Stones can still work a crowd, but their music is of a time long gone ...

Sade Lady

Interview by Mick Brown, Vanity Fair, April 1988

THERE IS NO finer art in pop music than that of knowing when to disappear. ...

Santana: Carlos Santana: T-Shirts And Sympathy

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, November 1976

What you been doing with yourself? How come you only got one guy left from last year's band? What's it like working with the third ...

Santana: Festival (CBS)****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, December 1976

THIS ONE'S difficult. From the material previewed on Santana's recent UK tour and from the excitement on the part of the band and particularly Carlos ...

Santana: Moonflower

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, October 1977

THIS IS THE album that should have been called 'A Period of Transition'. Not that it has anything to do with Van Morrison, but it ...

Gil Scott-Heron And Brian Jackson: It's Your World (Arista) ****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, November 1976

WITH IT'S Your World – his fourth English but sixth American album – Gil Scott-Heron takes another step in carving out his singular niche as ...

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band at Newcastle

Report by Mick Brown, Sounds, May 1976

I WAS going to say fascism, but as the man said, how could anyone take Hitler seriously without his moustache? What a moustache! Clipped, sharp, ...

Patti Smith: Part Woman, Part Black, Part Genius, Part Idiot...

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, April 1975

PATTI SMITH might have been a star last year, but the top side of her first single seemed to have the word 'piss' in every ...

Phil Spector: Pop's Lost Genius: Phil Spector

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Telegraph Magazine, February 2003

PHIL SPECTOR PRODUCED some of the greatest pop hits of all time, from ‘Be My Baby’ to ‘Imagine’. Notoriously eccentric in his heyday, his slow ...

Cat Stevens

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, December 1975

"I reckon I lost my way somewhere along the line. The whole thing was too regimented. It was getting really silly". It was perhaps ...

Rod Stewart: The Lad Himself

Interview by Mick Brown, MOJO, May 1995

THE WOMAN FROM ROD Stewart's management office suggests we should meet at her office in Beverly Hills; she would lead the way to Rod's house, ...

Streetwalkers: Red Card (Vertigo) *****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, May 1976

RED CARD is the album I thought Streetwalkers last promenade, Downtown Flyers would be. I had mixed feelings about that one. Good to see Roger ...

Richard and Linda Thompson, Richard Thompson: Richard and Linda Thompson's Flight From Convention

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, April 1979

"IF I DON'T seem a part of the recording industry, it's probably because I don't feel a part of it," says Richard Thompson, the guitarist/songwriter/singer ...

Pete Townshend: A Musician’s Rocky Road To Bloomsbury

Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, 1985

THERE IS about Pete Townshend nowadays a sense of balance which is hard to equate with the Pete Townshend the pop music audience came to ...

Robin Trower: Once More With Feeling

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, May 1976

THERE ARE THREE kinds of limousine driver in America. There are the elder men who used to be accountants or clerks, until the recession forced ...

Robin Trower: Why Robin Trower’s Not Appreciated At Home

Interview by Mick Brown, Rolling Stone, December 1976

LONDON– "IN America we’re important; when we hit a town it’s boy..." Robin Trower snaps his fingers and smiles, "it’s that kind of feeling. But ...

Van Halen: The Secret of Van Halen’s Excess

Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, 1984

IT IS another perfect day in paradise, and David Lee Roth has decided to go for a drive down Hollywood Boulevard. ...

Suzanne Vega: Live At The LSE, London.

Live Review by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1985

Chess metaphors, the myth of Odysseus and the woman he left behind, being a "small blue thing", and, possibly if you listen hard enough, love ...

The Vibrators: The Punks Who Came In From The Cold

Report and Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, September 1977

"I think I ought to make it clear", says Knox, arms waving like flags in a stiff breeze, "that when we first started we were ...

Tom Waits: He's a Coppola Swell: Tom Waits

Interview by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, March 1981

THE FIRST TIME Tom Waits visited London, in 1976, he earned the dubious distinction of being thrown out of the club were he had been ...

Tom Waits, Hobo Sapiens

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, Telegraph Magazine, April 1999

TOM WAITS FIRST made his name by singing songs about that area of town marked out by the pawnbroker, the tattoo-parlour and the Greyhound bus ...

Tom Waits: Nighthawks At The Diner (Asylum Import) *****

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, December 1975

Waits: poet of the streets and bars ...

Tom Waits: Warm Beer, Cold Women

Interview by Mick Brown, Sounds, June 1976

TOM WAITS rocks backwards and forwards in his chair, pulls at a cigarette, draws deep, then turns his face out of the smoke, back into ...

Tom Waits: Small Change

Review by Mick Brown, Sounds, May 1977

ANOTHER ALBUM From Tom Waits, his fourth, belatedly released here to tie in with a recent one-off performance in London. ...

Frank Zappa, Tom Waits: Frank Zappa's Manager: A Smile On His Lips, And A Pistol Under The Bar

Obituary by Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph, March 2010

Mick Brown pays tribute to Herb Cohen, who managed Frank Zappa while maintaining an enthusiasm for music, cheese, confectionery and armaments. ...

Brian Wilson - Beach Boy, Pop Visionary, Wounded Soul

Profile and Interview by Mick Brown, GQ, November 2004

IN THE LATE SIXTIES, Brian Wilson used to practice Transcendental Meditation. There, in the purple and gold silk Arabian tent that he had installed in ...

Bobby Womack Sings Through Clenched Teeth

Interview by Mick Brown, Street Life, April 1976

IT PROMISED to be, in that time-honoured cliche of showbusiness hyperbole, a 'star-studded occasion'. His publicist said Bobby Womack would be dropping off in the ...

Bobby Womack: Testament of a preacher man

Interview by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, October 1985

FOR ANYBODY remotely interested in black music, past and present; in the continuity between the halcyon days of rhythm and blues and church music and ...

Frank Zappa: Hot Rats

Overview by Mick Brown, Sounds, February 1977

A long look back at F Vincent Zappa and his very special bands from LA (and other places) ...

List of genre pieces

Atlantic Records

Essay by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1984

Atlantic and other classic R&B issues are at last being reprinted — in Britain. Mick Brown reports ...

Berry Gordy: The Man in the Middle

Interview by Mick Brown, Sunday Times, 1984

Surrounded by the stars he created – Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Diana Ross – stands Berry Gordy, the man who 25 years ago founded ...

Notes That Are Music To His Ears: Clive Davis

Interview by Mick Brown, Guardian, The, 1985

What do Barry Manilow, Donovan, Janis Joplin, and Springsteen have in common? They owe a lot of their success to Arista Records’ boss Clive Davis. ...

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