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Rob Steen

Rob Steen

Rob Steen is a lecturer, journalist and author who recently returned to the mainland after fleeing London for Cornwall in a moment of end-of-millennium panic. His first flirtation with music writing came in a Kentish Town tower block as editor of Ikon-UK, a fanzine fuelled by a slavish devotion to Todd Rundgren and Paki Black.

Thwarted in his attempts to elicit the co-operation of Messrs Fagen and Becker for a swiftly-abandoned Steely Dan biog he was composing during lunchbreaks while covertly operating as The Standing Orders Clerk Otherwise Known As Steeny Dan, he began reviewing gigs and records: first for a Watford freesheet, then Record Mirror, No.1, The Hit, Mix, City Limits and any other long-forgotten publication prepared to publish his quirky offerings. Some – The Independent, Mojo – even survived.

His chief claims to fame, he contends, lie in being the first Briton to interview Michael Jordan, the first to review an REM album, and the first to interrogate Messrs Stipe and Buck – on the arts desk (literally) at City Limits. Focusing primarily on the competitive arts (sport to you and me), his musings for national newspapers in Britain, Africa, Australia and India have attracted shock and, just occasionally, awe. As editor of The New Ball, cricket’s Granta, he contented himself with providing the planet’s finest forum for sporting agitprop.

Runner-up for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award, winner of the Cricket Society Literary Award, he has written acclaimed biographies of Sonny Liston, David Gower and Desmond Haynes, none of whom, he suspects, ever shared his unhealthy passion for XTC or Fleet Foxes. Cursed with a need to be disillusioned by idols, he has interviewed Rundgren, Fagen, Laura Nyro, Rickie Lee Jones, Carlos Santana, Squeeze, even Ian Botham and Henry Cooper. He named his first daughter after Nyro, and would have called his son Todd had his then-wife not drawn the line. Now living in the world’s bonfire capital, Lewes, he is currently training wannabe hacks at the University of Brighton and writing Competitive Arts, a history of spectator sport.

 

List of articles in the library by artist

10cc's Graham Gouldman (1995)

Interview by Rob Steen, Rock's Backpages Audio, 1995

From '60s Manchester – the Mockingbirds, Mindbenders, and writing hits for the Yardbirds and the Hollies – through to the break-up of 10cc, via Stawberry Studios, Jonathan King and hits like 'I'm Not In Love': it's all here!

File format: mp3; file size: 102mb, interview length: 1h 51' 23" sound quality: ***

Mink DeVille, Willy DeVille: Willy De Ville: Loup Garou

Review by Rob Steen, MOJO, February 1996

IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE A one-hit wonder, you might as well serve up a concoction as delicious as ‘Spanish Stroll’: Lou Reed goes finger-poppin' ...

Donald Fagen: Reeling In The Years

Interview by Rob Steen, Independent, The, November 1991

NOT BEFORE time, the man who did it again is doing it again. But, after nine years of soundtrack credits and precious little else, muffled ...

Chris Isaak: The Right Hook

Interview by Rob Steen, MOJO, May 1995

Chris Isaak is back with a surprisingly angst-ridden album. Give a big hand to the ex-pug with a broken heart. ...

Rickie Lee Jones: Royal Festival Hall, London

Live Review by Rob Steen, Rock's Backpages, November 2011

FIRST, A HEALTH WARNING: if you are prone to cringe, foam or rage at reviews that put emotion first and last, and make no attempt ...

Rickie Lee Jones: The War Of The Berets

Interview by Rob Steen, MOJO, November 1993

England gives Rickie Lee Jones the creeps. We are unkind, unhappy, un-rhythmic, tight-arsed and extremely white. ...

Kirsty MacColl: Pillar To Post

Interview by Rob Steen, MOJO, April 1994

A TIP. DON'T TELL KIRSTY MACCOLL SHE IS OUR FINEST FEMALE songwriter. Not even if you are besotted with Titanic Days, her latest and greatest ...

Laura Nyro: The Unsung Blues

Profile and Interview by Rob Steen, Independent, The, 1993

MY WIFE KEPT REMINDING ME: "Whatever you do, don't mention you named our daughter after her." Too creepy. What about the dispassionate dignity of the ...

Laura Nyro: Union Chapel, Islington, London

Live Review by Rob Steen, MOJO, February 1995

WHEN LAURA PLAYED MONTEREY, nerves and rushed rehearsals saw her flounder as the hairies waited for Hendrix. Tonight there are enough baldies in the pews ...

Todd Rundgren: Something/Anything?: 30 Years On

Interview by Rob Steen, unpublished, December 2001

I RANG TODD in his Maui studio in December 2001, while he was remixing Something/Anything? for 5.1 Surroundsound. ...

Todd Rundgren: The Forum, Kentish Town

Live Review by Rob Steen, MOJO, December 1994

THE ANKLE-LENGTH SKIRT AND black-and-white mane threw us at first, but not for long. The Runt always was a dead ringer for Charlie George. Besides, ...

Santana: Carlos Santana: Sacred Fire

Interview by Rob Steen, MOJO, January 1994

THE VERY LEAST YOU CAN SAY ABOUT CARLOS Santana is that he has always been a pleasant plucker. Surely no-one has ever coaxed as much ...

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band Greatest Hits

Review by Rob Steen, MOJO, March 1995

THE VOICE IS ALL GRAVEL AND FIVE o'clock shadow, crumbling with every line. The piano caresses. The organ surges and swirls. The guitar soars like ...

Squeeze

Interview by Rob Steen, MOJO, December 1993

WITHOUT WISHING to take anything away from the Fabulous Furry Finn Brothers, it’s hard not to feel a bit sorry for Squeeze. With a little ...

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