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Rock's Backpages

Rock's Backpages podcast

They were so much older then, they're younger than that now: old farts at play 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 much much more.

Every week, Mark and Barney pick their highlights from the 50+ new pieces added to the database, and present an exclusive excerpt from the week's new audio interview.

Produced (and regularly graced) by Jasper Murison-Bowie

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Episode 35: P-Funk Special + Hal David audio with Lloyd Bradley and Tom Vickers

In this week's episode, Mark and Barney are joined by not one but two guests. Lloyd Bradley and Tom Vickers tell the story of how they first met, Lloyd blagging his way into a singles-reviewing session with George Clinton at Blues and Soul magazine when Tom was Parliament's publicist and self-dubbed "Minister of Information". This gives rise to a lengthy discussion about all things Parliamentary and Funkadelical, with Lloyd explaining how he morphed from sneaking into gigs to a long and illustrious career as a music journalist and author.

The four men hear a clip from the week's new audio interview, a 1999 conversation with Hal David, the brilliant lyricist for Burt Bacharach's pop masterpieces. Hal reminisces about demo'ing 'Make It Easy on Yourself' with Dionne Warwick – and recalls her subsequent disappointment when the song went to Jerry Butler.

Mark presents the highlights from the articles added to the archive, including Jimmy Page waxing astrological, Mick Jagger feeling intellectually-limited, and Eminem being booed off stage in London — leading the group to debate whether, and how, hip-hop can be successful in large venues.

Lloyd Bradley's website is lloydbradley.net, where you can find details of his books Bass Culture and Sounds Like London.

Tom Vickers' website is tomvickers.com, where you can find information about his writing and excerpts from Tales from the Tour Bus.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 34: Amy Linden on Amy Winehouse + Kanye West + Nico + Bobby Womack

In this week's episode, Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns welcome special guest Amy Linden to reminisce about reading Creem at her local library and falling in with the punk scene in San Francisco in the late '70s... and then about writing for Vibe, Spin and XXL. Amy shares stories of chasing Amy Winehouse and detesting Kanye West.

The trio listen to excerpts from a 1976 Bobby Womack audio interview in which the maverick soul man – who died five years ago this week – talks about recording at Muscle Shoals with white musicians and tells of how Wilson Pickett's voice replaced his own on early recordings for Atlantic Records.

Ahead of the opening of Maxine Peake's Nico Project in Manchester, the former Christa Päffgen is featured as artist of the week on RBP, sparking discussion of a late interview in which she claims she'd like to be a farmer – or the captain of a ship.

Finally, Mark presents archive highlights that include an account of what it's like to play a Rolling Stones gig (supposedly penned by Brian Jones), a Randy Newman interview in which he playfully describes himself as "lovable and friendly and perfect in every way" and a De La Soul interview that prompts Amy to mock Mark's pronunciation of their name mercilessly.

Find Amy's podcast, ImmaLetYouFinish, on Spotify, Instagram @immaletyoufinishny and Twitter @finishimma.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 33: L.A. Special with Chris Campion + Elliot Roberts audio + Little Feat

In this week's episode, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle are joined by Chris Campion all the way from Pioneertown, California. The subject of Chris' upcoming book, John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, leads into a wide-ranging and discursive conversation about L.A. in the '60s and the music and madness of Arthur Lee and Charles Manson.

Continuing the Southern California theme, the three men hear excerpts from a 1993 audio interview with the late Elliot Roberts in which the legendary manager talks about his client Joni Mitchell's house, the Eagles, and the impact of cocaine on the L.A. scene.

Finally, in the archive highlights section, Mark selects an interview with Keith Richards' mother, a live review of Jimi Hendrix playing London's Bag O'Nails club in 1967 and – returning to the L.A. theme – a 1972 interview with Elliot Roberts' managerial/Asylum Records partner David Geffen.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 32: Go-Go in D.C. + Anita Ward audio + Felix Dennis and the Oz Trial

For this week's episode, Mark, Barney and Jasper look back at Go-Go, the funk 'n' roll sound of Washington, D.C.. Discussing its influences on Swing Beat and its intersections with hip-hop, they revisit classic Go-Go articles by the NME's Richard Grabel (1984) and Simon Witter (1987), plus Don Snowden's tribute to "Go-Go godfather" Chuck Brown.

Your hosts then hear a clip from an 2016 audio interview with Memphis disco queen Anita Ward, who discusses life as a one-hit-wonder – and 'Ring My Bell', the No. 1 smash in question. Barney, Mark and Jasper mark five years since the death of Felix Dennis, reflecting on his experiences in the Oz Trial and his subsequent incarnation as a crack-smoking media magnate.

Rounding up highlights in the new RBP library additions, Mark starts with Mike Nesmith of the Monkees, moves on to the Grateful Dead live in Europe in 1972 Europe 72 and considers an NME Gram Parsons interview conducted not long before the country-rock icon's death in 1973. Jasper enthuses about the live sound of Oxford band Foals.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 31: Bernard Fowler's Life in Music + Dr. John audio + Andy Gill R.I.P.

Hosts Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle are joined by special guest Bernard Fowler to discuss his life in music, from the Peech Boys at the Paradise Garage to working with Mick Jagger on She's the Boss and commencing a 30-year relationship with the Rolling Stones. He also regales the chaps with tales of recording a disco cover of Pink Floyd's 'Another Brick in the Wall' and explains how growing up in New York City influenced his new album of Stones covers Inside Out.

Barney enthuses about Martin Scorsese's new Rolling Thunder Revue, a film about Bob Dylan's mid-'70s tour of America, before paying tribute to NME/Q/Independent writer Andy Gill – noting pieces he wrote about Cabaret Voltaire (and Andy's native Sheffield), Frank Zappa and the man for whom he was often mistaken: Gang Of Four guitarist Andy Gill.

The three hombres then listen to clips from Andy Schwartz's 1994 audio interview with Dr. John, wherein the man born Malcolm Rebennack remembers being ripped off by labels in his early recording career – and his struggle to get clean.

Finally, Mark presents highlights from the week's other additions to the RBP archive, including a 1956 interview with Alexis Korner about British skiffle, Labelle shaking up the male-dominated music industry in 1974 and Barbara Ellen's report of having a truly miserable time at the Glastonbury festival.

For details about Inside Out and The Bura, please visit bernardfowler.com/music.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 30: Dawn James on The Beatles + Roky Erickson R.I.P. + Neil Young audio

Content warning: This episode contains a description of sexual assault that some listeners may find distressing.

Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns are joined by queen of Rave magazine Dawn James to hear about her wild life as a '60s pop feature writer. She remembers her friends the Beatles, reveals the identity of her most difficult interview and astonishes Mark 'n' Barney by confessing her love for ELP. She also talks about her sister Twinkle, whose career as a pop singer-songwriter is celebrated on Twinkle: Girl In A Million, a new compilation on RPM records.

Paying tribute to Roky Erickson of the 13th Floor Elevators, Barney and Mark discuss his huge influence on punk rock and psychedelia. They then move on to a lengthy and fascinating 1985 audio interview with Neil Young, including a clip in which he talks about rock 'n' roll being "a young person's game".

Lastly, Mark presents the highlights from the articles added to the library, including interviews with Nancy Sinatra about being in her father's shadow, James Brown wanting to see the Queen and the President "get down" to soul music, and Flaming Lip Wayne Coyne's desire to struggle with the "insane beast" that is rock music.

To buy Twinkle: Girl In A Million, please visit http://cherryred.co/TwinkleGirlMillion. You can find more information via the Facebook page.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 29: Rickie Lee Jones + Harry Doherty + Rory Gallagher audio

In this week's episode, Barney Hoskyns and Jasper Murison-Bowie hold the fort in Mark Pringle's absence as he enjoys the sunny shores of Crete. Back in muggy London, Rickie Lee Jones is the free feature on RBP, ahead of the release of new covers album Kicks. Barney and Jasper take a look at pieces about Jones' unexpected success with 1979's 'Chuck E's in Love', as well as her drug problems and wild days with boyfriend Tom Waits.

The two of them then consider pieces by Melody Maker mainstay Harry Doherty, who died five years ago: a report from a 1977 Queen/Thin Lizzy tour; an interview with the young Kate Bush; and a 1976 interview with Irish blues guitar hero Rory Gallagher. By editorial design, the week's audio interview is also with Gallagher, this time from 1978 and with Cliff White. Barney and Jasper hear a clip in which Rory talks about recording live.

Despite his absence, Mark has selected highlights from the week's library load, including an interview with the Beatles before they embark on their 1964 tour of the U.S., plus an interview with Pete Townshend in which he slags off Paul McCartney's song 'Yesterday'. A brilliant Steven Wells polemic about homophobia sparks discussion of Morrissey's far-right views – and of whether or not bad people can make good music. Pieces on Gnarls Barkley and Christine and the Queens/Chris round out the episode.

Episode 28: Danny Fields on the Stooges + the Ramones + George Clinton audio

Joined by the legendary Danny Fields, Mark and Barney hear tales of his days with the Stooges and the MC5 – and the five years he spent managing the Ramones. He also recounts the tale of the night Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin wound up rolling around on the floor of Steve Paul's The Scene in a ball of cartoon smoke and fists.

The week's free feature focuses on Primal Scream: Mark, Barney and Danny compare notes on the band's frontman Bobby Gillespie and weigh up the influence of 1991's Screamadelica. The trio then listen to excerpts from a 1978 audio interview with George Clinton, in which the P-Funk chief talks about what "funkadelic" means and how the classic 'One Nation Under a Groove' was born.

To round out the episode, Mark presents highlights from the articles added to the archive, including a 1966 interview with Kim Fowley, a 1976 review of Shirley Bassey live at the Royal Albert Hall and a 1983 report on MTV.

Danny Says is on Netflix + Danny's book My Ramones is available on Amazon

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 27: Bruce Springsteen + Elton John + The Beatles + Stevie Wonder with Bob Spitz

In this week's episode, Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns are joined by Bob Spitz, who was all set to go to medical school until his parents talked him out of it. Instead, he bagged a job with "New York's Mickie Most", Wes Farrell, and went on to discover Bruce Springsteen, helping to land him a record deal with Columbia's John Hammond. Tiring of life on the road, Bob began writing about rock for Crawdaddy before going on to author major books about Bob Dylan and the Beatles.

Bob recounts fascinating stories about all of the above, conveniently tying in with this week's featured artist Elton John ahead of the release of new biopic Rocketman. The trio hear a clip from a 1995 audio interview with Stevie Wonder in which the Motown maestro talks about why he started writing more politically – and about the inspirational influence of Marvin Gaye's album What's Going On.

Mark selects highlights from the week's new additions to the library, ranging from a Crispian St. Peters interview – in which Chelsea players chuck olives at him on a plane back to London from Barcelona – to John Sinclair's White Panther Statement in the Warren-Forest Sun... not forgetting a pre-release review of the Beatles' Let It Be when it was still titled Get Back.

Many thanks to special guest Bob Spitz

Please visit bobspitz.com for information on his books, including The Beatles: The Biography.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 26: Mavis Staples + Bob Stanley/Saint Etienne + The B-52s audio

This week, Mark, Barney and Jasper start with featured artist Mavis Staples and discuss her legacy as a member of the Staple Singers – as well as her solo work with Prince and other producers.

Three pieces by featured writer Bob Stanley spark discussion of Johnny Cash and self-proclaimed "best group on the planet" the Stone Roses. A 1992 interview with Saint Etienne cements Bob's "poacher turned gamekeeper" status as one third of that "meta-pop" trio.

The week's audio interview is with B-52s Keith Strickland and Katie Pierson, wherein they skirt around the subject of bandmate Ricky Wilson's AIDS-related death in 1985. Mark and Barney consider the group's status as darlings of late '70s New York and hail them as one of "the best things to come out of New Wave".

Launching into the highlights of the rest of the week's additions, Mark selects a diverse selection of pieces including a 1972 live review of the Rolling Stones, plus interviews with jazzman Horace Silver and Bobby Brown of the rebooted New Edition. Barney mentions the irascible Mark E. Smith and a review of the late Ellen Willis' book Out of the Vinyl Deeps. Jasper introduces his considerably older colleagues to the music of young guns Crystal Fighters.

Episode 25: Jordan's Story + Goth + Bay City Rollers with Cathi Unsworth

In this week's episode, Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns are joined by special guest Cathi Unsworth to discuss collaborating with punk icon Jordan on the autobiographical Defying Gravity: Jordan's Story. They consider the latter's influence on the London punk scene, in which women found a voice and carved out a space for themselves they hadn't previously been afforded.

A long piece she wrote about the '80s Goth scene leads Cathi to reminisce about her early days on Sounds and Melody Maker. Her interviews with the late Dick Dale and with Ozzy progeny Kelly Osbourne provide the basis for discussion of Pulp Fiction and The Osbournes.

Discussion of the Cranberries and their late singer Dolores O'Riordan precedes a clip from the week's audio interview, with disgraced Bay City Rollers manager Tam Paton. From his bungalow inside a barbed-wire-walled garden, Paton complains that nobody sends him Christmas cards any more and explains why the Rollers broke up.

Finally, Mark and Barney talk through their favourite pieces from the week's library additions, including a 1966 Rave magazine feature on drugs ("a drag on a drug is still a drag"), Paul Morley falling for all-female hard rockers Girlschool, and Richard C. Walls on the "total bust" that was Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.

Cathi Unsworth's new book Defying Gravity: Jordan's Story is available for pre-order now from Amazon. Find out more on Cathi's website, cathiunsworth.co.uk.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 24: Al Green + Anita Pallenberg audio + Thundercat

Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie explore what's new in the RBP archive this week, starting with featured artist Al Green. Three classic interviews take them through the various stages of the soul legend's career, including his gospel period and his return to secular music in more recent years.

They then discuss featured writer Ann Moses, whose editorship of Tiger Beat magazine and contributions to the NME led her to interview the Beach Boys, the Monkees and many more, as described in her 2017 memoir Meow! My Life with Tiger Beat's Teen Idols.

Despite his temporary absence, Barney Hoskyns makes an appearance on the podcast via the week's audio interview, which features him asking the late Anita Pallenberg about her experience of being a rock muse. Mark and Jasper listen to Anita's thoughts on how rock's gentlemen still prefer blondes, how they sometimes get more than they bargained for, and how things still aren't close to equal in such relationships.

To round things out, your hosts present their selections from the week's other additions to the library. The pair discuss everything from a 1964 Billboard report on 'The Jamaica Ska' to an all-night graduation party in Detroit that features possibly the first print mention of the MC5 – and from Sun Ra's cosmology to Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G, with much else in between. Finally, a discussion of the excellent Thundercat is prompted by a 2017 review of the man live in London.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 23: Todd Rundgren audio + Orange Juice + Danny Goldberg

This week, Barney, Mark and Jasper listen to excerpts from Bill DeMain's 1997 interview with the wizard, the true star that is Todd Rundgren. Subjects include "online music delivery" and the challenge of originality in songwriting.

They then move on to the week's free feature, about Orange Juice and Postcard Records. Danny Goldberg, former manager of Nirvana, is the featured writer for the week, so the boys discuss '70s pieces on Alice Cooper and Led Zeppelin and a memoir of attending high school with the late Gil Scott-Heron.

Highlights among the new RBP library additions include pieces on Gerry & the Pacemakers, Yoko Ono on saving John Lennon from chauvinism, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Lenny Waronker and the Stooges. Jasper rounds out the selection with discussion of Mel C, Clipse and Lauryn Hill.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 22: Joy Division special with Jon Savage + Dizzee Rascal audio

In this week's episode, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle are joined by Jon Savage to talk about his new Joy Division book This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else. Jon tells the story of moving to Manchester and getting to know the band plus Tony Wilson and Martin Hannett – and speaks about how seeing Joy Division live haunts him to this day.

The three men listen to excerpts from a 2007 audio interview with Dizzee Rascal, in which the breakout Grime star and interviewer Maureen Paton take a taxi ride through his old East London haunts. Dizzee tells Maureen about how music shaped his life, how London knife crime is influenced by skunk – and about getting stabbed in Ayia Napa.

Mark highlights a number of interesting new additions to the library, including pieces on the Yardbirds playing the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, George Harrison in full "mystic" mode, a scathing review of David Bowie's 'Young Americans' and Johnny Rotten talking right after the Sex Pistols split.

Jon Savage's new Joy Division book This Searing Light, the Sun and Everything Else is available now, including from Rough Trade.

Hosted by Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 21: Tribute to Scott Walker + Jimi Hendrix + ABC with Keith Altham

In this week's episode, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle are joined by special guest Keith Altham to pay tribute to the late Scott Walker, an artist he interviewed many times for New Musical Express. They consider Walker's early years as a teen idol and as a Walker Brother, followed by his bold '60s solo albums and his radical re-emergence in the '80s. Keith talks about touring with Scott and Jimi Hendrix – and about introducing the NME to the concept of "humour".

The three of them listen to a clip from an interview with Martin Fry and Mark White of '80s icons ABC about Trevor Horn's production of debut album The Lexicon of Love. Mark then introduces selections from the week's new additions to the RBP library, including Mick Jagger talking to Dawn James in 1965, Anne Briggs "zooming down a whirlpool to annihilation", David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust album, My Bloody Valentine live at London's Clarendon, John Mellencamp's self-confessed status as a rock cliché and Salt-n-Pepa being denied their rightful place in hip-hop's history. Barney rounds it all off with tributes to writers Steven Wells and Mick Farren.

Hosted by Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 20: Van Morrison + Pink Floyd + Steve Earle with Tony Stewart

This week, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle welcome special guest Tony Stewart to revisit the glory days of the NME – and Tony's notoriously tricky interviews with Van Morrison and Freddie Mercury. They then hear about the time Tony saw the first-ever performance of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, brought to a standstill by technical difficulties within half an hour of starting.

The trio then tune into clips from a 1996 audio interview with Steve Earle, following his recovery from heroin and crack addiction. They also discuss his six (yes, six) marriages and his enduring influence as a country rebel.

After Barney comments on Lana Del Rey – the featured artist in the week's Free On RBP section – Mark rounds up highlights from the new pieces in the archive, starting with an interview with Ken Brown, member of the pre-Beatles Quarrymen, followed by articles on Lulu & the Luvvers, L.A. mogul Lou Adler, Orange Juice's Edwyn Collins, Sinead O'Connor's prescient comments on Catholicism... and the '90s hip hop wars between the East and West coasts.

Hosted by Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 19: Morrissey + Madonna + Minnie Riperton with James Medd

Joined by RBP contributor James Medd, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle hear tales of interviewing Morrissey and Joanna Newsom for Esquire and of life at The Word. Paying tribute to drummer Hal Blaine, one of the great American session players, the trio discuss L.A.'s legendary Wrecking Crew and marvel at just how many hits they played on. Talk then moves on to the week’s free feature, Lambchop, via another great session player, Charlie McCoy – a stellar guest on their forthcoming album. 

James, Mark and Barney hear an excerpt from an audio interview with the late great Minnie Riperton and discuss her "whistle register" and cancer activism. Mark then presents his selection of choice cuts from the week's new library pieces, including articles on Rolf Harris, the Osmonds, Johnny Nash, Scritti Politti, Carl Wilson and the Talking Heads film Stop Making Sense. The show this week winds up with some thoughts on Madonna, sparked by a 7000-word NME interview conducted by Barbara Ellen in 1995.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 18: The Prodigy's Keith Flint R.I.P. + Jayne County audio interview

In the absence of Mr. Mark Pringle, Barney Hoskyns and Jasper Murison-Bowie pay tribute to Keith Flint of the Prodigy, revisiting three articles from the RBP archive, including an interview conducted during the shoot for the 'Firestarter' video.

Three pieces by the week's featured writer Jeff Tamarkin spark discussion of Bay Area musicians Marty Balin, Greg Kihn and the Residents before talk turns to a brief but brilliant 1985 audio interview with Jayne County. Contemplating her influence as the first open transwoman in rock, Barney and Jasper listen to an excerpt from Ira Robbins' phone interview in which she talks of transitioning and working in a Berlin "house of prostitution".

Finally, Jasper and Barney introduce select highlights from the new additions to the RBP library: Beatles label court battles of the early '60s, Jeff Beck's 1970 visit to Motown, Alice Cooper's shock-rock and Rage Against the Machine raging against the corporate rock machine.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 17: Remembering Mark Hollis + Dead Kennedys Audio + Mark Leviton

Paying tribute to the late Mark Hollis, Mark Pringle, Barney Hoskyns and Jasper Murison-Bowie consider the Talk Talk frontman's huge influence on "post-rock" (and even trip-hop) and trace the band's evolution from early '80s synth-pop to 1988's beautiful jazz/classical-influenced Spirit of Eden.

The trio then hear an excerpt from the week's new audio interview, recorded in 1981 with Dead Kennedys Jello Biafra and Klaus Fluoride, and discuss the California punk scene (and rise of American indie). Mark Leviton is the week's featured writer, commencing with his account of a week on a recent "rock cruise" – Pringle's idea of "hell" – and wrapping up with a 1984 report on L.A.'s Slash Records.

Pringle presents his highlights of the week's new library additions, including pieces on Scott Walker, the Beatles' White Album, Queen's Brian May, Jackie Wilson, the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM — "the worst acronym in music history"?) and the first reports, in 1993, of Michael Jackson's sexual abuse of young boys.

"Jazzbo" Murison-Stardust discusses the 2015 film Whiplash – with its "sports-movie" approach to jazz drumming – along with the xx and Alessia Cara. Barney babbles about maverick British record man Andrew Lauder and Cajun-pop icon Johnnie Allan...

Hosted by Barney Hoskyns, Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 16: Curtis Mayfield + Sigue Sigue Sputnik + History of RBP with Martin Colyer

Together with special guest (and RBP co-founder) Martin Colyer, Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns consider soul giant Curtis Mayfield and his enduring influence. They hear a snippet of Julian Henry's 1985 audio interview with the absurd Sigue Sigue Sputnik – and talk about how Tony James and co. crashed down to earth despite their stratospheric ambitions. There's a brief discussion of pieces by featured writer Mac Randall on Robert Wyatt & Bill Nelson, Linda Thompson and Beck, leading on to a rundown of what's new in the archive for the subscribers, led by chief archivist Pringle: specifically, articles on Del Shannon, Diana Ross, Keith Richards, Viv Stanshall, Joy DivisionAndrew Weatherall and Missy Elliott, as well as a lengthy feature on the drug Ketamine from 1976. Martin, Mark and Barney then take a journey back in time to the origins of Rock's Backpages, explaining how the idea for the archive came to be and what steps they took together to make it a reality.

Martin Colyer's blog can be found at https://fivethingsseenandheard.com and the book, Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week, Volume 1: Dispatches from the everyday world of music is available on Amazon.

Hosted by Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 15: Radiohead, Gladys Knight and Daft Punk

Barney Hoskyns is joined by Mark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie to discuss the week's free feature, which coincides with the publication of RBP's new Radiohead anthology Present Tense. While Mark can't abide Thom Yorke's "middle class pain", Barney deems the 'head to be The Greatest British Band of the past 25 years. Jasper meanwhile describes his "pivotal" role in the Radiohead story: clapping along as a 10-year-old to In Rainbows' '15 Step'.
Los tres hombres hear an excerpt from Cliff White's 1976 audio interview with Gladys Knight & the Pips and enthuse wildly about the lady before considering three free pieces by Jon Young – about Soft Cell/Yaz(oo), LL Cool J and Mariah Carey. Talk then turns to highlights among the new additions to the RBP library, including articles on Cassius Clay the soul singer, Nick Cave and the Birthday Party and Daft Punk's 2013 revival of disco...

Hosted by Barney HoskynsMark Pringle and Jasper Murison-Bowie

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 14: KRS-One + Avril Lavigne + Alex Harvey with Michele Kirsch

Joined by very special guest Michele Kirsch, regular host Mark Pringle and irregular host Jasper Murison-Bowie start with classic Kirsch pieces on the Replacements, KRS-One and New York Dolls Syl Sylvain and Jerry Nolan. Michele then tells the story of how she was mistaken for an intern at New York’s Soho Weekly News, which started her on the path to NME and City Limits in '80s London. Talk then turns to her life after music journalism, including coming off prescription drugs and working as a cleaner — experiences that formed the basis of her forthcoming memoir, Clean. The week’s free feature Avril Lavigne sparks some discussion of Sk8er boys and the merits or otherwise of manufactured pop, while the sensational Alex Harvey tells tales of the early British rock’n’roll in a clip from a 1975 audio interview by Ira Robbins. Mark presents the highlights from the week’s library load, including John Mendelssohn's fabulous dismissal of the MC5, Larry Graham’s departure from Sly and the Family Stone and Quincy Jones’ pigeonhole-defying career in music.

Michele Kirsch's book Clean can be pre-ordered via Amazon.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 13: Sid Vicious does it his way + Bobbie Gentry's Delta Sweete

This week, Sid Vicious talks about the Sex Pistols splitting up and his inimitable cover of 'My Way' in clips from a previously unheard audio interview by John Tobler. RBP podcast host Mark Pringle is joined in Barney Hoskyns' absence by Jasper Murison-Bowie to listen to it and, predictably, talk about it. They contemplate Sid's sadness at the band coming to an end, as well as his endorsement of Nancy Spungen as his manager, who he thinks will take the music industry by storm. Moving on to the week's free feature, Bobbie Gentry, ahead of an upcoming reimagining of her album The Delta Sweete, they consider the meaning of 'Ode to Billy Joe' and Gentry's retirement from music after only three albums, with Mark wondering what else might have been if she hadn't. Next up are pieces by featured writer Andrew Bailey of Rolling Stone on British bluesman Alexis Korner, T. Rex's Marc Bolan and Guy Peellaert's Rock Dreams, before Mark and Jasper pick some of their highlights from the week's library load. Topics range from Cliff Bennett meeting Jerry Lee Lewis to Caroline Sullivan on the disappointing boybands of the 90s, via Cannonball Adderley on the intellectualisation of jazz, John Mendelssohn slagging off Led Zeppelin I and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks in one fell swoop, and much else besides. Finally, Mark and Jasper discuss Loyle Carner's approach to grime and London hip-hop, producer Mura Masa's difficulty at being a convincing performer and the despicable Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 12: Big Star + Prefab Sprout with special guest Jennifer Otter Bickerdike

Welcoming special guest, featured writer and hilarious raconteur Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, hosts Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns hear stories of Jennifer's days in the record business, including the time her car broke down with Kurt Cobain in it... as well as her subsequent decision to give it all up to write a PhD on Joy Division. Having moved to a rat-infested flat in London's New Cross, Jennifer's initial thought was: "My god, what have I done?" She has since gone from strength to strength as the queen of rockademia and global music ambassador for BIMM. Her books Joy Devotion and Why Vinyl Matters serve as the springboard for discussion before talk turns to her biography-in-progress of the doomed Nico. Mark, Barney and Dr. Bickerdike then listen to 1986 audio of Alex Chilton talking about cult Memphis band Big Star and about his decline into alcoholism in the mid-'70s. Barney's attempts to sing the praises of Prefab Sprout are met with unbridled disdain by both Mark and Jennifer, who shut him down in order to move on to the subjects of P. J. Proby's ripped trousers, Van Halen's David Lee Roth and much, much more...

Visit Jennifer's website at https://www.jenniferotterbickerdike.com and buy Why Vinyl Matters and Joy Devotion on Amazon.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 11: The Specials + Juliana Hatfield + Dave Laing

Hailing 'Ghost Town' as "one of the great British records", RBP podcast hosts Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns consider The Specials and their politically conscious combination of punk and ska. They then pay tribute to Dave Laing and reflect on his role in the influential Let It Rock magazine, presenting pieces of Dave's on John Martyn, a Bill Monroe live show in a Scottish monastery and singer-songwriters from Jim Croce to John Denver. The week’s audio interview sees Juliana Hatfield in conversation with Ira Robbins about not wanting to get pigeonholed as the Lemonheads' bassist and her subsequent solo album Hey Babe. Beyond all of that, Mark and Barney somehow find time to discuss an early Beatles piece, get confused about Dawn James interviewing her sister Twinkle and berate Robert Fripp for his lack of self-awareness...

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 10: Earth, Wind & Fire + special guest Mark Sinker on the underground music press

Joined by special guest Mark Sinker, RBP's Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle discuss A Hidden Landscape Once A Week, an anthology on the "unruly curiosity" of the UK's music press from the late '60s to the '80s. Moving on to the week's free feature, goth-punks the Flesh Eaters and their contemporaries the Gun Club spark a discussion of the L.A. scene in the early '80s. The tres hombres then talk about Earth, Wind & Fire's metaphysical funk and the philosophical ramblings of mainman Maurice White (as heard in clips from a 1979 interview by Cliff – no relation – White). Further topics include Liverpool's legendary Cavern club, the Temptations dissing Motown, "pop's public intellectual" Brian Eno and Millie Jackson's self-proclaimed status as "one of the rudest b****** around".

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 9: The Absurdities of Bros + Kenny Rogers audio + Oz Rock

Chatting about Bros and how appallingly they come out of the After the Screaming Stops doc, RBP podcast hosts Mark & Barney agree that Matt Goss is a "grotesque parody of overweening ego". Moving seamlessly on to Kenny Rogers, the duo hear a clip from John Tobler's 1989 audio interview with the man and discuss his uneasy status as a country icon and his true roots in rhythm & blues. Your hosts then pay tribute to RAM founder/editor Anthony O'Grady, who died in December, and discuss his writing on Australian rock from AC/DC to Radio Birdman. They also consider Paul McCartney & Wings, legendary jazz drummer Elvin Jones and Ecstasy's role in the Second Summer of Love.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 8: Keith Richards on drug busts + Mick Jagger in Performance

Featuring exclusive clips of an increasingly intoxicated Keith Richards during a 2002 interview by Adam Sweeting, this week's RBP podcast could be described as a Rolling Stones special if there weren't so many other things being discussed. Lauding Keef as the band's heart and soul and asking "how has this man made it to 75", Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns wax lyrical about the brilliant Performance. Directed by the late Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammell – with a Jack Nitzsche soundtrack Barney describes as one of the "creepiest, weirdest, but most mesmerising" he's ever heard, Performance sums up the transition from '60s flower power to something altogether darker and spookier, with the Stones themselves at "the centre of a vortex of social change". Other topics under consideration include Elvis Presley, the Beastie Boys, Paul Weller, Fleetwood Mac, Ice Cube and Gary Barlow's envy of of Robbie Williams...

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 7: Be-Bop Deluxe, Wu-Tang Clan + Tim Cooper on David Bowie

In this week's podcast, hear Be-Bop Deluxe's Bill Nelson reminiscing (in February 1978) with Ian Ravendale about starting bands in school and working on the Futurama album with Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker... followed by your hosts Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns discussing Staten Island hip hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan. Attention then turns to featured writer Tim Cooper and his Heathen-era interview with David Bowie. New library pieces under the spotlight include a 1962 letter to Record Mirror from Frank Sinatra fan Fred Dellar; Paul Morley's 1977 NME live review of Little Feat; the return of jazz giant Dexter Gordon; and an unsavoury encounter with the Prodigy.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 6: Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry + the birth of Americana + NYC in the 70s

Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music talks about interpreting the music of others, resents being called a country gent and loves vinyl. Your hosts Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle debate whether For Your Pleasure or Stranded is the better album, contemplate country and Americana and explore featured writer's Susin Shapiro's New York escapades, which include an interview with Patti Smith about Horses. Next, Barney and Mark consider Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man, recorded at Muscle Shoals, and Joe Zawinul of Weather Report, probably their favourite 'fusion' band. Returning to New York, they reflect on New Wave in response to Robert Duncan's piece describing Television as being 'possessed of all the manners of an oyster', before rounding off with discussions of punk vs. prog, the rise of female sexuality in pop music, and the infamous Kim Fowley.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 5: Led Zeppelin + Kate Bush with special guest John Mendelssohn

Welcoming special guest and featured writer John Mendelssohn, RBP's Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle present an excerpt from an interview with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and discuss the finer points of rock criticism with John, including the glamour of being threatened by Led Zeppelin from the stage at one of their gigs. Ahead of the publication of a new book of Kate Bush's lyrics, the three of them consider Wuthering Heights (John liked it, Barney didn't, and Mark hated it so much that he didn't listen to her music again for two decades) and discuss Mendelssohn's own book on the singer, Waiting for Kate Bush. Their guest also regales Barney and Mark with tales of finding David Bowie 'really pretty' and how 'deeply appalling' he thinks Richard Meltzer is.
Find John's own podcast at bit.ly/john_mendelssohn, his blog at johnmendelssohn.blogspot.com and visit his band's website at www.freudiansluts.co.uk.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 4: Etta James talks in 1978 + Marc Bolan + Willie Nelson

Etta James considers her life in RnB up to 1978—'Roll With Me Henry', Johnny Otis, Chess Records and working with Rick Hall. Your hosts Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns in turn consider her impact on singers from Janis Joplin to Adele and discuss featured writer Rob Partridge, raunchy and/or art-rock Royal Trux, and Jobriath. Their attentions then turn to Burl Ives, Marc Bolan and the joy of seeing Willie Nelson live, before they start disagreeing about Portishead as well as The Fugees, with Barney stubbornly refusing to be snobbish about their album The Score

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 3: Exclusive Sex Pistols interview + Chic + David Hepworth

Berating "idiot" Malcolm McLaren and "poxy" Vivienne Westwood, Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious hold forth, slagging off everyone under the sun, or at least everyone they can think of, in a 1977 interview with John Tobler. RBP podcast hosts Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle do some holding forth of their own, about the Sex Pistols (naturally) but also about Chic, featured writer David Hepworth, Nico, Gene Clark and Luther Vandross. Hailing Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards as "two of the greatest players of any musical instrument in any musical medium", Barney and Mark enthuse about disco, discuss the state of electronic music in the 1980s and question whether or not music can enact political change (spoiler: it can't). 

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 2: Massive Attack + Rosanne Cash + the night Johnny Thunders died

"Massive Attack [...] bores me to tears", says Mark Pringle ahead of their 20th-anniversary tour of Mezzanine. Following some discussion of the Bristol Scene, he and Barney Hoskyns consider this week's featured writer Terry Staunton. They then present an excerpt from a 2014 interview with Roseanne Cash in which she talks to Adam Sweeting about revisiting the south of the USA, which plays at the end of the podcast. Talk then turns to Joan Baez, Steve Marriott of The Small Faces and Marianne Faithfull, the latter of which turns out to be the starting point for a conversation about addiction and drug abuse, further fuelled by Susin Shapiro's withering review of Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Episode 1: Freddie Mercury on Bohemian Rhapsody + Joni Mitchell + the Wu-Tang Clang

Hear an excerpt from a 1976 interview between Freddie Mercury and Robert Duncan of Creem about 'Bohemian Rhapsody' (among other things). Your hosts Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle then consider this week's additions to the Rock's Backpages archive, including pieces on Joni Mitchell, Lionel Richie, Randy Newman and the Rolling Stones at the height of their devilish mythology. While discussing Neil Kulkarni's rave review of Wu-Tang Clan's Forever, Barney and Mark recall the time they met Wu-Tang's U-God at San Francisco airport.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie