Rock's Backpages Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

< back to list of all episodes

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

10 May 2019

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 for information on his books, including The Beatles: The Biography.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie