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Episode 40 : Ian Penman on Prince + Charlie Parker + ZZ Top audio

16 August 2019

In this week's episode of the Rock's Backpages Podcast, Jasper Murison-Bowie and Barney Hoskyns are joined by the great Ian Penman to discuss his new essay collection It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track – along with his late '70s/early '80s years at the NME and his subsequent writing for The Wire and the London Review of Books.

Thus commences a wide-ranging conversation about everything from Frank Sinatra to Charlie Parker to Prince, via John Fahey, Nina Simone and Kate Bush. Along the way, Penman passionately disputes the received wisdom that he brought down the NME with his infrequent references to French theorists Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.

Los tres hombres hear clips from a 1990 audio interview with Billy Gibbons, wherein the urbane ZZ Top frontman recalls meeting Muddy Waters and pays homage to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Finally, having had far too much fun with this episode, your hosts run swiftly through a handful of the new library pieces available to RBP subscribers.

It Gets Me Home, This Curving Track is published by Fitzcarraldo Editions; purchase the book here.

Find Ian Penman on Twitter @pawboy2.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie