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Episode 48 : Ginger Baker audio + Elbow with guest David Hepworth

11 October 2019

In this week's episode of the RBP podcast, Mark Pringle and Barney Hoskyns are joined by special guest David Hepworth to talk about his experiences as a journalist, editor, publisher and now bestselling author.

In a free-ranging conversation, your hosts hear how Dave got his start at the bottom of the NME totem pole before joining the nascent Smash Hits under Nick Logan. They also discuss his longstanding friendship with Mark Ellen, from founding Q, MOJO and The Word to presenting The Old Grey Whistle Test and the TV coverage of Live Aid. Finally, they quiz him on his new book, The Rock and Roll A Level: A Very Hard Pop Quiz.

There is a brief discussion of free-featured artists Elbow, noting the Bury quintet's unlikely ascent to the status of National Treasure and the all-round decency and right-on-ness of the band's "shambling everyman" of a singer, Mr. Guy Garvey.

The week's audio interview is with the late and reliably irascible Ginger Baker, speaking on the phone to Jim Sullivian in 2015. Mark, Barney & Dave hear a clip in which the Cream legend refuses to be drawn on his relationship with his family. There follows a discussion of Baker's status as rock's first superstar drummer – and conjecture as to whether he might possibly be the single most unpleasant man in the history of rock and roll.

Finally, Mark presents some of his highlights from the week's other additions to RBP, including interviews with Pete Townshend, Billy Paul and rapper (and "complete tosser," says Mark) Just-Ice. Barney touches on the passing of Eddie & the Hot Rods frontman Barrie Masters.

Many thanks to special guest David Hepworth, whose book The Rock and Roll A Level is published by Bantam Press.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie