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Episode 152 : Cliff Jones on Gay Dad + Brian Jones + Paul Simon audio

22 May 2023

In this episode we welcome pop poacher-turned-gamekeeper (turned rockademic) Cliff Jones to RBP's Hammersmith HQ and invite him to talk about his shape-shifting career in music — as well as about Paul Simon and doomed Rolling Stone Brian Jones (no relation).

Barney starts things off with his memories of Cliff coming into the MOJO office circa 1994-5, plus we hear about long-form pieces our guest wrote about Peter Green and (for The Face) the Fugees. We also discuss Johnny Cigarettes' 1999 NME interview with Gay Dad, the band Cliff formed in the wake of Britpop.

Nick Broomfield's new BBC documentary about Brian Jones prompts conversation about the self-destructive blues obsessive who was sidelined by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards — and ditched by Anita Pallenberg — after which we turn our attention to the rather different Paul Simon. Clips from Tony Scherman's 1993 audio interview with the other half of Art Garfunkel are jumping-off points for our collective thoughts on the New Yorker's career from his Brill Building days to the Hearts and Bones album and beyond.

We pay heartfelt tribute to our guest's fellow RBP contributor Pete Silverton, who passed away on May 18th, and recall his crucial early Sounds interviews with the Clash, the Sex Pistols and other punk bands. Among the new library additions discussed, finally, are pieces about Flamingo Club owner Rik Gunnell (1966), Mick Hucknall's Frantic Elevators (1982), hip hop heroes the Jungle Brothers (1989) ... and, from 2007, Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse.

Please note this episode was recorded before we learned of the passing of former Smiths bassist Andy Rourke.