Word Podcast 281 – Sir Tim Rice talks about Cliff, Del Shannon, the Beatles, Sinatra, Elvis, Paul Newman, Elton and the second coming of Jesus Christ Superstar

Tim Rice didn’t particularly like musicals. He was a rock and roll fan turned junior exec. In fact when Tim Rice met Andrew Lloyd Webber in the late 60s he had his eyes on a nice job running one of EMI’s overseas outposts. But then there was Jesus Christ Superstar which was performed by the Grease Band and recorded at Olympic and sold in quantities nobody knew anything could sell and the next thing he knew he was a giant of the musical theatre and was writing with and for everyone. The perspective he’s acquired in the course of a fifty-plus year career is unique and he’s already distilled a lot of it into one volume of memoirs. He came along to The Islington so that Mark and David could encourage him to get on with the next volume. It was a delight to talk to him.

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Word Podcast 280 – Richard Newman on the amazing story of Tubular Bells

It was born in an unpromising flat in Tottenham, came to fruition in an old manor house in Oxfordshire, became, by accident, the soundtrack of a horror film that is still frightening people 45 years later and led, also by accident, to the foundation of one of the few British brands that’s still a household name. It changed the lives of everybody who had anything to do with it. Richard Newman is the only person to have spent time talking to all the people who were involved and his book, The Making Of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, has been re-published to mark the forty-fifth anniversary of the record’s original release. He came to the Islington to talk to David and Mark about it.

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Word Podcast 279 – Ian Anderson celebrates the 50th anniversary of Jethro Tull

When Ian Anderson left the family home in Blackpool to make his name in the music business his father flung him hid old overcoat. “It’ll be cold out there,” he said. That was more than fifty years ago. 2018 sees the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first Tull album “This Was”. This anniversary is being marked by a special tour which begins in April. When Ian was our guest at Word In Your Ear he talked about: going to the police station as a 15-year-old because he wanted to be a copper, how the name of his band was as much a surprise to him as anyone else, what it was like to go on before Hendrix at the Isle of Wight in 1969, how The Who outshone the Rolling Stones during the filming of “The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus”, why any idiot can manage his own band and why so few do, the secret of breaking America and why he felt the fiftieth anniversary couldn’t go unmarked.

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Word Podcast 278 – Going On The Turn with Danny Baker

In the course of a packed conversation with David Hepworth the Damon Runyon of Bermondsey touches upon Keith Chegwin and the Third Ear Band, carrying a coffin and recovering from cancer, the breathtaking profanity of Hughie Green and the staggering stupidity of certain BBC executives, the difficulty of dealing with 12-year-old TV producers who are labouring under the misapprehension that they understand pop history and what happened when he and Danny Kelly decided it was finally time to try getting stoned. As ever, all human life is there – as it is in his latest autobiographical volume, “Going On The Turn”. Danny starts another national tour in May and he’ll be coming to a town near you. Details here.

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Word podcast 277 – in and out of the Go-Betweens with Robert Forster

Robert Forster’s new book, Grant And I, features strongly in many people’s lists of the music book of the year. He came to WIYE to talk to Mark and David about growing up in Brisbane, bonding with Grant McLennan over their shared affection for Ry Cooder, forming a band with like-minded people rather than people who could play, getting near enough to success to be able to taste it and why no band has anything new to say after twenty minutes. Robert’s been on the podcast before and remains one of our favourites.

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Word Podcast 276 – you’ll never get Armando Iannucci on the dance floor

Armando Iannucci’s “Hear Me Out” is a collection of pieces about his first love, classical music. He decided early on that the Deep Purple and Lou Reed records favoured by his older brother didn’t speak to him in the way that Holsts’s Planet Suite did. His book explains why. In this wide ranging chat with Mark and David Armando talks about how it felt to not share the general enthusiasm for the sound of now and what he says to people when they try to get him on the dance floor at parties.

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Word Podcast 275 – Dylan Jones on David Bowie

As a teenager Dylan Jones was one of that generation who saw David Bowie on “Top Of The Pops” in 1972 and felt he was talking directly to them. As an art student he worked as an extra on a Bowie film and even gave him a light for his cigarette. As the editor of such magazines as Arena and GQ he went on to interview Bowie numerous times. Now he’s put together “David Bowie: A Life”, a massive oral history of the man’s life and brilliant career. It draws on the recollections of everyone from old school friends like George Underwood through fellow musicians like Rick Wakeman to the artists, film makers and fashion leaders whose direction he affected. In this special extended chat with Mark Ellen and David Hepworth Dylan talks about everything Bowie, including how small he was in some directions and yet how big in others.

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Word Podcast 274 – Chris Difford on his life in and out of Squeeze

“My Dad said that if I joined a rock band I would be an alcoholic, a drug addict and skint. Turns out he was right.” So writes Chris Difford in “Some Fantastic Place“, a startlingly candid autobiography. An old friend of the pod he came along to Word In Your Ear to talk to Mark and David about the strange dynamics within bands, the reason musicians don’t talk to each other, the attractions of relaxants and stimulants and the challenges of managing Bryan Ferry. Amazing stuff.

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Word Podcast 273 – Daniel Rachel on Rock Against Racism, 2-Tone and Red Wedge

The guest on our snug Chesterfield was Daniel Rachel, who won the Penderyn Prize for best music book of 2017 for his “Walls Come Tumbling Down“, a triumphant oral history of the story of Rock Against Racism, 2-Tone and Red Wedge. It all began when he was just a kid and his parents mistakenly found themselves in the middle of a National Front rally. Now listen on.

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Word podcast 272 – Johnny Rogan and Sid Griffin on the extraordinary story of the Byrds

Johnny Rogan almost didn’t make it to this Word In Your Ear. He was so absorbed in a discussion about biography with friend of the podcast Mark Lewisohn that he had a small traffic accident that almost sidelined him for the evening. Anyway, he made it and brought along both volumes of his mammoth new account of their complex career. To help tell their story we were also delighted to welcome another friend of the pod Sid Griffin. It’s all here: the folk revival, Swinging London, psychedelia, square glasses, country music, personality conflicts and some very sad ends.

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