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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Word podcast 271 – Sarfraz Manzoor and David Hepworth think Bruce Springsteen could use the publicity

Usually our guests are talking about freshly-published books. It’s actually ten years since Sarfraz Manzoor put out Greetings From Bury Park, his memoir about growing up in a traditional Pakistani family in Luton with an obsession with Bruce Springsteen.

With the prospect of the story being transferred to the screen in the offing, Sarfraz came along to talk to David Hepworth about how he found parallels between Springsteen’s songs and the challenges he faced in his life and how his desire to identify with the Boss led him into the odd unfortunate fashion choice. At the same time the two of them talk about Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born To Run as it comes out in paperback, because, face it, he could use the royalties.

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Word podcast 270 – David Hepworth on “Uncommon People: The Rise And Fall Of The Rock Stars”

We loved them because they could do things we could never do. We adopted them as our fantasy friends when we were teenagers and were still measuring ourselves against them forty years after. David Hepworth talks about his best-selling book “Uncommon People” which traces the history of the cult of the rock star from Little Richard to Kurt Cobain.

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Word Podcast 269 – Thomas Dolby on the most varied career in pop and technology

Thomas Dolby’s career has seen him sharing a helicopter with a terrified David Bowie over Wembley Stadium, labouring on the nightshift at a New York studio in search of noises that Foreigner might like and dropping in on Michael Jackson at home in the days before scandal consumed him. All this and a good deal more is in his memoir The Speed Of Sound which also covers his pop success and his adventures at the heart of the great Internet revolution. He came to Islington to talk to Mark Ellen and David Hepworth all about it.

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