Word Podcast 288 – the uninterrupted Seymour Stein

We couldn’t get over the fact that Seymour Stein actually met Buddy Holly. It shouldn’t surprise us really because after all he is 76 and his first job in the music business was at Billboard when he was a teenager. It’s well known that as the boss of the Sire label he signed the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, the Undertones and Madonna. What’s less well-known is the part played in the Sire story by Focus, the Deviants and the Climax Blues Band. The full story is written in “Siren Song” which he’s written with Gareth Murphy. He came to Word In Your Ear to talk about it. We let him get on with it.

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Word podcast 287 – Stuart Baillie on his brilliant book about music, Northern Ireland and the Troubles

Stuart Baillie’s book, “Trouble Songs” is, as he told us at this Word In Your Ear, his personal story as well as the story of music and the Troubles. Born in Belfast in 1961, Stuart came to London to work on the NME, returning to Belfast in the late 90s to run a music project in the city. His book paints a rich picture of a place with unique virtues as well as unique problems.

It’s the story of how entertainment has reflected both and how live music re-emerged from behind the ring of steel and came blinking in the daylight following the Good Friday agreement. It’s the story of Christy Moore, the Miami Showband, Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi, Van Morrison, the Undertones, Terri Hooley and scores of others, many of whom were interviewed specifically for the book. It’s also the story of the part played in the events of the time by outsiders like Lennon and McCartney, U2 and The Clash. It’s the story of how music both brings people together and sometimes drives them apart. It’s one of the best books we’ve ever covered in Word In Your Ear.

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Word Podcast 286 – with Kenney Jones – we can use the word “legend”, can’t we?

Drummer with the Small Faces, the Faces and the Who, supplier of the distinctive drum sound on the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only ‘N’ Roll”, guest at Mick Jagger’s wedding in 1971, Kenney Jones is one of the few people born in Stepney in 1948 who wound up owning his own polo club. It’s all in his newly-published autobiography “Let The Good Times Roll”. He came to the Islington to talk to David and Mark about it. The new air conditioning was working and a splendid time was had by all.

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Word Podcast 285 – with Simon Mayo talking about his first adult novel – soon to be a major motion picture

Award-winning broadcaster and podcaster, successful novelist and former Word subscriber Simon Mayo makes his debut on the pod to talk about his ascent of the greasy pole of broadcasting, his experience fronting the Radio One Roadshow in the days when that was a very big deal, his radio husband Mark Kermode, his radio wife Jo Whiley, his first adult novel “Mad Blood Stirring”, soon to be a major motion picture, and the real reason why Dave Lee Travis always got the biggest cheer.

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Word Podcast 284 – with old friend of the pod Andrew Collins, Boswell to Billy Bragg

It was a delight to catch up with Andrew Collins on the occasion of the publication of “Still Suitable For Miners”, his biography of Billy Bragg which was initially published in 1998 and is now updated with additional material. He talked to David and Mark about the days when a biographer had a carrier bag of clippings instead of the internet, how the self-described big-nosed bastard from Barking managed to turn himself into a national institution and kept his brand burning bright for the best part of forty years and also tells us the one about the stripper and the banana. All this and an education too!

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