Word podcast 294 – David Hepworth & friends swap sweeping statements about both pop and rock

In introducing this session, which was inspired by David Hepworth’s new book “Nothing Is Real” Mark Ellen said “I’ve know this man for over forty years and I’ve never won an argument with him”. On this occasion the two of them were joined by old friends, writer Jude Rogers and broadcaster/podcaster Geoff Lloyd, to chew over some of David’s theories, such as why the Beatles were underrated and why you should never play pop records at funerals, and to add a few of their own, which cover such topics as the girlfriend who changed the direction of popular music, the redundancy of the live album and the records that you should and shouldn’t play at a wedding disco. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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Word podcast 293 – Mark Blake on Peter Grant, the man-mountain behind Led Zeppelin

Peter Grant was the former all-in wrestler turned manager whose reputation was built on his knack for making sure his bands got paid. In this respect didn’t hurt to have the build of a screen heavy and the reputation of a gangster. When Led Zeppelin got paid it was in quantities so large that they had to be taken away from the venues in carrier bags from supermarkets.

In “Bring It All Back Home” Pink Floyd and Queen biographer Mark Blake tells the full story of Peter Grant from his time as a wartime tearaway through road managing Chuck Berry and Gene Vincent to his meeting with Jimmy Page, with whom he formed what was probably the key relationship in the Led Zeppelin camp through their rampages across America in the 70s to a very dark period holed up in his moated house in the country taking cocaine in immense quantities and harbouring dark thoughts about the world outside. As we told Mark Blake when he came to the Islington to talk about it, this one really should be a movie.

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