Podcast 311 – in which Alexis Petridis describes what it was like to ghost-write the most amazing story in pop

Alexis Petridis was very lucky Elton John chose him to help tell the story in his best-selling memoir “Me”. Elton John’s equally lucky Alexis agreed because without him it probably wouldn’t be half as good as it is. In fact it’s two stories: the first is the story of a musical career that seems to be headed nowhere until a chance meeting with a lyricist began a partnership which operated in an unprecedented way and led to unprecedented success; the other is a personal story of how a very tense little boy from Pinner grew to be able to afford all the addictions on a Pharaonic scale, managed to conquer them and belatedly found contentment in a state that wasn’t even invented when he was first a superstar. Every home should have a copy because everyone in that home would find at least some of it jaw-dropping. Alexis told us what it was like to write and what he learned about life in the process.

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Podcast 310 – in which Barney Hoskyns helps us celebrate the 70th birthday of Tom Waits

On December 7th Thomas Alan Waits celebrates his 70th birthday and to mark that occasion we asked Barney Hoskyns, the author of his biography “Lowside Of The Road”, to talk about what makes Waits one of the rare examples of a misfit who has prospered on his own terms. It’s all here: developing his shtick entertaining the line of customers outside, choosing to dress in a way that had gone out of style twenty years before, living his character twenty four hours a day, being taken in hand both personally and professionally somewhat late in the day and eventually becoming a success on his own terms. Barney thinks he as important an artist as the 20th century has produced. He came along to explain why.

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