In which we watch the Harmony Game (the fabulous doc about the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water), wonder if the British are qualified to play Country, hear the new Let It Be outtakes (the Fabs playing ‘Fancy My Chances With You’ and George ordering cauliflower cheese), consider the genius of Every Breath You Take, the Stones dropping Brown Sugar and the moment dance music changed from songs to grooves, and salute the Apple Scruff who sang on Across the Universe.
In which we remember when one of the Stones was in the Air Force, the agony of loons pants, the genius of Irene Handl (and her screen roles: Mrs Crumbling, Miss Harker-Parker, Miss Slenderparts) and Bowie as the Goblin King in Labyrinth. Plus Cliff Richards’ new ‘perv breeks’, Steve Van Zandt visits Brian Jones’ grave, the best short songs, when haircuts wreck a band and Ian Martin’s live review of Rick Astley doing the Smiths.
‘A Furious Devotion’ is just out, written by Richard Balls after long conversations and nights spent with Shane and interviews with members of the Pogues, old girlfriends, former teachers and collaborators (Nick Cave, Sinead O’Connor and Christy Moore among them). This covers childhood times in Tipperary, his ‘genius’ school years, fierce debates about his Irish identity, the full story of Fairytale of New York, his marriage, how the band put up with him and the cussed old curmudgeon he is today (a taste: this is a man who shuns computers, mobiles and email and won’t turn the TV down when being interviewed). A revelation from start to finish.
White-hot, pressing topics kicked around the rock and roll park this week include … can heavy metal ever be sexy?, why the Beatles would have made the greatest Unplugged act, the return of Scritti Politti, good deals in charity shops, what made Status Quo swing, how Jim Morrison wrecked the legacy of the Doors, the Floyd and the Stones discovering disco, Barry Ryan RIP and why Best Record polls in old music papers still get our goat.