Podcast 463 – Dave Grohl reaches ‘Meldrew age’, Be Here Now’s 25th birthday and the sex life of Dave Davies

In which we paddle our conversational canoe through the rock and roll backwaters, stopping off this week at …

… the closure of Word magazine ten years ago and what we miss – and don’t miss – about it.

… who in their right mind in this day and age would possibly want to be famous?

… Bruce Findlay, the country’s only famous record store owner.

… the energetic sexual activities of Dave Davies in his new memoir and the uniquely mid-‘60s British concept of ‘kinkiness’.

… Dave Grohl reaches ‘the Meldrew Point’ – as old as Richard Wilson when he first played Victor Meldrew (who was a year older than Wilfred Brambell when he played Paul’s grandad).

.. the documentary someone should make about the Rubettes.

… Manny Charlton of Nazareth RIP and the bizarre pop fact that one of their biggest hits was a Joni Mitchell cover.

… handcuffed men in court for stealing rare Eagles artefacts.

… whether the legendarily awful Be Here Now album deserves a gentler appraisal 25 years later. Don’t forget it starts with “a minute of helicopter noise and morse code”.

… and birthday patron Allan Williams’ collection of Hipgnosis album sleeves – paging Picnic, Helloe’en and Music From Free Creek!

You can buy Dave Davies’ memoir Living On A Thin Line here …

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Podcast 462 – how much of ‘Indie’ is just shoes and hair?

High in the conversational mix this week …

 … the return the Stackwaddy game! – do Ben & Jerry’s do a Bohemian Raspberry? Are there really Apple Music genres called Pillow Talk and Countrypolitan?

… Errol Flynn and his dachshund water-skiing. 

… James Caan’s opening scene in Misery.

… is Nick Kyrgios the first ‘rap’ tennis star?

… why ‘Indie’ doesn’t tolerate non-conformity (or success) – plus Razorlight and other bands who let you down.

… bizarre combinations of celebrities we’ve bumped into at the BBC – eg Ronnie Corbett and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

.. the vital importance of communal suffering at rock festivals.

… and can you get your money’s worth from a £1.5m one-off original Bob Dylan musical ‘artwork’?


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Podcast 461 – Chris Blackwell remembers the “underdogs, rejects and misfits” he signed to Island Records

Nearly every Island act seemed impossibly hip, characterful and charismatic and much of that was down to the vision and long-term belief of the man who founded the label and ran it for 30 years. Chris Blackwell beams in from Goldeneye, the Ian Fleming estate he bought in Jamaica, to remember Errol Flynn and his dachshund waterskiing, the wit and charm of Noel Coward, record-buying trips for the local jukeboxes and sound-systems and the story of Millie’s My Boy Lollipop, and talks about his relationship with Free, Traffic, Tom Waits, U2 and Roxy Music (also the ones that got away like Madonna). At one point he explains how he and Bob Marley modified Jamaican reggae to give it international appeal and there’s a great moment where he relives the overpowering effect of first hearing Trevor Horn’s production of Two Tribes. Chris’s memoir The Islander is published by Bonnier Books.

The Islander by Chris Blackwell …

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Podcast 460 – Danny Baker and Graham Gouldman at our live McCartney 80th birthday special!

On June 18, along with four guests, we held a party for Paul McCartney on his 80th in front of a big crowd in the magical tented arena at Opera Holland Park in West London. This was a lot of fun from start to finish, fond memories, forgotten songs, new angles, personal meetings, fresh theories and fascinating unknown tales.

In this second part of the show Danny Baker talks about a lost masterpiece, does the McCartney walk, fights the corner for some of his least loved songs, puts him in perspective, sings impressively and tells the Besame Mucho/TFI Friday story.

And our last guest is Graham Gouldman who was writing big hits for the Hollies, the Yardbirds and many others in the ‘60s before he co-founded 10cc. How did songwriters react to a new Beatles single? What did he nick from Things We Said Today? What are the McCartney signatures? How is it humanly possible to play those bass parts and sing at the same time?

This episode comes rammed with revelations about McCartney’s life and songs and what he’s meant to us over the years.

Part One – https://shows.acast.com/word-in-your-ear-2/episodes/word-podcast-459-word-in-the-park-1 – features the broadcaster Geoff Lloyd and the writer Andy Miller.

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Podcast 459 – Paul McCartney in the Park: our 80th birthday special (Part One!)

On June 18 we laid on a celebration of all things McCartney on his 80th in the magical tented arena at Opera Holland Park in West London. People came from all corners of the globe. It turned out to be a feast of fond memories, forgotten songs, fresh perspectives, personal encounters, original theories and fascinating unknown tales.

In this first half, David and Mark talk to the broadcaster Geoff Lloyd – who once had him on his radio show and gave him random instruments to see if he could get a tune out of them and part-written songs to finish off. Geoff was born in ‘73 and pieced together the McCartney story via an interesting route. His account of meeting him is electrifying.

Our second guest is the writer, star of the literary world and co-host of the Backlisted podcast Andy Miller, onstage wearing very special McCartney-related clothes for a very special reason. Like all of us, he watched Get Back and was astonished by what he learnt about the way the band worked.

Also in this episode… the effect of All My Loving on a 13 year-old, what our parents thought of the Beatles, Cynthia Lennon’s lost letter and four of our favourite songs and why.

Find a sunhat, fix a cold drink, pull up an imaginary deckchair and get stuck in …

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Podcast 458 – what links The Day Of The Jackal, Supertramp, the Sun and James Callaghan?

Appetising items on our lavish tray of conversational hors d’oeuvres this week include:-

Billie Eilish, 20, (“the youngest at headliner at Glastonbury”) and pop stars who started even younger – “Little” Stevie Winwood, Stevie Wonder, Ranking Roger, Annabella Lwin, Alex Chilton and Peter Frampton.

“The poison of criminal violence and gang warfare” (supposedly Brighton in 1948) and other highlights of Brighton Rock.

The Stones – what they heard when the screaming stopped and the Hyde Park show 53 years ago.

Kate Bush on Woman’s Hour.

Found in the attic: an old copy of Smash Hits from 1982 and the rich variety on offer – the Belle Stars, Monsoon, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, The Teardrop Explodes on a bill with Queen, Vic Godard goes swing, Scritti Politti, Neil Tennant on Hambi & The Dance.

A did-they-play-day-or-night-at-Woodstock parlour game.

TLC v Sam Fender in the Glastonbury highlights. One of them was “monumentally boring”.

Famous quotes that were invented – “Let them eat cake”, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on”, “Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles” etc.

… and the winner(s) of this month’s quiz.

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