Podcast 361 – and when did YOU last listen to ‘Apple Jam’?

In which we look at pop conspiracy theories (eg Britney Spears), the Christmas songs that work for 2020, the 36 different versions of the new McCartney album, the howling mundanity of Arsene Wenger’s Desert Island Discs, folk box-sets made in China, Gary Barlow in Sainsbury’s, “America’s truth crisis” and mangled celebrity band names. And the time David spent Christmas alone.

The #FreeBritney story in Vanity Fair …
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2020/11/the-oracle-of-britney-spears

The ‘Harry Smith B Sides’ in the New York Times …
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/14/arts/music/anthology-of-american-folk-music.html

Nick Lowe’s ‘Christmas At The Airport’ …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQoVB3Rd28E

Davitt Sigerson’s It’s A Big Country …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDXZsydJU2c

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Podcast 360 – ‘George Clooney’s $14m hand-out: the Movie!’

In which we fantasise about what happened after Clooney gave 14 friends $1m in cash, note the sale of Dylan’s private letters, miss the great North London record shops, unravel Radio 1 v the Pogues, pitch pop stars’ dogs against Nigerian Highlife entertainers and name the second greatest Christmas record ever made.

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Podcast 359 – for the love of Bo Diddley

Acts that wrote songs about themselves (Animals, Monkees, Manfreds, Devo, NWA, Ants etc), Lloyd Cole does handwritten lyrics to order, the welding of Bob Dylan, Des O’Connor’s UK tour with Buddy Holly, the West Wing v The Thick Of It, amusingly named skate-punk bands and does Terminator X own a black ostrich stud farm in North Carolina?

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Podcast 358 – best track on the Beatles’ #1 revealed!

On the menu this week – the genius of the late Geoffrey Palmer in the Kipper And The Corpse and Reginald Perrin (‘rum cove, Johnny Woman’ etc), four anniversary albums – Badfinger’s No Dice (Nov ’70), Prince’s Dirty Mind (’80), the Traveling Wilburys’ Vol 3 (’90) and the Beatles’ #1 (2000), pop careers that kicked off early, fictitious new age groups, pseudonymous secret gigs, the joy of CNN and the entertaining notion of Trump fleeing to a secret bunker to evade ruinous lawsuits.

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Podcast 357 – Andy Neill on the fabulous reign of Ready Steady Go!

In which the author of ‘Ready Steady Go!: the Weekend Starts Here’ talks about the show that revolutionised pop TV – the people who made it, the acts that appeared, the dancers, the clothes, the James Brown shock-the-nation-special, the Troggs auditioning in reception, the ’60s scene-makers packing its Green Room and how it captured what Mick Jagger calls “the wonderful chaos of the times”. Andy’s book is the most detailed and affectionate tribute imaginable and you’re strongly advised to take a look at it.

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Podcast 356 – when Sean Connery met Carly Simon and her sister …

In which we tell the real story of Stardust (the new Bowie biopic), lampoon Kanye West’s Kardashian hologram, brace ourselves for the arrival of ‘synthetic media’, dream up the fictional indie band generator, name some great autumnal albums (eg the Finn Brothers’ Everyone Is Here) and remember Roger Moore and Dorothy Squires’ cavalier mistreatment of records.

The Kardashian hologram …
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-54731382

Computer inventions of fictitious people …
https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/

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Podcast 355 – it was 40 years ago today …

In which we salute Jerry Jeff ‘Mr Bojangles’ Walker and Spencer Davis (at the ABC in Wakefield!), comedians with catchphrase singles, the marketing genius of Lily Allen and the grand tradition of pop songs about – how can we put this? – “self-love”.

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Podcast 354 – Rob Halford: when the Judas Priest commandant met Andy Warhol and the Queen

Rob Halford – still proudly “a big daft kid” – remembers old musichall acts at the Wolverhampton Grand, wearing polyester suits and kipper ties when the manager of Harry Fenton’s, slogging round Europe in a Transit van, booze, drugs, bullwhips, “being head-to-toe in leather”, standing in for Ozzy, coming out on MTV and “wearing my sister’s purple top Old Grey Whistle Test”.

Rob’s memoir Confess …
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Confess-Rob-Halford-ebook/dp/B07ZL2ZQSF

Rob on Instagram
@robhalfordlegacy

@judaspriest

Whistle Test …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=957N7EAtpY4&list=PL5jPQshWo8ry-36NEo4AudZMn2iP9CW8P&index=61

Podcast 353 – can you be too good looking for rock and roll?

In which we remember Peter Frampton and the second golden age of the Scream Idols (and his hard-nosed manager Dee Anthony), are weirdly gripped by the recent screening of Cliff’s Summer Holiday, look at rock stars’ cars, Krautrock acts and rejected album titles, and name “the shabbiest sleeve notes ever written”.

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Podcast 352 – our favourite ’80s albums

In which we salute National Album Day by digging out some much loved ’80s LPs, the Telegraph’s Neil McCormick tells us about the tyranny critics now endure from aggrieved pop fans and we invent fictitious Emo bands and live album titles.

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