Podcast 430 – Mike Nesmith, Don’t You Want Me and Sly Stone’s drum machine

In which we remember the lightness of touch and winning gallows humour of Mike Nesmith and the interesting ways he made and spent his fortunes. And it’s 50 years since There’s A Riot Goin’ On, the most radical record to ever top the US charts, and 40 years since the girls transformed the Human League. Plus Hepworth’s “confessions of an amateur weed smoker”, the less you pay for records the better they are, and the gloriously daft reason ELO’s first album was called “No Answer” in the States. New patrons are literally piped aboard with a bosun’s whistle!

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – and with full visuals!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 429 – alternative Xmas songs, Zappa’s worst year, Milk Almond and the Happy Mung Beans

In which we remember the “Smoke On The Water” fire at Montreux Casino, the soft melancholy of some underrated Christmas records, wonder which documentaries could get a Get Back remake and address the burning issues of the day: eg worst perms in rock, Ed Sheeran & Elton John, vegan bands in waiting, legendary pop recluses and what our ‘most played’ Spotify tracklist says about us.

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 428 – Sex In The Sixties: Let Peter Doggett be your guide

Peter’s been on the pod before talking about the Beatles and Crosby Stills Nash & Young, and he’s just published a fascinating account of the ‘60s sexual revolution, a time when a new and unimaginable freedom collided spectacularly with the hand-wringing Victorian values of the media. We talked to him at the West Hampstead Arts Club about Mick Jagger v Mary Whitehouse, the Avengers, Jenny Fabian’s Groupie, Bond movies, Germaine Greer, the Killing of Sister George, Dirk Bogarde, Cliff Richard as an unconvincing sex symbol, Jane Birkin, Michael Caine in Alfie, John & Yoko, the concept of ‘Kinkiness’ and the pop records that sailed close to the wind.

@Peter_Doggett

Growing Up: Sex In The Sixties …
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growing-Up-Sixties-Peter-Doggett/dp/184792428X

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – plus first dibs on WIYE live tickets!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 427 – John Illsley tells the Dire Straits story

Recorded at the West Hampstead Arts Club – we’re back in the outside world! – the band’s bassist remembers their label’s hopes of selling 5,000 copies of their first album in the autumn of ’77. His just-published memoir recounts the rollercoaster that followed, from the London pub circuit to Compass Point, Live Aid, the gigantic world tours that took in the Eastern Bloc, the sales-boosting arrival of MTV and the CD boom, and how it felt to and back on earth when they called a halt in the mid-‘90s. The early days are fascinating too, a friendship forged with Mark Knopfler over Little Feat, JJ Cale and Ry Cooder albums and the dream-like events of their record deal and rapid ascent.

@John_Illsley

My Life In Dire Straits …
https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Life-Dire-Straits-Biggest-ebook/dp/B08WBXZCQ1

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – plus early bird ticket access to WIYE live events!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 426 – Sondheim, the Band Aid recording and the first F-word on record

In which we remember being at Sarm Studios 37 years ago as Bob Geldof and Midge Ure marshalled the troops, and look at the reaction to the Get Back movie, Alan Hull, Al Stewart’s energetic love life, Billy Preston and others flown in to keep bands together, Lenny Kaye’s record-filing ruse and why John Illsey had the best job in the world. Plus the return of the Stackwaddy Game – spot the made up musical genre (Skweee, Simpsonwave, Soyabilly etc).

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – and with full visuals!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 425 – Lenny Kaye nails some moments “when the universe shifted”

Lenny Kaye’s just published ‘Lightning Striking: Ten Transformative Moments In Rock And Roll’, events in particular times and places that changed the landscape, among them (and discussed here) Liverpool in 1962, New York in 1975 and Seattle in 1991. In the digital world, will we ever have that kind of local music scene again? His fascinating observations include driving to San Francisco for the Love-In, the world of CBGBs, Norwegian Black Metal, life in the Patti Smith Group and some of “the eccentric characters I feel naturally drawn to” which include Joe Meek, Stiv Bators and the Ramones. Among the questions: what’s the correct way to file Captain Beefheart, under ‘C’ or ‘B’? This is a man whose record collection is divided into “food groups” and includes “a wacko section”. He’s wonderful company.

Lightning Striking …
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lightning-Striking-Lenny-Kaye/dp/1474615074

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon to receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – plus lots more!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 424 – Elvis Costello, aka rock’s “greatest communicator”

In which we watch a breathtaking 40-minute piece of oratory by EC that takes in David Hockney, TikTok, Laurel & Hardy, what Pete Thomas did during Lockdown and how to avoid your new album being “just another bucket of herring tossed into the stream”. And go to the Premiere of Peter Jackson’s Get Back. And remember some slightly hopeless second albums (ABC, Stones, Arctic Monkeys, Tracy Chapman) and some prime examples of the “front-loaded” LP (Let’s Dance, the Joshua Tree etc). And delight in discovering the snobbery of people who work in record shops is still apparent when you’re trying to buy an Ornette Coleman CD.

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – and with full visuals!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 423 – inscrutable album covers and Hunky Dory’s 50th birthday

In which we salute the great ‘60s pop writer and Beatles associate Maureen Cleave, find a copy of Melody Maker from the week Hunky Dory was released (the Rainbow opens, Lindisfarne banned from Brighton Dome after fans dance in aisles! etc), talk to Chris Topham of the Plane Groovy label about the vinyl crisis (there’s a seven-month wait to get a record pressed), check the map of the biggest-selling music acts from each UK county and get to the root of the old Sounds headline “My naked bath-nights with Olivia Newton-John”.
 
Chris Topham’s Plane Groovy Records …
https://www.planegroovy.com/toppo.html
 
Maureen Cleave’s famous ‘How Does A Beatle Live?’ piece …
http://headsup.freeshell.org/beatles-articles/standard.html
 
Map of the biggest-selling music acts from each UK county …
https://brilliantmaps.com/best-selling-england/

Word In Your Ear live in London on November 22: https://john-ilsley-more-tba.eventbrite.co.uk

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – with full visuals!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 422 – McCartney’s lyrics & the Tom Tom Club plus Lionel Blair and other rhyming slang immortals

In which we kick about with music at weddings, spin-off groups, the bracing challenge of Trout Mask Replica, why pop music needs no awards, the Lionel Blair gag on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, a 42-disc boxset, skippable album tracks, the Stones still playing Midnight Rambler, McCartney on LP Hartley, Hamlet and Dylan Thomas, and rhyming slang we’d never heard – eg lunch: “a pint of Shaun Ryder, two Bills and a Giorgio Armani”. Plus the tragedy of the Astroworld Festival.
 
That Lionel Blair and Sammy Davis tap-off in 1961 …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrS_XEBuFSU
 
Bob Lefsetz on the rock festival safety crisis …
https://lefsetz.com/wordpress/2021/11/06/astroworld/

Word In Your Ear live in London on November 22: https://john-ilsley-more-tba.eventbrite.co.uk

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive every future Word Podcast before the rest of the world – and with full visuals!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear

Podcast 421 – Happy 50th to the Pink Moon recording sessions!

In which we debunk the eye-watering Adele Hyde Park ticket prices, note the crowd-losing absence of choruses in Nick Drake songs, remember the strangest onstage guests, marvel at McCartney’s childhood memories and applaud Steve Van Zandt’s theory about the beginning and end of rock music. And birthday patron Giles Fraser is piped aboard plus his proposition about rock and roll legacy.

Giles Fraser’s Let’s Fly: https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/contemporary/lets-fly/

Subscribe to Word In Your Ear on Patreon and receive each Word Podcast before the rest of the world!: https://www.patreon.com/wordinyourear