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David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and chums cast an occasionally jaundiced eye over the goings on in the world of music and entertainment

David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and chums cast an occasionally jaundiced eye over the goings on in the world of music and entertainment
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David Hepworth, Mark Ellen and chums cast an occasionally jaundiced eye over the goings on in the world of music and entertainment




Word Podcast 289 - Mark Kermode

Ever since first hearing the siren call of The Rubettes' "Sugar Baby Love", Mark Kermode, TV and Radio's Mr Movie, has been possessed by a determination to find out how it feels to be on stage with a band and to make the noise that bands made. His new book "How Does It Feel?" recounts every step on that journey, from making his own guitar while at school through leading his own bands The Bottlers and The Dodge Brothers and masquerading as the musical director of Danny Baker's late-night chat...


Word Podcast 288 - Seymour Stein

We couldn't get over the fact that Seymour Stein actually met Buddy Holly. It shouldn't surprise us really because after all he is 76 and his first job in the music business was at Billboard when he was a teenager. It's well known that as the boss of the Sire label he signed the Ramones, Talking Heads, Depeche Mode, the Undertones and Madonna. What's less well-known is the part played in the Sire story by Focus, the Deviants and the Climax Blues Band. The full story is written in "Siren...


Word Podcast 287 - Stuart Baillie

Stuart Baillie's book, "Trouble Songs" is, as he told us at this Word In Your Ear, his personal story as well as the story of music and the Troubles. Born in Belfast in 1961, Stuart came to London to work on the NME, returning to Belfast in the late 90s to run a music project in the city. His book paints a rich picture of a place with unique virtues as well as unique problems. It's the story of how entertainment has reflected both and how live music re-emerged from behind the ring of steel...


Word Podcast 286 - Kenney Jones

Drummer with the Small Faces, the Faces and the Who, supplier of the distinctive drum sound on the Rolling Stones' "It's Only 'N' Roll", guest at Mick Jagger's wedding in 1971, Kenney Jones is one of the few people born in Stepney in 1948 who wound up owning his own polo club. It's all in his newly-published autobiography "Let The Good Times Roll". He came to the Islington to talk to David and Mark about it. The new air conditioning was working and a splendid time was had by all.


Word Podcast 285 - Simon Mayo

Award-winning broadcaster and podcaster, successful novelist and former Word subscriber Simon Mayo makes his debut on the pod to talk about his ascent of the greasy pole of broadcasting, his experience fronting the Radio One Roadshow in the days when that was a very big deal, his radio husband Mark Kermode, his radio wife Jo Whiley, his first adult novel "Mad Blood Stirring", soon to be a major motion picture, and the real reason why Dave Lee Travis always got the biggest cheer.


Word Podcast 284 - Andrew Collins

It was a delight to catch up with Andrew Collins on the occasion of the publication of "Still Suitable For Miners", his biography of Billy Bragg which was initially published in 1998 and is now updated with additional material. He talked to David and Mark about the days when a biographer had a carrier bag of clippings instead of the internet, how the self-described big-nosed bastard from Barking managed to turn himself into a national institution and kept his brand burning bright for the...


Word Podcast 283 - Neil Innes

In the sixties Neil Innes wrote and sang many of the deathless masterpieces of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. In the late 70s he was the leading light of the pre-fab four, The Rutles, still the greatest and most affectionate of Beatles parodies. He lives in France now. On a visit to the UK to take part in a tour marking the 40th anniversary of the Rutles, he dropped in to the Islington to talk to old skool fans Mark and David about wooing women with fruit, meeting the Beatles on the stairs at...


Word Podcast 282 - Garth Cartwright

Virgin, Harlequin, One Stop, Dobells, Rock On, HMV, Cheapo Cheapo, Disci, Andy's, Woolies, Our Price and a million and one places called The Spinning Disc. It doesn't matter where you did your record shopping in the far long-ago, they're all in "Going For A Song", Garth Cartwright's information-packed survey of UK record shops past and present. In this podcast he talks to Mark and David about record retailing in this country from the days of the cylinder through the danceband boom of the...


Word Podcast 281 - Sir Tim Rice

Tim Rice didn't particularly like musicals. He was a rock and roll fan turned junior exec. In fact when Tim Rice met Andrew Lloyd Webber in the late 60s he had his eyes on a nice job running one of EMI's overseas outposts. But then there was Jesus Christ Superstar which was performed by the Grease Band and recorded at Olympic and sold in quantities nobody knew anything could sell and the next thing he knew he was a giant of the musical theatre and was writing with and for everyone. The...


Word Podcast 280 - Richard Newman

It was born in an unpromising flat in Tottenham, came to fruition in an old manor house in Oxfordshire, became, by accident, the soundtrack of a horror film that is still frightening people 45 years later and led, also by accident, to the foundation of one of the few British brands that's still a household name. It changed the lives of everybody who had anything to do with it. Richard Newman is the only person to have spent time talking to all the people who were involved and his book, 'The...


Word Podcast 279 - Ian Anderson

When Ian Anderson left the family home in Blackpool to make his name in the music business his father flung him hid old overcoat. "It'll be cold out there," he said. That was more than fifty years ago. 2018 sees the fiftieth anniversary of the release of the first Tull album "This Was". This anniversary is being marked by a special tour which begins in April. When Ian was our guest at Word In Your Ear he talked about: going to the police station as a 15-year-old because he wanted to be a...


Word Podcast 278 - Danny Baker

In the course of a packed conversation with David Hepworth the Damon Runyon of Bermondsey touches upon Keith Chegwin and the Third Ear Band, carrying a coffin and recovering from cancer, the breathtaking profanity of Hughie Green and the staggering stupidity of certain BBC executives, the difficulty of dealing with 12-year-old TV producers who are labouring under the misapprehension that they understand pop history and what happened when he and Danny Kelly decided it was finally time to try...


Word Podcast 277 - Robert Forster

Robert Forster's new book 'Grant And I' features strongly in many people's lists of the music book of the year. He came to WIYE to talk to Mark and David about growing up in Brisbane, bonding with Grant McLennan over their shared affection for Ry Cooder, forming a band with like-minded people rather than people who could play, getting near enough to success to be able to taste it and why no band has anything new to say after twenty minutes. Robert's been on the podcast before and remains one...


Word Podcast 276 - Armando Iannucci

Armando Iannucci's Hear Me Out is a collection of pieces about his first love, classical music. He decided early on that the Deep Purple and Lou Reed records favoured by his older brother didn't speak to him in the way that Holsts's Planet Suite did. His book explains why. In this wide ranging chat with Mark and David Armando talks about how it felt to not share the general enthusiasm for the sound of now and what he says to people when they try to get him on the dance floor at parties.


Word Podcast 275 - Dylan Jones

As a teenager Dylan Jones was one of that generation who saw David Bowie on “Top Of The Pops” in 1972 and felt he was talking directly to them. As an art student he worked as an extra on a Bowie film and even gave him a light for his cigarette. As the editor of such magazines as Arena and GQ he went on to interview Bowie numerous times. Now he’s put together “David Bowie: A Life”, a massive oral history of the man’s life and brilliant career. It draws on the recollections of everyone from...


Word Podcast 274 - Chris Difford

"My Dad said that if I joined a rock band I would be an alcoholic, a drug addict and skint. Turns out he was right." So writes Chris Difford in "Some Fantastic Place", a startlingly candid autobiography. An old friend of the pod he came along to Word In Your Ear to talk to Mark and David about the strange dynamics within bands, the reason musicians don't talk to each other, the attractions of relaxants and stimulants and the challenges of managing Bryan Ferry. Amazing stuff.


Word podcast 273 - with Daniel Rachel

The guest on our snug Chesterfield was Daniel Rachel, who won the Penderyn Prize for best music book of 2017 for his "Walls Come Tumbling Down", a triumphant oral history of the story of Rock Against Racism, 2-Tone and Red Wedge.


Word podcast 272 - Johnny Rogan and Sid Griffin

Johnny Rogan almost didn't make it to this Word In Your Ear. He was so absorbed in a discussion about biography with friend of the podcast Mark Lewisohn that he had a small traffic accident that almost sidelined him for the evening. Anyway, he made it and brought along both volumes of his mammoth new account of their complex career. To help tell their story we were also delighted to welcome another friend of the pod Sid Griffin. It's all here: the folk revival, Swinging London, psychedelia,...


Word Podcast 271 - with Sarfraz Manzoor

Usually our guests are talking about freshly-published books. It's actually ten years since Sarfraz Manzoor put out Greetings From Bury Park, his memoir about growing up in a traditional Pakistani family in Luton with an obsession with Bruce Springsteen. With the prospect of the story being transferred to the screen in the offing, Sarfraz came along to talk to David Hepworth about how he found parallels between Springsteen's songs and the challenges he faced in his life and how his desire to...


Word Podcast 270 - Uncommon People

We loved them because they could do things we could never do. We adopted them as our fantasy friends when we were teenagers and were still measuring ourselves against them forty years after. David Hepworth talks about his best-selling book "Uncommon People" which traces the history of the cult of the rock star from Little Richard to Kurt Cobain.