A few of my favourite interviews from recent(ish) years. See links for more current yarns... and watch this space for updates.
As an interviewee, Lou Reed's reputation precedes him like a pit pull terrier straining on a leash. Most who survive an audience with the leathery street poet king of New York flee with impressions of a cranky, uncooperative, even abusive old codger...
"I wouldn't wish the eighties on anyone. It was the time when all that was rotten bubbled to the surface." Derek Jarman, film and video director (1942-1994)
Ry Cooder's MySpace page is blank. No friends, no photo. His face has barely graced an album cover since 1987. He's mostly the backroom type of music legend. Soundtracks. Sessions. Collaborations with unpronounceable virtuosos from exotic countries. He doesn't make videos and until recently, he hadn't toured anywhere in 20 years...
"I started producing records out of self-defence. It was a way to protect the material.
"It was sort of like being in the army and listening to the second lieutenant say 'Charge!' and everybody gets killed.
"The second lieutenant doesn't know what he's talking about any more than the (record) man who ruins a perfectly good song by making a four-bar phrase when it belonged as a three-bar phrase."
Miracles happen at Abbey Road Studios. The first time I visited, in the London autumn of ‘93, renowned rock recluse George Harrison strolled unexpectedly into a press conference waving incense.
So an appearance by Kate Bush was almost certain, I reckoned, when I returned weeks later to hear her freshly minted album, The Red Shoes...
Guest vocalists abound on Brian Eno's new album. If you're acquainted with his resume, your mental Rolodex is probably already spinning. Bono. Bowie. Byrne. Ferry. Cale. Laurie Anderson, Sinead O'Connor, Grace Jones, Geoffrey Oryema, Baaba Maal, that guy from Coldplay . . .
But one thing about Eno — actually, probably the definitive thing about Eno — is that he's not the type to go flipping through old notebooks. "I hate remembering," he grumbled recently, literally turning his back and walking away from a BBC TV interviewer. "I can't bear it."