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From the archives: Robert Palmer

From the archives: Robert Palmer

In December 2002 I was working for the BBC’s Top of The Pops website. Mostly I wrote silly pieces of content, like Top 5 Most Depressing Depeche Mode Lyrics, or the three news stories that the site used to publish every day. But then I was asked if I’d like to do some interviews, and I jumped at the chance. My first interviewee was Robert Palmer.  I knew who he was, of course, but I wasn’t a particular fan or an expert, so I was not only worried about stuffing up the interview technique, but also about being revealed as a know-nothing charlatan. So I did my research. I spent a whole day tracking down and reading every single profile, article and interview I could find online and making lots of notes. I noticed one thing – the interviewers rarely asked him about music. Fashion, videos, the industry, his career, his private life – but rarely ever music. And the one or two times a musical question slipped through the net I thought I sensed flickers of interest from Palmer that the rest of the interviews lacked. So I decided I would make music the focus of my interview. It felt like a gamble, but it seemed logical to me. I presented myself at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone – a very upmarket hotel that was kind of intimidating to me. Mr Palmer arrived with a spin of PR folks. I was his first interview in a day set aside solely for him to talk to the press. It was clearly going to be long day for him – he was professional...
From the archives: Counting Crows

From the archives: Counting Crows

Here’s a piece I’ve dredged up from the archives – early 2004, to be precise. At the time I was working for the BBC’s Top of the Pops website, which occasionally involved interviewing guests who had come to the studio to play on that week’s show. The highlight was when I got to have a sit down with Adam Duritz, the man behind what I would probably nominate as my favourite band, Counting Crows. Here’s the interview, from April 2004, conducted in a dresssing room in TVC before their performance – and yes, you could see me on the broadcast, right at the front, singing along and dancing like a mad thing 🙂 How’s your new drummer Jim Bogios settling in and how has the departure of Ben Mize affected the band? Adam: It’s worked out great. It meant we had less vacation time because we had to do all the rehearsals but Jim’s really great – great drummer, great guy. We’ve all known him for a long time too, so he fits right in. It wasn’t like he was a new guy coming in. I’ve been friends with Jim for years, Immy [David Immergluck, Counting Crows guitarist] used to play in a band with Jim, and I know him through Sheryl [Crow] too. So it’s going real well. I mean, you miss Ben because you miss Ben, because you spent nine years together and every once in a while I find myself looking for him to tell him something, but I just have to call him. I did a radio show in Dublin the other day, DJing for...

Outpost Skaro cover Highlander

I’m all over Outpost Skaro like some kind of Time-Rash: Outpost Skaro review Highlander: The Four Horsemen “The writers also do an excellent job… I really enjoyed this… 8/10” Outpost Skaro subject me to… no, not the Mind Probe! “The element of surprise is vital. These are characters about whom the audience think they know everything – showing that they don’t, and making that believable and exciting, was key.” Outpost Skaro subject James Moran to… no, not the Mind Probe! “Of Scott’s, I think the entirety of All the King’s Horses is our jewel in the crown, it’s so surprising, stunning, horrifying and tragic, I love it. That final scene (and final line) give me chills.” Also, while I have your attention, I have created a Facebook page, as I decided I wanted to keep my personal Facebook profile for the kind of inappropriate, ribald and unpublishable ranting that only my close friends and family will...

Interview with Mass Movement Magazine

The following interview was printed in Mass Movement Magazine. It was conducted by Jim Dodge Jr and is reproduced here by kind permission of the editor. Where did you first come up with the idea for School’s Out? I know your bio says that your time spent in boy’s schools only minimally affected the story but I’m not so sure. What’s the real story behind the story? The thing that established writers always tell aspiring writers is ‘write what you know’, so when it came to pitching a storyline for Afterblight it just seemed natural to set it somewhere I knew intimately, both as pupil and, briefly, teacher. Boarding schools are a very particular environment, full of weird rituals, power struggles, festering resentments, unspoken loves, vicious vendettas and strong friendships. It’s very fertile ground for stories, as the Jennings and Harry Potter books ably demonstrate. Another truism is that every writer’s first book is in some way autobiographical. And while I never crucified any of my teachers, or shot a prefect in the head, I‘d be lying if I said I hadn’t daydreamed about doing it when I was at school. All. The. Time. I was not a happy boarder, to put it mildly. I had – still have! – issues with authority, and being in an environment where I was subject to the whims of teachers I didn’t respect, and prefects I didn’t like, was very hard for me. I ran away more than once, came close to expulsion several times. And yet, bizarrely, was made a prefect myself at one point. I was a terrible prefect, too young to...