During my 1996 in-depth and, some say, definitive interview with Eamon Dunphy, whom U2 choose to write their 1987 biography, The Unforgettable Fire: The Story of U2, we talked about the book and the battle he had with what he calls "the U2 machine." I asked if he believes that history may show that we journalists and U2 biographers like himself, John Waters and BP Fallon, never told the true story because -as John Lennon said in 1970 about the Beatles story - no one wanted to burst the bubble or be kicked off the bandwagon. When the article was published in an Irish magazine this entire discussion was inexplicably left out, a fact I didn't notice at the time. It's now in my new eBook, Conversations with a Loudmouth: The Eamon Dunphy Tapes. Btw, apologies in advance for the bad quality sounding tape, but this is rock history and a tale that should be on the record
In 1996 my now-legendary interview with Eamon Dunphy - also the subject of the earlier podcast Eamon Dunphy Unleashed - created a media stir, particularly in the tabloids, as a result of "Eamo" putting in what The Star called 'Dunphy's Firing line' the likes of Gay Byrne, Gerry Ryan, Pat Kenny, Brenda Donohue, Cynthia Ni Murchu and so on. However, listening back to this part of the eleven-hour interview, it is obvious that Dunphy also was levelling some valid criticisms of the ideology behind broadcasting in RTE at the time. Doe his criticisms still stand? You decided. The print version of the interviews - not uncensored as happened when they were published in an Irish magazine - are now available in my new eBook Conversations with a Loudmouth: The Eamon Dunphy Tapes. It is available from Amazon and soon will be elsewhere. This was ED at his peak.
This is part of my Joe Jackson Interviews podcast "singles" series, lasting less than five minutes. During an interview we did for The Irish Times in the 1990s, I brought up three memories that might have left Mick feeling conflicted when he remembered his first time in Ireland in 1960s, being fired from The Bluesbreakers, a block of hash at a party hosted by the Guinness family - himself and Brian Jones chipping off lumps to put in their pockets! - and the accident that killed Tara Browne in December 1966, which inspired John Lennon to write, A Day in the Life.
This show will be nostalgia heaven for anyone who loves rocks music of the early 1970s. Joe remembers the first time he saw Marc Bolan on Top of the Pops, begin clattered in a schoolyard by Slade fans because he liked "poofs" - no offence meant, his word, not mine, and Joe says that's the word used in the schoolyard back in those unenlightened days! - such as Bowie, and the great influences Thin Lizzy had on the sound of Def Leppard.
This show is a blend of two kinds of podcasts I do, 'Soul Searching and Uncensored' and 'The Music That Made Me.' Simply because, unlike many shows, Christy has done about the music that influenced him and the music he made, this chat at the time of the release of his 2004 book, This Is Christy Dignam, also went deep into subjects such as his heroin addiction, touched on his sexual abuse, and focused on the "hole in" his soul. If you want a pretty chat, look elsehwere. That said, this interview was followed, immediately afterwards by a second interview for a newspaper, and in it, Christy was even more explicit. So much so that I have a huge moral dilemma - whether to make a podcast of that or not. I tried to but gave up, it got so dark. Everything I create as a writer, broadcaster and podcaster is in the hope of raising peoples' spirits - particularly during this dam pandemic. Watch this space.
In my podcast, Paul Weller: The Music That Made me - recorded in his home studio in 2000 - I played Paul singing part of his song, Sweet Pea, about his daughter. Weller fans have asked if I have the full song from that session. I do, so here, for Paul Weller fans who seem to have loved my other two Weller podcasts, is an unplugged version of the track from Helicentric, in a bonus edition of my podcasts. This is part of The Joe Jackson Interviews Podcast series I call 'Singles' and it last less than five minutes. Seems fitting in this case.
Four years after I did in 1988 with Gabriel what he described as "the first totally honest and soul searching interview" he ever did, we hooked up again for the second of the interviews I include in full in my eBooks Gabriel Byrne: The Joe Jackson Interviews Plus. Here Gabriel soul-searching as ever talks about his claim that it took the birth of a child to make him aware of the worth of womanhood, children, his views on abortion, potential for violence, a tendency towards alcoholism, and the potential ability to annihilate himself. And, to think, he was happier at the time than at any point in his life with Ellen Barkin.
In Paul Weller: The Music That Made Me, the first podcast of this two-podcast series, Weller and I looked back over the music that made him who he is. In this tape from a print interview done for The Irish Times the same day, he is more contemplative as we look back on his days with The Jam and Style Council, joke about "the nadir" of his life being miming with U2 on Top of the Pops, fatalism, drinking, his daughter, love spiritual voids and art and allowing one's self, as a man, to be vulnerable. Arguably Paul Weller as you never heard him before and probably won't again- unless we do another interview!!!
Scott Walker not only told Joe Jackson during the triple-set of in-depth interviews they did in 1995 - one for radio, one for a rock music magazine and the other for The Irish Times newspaper - that he remembered and really liked a review Jackson did of Walker's album Climate of Hunter in 1984. He said it helped him redefine for himself how his music could best be described at that point. Then, in 2003, Jackson was informed that Scott Walker wanted to use as the booklet notes in the forthcoming box-set Scott Walker in 5 Easy Pieces, a critique of Walker's life and work Jackson had written in 1990. That critique formed the basis of Scott Walker The Fugitive Kind, Jackson's previous book on Walker which also contained its backstory and a personal appreciation of Walker's music from the author's perspective as a lifelong fan. This book, Scott Walker The Joe Jackson Interviews is a companion piece to the first and it also includes a backstory, focusing on aspects of the late Scott Walker's life that have never been discussed in public.
One of these interviews when first published instantly became legendary among fans of The Walker Brothers and Scott Walker, particularly those who read Walkerpeople, the newsletter of The Walker Brothers Appreciation Society, in which Jackson gave permission for it to be included for fans. In its preface, Lynne Goodall wrote, ‘From all the press interviews given by Scott this time around THE definitive, in-depth interview surely has to be that which appeared in over two consecutive issues in a music paper. Well-deserved congratulations to interviewer Joe Jackson (and his ever-inquiring mind) for this “epic” volume.’ Jan de Rooij, from Holland, wrote, 'the 2-part Joe Jackson interview with Scott is the best I ever read.' Patrick Rogers, from Surrey, wrote, 'The Joe Jackson interview was remarkable-the sort of open-minded, appreciative approach to Scott's music and thinking that has been lacking for so long.' Pauline Armstrong, from Chester, wrote, 'what a masterful interview. Throw away the thumbscrews and send for Joe Jackson! What a shame that Mr Jackson didn't write Scott's biography - that would have been a real eye-opener.'
The latter comment, as Jackson says in this book, "had a sting in its tail." In 1990 he suggested to his literary agent that he would love to write a biography of Scott. She said, "I don't think there would be much interest right now in a biography of Scott Walker." However, thirty years later, Joe Jackson now suggests that "both these books, particularly Scott Walker The Joe Jackson Interviews, which I sub-title Looking Back 'Through Mirrors Dark and Blessed With Cracks' - a quote from his seminal song, Boychild - could legitimately be described as the autobiography that Scott Walker never wrote."
On March 1st 1985, when a meeting with Leonard Cohen made me feel transcendent and decide to track down more of my music heroes to interview, Scott Walker was first on the list. During that interview a decade later Scott told me he not only remembered and really liked a review of his album Climate of Hunter I wrote in 1984 but that it helped him "redefine" in his own mind how his music could best be described at that point. Then in 2003, he said he wanted to use in his box set 5 Easy Pieces, a critique of his life and work which I wrote in 1990. Now, thirty years later, that critique and its backstory - it was never used in the box-set - is published in full in a digital magazine I called Scott Walker: The Fugitive kind, available in Amazon etc. And to think it all began when I was a boy and heard songs like The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore. Here, apart from an evocation of the time, I discovered Scott's music you hear Walker and I discuss the sound of the early Walker Brothers records. A fan meets one of his heroes