A Word in the Park: July 17th, 2021

I’ve been booked to appear at A WORD IN THE PARK, A SUMMER AFTERNOON OF SOCIALLY DISTANCED STORYTELLING, taking place in London’s Holland Park on SATURDAY July 17th, from 3 pm to 5 pm. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/a-word-in-the-park-a

A word from the event’s gracious hosts Messrs. Ellen & Hepworth: On the afternoon of Saturday, July 17th, and thanks to the kindness of Opera Holland Park (https://operahollandpark.com/), we’ll be talking rock and roll with old pals and friends of the pod, and we’d love you to join us.

GARY CROWLEY – celebrating forty years as everybody’s teenager of choice, broadcasting every Saturday evening on Radio London and celebrating the release of another acclaimed compilation of Lost Favourites from the 80s, coming along to talk about The Jam, The Clash, his enduring love of The Beatles and anything else we feel like asking about.

LESLEY-ANN JONES – author of the Sunday Times best-seller Bohemian Rhapsody: The Definitive Biography pf Freddie Mercury and Who Killed John Lennon? , who will be talking about a professional career which has involved interviewing everyone from Frank Sinatra and Prince to David Bowie and Marc Bolan.

BARNEY HOSKYNS – author of celebrated books on Tom Waits, Led Zeppelin, The Band and Woodstock. He’ll be signing copies of his latest, “God Is In The Radio”, and looking back on a long career interviewing and writing about some of the most colourful names in rock.

DANNY BAKER – raconteur, writer, broadcaster, polymath, larynx on legs and Word In Your Ear stalwart.

Since the auditorium has been re-configured to facilitate social distancing, seating is strictly limited and therefore if you would like to be there please book early. We are also offering a limited allocation of premium seating at tables nearest to the stage. There will be a COVID-safe bar service for your refreshment.The auditorium is located in the beautiful setting of Holland Park, an easy walking distance from Kensington High Street, Holland Park, Shepherd’s Bush and Kensington Olympia tube stations.This event promises to have a vibe all its own, combining the essence of our nights at the Islington with the unique magic of one of London’s loveliest parks on what we hope will be a sunny afternoon. An overdue opportunity to catch up with each other in person.

David Kamp on Sly Stone

After the delightful David Kamp graced us with his presence on the latest RBP pod episode, regaling us with the story of how it took 11 years to land his 2007 interview with Sly Stone, he sent us this fabulously barmy “phax” from the former Sylvester Stewart (see below). If you can make more sense of it that we can, you’re doing well…

My new book

God Is In The Radio
Unbridled Enthusiasms 1980–2020
Barney Hoskyns
Published 29th July
ISBN: 9781913172381, paperback, pre order HERE

“Calmly and wisely, Hoskyns has observed planet rock revolving for four decades, like a benevolent extraterrestrial observer. Here he has assembled a selection of informed judgements on the greatest acts of his tenure, an assortment of opinions you can now make your own.” Stewart Lee
“Hoskyns’ instincts are immaculate. They re-master the music, stripping it back so you hear it like it was meant to sound.” Jez Butterworth
“Sparkles with style and digs deep with substance… a page-turner!”
Holly George-Warren
“Sharp as a brand-new stylus, warm as a favourite scarf, Hoskyns’ writing is the music-lover’s ideal companion.”  Richard Williams
Published July 29th by Omnibus Press, God Is In The Radio gathers together 50 carefully-chosen pieces of writing from author Barney Hoskyns’ 40 years of music journalism. A former mainstay of NME and MOJO, and author of acclaimed books Hotel California and Small Town Talk, in God Is In The RadioHoskyns writes about his “unbridled enthusiasms”: the artists who’ve thrilled and moved him most over four decades.
Hoskyns explains, “Anthologising one’s own work is always a vanity project, but here is writing from 40 years that, I hope, expresses the love and wonder I feel when I listen to Sinatra or Bacharach, Laura Nyro or PJ Harvey, Bobby Bland or Burial. For me, music has always been a healing power, transmitted through the airwaves to soothe and move the fearful heart. God Is In The Radio is a kind of hymn to that power.”

God Is In The Radio is a poignant and evocative collection from one of the UK’s most acclaimed and prolific music writers that is a must read for all music fans.

About the author:
Barney Hoskyns is the co-founder and editorial director of Rock’s Backpages, the online library of pop writing and journalism. He began writing for NME in the early ’80s and is a former contributing editor at British Vogue and U.S. correspondent for MOJO. His first book, 1987’s Say It One Time for the Brokenhearted, was a study of southern “country soul” that was followed up by his book on Prince, 1988’s Imp of the Perverse. He is the author of – among many other subsequent books – the bestselling Hotel California (2006), the Tom Waits biography Lowside of the Road (2009), Trampled Under Foot (2012), an oral history of Led Zeppelin, and Small Town Talk, a history of the music scene in and around Woodstock, and the addiction memoir Never Enough (2017). He has written for The Guardian, Uncut, Spin, Rolling Stone, GQ and many other publications.

For further information please contact: DEBRA GEDDES debra@greatnorthernpr.co.uk

Talking about Prince, 5 years after his death

André Langlois of the Ham(pstead) & High(gate) podcast kindly asked me to talk about Prince on the 5th anniversary of his death. Here’s the resulting conversation, stretching from first hearing “I Wanna Be Your Lover” in 1979 to seeing Prince in New York in 1981 to going on the 1999 tour in 1983… to finally interviewing him (in mischievous mood) in London in 2000.

My All-Time Top 100 Tracks

The great Dave Bates – the guy who signed Teardrop Explodes, Def Leppard, Tears for Fears, Texas & Wet Wet Wet and reinvented the careers of giants like Robert Plant & Scott Walker, then and then resurrected the dormant Fontana label with bands like the House of Love & the Cocteau Twins – invited me to send him a playlist. So I did: the favourite 100 tracks (give or take) I’d stream on my desert island.

You can hear ’em here...

Recent episodes of the RBP podcast

We’ve had some tremendous guests on the Rock’s Backpages ‘cast these past few weeks, so I thought I’d share a few of them here….



There’s no place like America today

“We never thought we’d see this.” (This is what we say,

we on the left who know we’re right.)

It’s true that we despaired before,

we threw our hands into the air

and knew the world to be systemically unfair.

But what we did not know, could not conceive,

is what we have before us now.

We’d love to love our fellow man, but find ourselves

as homicidal as the muscled thugs and screeching dolls,

the forces that are now amassing, crude and cruel,

the whites who eat white bread,

who eat red meat,

who eat the lies,

who feel some stirring as their saviour sups,

the one who tore it down,

who said what they all thought but could not speak:

one in the eye for f****ts on the coasts

and n*****s on the knee.