Rock's Backpages Ep. 88: Mark Cooper on Neil Young + Jools Holland + Steve Van Zandt

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In the new episode of the Rock's Backpages podcast, we welcome into RBP's cosy virtual cupboard the BBC's former Head of Music Entertainment — and the co-creator of the enduring Later… with Jools Holland show. Yes folks, Mark Cooper revisits his career as a music writer — from seeing the last Sex Pistols show in San Francisco in 1978 to interviewing N.W.A. in South-Cental L.A. 1989 — and talks about his long TV career and the hatching of Later in 1992.

Mark's 2008 interview with Neil Young sparks a discussion of the Canadian giant's so-called "doom" years from 1972 to 1976, boxed up this month in the second volume of his monumental Archives project. With special attention to 1975's dark masterwork Tonight's the Night, we hear clips of Neil speaking in 1985 and 2005, then discuss Don't Be Denied, the documentary Mark made about him with director Ben Whalley.

There's yet more audio in the episode as we celebrate the 70th birthday of Steve Van Zandt (or, if you prefer, Miami Steve, Little Steven… or indeed Silvio Dante) with clips from a 1982 interview. The E Street Band legend and subsequent Sopranos star talks to John Tobler about the bands he and his buddy Bruce Springsteen led in mid-'60s New Jersey, after which Mark and his co-hosts compare views on SVZ's side band the Disciples of Soul.

Finally, Mark (Pringle, that is) talks us through his highlights among the week's 50+ new library articles, including great pieces on the Four Tops, David Bowie, Hound Dog Taylor, Dan ('Instant Replay') Hartman and Sheryl Crow … after which Barney quotes from interviews with Prince and Ani DiFranco, talking about Woody Guthrie and Donald Trump's odious dad Fred. That just leaves Jasper to wrap things up with closing remarks on Simon Cowell's ill-fated Girl Thing and former X-Factor contestant Cher Lloyd.

Many thanks to special guest Mark Cooper.

Rock's Backpages is proud to be part of the Pantheon podcast network.

Pieces discussed: Neil Young, Sex Pistols, NWA, Neil Young, Neil Younger, Neil Youngest, Crazy Horse, Steve Van Zandt audio, Four Tops, David Bowie, Hound Dog Taylor, Dan Hartman, Culture Club, Mantronix, Sheryl Crow, Prince, Ani DiFranco, Girl Thing and Cher Lloyd.

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