E65: Michael Watts on Melody Maker + Swamp Dogg + Cramps audio

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By Rock's Backpages, Mark Pringle, Barney Hoskyns, and Jasper Murison-Bowie. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this week's episode, Mark & Barney are joined by a not-so-"Anonymous" Michael Watts, who regales his hosts with tales of life as the Walsall Observer's "Mick" Watts before reminiscing about his halcyon days as one of Melody Maker's star '70s scribes.

Watts waxes poetic – not to mention humorous – about his encounters with David Bowie, Bob Dylan, the Sex Pistols and others, and about the Maker's rivalry with the N(ew) M(usical) E(xpress). Mark & Barney grill him on the MM's response to punk and hear about colleagues such as Richard Williams and Caroline Coon.

After a brief discussion of the week's featured artist, hilarious country-soul eccentric Swamp Dogg, the trio hear the first of two clips from Martin Aston's 1986 audio interview with Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorschach, prompting conversation about the Cramps' inspired mash-up of '50s psychobilly and sub-Hollywood horror – and, 11 years after Lux's death, the band's unique place in post-punk rock'n'roll.

Finally, as Mark presents his highlights of RBP's new library additions, Barney & Michael pitch in with asides on Lou Reed, Talking Heads… and Michael's Chiswick neighbour Sophie Ellis-Bextor!

Many thanks to special guest Michael Watts; for more of his writing, please visit his writer's page.

Pieces discussed: Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Grateful Dead, Swamp Dogg, Swamp Dogger, and Swamp Doggest, Cramps audio, Sam Cooke, Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, Tiffany, Giorgio Moroder, Mark E. Smith and theaudience/Sophie Ellis Bextor.

Part of Pantheon Podcasts.

74 episodes