Monday, January 18, 2010

"You might say it's quiet enough for a drum solo."

Among the many pleasures of doing Space Pirate Radio, besides introducing new music, is actually meeting the artists who create it. Many of the top musicians in the field of progressive, electronic and experimental music have graciously appeared on my program. When I stop and try to actually list everybody who I have met through the show, I am amazed at the variety of talent and styles that I have encountered. It is impossible to single out any one guest over the other. I have been tremendously honoured at the persons who have paid the show a visit or let me through their doors with or without a microphone. I had a lot of fun with many guests. Robin Williamson, of the Incredible String Band, with his wife Janet were a real joy. I found that dinner and wine before going on air could produce some magical moments in the studio. Bryan Ferry, politely refusing interviews with all the major media, but coming to my humble radio station because he had heard years earlier me playing Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera import albums on a commercial radio station when none of the big pros would play them. Everyone from Pink Floyd except Syd Barrett. Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream. An interesting evening and a stoney breakfast with Mike Oldfield. Steve Hackett of Genesis. Rick Wakeman. A very lovely interview with Pete Bardens of Camel. Thomas Dolby. From Sting to Primal Scream, from Steve Roach to Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs. Oh yeah, and Frank Zappa. Hopefully, if I don't bore you silly, I will detail many more of these encounters on later entries.

I thought I would start with lovely time spent with Bill Bruford (pictured). I met him when he was drumming for King Crimson. They did two shows in Santa Barbara at the Mission Theatre on June 4, 1984. I'm not sure that they were happy to do two shows. They probably intended to blow off the second show completely. As it so often turns out, dread in these cases translates into adrenaline, and they did probably one of the finest shows in the history of that line-up. Even Fripp was smiling. Tony Levin was gobsmacked. It was a great show and a really good interview. Bill was terrific and dressed very in the 80s style, unlike Adrian Belew, who I met earlier in the day at the hotel by the pool, in shorts, covered in fish oil ("Don't shake my hand, Guy"). Like an earlier encounter with Nick Mason, it often seems that drummers are the nicest musicians.