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Deanne Pearson

Deanne Pearson

When I left college in 1978, after having spent most of the previous 12 months seeing punk bands play live and recovering from said activity, I wanted to write for the NME. I ended up getting a job on Horse & Hound magazine. Still going to see punk bands in the evenings. Contemplating jumping into the Thames during my lunch breaks. One day, in late 1978, I walked into the NME offices in Carnaby Street, informed Gary Crowley, who did indeed personify the large sign hanging above his head which read, 'Here sits the world's loudest receptionist', that I had a news story of such magnitude that the editor, Neil Spencer, needed to see me straight away or I would cross the street and sell it to the Melody Maker. I was ushered into his office. On the way, I passed Nick Kent in the corridor, dressed head-to-toe in black leather, eating a loaf of bread by scooping out the middle with long bony fingers and cramming it into his mouth, his remaining bony fingers clutching scraps of paper (including torn-up cigarette boxes) on which were scribbled his latest opus for publication in that week's issue. This was the sort of journalistic set up I wanted to be a part of. I told Neil Spencer that I didn't have a story, but would like a job on the NME, please. He sent me out to review Adam and the Ants at The Marquee. I freelanced on a fairly regular basis for the NME for quite a while after that. 

It's all rather hazy from there on. Mainly, I remember it was a lot of fun, and an excellent way to earn a living (I use that term loosely from a financial and a work ethic point of view). Oh my daze. A few random recollections:

Interviewing Iggy Pop in the shower in Santa Monica because that was the only quiet place we could find to talk. That's what he told me, anyway. He was wearing a hand towel tied round his waist. I was fully clothed.

Being 'kidnapped' by The Stranglers in Portugal during the filming of the video for Nuclear Device, missing the plane home, flying across the Channel in a very small plane chartered by the band, supping Remy Martin. Ending up in Luton. When I lived in London.

Getting absolutely slaughtered in every bar and club in Liverpool with Frankie Goes To Hollywood on the night they went straight to Number One with 'Relax'. Then almost getting sacked from No.1 magazine two days later, after having phoned in sick, not realising that photographs had emerged of me dancing on the rooftop of a car with Holly Johnson that night.

Running my battered old Beetle into the back of a stationary car in the King's Road while giving Bryan Ferry a lift post Interview. 

Babysitting Dave Vanian's two black rats, Edgar and Allan, whenever The Damned went on tour.  

Doing a runner from The Slits tour after having put up with two days of them refusing to speak to me even though they'd agreed to an interview for The Face. Then being told I still had to deliver copy, so duly chronicling my observations and thoughts on The Slits and then carefully avoiding them for a while afterwards.

Having a stand-up row onstage with Siouxsie during a Banshees soundcheck in Manchester somewhere, having given the band a bad review in the previous week's NME. I actually loved the Banshees. One of the roadies later told me Sioux had asked him to drop a speaker on my head, but that The Cure's Robert Smith had objected as I was there to interview him.

John Lydon recording a message for my very first telephone answering machine: "Deanne's not 'ere at the moment, but if you leave a message, she might ring you back."

It was the NME and the early days of The Face that were the best, for me. The music and the people of that time, the thoughts, opinions and anti-establishment rants that were expressed, in music and in words.

36 articles

List of articles in the library

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Aswad: Home Grown

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 20 October 1984

Aswad have been Britain's top reggae band for years. Yet for some reason only now are they making their chart debut with '54 46 Was ...

Au Pairs, Girlschool, The Mo-dettes, The Passions, The Raincoats, The Slits: Women in Rock: Cute, Cute, Cutesy Goodbye

Interview by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 29 March 1980

Exploited for the last two decades as dumb but pretty decorations in rock, some girls now demand and deserve musical respect — but some girls ...

The Beat: Beat Crazy: Can't Stop It Now...

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, July 1980

This time last year the Beat had just started their first one-night a week pub residency in Birmingham, after playing only six gigs. DEANNE PEARSON ...

The Beat: Don't Call Me Ska Face

Interview by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 8 December 1979

"It's just The Beat having a Punky Reggae party," says Deanne Pearson of the latest 2-Tone tornadoes. 'Check' them out... ...

Matt Bianco, Blue Rondo A La Turk, Madness, Spandau Ballet, Wham!: Chris Ruocco: A Stitch In Times

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 2 March 1985

Chris Ruocco makes the striking stage outfits of many of today's top pop stars. Deanne Pearson talks to the tailor whose creations turn up on ...

The Bodysnatchers, The Selecter: The Selecter, The Bodysnatchers: Dingwalls, London

Live Review by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 12 January 1980

THE LAST thing I heard in 1979 and the first thing I heard in 1980 were rocksteady ska rhythms from two bands connected with what ...

Marc Bolan, T. Rex, Tyrannosaurus Rex: Bolan

Retrospective and Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, October 1981

Original Mod, prototype New Romantic... uhmm... but that's another story. This one's about the people trying to keep the Bolan legend alive. Second Coming of ...

Kate Bush: The Me Inside

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 15 May 1980

Kate Bush lets Deanna Pearson in on her secrets ...

Dead Kennedys: Punk Rot Is Here To Stay

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, January 1981

THIS IS THE hardcore faction. Spiked hair, leather jackets, the backs emblazoned with the logos of Crass, UK Subs, Adam & The Ants. Hordes of ...

Dead Kennedys: A Talent To Annoy

Profile and Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 11 December 1980

"I JUST couldn't believe it. I just kinda stood there with a blank stare on my face, thinking oh God — it really happened!" ...

Dolly Mixture: Sugary Sweets Can Cause Youth Decay

Interview by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 10 November 1979

Baaa! Baaa! Baaa! We are poor little lambs who have gone astray. ...

Echo & the Bunnymen Play Hard To Get

Report and Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, August 1980

DEANNE PEARSON tries anyway. ...

Eddy Grant: Dread At The Controls

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 8 January 1981

Deanne Pearson visits Ice Records and talks to The Boss (Eddy Grant), The Leading Artist (Eddy Grant), The Band (Eddy Grant), The Chief Engineer (Eddy ...

The Fall: Free Fall

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 30 April 1981


Fun Boy Three, Rico Rodriguez, The Specials: Rico Rodriguez: Rastaman

Profile and Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, February 1982

From the Wareika Hills to Top of the Pops. A profile of Rico, the Specials trombone ace, with a side order of oaths for the ...

Funkapolitan: Your Flavour Of The Month

Profile and Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 20 August 1981

Deanne Pearson learns to Dance, Scream & Scoobydoo ...

Farley "Jackmaster" Funk , Darryl Pandy: Darryl Pandy: Man About The House

Profile and Interview by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 20 September 1986

DARRYL PANDY, featured vocalist on Farley Jackmaster Funk's 'Love Can't Turn Around', greets me at his hotel room door, resplendent in shimmering midnight blue dressing ...

Gang of Four

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, April 1981

Poolswinning Yorkshire musicians syndicate, Hugo Burnham, Dave Allen, Jon King and Andy Gill, pictured with the small change from their record-breaking swoop on EMI's Treble ...

Eddy Grant: I Did It My Way

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 2 June 1984

Eddy Grant is an independent pop star, if ever there was one. A self-made man, he has risen from humble beginnings in North London to ...

Hollywood Beyond: Bright Lights, Big Mouth

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 2 August 1986

Hollywood Beyond are a band with a big hit and even bigger ideas. Deanne Pearson talks to Mark Rogers, the man behind 'What's The Colour ...

Linton Kwesi Johnson: All The Way With LKJ

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, July 1980

Whenever it rains/I think of you And I always remember that day in May When I saw you walking in the rain I know not what it was nor why For ...

Killing Joke: A Regular Bundle Of Fun

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, September 1980

Bass, LeadTo Tell The Killing JokeWe Mean It Max!Total ExploitationNo InformationAnonymity ...

Killing Joke: This'll Kill Ya...

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 9 July 1981


Barrington Levy: Here He Comes... Barrington Levy

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 23 February 1985

Deanne Pearson talks to Barrington Levy, the reggae star who's following Smiley Culture up the charts ...

Madness: One Step Beyond (Stiff)

Review by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 27 October 1979

Blue Feat ...

Madness: Nice Band, Shame About The Fans

Report and Interview by Deanne Pearson, New Musical Express, 24 November 1979

Deanne Pearson puts the cat among the pigeons and scotches some nasty rumours. ...

Malcolm McLaren: Where The Buffalo Roam

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, December 1982

• Svengali turned singer Malcolm McLaren has — canny as ever — recorded one of the debut singles of the year, 'Buffalo Gals', after months ...

The Mo-dettes: Mo-dettes: Mini Metro

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Trax, 11 February 1981

Mix, Match 'n' Make-Up On The Fashion Underground ...

Sade: Living in Black and White

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 9 June 1984

Sade is a singer with a chequered past. Brought up partly in Nigeria and partly in Clacton, she had two fathers and about eight grandmothers, ...

Sade: Queen of Style

Interview by Deanne Pearson, No. 1, 18 February 1984


The Skids: Is This Man A Poser?

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 18 September 1980

Or is glamour back to stay? Deanne Pearson investigates. ...

Sniff 'n' The Tears: The Game's Up (Chiswick)

Review by Deanne Pearson, The Face, August 1980

IT'S DIFFICULT to see how and why, at first, Chiswick, a R&R and punk label predominantly, are involved with a band such as Sniff 'n' ...

The Specials: A/K/A The Specials

Interview by Deanne Pearson, New York Rocker, October 1979

THE SPECIALS A.K.A., a.k.a. the Specials. They are contracted under both names, adding to the confusion already created by billings under one name or the ...

Splodgenessabounds: The Max Factor

Interview by Deanne Pearson, Smash Hits, 24 July 1980

Deanne Pearson gives a compact account of Splodgenessabounds ...

Poly Styrene: Translucence (Liberty)

Review by Deanne Pearson, The Face, December 1980

POLY STYRENE couldn't have moved further away from X-Ray Spex in the two years she has been off the scene. Where Spex were brash and ...

The Thompson Twins: Thompson Twins: How To Tell Them Apart

Interview by Deanne Pearson, The Face, March 1981

Dress the first-born back to front. Now, on with the feature ...

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