Rock's Backpages Library Rock's Backpages
the online library of pop writing

Tony Fletcher

Tony Fletcher

Tony Fletcher is the bestselling author of major biographies on Keith Moon, the Smiths, and R.E.M., as well as a memoir, a novel, and a history of the New York City music scene. Born in northern England, and raised in South London, where he started his own music magazine, Jamming!, at the age of thirteen, he emigrated to New York City in the late 1980s. When not traveling with his family, he makes his home near Woodstock in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. A contributor to Salon and the Wall Street Journal, his writing has also appeared in Mojo, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Spin, and Newsday, and he has contributed to a host of other publications, radio, and television shows worldwide. His latest biography is In The Midnight Hour: The Life & Soul of Wilson Pickett, published by Oxford University Press. He can be found at

30 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Killing Joke: An Interview with Jaz and Youth

Interview by Tony Fletcher, Anthony Blampied, Jamming!, 1981


Scritti Politti

Interview by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, 1982


Jacques Brel, Scott Walker: Scott Walker: Scott Walker Sings Jacques Brel (Philips)

Review by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, June 1982

IT DOESN'T matter that this record was released before Christmas, because the, music is all a good thirteen years old anyway; what does matter is ...

The Special AKA, The Specials: The Special AKA: The Skars Have Healed

Interview by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, March 1984

"WHO IS he anyway?" enquires one of the tastelessly coiffeured punkettes of Jerry Dammers as the main man poses for photos in Soho's Chinatown. Jerry ...

U2: The Pride of Lions

Report and Interview by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, 1 October 1984

Excepting live albums and video, U2 have been silent, both on record and in the media, for a year and a half. Now back with ...

Culture Club: Dave Rimmer: Like Punk Never Happened: Culture Club And The New Pop (Faber And Faber £4.95)

Book Review by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, November 1985

THE TITLE says it all. There are those of us who have, over the years, battled on our own territory desperately hoping that the downward ...

Bruce Springsteen: Madison Square Garden, New York

Live Review by Tony Fletcher, Record Mirror, 11 June 1988

AS WOULD BE expected, given his return to a more mellow sound on record, the current Bruce Springsteen show is a far cry from the ...

The Feelies, Lou Reed: Lou Reed, The Feelies: St James' Theatre, New York NY

Live Review by Tony Fletcher, Record Mirror, 8 April 1989

PROOF MAY no longer be needed that Lou Reed's former group the Velvet Underground are the most influential band in the field of rock 'n' ...

New Kids On The Block: Fandemonium

Report and Interview by Tony Fletcher, Spin, June 1990

Riding a wave of fan hysteria and saturation marketing, the New Kids On The Block are teen girl America's favorite group. ...

Tape Rape

Report by Tony Fletcher, Spin, July 1990

The man selling the prerecorded tapes on the street will tell you they come straight from the factory, and the reason for the low price ...

Beats International, The Beloved, Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, The Shamen: U.K. Indie Dance

Report and Interview by Tony Fletcher, Spin, December 1990

THE YEAR 1990 has been one of re-evaluation and subsequent rejuvenation for bands in Britain. Spurred on by the excitement of 1988's acid-house scene and ...

R.E.M.: Politicos play Cupid

Interview by Tony Fletcher, The Observer, 10 March 1991

Tony Fletcher finds REM have turned from tub-thumping to thoughts of love. ...

Inside The Body Of Techno

Report by Tony Fletcher, Creem, November 1992

In its broadest sense, techno is a form of up-tempo, mainly instrumental electronic dance music, founded in Detroit in the 1980s by producers inspired by ...

Negativland, U2: Negativland: A Fistful Of Lawsuits

Report and Interview by Tony Fletcher, Creem, April 1993

"I don't think there are any record companies right now in the real sense of the word. We're all in the fashion business. You used ...

Jeff Beck, Keith Moon: Jeff Beck on Keith Moon

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, 1996

WORD for word, anecdote for anecdote, insight for insight, Jeff Beck was probably the best interview I conducted for my Keith Moon biography. ...

Alice Cooper, The Who: Alice Cooper on Keith Moon

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, 12 November 1996

ONE REASON I've been looking forward to getting this site up is to make available some of the interviews I conducted for the Keith Moon ...

Keith Moon, The Who: Moon Over America

Book Excerpt by Tony Fletcher, Omnibus Books, 1998

An extract from Dear Boy: The Life Of Keith Moon, by Tony Fletcher, first published by Omnibus Press in 1998. (616pp, currently available in the ...

Travis: The iJamming! Interview: Fran Healy from Travis

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, April 2000

Back in April, shortly after seeing Travis play for the first time at the Bowery Ballroom, I interviewed the group's loquacious front man Fran Healy ...

Boy George: The iJamming! Interview: Boy George

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, September 2000

I CAN only imaginewhat some of the rockists will be thinking when they come to this site and see a Boy George interview as a ...

Alternative TV: The iJamming! Chat: Mark Perry

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, January 2001

AS THE FIRST sentence of my mission statement makes clear, Mark Perry was a major factor in my deciding to write about music – though, ...

The Psychedelic Furs: The iJamming! Interview! Richard Butler

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, August 2001

LAST SUMMER I was asked by Sony Legacy to write sleeve notes for re-issues of the first three Psychedelic Furs albums, along with a newly-recorded ...

R.E.M.: The New Adventures of R.E.M.

Book Excerpt by Tony Fletcher, Omnibus Books, 2002

An extract from Remarks Remade: The Story of R.E.M. by Tony Fletcher, first published by Omnibus Press in 1989 and in three subsequent editions, the ...

Carl Cox: The People's DJ: A Conversation with Carl Cox

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, February 2002

OVER A 20-year career, Carl Cox has not only garnered a reputation as one of the world's most formidable DJs, but has also become known ...

Steve Earle: John Walker Sings His Own Blues

Essay by Tony Fletcher,, 5 October 2002

STEVE EARLE'S decision to write from the perspective of the 'American Taliban' in the controversial song 'John Walker's Blues' appears to have stemmed from the ...

Underworld: The iJamming! Interview: Underworld

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, Summer 2002

IN THEORY, THEY'RE the greatest group on the planet. By which I mean that Underworld's Modus Operandi reads, to me, like a blueprint for how ...

The Clash: The Ijamming! Interview: Mick Jones

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, October 2004

I'VE SAID IT before and I'll say it again: I don't like doing phone interviews. But often times, it's the choice between talking long distance ...

The Fall: Mark E. Smith and The Fall, 1979

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, 2005

AS SURELY BEFITS The Fall's longevity, my 1979 interview with Mark E. Smith and Marc Riley seems more relevant – and certain more prescient – ...

Tim Booth: The iJAMMING! Interview: Tim Booth

Interview by Tony Fletcher,, January 2005

I HAVE AN instinctive aversion to conducting phone interviews. The medium is fine for quick research, or immediate answers to pressing questions, but when it ...

LCD Soundsystem: Give It Up! Ten Reasons We Loved LCD Soundsystem

Comment by Tony Fletcher,, April 2011

On Saturday April 2, 2011, at Madison Square Garden, LCD Soundsystem gave it up for good. Here are Ten Reasons We Loved Them... ...

Wilson Pickett: Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man: Wilson Pickett, the Midnight Mover

Book Excerpt by Tony Fletcher, Oxford University Press, January 2017

ON MAY 11, just a few days after Pickett's unexpected Apollo headline billing concluded, and with the surprise baby newly ensconced at home, he and ...

back to LIBRARY