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Episode 142 : Paul Gorman on the rise and fall of the music press + Time Out's Tony Elliott

12 December 2022

In this episode we welcome writer, curator and consultant Paul Gorman and ask him about his new book Totally Wired: The Rise and Fall of the Music Press.

In a loose and free-ranging conversation, our guest reflects on various eras and aspects of all that Rock's Backpages is about, from the launch of Melody Maker almost 100 years ago to the online ecosystem of Instagram and Tik Tok in the present day.

Along the way we cover everything from Crawdaddy! to Smash Hits via marginalised women writers and feuds between musicians and journalists. (Listen out for the unsettling sound of Nick Cave describing his new "hate" song 'Scum' to interviewer Mat Snow.) We also hear clips from Frank Broughton's 1998 audio interview with Time Out's late founder Tony Elliott.

By way of paying tribute to the late Christine McVie, there are further audio clips in the episode, this time from John Pidgeon's 1977 interview with Fleetwood Mac, plus we bid a sad farewell to Stax Records co-founder Jim Stewart.

Mark selects his highlights from recent additions to the RBP library, quoting from pieces about Marianne Faithfull, Ravi Shankar, Alexis Korner and the mighty Pat Benatar, after which Jasper concludes matters with remarks on articles about Odd Future and the brilliant Billie Eilish.

Many thanks to special guest Paul Gorman; Totally Wired is published by Thames & Hudson and available now from all good bookshops. Visit Paul's website at and follow him on Instagram at _paul_gorman_.