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Episode 143 : Nick Hornby on Prince (& Dickens) + Boz Scaggs audio interview

23 December 2022

In this episode we welcome bestselling author and screenwriter Nick Hornby to RBP's Hammersmith HQ and ask him to talk about his new book Dickens & Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius.

We start by asking Nick if his original plan was to become a music journalist, then proceed to his first awareness of Prince in 1979. A broad discussion of the Minneapolitan marvel — and the parallels with Charles Dickens's "no off-switch" prolificacy — takes in his first London show in 1981, his mastering of multiple overlapping genres, his (and Dickens's) "weakness for women"… and the profound shock of his death in 2016.

The imminent reissue of Boz Scaggs's eponymous 1969 Atlantic album provides the opportunity to hear clips from the late Andy Gill's 1997 audio interview with the blues-soul smoothie. Among other things, Nick, Barney and Jasper touch on Muscle Shoals, Silk Degrees and Boz's spine-tingling version of Richard Hawley's 'There's a Storm Comin''.

After Jasper offers his thoughts on newly-added library pieces about the Human League and British hip hop, we indulge in a brief chat with the Fever Pitch author about football's World Cup, which at the time of recording had reached the semi-final stage. Find out who Nick wanted to win…

Many thanks to special guest Nick HornbyDickens & Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius is published by Penguin and available now.

Note that this episode was recorded on December 14th, four days before the sad news came through that we'd lost Specials/Fun Boy Three star Terry Hall.