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Episode 145 : Gary Kemp on Spandau Ballet + Pink Floyd + David Crosby R.I.P.
30 January 2023
In this episode we welcome the excellent Gary Kemp to RBP's Hammersmith HQ and invite him to talk about Spandau Ballet, the New Romantics and Pink Floyd.
After describing the pop baptism that was watching David Bowie sing 'Starman' on Top of the Pops, Gary recalls seeing the Sex Pistols at the Screen on the Green; the Bowie nights at Billy's; Steve Strange and the Blitz kids; and the formation of the band that became Spandau Ballet. With special reference to Betty Page's Sounds pieces on Spandau, we discuss the New Romantics and their complex relationship with the music press.
From Spandau to Floyd is not a segue anyone would have made back in 1979, but Gary explains how he saw the half-century-old Dark Side of the Moon played live at Wembley's Empire Pool in 1974 and how he later joined forces with Floyd drummer Nick Mason in Saucerful of Secrets. In the course of a conversation about Dark Side, we hear clips from Jim Sullivan's 1997 phone interview with the late Rick Wright, who reflects on the state of Syd Barrett and his own (temporary) firing from Floyd.
With a nod to Rockonteurs — Gary's own great podcast with Saucerful of Secrets bassist Guy Pratt — we pay tribute to the late David Crosby, who was the duo's guest in early 2020. Mark then talks us out with quotes from pieces about the Beatles (1966), the New York Dolls (1973) and Joni Mitchell at the Troubadour (1968 and 1973), after which Jasper concludes the episode with quotes from reviews of Björk's Homogenic (1997) and a Manchester "Gods of Rap" show starring Wu Tang Clan, De La Soul and Public Enemy...
Many thanks to special guest Gary Kemp. Visit his website at garykemp.com and find the Rockonteurs at rockonteurs.com.
Please note that this episode was recorded before the death of Tom Verlaine. We will be paying tribute to him in the next episode.
Pieces discussed: A Manifesto for the Eighties, Spandau Ballet, the New Romantics, Rick Wright audio, Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon, Nick Mason, The Byrds' David Crosby, A Hippy out of Hell, A Long Strange Trip, The New York Dolls, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell at the Troubadour in 1968 and then in 1973, Björk and Gods of Rap.