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Episode 148 : Rob Dickins on Warner Bros. + Leon Russell + Wayne Shorter

13 March 2023

In this episode we welcome music-industry legend Rob Dickins and ask him to tell us about his "pop life" in the 27 years he worked with Prince, Madonna and other Warner Brothers superstars.

Rob takes us back to his music-infused youth when his dad Percy worked for Melody Maker and New Musical Express and his brother Barry managed the High Numbers/Who. We hear about his days booking bands as a Social Sec at Loughborough University, and then about his start at Warner Publishing in 1971. Tremendous yarns about Madonna, Cher, Rod Stewart and others follow in rapid succession, along with the mind-boggling account of how Rob became global head of Warner Music… for 24 hours.

A new biography of Leon Russell gives us the perfect excuse to hear clips from Andy Gill's 1998 audio interview with "the master of space and time" — the first about 1970's Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, the second about the writing of Russell's beloved 'Song For You'. 

After we've said goodbye to former Miles sideman and Weather Reporter Wayne Shorter and to Jackson Browne's virtuoso sideman David Lindley, Mark talks us out with quotes from his favourite new library additions from the past fortnight.