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Episode 164 : Kate Simon on Bob Marley + Sounds + Joni Mitchell

6 November 2023

In this episode we welcome the great Kate Simon, who Zooms in from New York City to answer our questions about her stellar career and the new edition of Rebel Music, her book of classic reggae portraits.

Kate talks about the formative moments that made her a music photographer, plus the 1972 move to London that brought her into the pages of Disc & Music Echo and Sounds. Her hosts quiz her about her timeless shots of David Bowie, Rod Stewart and the Clash before we hear of her first trip to Jamaica in 1976 and the start of her long association with Bob Marley and his fellow Wailers. We also learn more about Kate's friendships with Sounds colleagues such as Jonh Ingham, Vivien Goldman and art director Dave Fudger.

After hearing about Kate's return to her native soil and her '80s work for The Face – as well as her personal preferences as a photographer — we switch coasts to California in order to mark the imminent 80th birthday of Joni Mitchell. Clips from Dave Zimmer's 1983 audio with the First Lady of Laurel Canyon – with her wry observations about Messrs. Crosby, Stills and Nash – prompt more general thoughts on her peerless music from Blue to Hejira to Night Ride Home. [Note: Barney's claim that Mitchell was recording Dog Eat Dog at the time the interview was done has been rubbished by a committee of experts.]

With Mark sipping the last of the summer wine in his beloved Crete, Jasper concludes matters with quotes from — and reflections on — newly-added library pieces about Miles DavisRod Stewart and Steve Reich... not to mention a priceless Billy Eckstine reminiscence of gigging with John Coltrane.

Many thanks to special guest Kate Simon. The new edition of Rebel Music: Bob Marley and Roots Reggae is published by Genesis Publications.