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Episode 94 : Caroline Boucher on Zappa + Beefheart + Alice Cooper + Yes

22 February 2021

In this episode we invite former Disc (and Music Echo) reporter Caroline Boucher to reflect on her journey from the Gravesend & Dartford Reporter to The Observer's Food Monthly supplement — via a stint at Elton John's Rocket label. Barney, Mark & Jasper ask Caroline about being a female pop reporter in that very unwoke era, and press her for stories about her favourite L.A. freaks Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart...

The Zappa theme leads into clips from not one but two audio interviews with Vince "Alice Cooper" Furnier, the first from August 1969 — when Alice signed to Frank's Straight label — and the second from exactly 20 years later, when Adam Blake talked to him about his new Trash album. Fond recall ensues of 'School's Out' and other Cooper classics...

The conversation turns from freaky California weirdness to pompous English prog-rock, though Mark makes a compelling case for — and defence of — the 50-year-old Yes Album. The "team" pays its respects to the Supreme Mary Wilson, the jazz-fusing Chick Corea, Salsa godfather Johnny Pacheco and Byrds/Smiths biographer Johnny Rogan, after which Mark talks us through his library highlights from the previous fortnight and Jasper signs off with remarks on pieces about Halsey and Pharrell Williams.

Watch a video clip from this recording.

Many thanks to special guest Caroline Boucher; for more of her writing, visit her page on RBP.

The Zappa documentary is streaming now on the website and all major platforms from March.