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Episode 98 : Chris Welch on Melody Maker + Fairport Convention + DMX R.I.P.

19 April 2021

In this episode we welcome Melody Maker legend Chris Welch into the virtual cupboard to talk about his long career — all the way from The Scotsman on Fleet Street in 1958 to editing Metal Hammer in 1989. Chris reminisces about the swinging, thrilling '60s and his essential early pieces on acts such as the Rolling Stones, Cream and Jimi Hendrix. He also recalls coining the term "progressive rock", after which he discusses jazz-fusion virtuosi the Mahavishnu Orchestra with Mark, Barney & Jasper.

Attention then turns to Richard Thompson & Fairport Convention, whose Martin Lamble was an acquaintance of Chris' before the 17-year-old drummer was so tragically killed in the band's 1969 crash. There is general discussion of the Fairports — and of folk-rock in general, with special reference to the glorious Sandy Denny — and then of the solo Thompson, who publishes his autobiography Beeswing this week.

From there it's an impossible segue into the life & death of hip hop icon DMX, who died on 9th April, followed by Mark's guide to the new RBP library highlights, including pieces about Sam & Dave, Gloria Gaynor, Boy George and Britney Spears. Barney brings in Chris when it comes to a 2004 piece on singer-turned-mogul Mickie Most, and Jasper wraps up with remarks on Joe, punk rock for kids and Charli XCX.

Watch a video clip from this podcast recording.

Many thanks to special guest Chris Welch. Read more about him on his RBP writer's page.