Commemorating the life of Alvin Stardust, I think I heard somewhere that tributes were being sought for an event which is to be held in the town of his youth, Mansfield. The suggestion may have come from Dave Harness who functioned as Alvin’s road manager during the latter part of his career and who I count as a friend but, anyway, I read it somewhere. It got me to thinking on what I’d want to say.
I can’t be at the opening day of the event because of a writing commission which is going to take me to New York for a month, but I hope to visit it thereafter, but I thought to gather my thoughts here and now.
I’d written an obituary of sorts about Alvin at the time of his passing which can be found elsewhere on the internet including here:
which covers his career in broad-strokes, so maybe something about my inter-action with the man.
Back in the mid-90s my agent rang me and asked me if I would be at all interested in interviewing “an old glam rocker called Alvin Stardust”(!) while he was on tour and specifically at his show in Croydon at the Fairfield Halls. What my caller didn’t realise was that when I was 9 I’d seen Mr Stardust on Top of the Pops and become convinced that he was the coolest man in the world. It was a moment that has affected me right to this very day and I guess I knew from that moment that I’d be forever “dressed in black” myself.
Making an album of Christmas music would seem to be about as middle-of-the-road and as polite and inoffensive a project as a singer could have. So it would seem. But when Bob Dylan decided to announce the release of his forthcoming Christmas album, it got the online critics’ fires a-blazing!
It’s been a good month for getting to talking to some of my favourite musicians. As I have mentioned before I’ve been working hard on an interview project with Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco, Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, solo career etc. etc.) We had just about finished this when I mentioned to Richie, it would be nice to get an alternative view on some of the key periods in his life. We came up with the idea of getting Bernie Leadon (Hearts and Flowers, Flying Burrito Brothers, Eagles, Bernie Leadon-Michael Georgiades Band, solo career etc. etc.) to comment on rivalry and admiration between Poco and the early Eagles. I was expecting a few words, enough to mould into a paragraph of the article. Bernie went to town and has written an article of his own about his admiration of Poco. Great stuff! I’m also hoping for a contribution from Al Perkins who played a particularly important role in developing Richie’s musical and spiritual life.
Next up to the plate is Michael Georgiades who was Bernie’s partner-in-crime in the aforementioned Bernie Leadon-Michael Georgiades band and in the short-lived spin-off, Zoe. I’m going to be speaking to him next Saturday. His album, Natural Progressions, is a particular favourite of mine and interviewing him is the realisation of a long-held ambition.
Looks likely then that the next stage in the on-going project that I have rolling with Mr Leadon will be in August as we talk about his period with Hearts & Flowers.
These articles will appear in Cross Rhythms magazine and Natural Progressions Magazine. The first of these can be located on the web, subscription information on the second can be obtained from me.