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Transpacific Sound Paradise
Saturday, April 28, 2007
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Joe Boyd is simply one of the great record producers of our time. His engaging new memoir, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s (Serpent’s Tail) revisits his early career, when he witnessed and / or participated in an incredible amount of musical history.
Joe Boyd is especially notable for his role in the British folk-rock scene of the late sixties, where among other things he mentored the brilliant but famously tormented singer / songwriter Nick Drake. But his career began road-managing blues, soul, and jazz tours; he booked the Pink Floyd as house band at his UFO club in London, stage-managed the Newport Folk Festival when Dylan plugged in, and later in his career ran the esteemed roots and world music label Hannibal Records.
Joe discusses why he decided to be a producer instead of a musician, and why (though born in Boston and raised in Princeton NJ) he chose England over the US. We hear about his work at the dawn of the British folk-rock scene with Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band, connections between his early career and his later adventures producing world music for his own Hannibal, and lots more.
Joe Boyd home: http://www.joeboyd.co.uk
Publisher's page: http://www.serpentstail.com/book?id=10756
Special thanks: Meryl Zegarek, literary publicist extraordinaire (mz AT mzpr.com)
This Week's Playlist:(* = new)
Incredible String Band:
/ The 5000 Spirits...
Correction: I called the guimbri a "bowed" instrument when in fact it's a lute (from North Africa) that typically is plucked, not bowed. However - it WAS bowed on this recording!
Taprum Temple Ensemble:
/ Khmer Wedding Music
Musicians with disabilities from Taprum Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Thanks to mom and dad for bringing the cd home from their vacation!
Interview - begins after the Nick Drake song, approx 1 hour 5 minutes into the show and continues with music until about 2 hours 20 minutes into the show.
End of interview
Sat. 4/28/07 9:03pm
I was enthralled with the Joe Boyd interview. Thanks! I did have to wonder though where it was recorded. I could hear things thunking in the background, people talking, backing up beepers.
Sat. 4/28/07 9:28pm
My husband and I love Fairport, and listening to Joe Boyd was a treat. But my family (hubbie plus 2 girls) was ready to kill me 2 minutes into listening to that Incredible String Band song. Who was their vocalist?!
(We had to go back to listening to a Little Rascals music CD or I'd have been pitched outta the car.)
Sun. 4/29/07 9:14am
From Rob W, your host:
Responses on both points:
1 / Thanks John. The interview was recorded in the Gershwin hotel lobby (the only place we could do it as Joe was on his way out of town) so, yes, there's more background noise than would be ideal.
2 / Well Ellen, it was a tough choice but I felt for illustration purposes I wanted to use the song of the LP that best illustrated the adventurous instrumental choices of the Incredible String Band - but that did require stomaching some detuned vocals. That's the joy and horror of FMU - we are allowed to go there. You can always tune back in later, or fast-forward the archive! - RW
Sun. 4/29/07 11:32am
The ISB's most common vocalist was Robin Williamson. ALL his vocals sound like that! Sometimes it adds to the "specialness" of the music, other times I agree, it can be too hard to take. Listen to This Moment though for an ethereal treat. (Mostly the women backup singers.)