Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages
Jun 28, 2021
E104: Vivien Goldman's Punky Reggae Party + 'Launderette' + Joe Strummer audio
Play • 1 hr 6 min

In this episode, hosts Barney Hoskyns, Mark Pringle & Jasper Murison-Bowie welcome the one & only Vivien Goldman to join them live & direct from her beloved Jamaica — and to talk about her life as a writer about postpunk, reggae, dub & her other "outernationalist" passions.

The "Punk Professor" reminisces about her days on Sounds & the UK's other "inkies", and her fight to make women's voices heard in the '70s music press: her 1977 challenging of George Benson's ingrained male chauvinism; her championing of the Raincoats & other "she-punks" of the period; and her own 1981 indie classic 'Launderette'. She brings her musical odyssey up to date by trailing Next Is Now, the new album she's just finished with producer Youth.

After we hear clips from Adam Sweeting's 1988 audio interview with Joe Strummer, Vivien pitches in with her memories of the Clash man — and of the Ladbroke Grove "punky reggae" scene of which she was herself a key part. Mark then talks us through his library highlights from the past fortnight, including a 1966 Melody Maker interview with a young David Bowie; Penny Valentine's Disc review of 'River Deep — Mountain High' from the same year; and Harold Bronson's 1972 Rolling Stone retrospective on Animals/Yardbirds producer Mickie Most. Barney mentions more recent pieces about Britpop, Roy Harper & Willie Nelson, and Jasper wraps things up with a nod to Gary Lucas' memoir of introducing a young Vin Diesel to cult "mixmaster" Arthur Russell.

Many thanks to special guest Vivien Goldman; visit her website at

Pieces discussed: Vivien Goldman vs. George Benson, Raincoats, Punk Renaissance Woman Vivien Goldman, Joe Strummer audio, David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Robert Wyatt, River Deep – Mountain High, Sly and the Family Stone, Mickie Most, Blondie, Wanda Jackson, Britpop, Roy Harper, Willie and the Weed Factory, Labelle and Vin Diesel meets Arthur Russell.

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