Rock's Backpages
Rock's Backpages
Apr 19, 2021
E98: Chris Welch on Melody Maker + Fairport Convention + DMX R.I.P.
Play • 1 hr 19 min

In this episode of the RBP podcast, we welcome Melody Maker veteran 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 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.

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

Pieces discussed: Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Cobham, Backstage life in the 60s, Life after Fairport Convention, Richard Cromelin solo, Electric folk, Simon Nicol audio, DMX, Ruff Ryders, Sam & Dave, Grand Funk Railroad, Boy George, Gloria Gaynor, Britney Spears, Jack Nitzsche, Mickie Most, Amy Winehouse, Joe, Punk for kids, Charli XCX and Auto-Tune.

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