Songs in the key of life

From 'The Pirates Of Penzanse' to, er, 'Desperado' by The Eagles, you can see where his rock-pig routes lie...

FIRST RECORD YOU CAN REMEMBER

‘The Pirates Of Penzance’

“The first record I ever heard was probably ‘The Pirates Of Penzance’, the Gilbert & Sullivan opera, because my mum was always playing it around the house… ‘The Pirates Of Bloody Penzance’, a five-album set on 78. I hated it, really hated it. The first record I ever bought for myself was Tommy Steele ‘Knee Deep In The Blues’. I was about 11, I think.”

RECORD THAT REMINDS YOU OF SCHOOL

‘Hit And Miss’ – John Barry Seven

“That was one of the first songs I learned to play on guitar. It was the theme song to Jukebox Jury. I was really young, 12 or something, when I started to play. Although I wouldn’t really call it ‘playing’, I didn’t actually know what to do with a guitar, I just took it to school to show off to the chicks.”

RECORD YOU FELL IN LOVE TO:

‘Devoted To You’ – The Everly Brothers “The first one that springs to mind is ‘Devoted To You’, it was very big while I was a kid in Gloucester and going out with this bird. It didn’t last, mind, even though The Everly Brothers are pretty persuasive boys. They always look at each other while they’re singing, which is pretty suspicious. Others? Any song by Monty Python. Most of my relationships would have been better off seen as a Monty Python sketch.”

HEARTBREAK SONG

‘Desperado’ – The Eagles “There’s no particular instance, it’s just generally a heartbreaking record. It gets the message across, you know what I mean?”

SONG THAT EVOKES THE GREATEST SUMMER OF YOUR LIFE

‘Mr Tambourine Man’ – The Byrds

‘Mr Tambourine Man’ is a great summer song. I remember that song from the summer of ’67, that and Love‘s album ‘Forever Changes’ as well. What made it so great? Well, I was young. When you’re young you’re free, you’ve got nothing to worry about, every summer’s a great summer. But if it was the summer just gone it would probably have to be one of our songs, because when you’re working on an album that’s all you ever hear.”

RECORD FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TILES

‘Summertime Blues’ – The Who

The Who‘s version of ‘Summertime Blues’ or anything by The Who, really. Just get out the ‘Greatest Hits’ and play it loud. Plenty to bop around to there.”

RECORD THAT INSPIRED YOU TO FORM A BAND

‘The Savage’ – The Shadows

“They were a big influence on people learning to play guitar. They were really sharp. We all wanted to be Jet Harris – on the guitar, not the bass. Also The Beatles, of course. They made so many people start rock bands it’s unbelievable, because they were the first real sort of proletarian band. They were working class, you know, they showed that anybody could do it for themselves.”

RECORD GUARANTEED TO CLEAR THE TOURBUS

‘Long Tall Sally’ – Little Richard

“The rest of the band are younger than me, see. Them records still sound exciting to me, but like most music, you had to be there then, you know, when they were made. Records like ‘Long Tall Sally’ sound primitive to everyone else, but they don’t to me because I remember them in context… Or you could just say that the rest of the band don’t appreciate good music.”

NEW YEAR’S EVE 1999, WHAT’S ON THE HI-FI?

‘Goodbye-Ee’: – Peter Cook &Amp; Dudley Moore

“Goodbye-ee goodbye-ee…” Perfect. What more can I say? I have a version on some live album. So I’ll probably be hiding and listening to that. I won’t celebrate because you know it’s not actually the millennium until a year after that. Two-thousand is the last year of the old century, not the first of the new.”

WHAT SONG WOULD YOU LIKE PLAYED AT YOUR FUNERAL

‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ – Little Richard

“That’s the song that brought me in – it made me leave my profitable job, join a band and become broke, really – so it might as well send me out.”