Mark Ronson – Pieces Of Me

The producer and solo star on Adam Sandler, Stone Roses lyrics and introducing Amy Winehouse to ‘Arrested Development’

Mark Ronson

My first gig
Billy Squier
“He was sort of a Robert Plant impersonator – a hoary rocker from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. I think he was trying to get it on with my mother.”

My favourite album
’Rated R’ by Queens of the Stone Age
“It’s the one I keep coming back to. I’ve seen Josh Homme in interviews talking about how he deliberately puts a less good track before a good one. But I think he’s being a bit falsely modest, because I don’t think there are any bad songs on ‘Rated R’.”

The book that changed me
’A Portrait Of the Artist As A Young Man’ by James Joyce
“It’s the first book you read in school that’s about someone the same age as you are, who’s got the same messed-up life that you do. It was the first thing I ever read with a wonderfully flawed kid trying to do shit. I like fucked-up people – for the same reason I like ‘Crime And Punishment’.”

My style icon
John Taylor – Duran Duran
“Duran Duran were one of those bands who, when you’re a kid, you get to pick which one you are – like with ‘The A-Team’. I got really upset at the hairdresser’s once as a kid ‘cos I asked him to make me look like John Taylor, but he made me look like Nick Rhodes.”
Duran Duran

Favourite TV show
’Arrested Development’
“It was at the time that all those horrible sensationalist American TV shows were going on – reality TV was at its height. And I think they tried to run with that, but spoof it to some degree. I introduced Amy Winehouse to it, and she used to do impressions of Joe – the brother that rides around on a Segway listening to ‘The Final Countdown’. Amy has appropriated a lot of his mannerisims.”

My favourite film
’Happy Gilmore’
“You keep wanting to say all these things that will make you look cool in the pages of NME, like ‘Withnail And I’. But I’m going to go with something more middle-brow. I think it’s the best thing by far that Adam Sandler ever did. This was before he got massive, so there’s still a bit of an outsider-spirit to it.”

My favourite fictional character
Zelig In Woody Allen’s ‘Zelig’
“It’s a sort of mockumentary. Woody Allen plays the lead, and he changes his appearance depending on what group of people he’s with. I moved to New York when I was a kid, and I remember having to change my accent to stop me from getting beaten up by other kids, so I’ve always had a lot of sympathy with Woody’s character.”

My favourite lyric
’I Wanna Be Adored’ by The Stone Roses
“’I don’t have to sell my soul/He’s already in me.’ Not only is it an amazing lyric, it’s track one, side one. That sort of insane arrogance leads off on a record that justifies insane arrogance – that’s pretty powerful.”

My favourite album cover
’Midnight Marauders’ by A Tribe Called Quest
“They had all their contemporaries’ faces on the cover. Everyone from Beastie Boys to Leaders Of The New School, Afrika Bambaataa and Kool DJ Red Alert. It’s like a hip-hop ‘Sgt Pepper’s…’ It reminds you of what a fertile time that was for music.”