Soundtrack Of My Life: Bush’s Gavin Rossdale

Nineties rock arena-stuffer, catch him in the karaoke booth murdering Psychedelic Furs

The first song I remember hearing

Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Top of the Pops was the only thing we had growing up. It was a big event every Thursday night. I remember that video with all the faces. My mum and my sister loved it so much – and I loved how happy it made them. It’s obviously a brilliant song with incredible vocals, Freddie Mercury’s probably one of the best singers ever.”

The first song I fell in love with

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Electric Light Orchestra – ‘Mr. Blue Sky’

“That effect on Jeff Lynne‘s voice [makes him feel] extra terrestrial. There was something about it. When I think of it, it makes me happy. Incredible band. That was the first song I really loved – then as soon as punk hit, it wasn’t really cool to like ELO… you had to like punk and reggae, but ELO was [still] my super pleasure.”

The first album I ever bought

David Bowie – ‘Ziggy Stardust’

“[When I was] growing up, my aunt lived with us in our house. She was really cool, out all night and that kind of stuff. She gave [this album] to me… It started my love affair with Bowie and his music. [Later], we [Bush] toured with them [David Bowie and band] in South America and it was just a thrill to get to know him a little bit. I knew him for 20 years. I sang with his band when he passed away – the most nervous I ever get is doing a song with Bowie’s band.”

The first gig I went to

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Haircut 100 at The National in Kilburn, London, late 1980s

“I lived in West Hampstead, London, around the corner. Kilburn High Road was where I lived in my youth. I went to see this guy, and he just played really fast: “dig, dig, dig, dig, dig.” I just remember thinking, ‘wow, he’s really fast at guitar!’ It was really exciting. I didn’t really care about the music that much, but the energy was intoxicating.”

The song that reminds me of home

Underworld – ‘Born Slippy’

“When I hear ‘Born Slippy’, that’s it, I’m just gone. I love the track, they’re my favourite band. It’s just the time, too. I remember recording at Mayfair Studios in the ’90s. There would be like Oasis in the pub. Blur. Primal Scream. Suede. Everybody that was making music at that time in London. While there were all those Britpop songs, ‘Born Slippy’ was just on another plane for me. I remember hearing it a lot when I was away, we were on tour with Elastica when Trainspotting came out. Being on the tour bus – that song felt like home.”

The song I wish I’d written

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Into My Arms’

“It’s just the one. I also love ‘Carnage’ that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis record. There are a thousand songs I could have picked for this – most Radiohead songs.”

The song I do at karaoke

The Psychedelic Furs – ‘Sister Europe’

“I went out with some Korean friends and I ended up drinking whiskey at 2AM in a karaoke bar in downtown Los Angeles. I was murdering, hopefully in a good way, The Psychedelic Furs because I love that band so much. Richard Butler’s voice meant a lot to me growing up.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Harry Styles – ‘As It Was’

“It’s such an effortless, interesting song and not my usual [taste] at all. But I do like a good melody and I love what he’s done. He’s just done something like ten nights at Madison Square Garden [in New York]. It’s insane. I think he’s a really interesting pop star.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Travis Scott – ‘SICKO MODE’ feat. Drake

“I went to a football game with my little boy [recently] – they play this thing called flag football. It was a bit quiet the previous week so on the way there we were cranking ‘SICKO MODE’ to get him fired up for the game. That whole ‘Astroworld’ record is unbelievable. I love hip-hop.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Bob Dylan – ‘Most of the Time’

“[When I thought about this question], straight away I went ‘Most of the Time’ by Bob Dylan. But then I thought, ‘Oh God, what a terrible way to leave!’ A wife or a girlfriend might think, ‘Is he talking about me?!’ It would leave a bit of intrigue and is probably a bit mean. If I was happily settled with someone it wouldn’t be this song, but right now it would be ‘Most of the Time’. If [I die] tomorrow, let them know, can they play that please?”

Music competition series ‘No Cover’, featuring Gavin Rossdale as a judge, is streaming now on the Sumerian Records YouTube channel. The season finale airs June 22

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