Bands on the lost legends who inspired them


Peter Hook on Ian Curtis: “With a lot of the bands you look at the singer and think, ‘What a jerk’. It really turns you off. Ian didn’t look like a dickhead – he looked mean and moody and magnificent. There’s very few frontmen that could do that as well as he could.” Pic: PA Photos

The Cramps perform at the Astoria in London.

Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie on The Cramps’ Lux Interior: “He was one of the great rock’n’roll showmem/shamen – up there with Iggy, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jim Morrison. Like them he seemed to want to burst free from his body and transport himself to other planes, taking his audience with him.” Pic: PA Photos

Syd Barrett

The Big Pink’s Robbie Furze on Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett: “There was a special calm excitement about Syd. He had this intrigue to his face – as though he were guarding some secret. His era was when Pink Floyd was it its most inspirational. He was the coolest. He really was.” Pic: PA Photos


Music – Nirvana Feature

Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil on Kurt Cobain: “He was the best rock star of all time. Why? Because he was so honest in his songs. That’s how real connections are made with people, certainly not through playing guitar on a dinosaur rocket or having a shit quiff or space-shaped trousers.” Pic: PA Photos

Guitarist Brian Jones of the “Rolling Stones”

Kasabian’s Tom Meighan on The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones: “When the Stones began, they were just doing blues covers, but he was responsible for turning them into something. He was the driving force behind the songs. Plus he was the first rock’n’roll bad boy – before Jagger and Richards.” Pic: PA Photos

Gosport Music Festival

Ian Brown on James Brown: “James Brown was a sheer force of nature. The way he sings is like an early version of rapping. It’s very conversational and it feels like he’s talking directly to you a lot of the time. And the actual sound of his voice was just primal.” Pic: PA Photos


Florence Welch on Billie Holiday: “Her voice was just incredible. Her whole manner of perfoming was very restrained. So cool. Completely the antithesis of Janis Joplin, but had that same thing – the emotion she was able to create through singing.” Pic: PA Photos


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Jay-Z on Michael Jackson: “I remember him calling me and talking about ‘syncopation’ and musician stuff like that. The Michael Jackson I knew was just a musician who loved music.” Pic: PA Photos


Mudhoney’s Mark Arm on Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood: “He had some hilarious, out-there worldplay. Andy is one of the guys from that Pacific northwestern explosion that never gets much attention because, unfortunately, he died in 1990 before anything really exploded.”


Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward on Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix’s drummer: “He was a perfect man for his time, in the sense that he fitted in beautifully with his contemporaries. There was a great armada of drummers at that time that were blues and jazz-orientated, and Mitch was the cherry on the top. Exceptional.” Pic: Rex Features

Photo of METALLICA and Cliff BURTON and James HETFIELD

Invasion’s Marek Steven on Metallica’s Cliff Burton: “Despite dying before most of us had a chance to see him play a note, Cliff is probably the most missed person in metal. It’s actually painful to think how good Metallica would have been had he survived the coach crash.” Pic: Getty



Maximo Park’s Paul Smith on hip-hop producer J Dilla: “A lot of modern hip-hop to me seems watered down, but J Dilla’s music is really melodic and sweet. I guess he’s given Maximo Park an exploratory approach to our sound.” Pic: PA Photos

DPA UK Jimi Hendrix

Muse’s Matt Bellamy on Jimi Hendrix: “More than the songs, what changed my life was the freedom, the expression that he brought to the performance. Plus, he was a perfectionist – he re-recorded ‘Gypsy Eyes’ 43 times – and I can relate to that.” Pic: PA Photos


Florence Welch on Janis Joplin: “She was a sexy, demonic figure onstage, but offstage she was insecure. If there’s a similarity between us, it’s that rawness, giving something up of yourself onstage that other people wouldn’t want to reveal.” Pic: PA Photos


Tom Jones on Elvis Presley: “There’ll never be another like him. I really got to know him and he loved music more than anything. Sex appeal was a big thing for Elvis. If you didn’t have it, he probably wouldn’t be interested.” Pic: PA Photos


Jamie T on Joe Strummer: “I liked Joe Strummer because of his lyrics but mostly because he was an energetic fucker. He gave it all. He knew how to pump it out. And that’s all you can really ask of someone – to give it their all.” Pic: PA Photos


Bpmbay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman on Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti: “There’s something very human about his songs, because they’re all recorded in one take. He did so much for Nigeria – he was so politically active.” Pic: PA Photos