Let’s Start The Year With a Words and Music Q&A…..

Michael Anthony Words and Music

It isn’t often that I am grouped together with former UFO guitarist Michael Schenker, Anthrax six-string slinger Scott “Not” Ian and members of Magnum, Marillion and Saxon, except perhaps in my wildest dreams as I entertain a rapturous Donington crowd of 120,000 with an improvised ten-minute drum solo *, only to wake up and find I have knocked over a bed-side lamp with an inopportune para-diddle. And no, that’s not a euphemism…

However, today I do find myself in that company, alongside XFM DJ Ian Camfield and author Joel McIver as one of the subjects of Michael Anthony’s Words and Music Q&A series of interviews. It’s quite an honour and was much fun to do, so I thought I’d better tell you about it before Michael comes to his senses and takes it down from his website.

If you are new to these pages think of this as an introduction – and if you have been reading Every Record Tells A Story for a while, think of this Q&A as a re-introduction to ERTAS – you can discover there why I do this whole blogging thing, the posts I like best, my earliest musical experiences and some memories of memorable gigs. I don’t want to oversell it, but it’s probably the most fascinating interview ever given since John Lennon poured his heart out to Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner after he left the Beatles. **

For those of you who are fascinated by my every word (there must be someone? Anyone?) you can read the interview on Michael’s official blog and book website which also carries all of the other aforementioned interviews. The website also introduces Michael’s book, “Words and Music” which he introduces as follows:

Why does rock music mean so much to us? What’s so special about a rock gig? What really happens when you play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ backwards? Does the devil really have all the good songs? Which rock vocalist did the author smuggle in to see Metallica? How did Heidi the dog help her owner meet guitar legend Ritchie Blackmore? What are you supposed to say to your rock idol after you say hello? Is Bob Dylan right about the origins of his name? Are all Marillion songs about death and water? And what was Motörhead’s Lemmy up to, lecturing Welsh politicians on the dangers of drug abuse?

Words and Music (the book) explores rock fandom and Michael (who sadly is no relation to the Michael Anthony who plays bass for Van Halen or Chickenfoot)takes us through his life as a rock fan and attempts to make sense of it all over 350 pages. At the time of writing I have only read the first couple of chapters of his book, but there are already many moments in there that I can identify with: truly there are shared experiences in the lives of every rock fan. Amongst many other things, Michael’s book explores topics such as “sex and drugs and rock n roll”, “God and the Devil” and the live gig experience – so there’s plenty for everyone there.

So, to read the interview, just click the link here to Michael’s Words and Music Official Blog. And while you are there do check out the rest of Michael’s excellent site…

In the meantime, may I wish you all a very Happy New Year…

  • * I can’t play the drums.
  • ** It definitely isn’t. I just massively, massively oversold it. To be honest, imagine Andy Murray’s robotic voice reading out a telephone directory and you’ll be nearer the truth of the thing.

Categories: Music

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13 replies

  1. Apparently your name is Steve! (That’s a lot shorter than typing all of ERTAS!)

    I’ll have to pick up Michael’s book too but in the meantime off to read the whole interview.


  2. Steve, as with everything on this blog that interview was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Happy New Year! More of the same in 2014 please!


  3. Not only was this a fun interview to read, but I’ve also been introduced to another interesting music blog. I really like your heavy rock angle, and I didn’t realize it was so intentional. As a female, I am in an even narrower category of heavy rock fans, though I can’t say that my repertoire is as broad as yours or many of the other followers in your comments sections. But nothing cures me like putting on an old Van Halen album (or streaming it on Sonos). And I don’t abhor Geddy Lee’s voice. (It just makes me giggle sometimes.) Anyway, thanks for keeping this genre relevant — even if it’s just to a bunch of midlifers.


  4. Cool interview …I remember even back in the 80s here in Canada as well Stock,Aitken And Waterman were played on the radio constantly as there were no actual rock stations in my city at the time and than of course I heard the rumour that they were perhaps working with Judas Priest in some capacity which just baffled me??!
    It was good to read about ones roots into the blogosphere!
    Good job!


  5. Looks like a book worth checking out! Thanks for the review.


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