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Topic: Mick and Keith's idols Return to archive
02-14-02 03:08 PM
sandrew The following is from London's Daily Telegraph:

Rock idols select their own heroes Jesus and Orwell join giants of music in roll of honour

By Hugh Davies

THE stars of the music world picked their heroes yesterday, with Sir Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sticking to the guitar idols of their youth, and others, like Billy Bragg and Debbie Harry, opting for long-dead novelists.

Al Green, now a preacher in Memphis, chose Jesus Christ and, with "47 years of rock'n'roll under my belt", Bo Diddley, rarely a modest performer, opted for "a monument in my own time": himself.

Sir Paul said that John Lennon was someone he most admired from their first performance at a garden fete in 1957, where they played Gene Vincent's Be-Bop-A-Lula and Eddie Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock. They had their differences. Sir Paul said: "Did he ever disappoint me? Yeah, from time to time, whenever we were having a barney. But only infrequently." But he had a "massive talent, great wit, courage and humour".

Mojo magazine questioned 117 stars on hero worship. Jagger chose Chuck Berry, even though the rock pioneer eventually disappointed him. "He was an oddly cheap character. He never had a good band, he was always rude to everyone. He became too much of a parody of himself.

"I never met Elvis either because John Lennon once told me he was a real disappointment. So I said I'd take his advice because I had already had it with Chuck and I didn't want that to happen again with Elvis."

Richards selected Muddy Waters, "an all-round gent whose music is sublime". Bragg chose George Orwell "because I don't think anyone else will". His novel 1984 "is just full of insight about our post-industrial world".

Jarvis Cocker picked John Peel. "I discovered him around the time of punk rock. Radio Hallam in Sheffield had a rock show on a Monday night, and the presenter, Colin Slade, came on and said: 'Don't worry, listeners - you won't be hearing any of that punk rock on this show, that's not real music.' So then I started messing around on the radio dial and came across Radio 1, and it was John Peel's show. I think it was an Elvis Costello song he was playing. From then on I listened to it religiously."

Brian Wilson named Phil Spector who "blew my mind" by releasing Be My Baby in 1963. "He taught me about drumming and echo chambers. I still play his records all the time . . . When I met him we got along fine. I was very much in awe of him, so I was kind of nervous around him, you know?"

Nick Cave chose Bob Dylan, whom he met at the Glastonbury Festival. "It was raining heavily and I was standing in the doorway of my trailer in the band enclosure, watching the water rise. There was a crack of thunder, I looked up and saw a man in a hooded windcheater rowing a tiny boat towards me.

"The man pulls the boat in and extends a hand that has a long thumbnail. His hand in mine feels smooth and cold, but giving. The man, who is Bob Dylan, says something like, 'I like your stuff', and before I can reply, he turns the boat around and rows back to his trailer."

Phil Everly chose Chet Atkins, who created the guitar breaks for the Everly Brothers' first hit, Bye Bye Love.

Debbie Harry of Blondie picked Thomas Wolfe. "I love the economy of his words: in the opening sentence of Look Homeward Angel, every single word is like a power-punch. It makes you want to shout and cry and everything at once."

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