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Baker's Dozen

"I Don't Like Cool Stuff": The Bakers Dozen Of Billy Childish
Phil Hebblethwaite , April 21st, 2014 04:24

Easter Monday is Billy Holiday! Wild Billy Childish of the Medway Towns tells Phil Hebblethwaite about his 13 favourite records; or tells him about 13 records at least...

Main photograph courtesy of Edd Westmacott

The first single Billy Childish remembers buying with his pocket money was The Beatles' 'Strawberry Fields Forever' in 1967 when he was seven, although he'd been a Beatles fan for as long as he can remember, and as a school kid he also liked The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and early Jimi Hendrix.

The first album he bought was Cry Of Love by Hendrix, which was released in 1971 after he died. He bought it as a birthday present for his brother, who was four years older than him and also a fan of Led Zeppelin and Cream. Billy says he could just about tolerate Cream at the time (he liked 'Sunshine Of Your Love' and still has a soft spot for Ginger Baker – mostly because he's an intriguing character), but he became disillusioned with pop music as the sixties rolled into the seventies and he drew the line at glam, at which point he searched back in time and discovered many of the blues and rock & roll tracks listed here.

"We were provincial boys out in the sticks," Billy says about growing up in Chatham, Kent, and the idea of him discovering the blues and classic rock & roll through The Beatles and Stones, as many people had, seemed a bit far-fetched. It would take him to associate the likes of Robert Johnson with the energy of punk rock; simultaneously, he also realised that the only punk bands he liked were just rock & roll groups – no affectations.

Billy formed his first band, The Pop Rivets, in 1977. Since then, he's released about 150 albums as the leader of various groups, including The Milkshakes, Thee Mighty Caesars, Thee Headcoats, The Buff Medways and, most recently, CTMF.

"None of these are my favourite songs," Billy says, "they're just things to choose."

Click on the picture below to start the Bakers Dozen