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Baker's Dozen

Access All Areas: Barbara Charone’s Baker’s Dozen
Lucy O'Brien , June 22nd, 2022 11:06

The legendary music PR talks to Lucy O’Brien about the albums and the people who have most inspired her, from the Rolling Stones to Madonna, and why artists aren’t necessarily your friends


Pet Shop Boys – Please

When I joined Warner Brothers press office, it was on Broadwick Street and Smash Hits was down the road on Carnaby Street, as was NME. I became friendly with a lot of the Smash Hits people, especially Neil Tennant. He and I went to see theatre together, including lots of Sondheim. They didn't have a TV or video player at Smash Hits, which seems insane, so the staff would come over to our office and watch videos and every Thursday we’d open some wine and watch Top Of The Pops. We had really good access to the writers, pitching them stories. Smash Hits was a massive publication at the time and Neil could have been the next editor, so when he quit to try and be a pop star, no one understood why. Of course, he was very successful. Please was the Pet Shop Boys first album – ‘Suburbia’, ‘West End Girls’, ‘Opportunities’ – there were so many hits. I would take Chris and Neil on my meagre little WBA expenses to Gallery Rendezvous, a Chinese restaurant on Beak Street, and next thing you know, they're playing Wembley.