Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

12. Public Image LtdMetal Box

I was introduced to Metal Box by someone I was in a band [Prime Time] with years ago, called Mick Bund. We were in a band together for years and we shared a flat together for years. We were in a flat on the King’s Road, which sounds very fancy, but we were absolutely penniless – no money at all. The record is like the theme tune to our time in that flat. We had no money, so we couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. I remember one of the guys in the flat had a mother who lived on a farm in Devon and she gave him a sack of potatoes – that kept us going for about a month. So because we had no money, we’d just sit and listen to music, and so we played Metal Box non stop. I mean, the fact that it’s in a metal box for a start is pretty great. They rust, though. I’ve not got my original anymore because I upgraded to a non-rusting version. I just love the great guitars by Keith Levine and the Jah Wobble bass. Jah Wobble was very glowing about my Red Kite album recently in some review, so that was nice. I was well chuffed. But anyway, again, it’s that thing about these long meandering tracks. I like things that go round and round. It’s good to have things that are cyclical. It doesn’t have to be all sweet two-minute pop songs. I never met John Lydon and I’m not sure I want to. He’s become a little bit of a caricature, hasn’t he? Didn’t he go in the jungle? What was he thinking?

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Helm, Primal Scream, Steve Mason, Doug McCombs, Youth
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