Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

6. Roxy MusicRoxy Music

I have loads of copies of this. I don’t know why. I bought it when it came out, and I can still play the original copy. They keep reissuing it and I can’t resist it. If I see it in a record shop and it’s only a couple of quid I think, ‘I’ll get that and give it to somebody.’ I‘ve done that with a few albums. I’ve got a load of Fragile and Close to the Edge, by Yes. They are all waiting for the right person.

You like the covers?

Yeah! That’s what got me into art. It wasn’t school or art teachers or Picasso or whatever, it was album covers. That Roger Dean stuff is brilliant. I know people think it’s naff but you’ve got to remember that when I was a kid, prog rockers were the freaks. These, and bands like Emerson Lake and Palmer, were the outsiders in the classroom. I mean millions of people did like it but it wasn’t mainstream. It’s weird, everything’s different now. There’s no underground now like there was then. Not as far as I can see. These bands did become massive, but take Yes, you wouldn’t know who they all were or what their songs were. Even though they’ve sold millions of records. Look at Tubular Bells! Nobody fucking remembers it or the music, but it was massive, it spent something like six years in the charts!

And now these bands and records are just used to show how shit music was before punk came along.

And it’s not shit! It constantly gets compared to stuff that came along in the future, and at the time it was compared to Mudd and Showaddywaddy and Gary Glitter. All that kind of shite. These were the ‘out there’ people, living in communes, wearing flowery shirts. I think it’s time to stop knocking prog rock! You don’t want to listen to all that punk stuff now, anyway. Some records are still great. ‘New Rose’ is great, the Pistols stuff is still great, and The Clash, but are you going to go on a desert island with GBH? I don’t think so. Ach, punk… Punk only lasted a year. It was like a blip. Even the punks realised it. Wire changed completely. It came and went like that [snaps fingers]. It was certainly a great period to be involved with. It was exciting and if you were in it you got a kick out of being, almost, like a scary character to other people. Even though I didn’t dress that punky I looked like a Ramone, with my leather jacket and motorcycle boots. My leather was cool. I made a stencil with Lou Reed’s head on it and wrote ‘Velvets’ on the back. And I fucking threw it away didn’t I? People spotted me walking round Liverpool wearing that.

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