The Monkees couldn’t put a foot wrong for this ten-year old boy, yet to worry about small parts and auditions … yet to discover that they weren’t in fact cool, because they were manufactured and didn’t write their own songs, yet to discover that despite all that they were still brilliant.
actor, writer, musician, raconteur
My Pop Life: Don’t You Take It Too Bad – Guy Clark
And the idea of living a pure heroic life dedicated to your art is naturally selfish and few attempt it without collateral emotional damage to their nearest and dearest. I get it and maybe that is why the songs move me so much.
My Pop Life: ‘The Emperor’ – Haydn
They are works that make you feel happy. There is a level of complexity in the music that your brain can grasp immediately.
My Pop Life: A Salty Dog – Procol Harum
Following the death of Gary Brooker at the age of 74 last week, I feel compelled to pay tribute to his finest song, or perhaps his second finest song. Obituaries have been full of praise for the songwriter and lead vocalist of Procol Harum, concentrating on his first celebrated hit single A Whiter Shade Of Pale which reached Number One in the UK singles charts in the Summer of Love, July 1967. This piece shines a spotlight on a lesser -known song which is nonetheless full of power and emotion.
My Pop Life: The Right Thing to Do – Carly Simon
I’ve often wondered in subsequent years whether a career in acting was The Right Thing To Do. I have a complex relationship with my ghost career as a barrister, and often peek over to see how he’s doing.
My Pop Life: Do What You Gotta Do – Nina Simone
Daunting, difficult, mysterious and magnificent, she defies easy category or glib biography, but she has touched me over and over since 1976 when I first heard her.
My Pop Life: The Night – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
“I think I then immediately boxed my heart away and tightened the great padlock over my chest so that I couldn’t feel anything that would undermine or dissolve me…”
My Pop Life: All Along The Watchtower by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
“It was a terrifying record, an exhilarating record, it was everything I ever hoped to be, everything I feared, a prophet crying in the wilderness”
My Pop Life: The Carnival is Over by The Seekers
“Most of my traumatic moments, my lonely moments, my brave moments have been hidden inside my personal soundtrack. The music made it all bearable.”
My Pop Life: Help! by The Beatles
They were at the height of their power, where they would stay for another 4 years. I was at the depths of my weakness, and forever afterward lived in fear of repeating it. I built my heart’s castle wall from the mud of Selmeston village. I wouldn’t start to unravel it until I was in my mid-fifties.