Music Features

Joe Boyd Interview

It's been one of the great pleasures of writing for Noripcord being able to talk to people I've admired over many years, but have only seen on TV or read about. Joe Boyd is one of those guys with not only a wonderfully storied career but a great raconteur's way with words.  His book White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s is an essential memoir of the decade whose shadow we still live in.  I mean, Jesus, the man ran sound for Dylan at Newport 65, and a couple of years later produced Pink Floyd's first single , Arnold Layne!   What have you done today?

Me, I was just happy to just press record and listen to him talk about his new Nick Drake tribute album, Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake (review coming soon to a Noripcord near you).  Joe was the guy who first took a chance on Nick, producing his first two albums and, since his tragic death from an overdose (accidental or otherwise) in 1974, expounding on his greatness to anyone who will listen.  If you don't know Nick Drake, well, what are you doing here?  No seriously, I can't give you a hard time because it was not that long ago I discovered Nick's incredible music after going a whole long lifetime having heard nary a note of it.  Back in the heady days of the 1980's, boys and girls, we used to look down our noses at the Clapton's and the Winwood's of the world cashing in on beer commercials.  But things have changed, radio has changed, the whole system of distributing music has changed.  Now a commercial endorsement might be the only way we hear about a band, swimming in obscurity amongst the seemingly hundreds of new releases unleashed on an oversaturated public weekly.  Drake was the first artist that changed my formerly purist stance (besides, purism is for hipsters, deluded teenagers and religious fanatics), when the strains of Pink Moon first appeared in that VW commercial with those unfortunately beautiful people going to a party in the moonlight.  I thought at first it was what I now know to be one of the thousands of lesser imitators who put on sensitivity like a pair of skinny jeans.  But soon I took a chance on Bryter Layter and haven't looked back since.  Now Nick is my go-to guy when someone not steeped in rock history asks for me for a suggestion on music they might like.  He has never let me down.

Click below to hear our interview on Nick and other topics.



Or to listen to this and other cool interviews and topics check out the High and Low Podcast


* To my great shame I referred to Dylan producer Bob Johnston as Robert Johnson.  Close but no cigar.