The Scouse Superman who’s played with just about everyone you could imagine takes five from us. (Originally published Sept. 7, 2012)
1.) What’s your favorite Beatles song and why?
Probably “Strawberry Fields Forever” as it’s so lateral and off the wall on paper, but such a smooth pop song to the ears.
2.) Who are three songwriters—living or dead—that you wish you could sit down and write a song with?
Hmm. Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Jacques Brel. Someone who could help me out with ornamentation and beauty and lyrics. Lyrics especially with the latter two.
3.) If you had to pick one song that you’ve written that you really think sums you up as a songwriter, what would that be?
I think that one’s yet to appear, but of the old probably “Do Doh Dontcha Doh” or “Oh Man That’s Some Shit.” Songs where I’ve essentially taken the aura of the past, but found an angle that wasn’t fully explored back then. It’s all about contributing to the lineage, man. Also, I guess, who else was gonna write them?
4.) What’s the one song that you wish you could’ve written?
Brian Wilson’s ”I Just Wasn’t Made For These Times” (from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, 1966). Imagine how many millions of folk have listened to it and thought, “Yeah, that was wrote just for me.” Yep, I’d like some of that action.
5.) Is there anything you’re listening to these days that you’re particularly digging?
Teddy Randazzo‘s soul productions with Little Anthony, the Royalettes, etc. But the lushness of those has also made me revisit Charles Stepney‘s fine productions again—especially the Dells’ “Make Sure You Have Someone Who Loves You” and the Rotary Connection’s beautifully spooky “Didn’t Want To Have To Do It.” And Charly have done an excellent Brel 2-CD comp and I got myself a copy of the Jacques Brel is Alive and Living in Paris stageplay soundtrack for those vital translations.