The Bonzo/GRIMMSer/Seventh Python/Rutle/Idiot Bastard/Ego Warrior and all the other descriptions his CV includes takes five from us.
1.) What’s your favorite Beatles song and why?
Oooh, alright. “Penny Lane.” Maybe it’s not my favorite, but it’s one of those that, when you heard it, was so completely different from anything else.
2.) Who are three songwriters—living or dead—that you wish you could sit down and write a song with?
Harry Ruby, who wrote “Show Me a Rose” with Groucho Marx. I think Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley. John Halsey—you know, Barry Wom—joked about putting an advert in the Melody Maker, saying: “Play, sing and write like Stevie Wonder in seven days or money back.”
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?
Well I suppose it has to be “I’m the Urban Spaceman,” really. It’s poppy, and I mean, I’ve been true to that idea. “Urban Spaceman” is about the way we live. It’s about people in adverts—they don’t really exist, you know. It’s all a front. It’s the thing I’ve been chipping away at all my life.
4.) What’s the one song that you wish you could’ve written?
Hmmmm, that’s proving very difficult. “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” There you are. I set my sights low. [Laughter]
5.) Is there anything you’re listening to these days that you’re particularly digging?
Well, funnily enough I’ve just discovered Bob Marley again. I mean, it’s not just him, but the way that the band plays with him. It’s similar in a way to Bob Dylan‘s latest album [Tempest]. I really like the playing on that. I think they’re using the modern toys, as well. I think they’re kind of just carbon-copying riffs, but using it very intelligently. It sits down with Bob’s words well—and his words are funny, really. It’s a whole different thing. So, yeah. All the Bobs. Well, no. Just those two Bobs. Bob and Bob.