Johnnie Walker Meets...

Episodes

TitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
Johnnie Walker Meets Alice Cooper2017082820171228 (R2)

Alice talks about his beautifully warped hits, scary alter-ego and shocking stage show.

Johnnie Walker talks to music legends about their long and fascinating careers

Johnnie Walker meets the inimitable King of Shock Rock, Alice Cooper, who is back with his first album of original material in six years. They talk about his beautifully warped classics like School's Out, Elected, I'm Eighteen and Poison, his scary alter-ego and legendary, shocking, theatrical stage show (where his tongue is always firmly in his cheek, something that he says British audiences always understand).

Despite being seen as public enemy number one by concerned parents and the establishment in the 70s, Alice is actually one of the most intelligent, funny and warm raconteurs in the rock business. As Johnnie discovers, his friends have included Groucho Marx, John Lennon, Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. What's more he is not scared to sleep with Yvonne the Boa Constrictor in his hotel room, even if she did once escape into the plumbing system. Alice also sets the record straight about his interaction with Mary Whitehouse. So get ready for a brilliant hour of great stories, wisdom and music from the master.

Johnnie Walker Meets Blondie2017052920171228 (R2)

When Blondie released their new album, Johnnie spoke to Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.

Johnnie Walker talks to music legends about their long and fascinating careers

Earlier in the year when they released their new eleventh album Pollinator, Johnnie spoke to Debbie Harry and Chris Stein about the incredible history of Blondie and their own life stories. Debbie grew up in Paterson, New Jersey (as recently immortalised in the Jim Jarmusch film of the same name) listening to the girl bands of the 50s and 60s on the radio. Chris came from a more artistic liberal background in Brooklyn. They met in New York City, when Chris had just returned from his second visit to the United Kingdom and fallen in love with the growing reggae scene here.

Blondie's subsequent journey, which they discuss here, took them through punk, new wave, disco, hip-hop and pop and the 1970s to the present day in the company of the Velvet Underground, the owner of CBGBs, producers Giorgio Moroder, Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn and Richard Gere.

As Debbie says it's important to sound like yourself and Johnnie goes through their catalogue (which adds up to forty million album sales), including Parallel Lines, which he describes as about as perfect as an album could be. Denis, Dreaming, Maria, Rapture, Call Me and brand new tracks are also featured.

Part 1 - Glen Campbell, Fifth Dimension, The Supremes20180517

Johnnie meets Jimmy Webb as he plays his way throughout his hit making history.

Johnnie Walker talks to music legends about their long and fascinating careers

In the first of 2 one hour programmes Johnnie Walker discovers the stories behind the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for his music, lyrics and orchestration. Apart from Burt Bacharach and Hal David, he was one of the first songwriters to be recognised for his achievements and the luminaries who have sung his songs include his long-time collaborator Glen Campbell, Art Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, Barbra Streisand and Linda Ronstadt amongst the many. He has been labelled as the "Cole Porter of The Stars" or worse "Pop Music's Mozart". He was "the son of a preacher man" and was restless to break into the World of popular music penning hits as diverse as "MacArthur Park" to "Up Up And Away". We learn how and when he met his idols Glen Campbell and Elvis Presley and how he devised the achingly beautiful lyrics "I need you more than want you and I want you for all time" in "Wichita Lineman" and the bizarre "someone's left the cake out in the rain" for "MacArthur Park", which may have been credited to the poet WH Auden. It's a fascinating tale which Jimmy Webb tells by way of the keyboard and a frank chat with Johnnie Walker.

Part 220180524

Johnnie meets Jimmy Webb as he plays his way throughout his hit making history.

Johnnie Walker talks to music legends about their long and fascinating careers

In the second of 2 one hour programmes, Jimmy Webb tells us how he turned down a lucrative deal to star in Las Vegas and opted for the rock and roll roots of the Monterey Pop Festival playing with the notorious Wrecking Crew. He talks about coming to England and meeting The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. His lyrics continued to mesmerise with songs like "Didn't We" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix". Johnnie Walker sits beside him as he plays his songs and tells their stories at his beloved keyboard.