Marc Riley's Musical Time Machine

Marc Riley dips into the BBC's archives and unearths seminal and tantalizing interviews.

It's funny how things can look so different many years down the line; once the dust has settled, tempers have calmed and much water has gone under the bridge.

Not seeking to open old wounds or anything, Marc Riley goes back in time to the turning points in the careers of some of the biggest artists in music to check out exactly what they DID say in the heat of the moment, and to put it into today's context....

Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01David Bowie And Iggy Pop20150127

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In this first episode, the interviews share a geographic connection - Berlin. David Bowie, in conversation with Radio 1's Stuart Grundy from 1977, explains why the city was so good for his creativity. The second interview comes from 1990 when Iggy Pop spoke to Nicky Campbell about how he hooked up with Bowie and offered another perspective on their time together in Germany.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

02Frank Zappa And Lou Reed20150203

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

02Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

01011964 - Brian Epstein2009071420100112
20110210 (6M)
20110301 (6M)

Marc Riley dips into the BBC's archives and unearths seminal and tantalizing interviews.

It's funny how things can look so different many years down the line; once the dust has settled, tempers have calmed and much water has gone under the bridge.

Not seeking to open old wounds or anything, Marc Riley goes back in time to the turning points in the careers of some of the biggest artists in music to check out exactly what they DID say in the heat of the moment, and to put it into today's context....This week we travel back to 1964; the year that Nelson Mandela was jailed for life, the Sun newspaper was born, the British and French Governments announced their commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel, and Beatlemania was about to take over the world.

It's March 1964 and Bill Grundy interviews the '5th Beatle', manager Brian Epstein for his regional radio programme "Frankly Speaking".

We revisit the BBC's archives and hear Epstein speak candidly about how and when he discovered the Beatles and what it was like seeing them perform for the first time.

He reveals his role in their image change, just exactly what it is a manager does and his theories on why they'd go on to be a success in America.

Plus Brian tells us how he reacted when Paul turned up late for their first meeting.

0101David Bowie and Iggy Pop20150127

0101David Bowie and Iggy Pop2015012720161121 (R4)

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In this first episode, the interviews share a geographic connection - Berlin. David Bowie, in conversation with Radio 1's Stuart Grundy from 1977, explains why the city was so good for his creativity. The second interview comes from 1990 when Iggy Pop spoke to Nicky Campbell about how he hooked up with Bowie and offered another perspective on their time together in Germany.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

0101David Bowie and Iggy Pop2015012720161121 (R4)

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In this first episode, the interviews share a geographic connection - Berlin. David Bowie, in conversation with Radio 1's Stuart Grundy from 1977, explains why the city was so good for his creativity. The second interview comes from 1990 when Iggy Pop spoke to Nicky Campbell about how he hooked up with Bowie and offered another perspective on their time together in Germany.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

01021973 - Pete Townshend2009072820100113
20110211 (6M)
20110302 (6M)
20110928 (6M)

This week we travel back to 1973; the year that President Nixon ordered a ceasefire in Vietnam, the Stock Exchange admitted women for the first time, and Princess Anne married Lieutenant Mark Phillips.

It was also the year that Radio 1 broadcast an interview with Pete Townshend in a series called The Story Of Pop.

Presented by Alan Freeman the 26 part show featured a big mix of musicians talking about the history of popular music.

At a time when The Who were just about to release Quadrophenia, Marc revisits Townshend's take on the industry, Woodstock, the Kinks and the Mods.

0102Frank Zappa and Lou Reed20150203

0102Frank Zappa and Lou Reed2015020320161128 (R4)

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

0102Frank Zappa and Lou Reed2015020320161128 (R4)

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the riches contained within the Beeb's music archive - the life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.

But these musical marvels risk over-shadowing another archive that's just as diverse, rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken word, music archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine - a rickety rust-bucket, back-firing jalopy - travel back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous, safely ensconced within the treasure trove of the BBC archive. Marc replays candid snapshots at crucial points in the careers of some of the biggest names in music.

In each episode, Marc lines up the Time Machine to travel to two different points in time and revisit two interviews with something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery, a misunderstanding.

In the second programme, interviews share a fierce rivalry. Both artists were intent on creating grown-up rock 'n roll, both pushed the boundaries of rock music. Both were anti-establishment, both were anti-hippy. Both were the kings of their exciting new scenes - one in New York, one in LA. Yet, despite the similarities and the common ground, each loathed the other. First there's Frank Zappa in conversation with Radio 1's Andy Batten-Foster from 1984, while the second interview comes from a 1992 interview by Johnnie Walker with Lou Reed.

Produced by Ian Callaghan

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.

01031977 - Blondie2009080420100114
20110929 (6M)

This week we travel back to 1977; the year that Elvis Presley died, EMI fired the Sex Pistols, and Star Wars fever hit Britain.

It's also the year that John Tobler spoke to Debbie Harry and Chris Stein just before Blondie broke in the UK with the release of Denis.

Marc replays uncut extracts from an interview that was broadcast on Radio 1's Rock On show on November 5 1977.

Debbie and Chris discuss the early bands they were in, the New York scene, meeting Phil Spector and their disgust at a Donna Summer record.

01041993 - Ian Gillan2009081120100115
20110930 (6M)

Tonight Marc unleashes an archive nugget from 1993, the year in which Bill Clinton succeeded George H.W.

Bush as the 42nd President of the United States; tennis star Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by an obsessed Steffi Graf fan; and Benazir Bhutto became the first elected woman to lead a post-colonial Muslim state in Pakistan.

In July of 1993 rock god Ian Gillan agreed to an interview with Claire Sturgess for Radio 1.

In his typical entertaining style, Gillan tells us about his year with Black Sabbath and how they inspired much of the film Spinal Tap.

He also reveals how he took to the rock 'n roll lifestyle and his legendary, long-running feud with Deep Purple band mate Ritchie Blackmore

Marc Riley revisits a 1993 interview with Deep Purple's Ian Gillan.

01051992 *20090818

Tonight Marc travels back to 1992.

In this year Prince Charles and Princess Diana publicly announced their separation; George H.

W.

Bush was televised falling violently ill at a state dinner in Japan, vomiting into the lap of Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa; and Betty Boothroyd became the first woman elected Speaker of the British House of Commons.

Also in 1992, pop star Cher found herself talking to Radio 1's Simon Bates following the success of her recent number one The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss).

We hear a confessional Cher reflecting on her relationships with musicians Sonny Bono and Gregg Allman; her thoughts on I Got You Babe and the stardom it brought her; plus what it was like growing up in an idyllic California with two imaginary friends.

0106 LAST1995 *20090825

Tonight Marc and his musical time machine head back to 1995.

This was the year that Nick Leeson was arrested for his role in the collapse of Barings Bank, Richey Edwards of the Manic Street Preachers went missing and comedian Peter Cook passed away.

In this, the last episode of the series, we hear what happened when Stuart Maconie interviewed the reluctant and revered pop star Scott Walker for Radio 4's art programme Kaleidoscope.

Famed for being one third of the Walker Brothers, and known for classics like The Sun Aint Gonna Shine Anymore and Make It Easy On Yourself, he'd known massive success in the 60s but following the bands break-up he had become increasingly enigmatic and reclusive.

In May 1995 he had just emerged from an eleven year hibernation following the release of his twelfth record Tilt.

We hear him discuss the European influence on his American sensibility, his writing technique and his notions of crime and punishment.

Marc Riley looks at an archive interview between Stuart Maconie and Scott Walker from 1995

0201Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell20160726

0201Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell20160726

Marc Riley dips into the archive and finds interviews with Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell.

0201Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell2016072620160730 (R4)

Marc Riley dips into the archive and finds interviews with Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell.

0201Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell20160726

The BBC's archive is justifiably and inarguably world-famous, but most of this attention and praise is showered on the musical riches it contains - all those life-changing Peel performances, seminal sessions from Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie and so on. But there's another archive that's just as diverse and rich and rewarding - the BBC's spoken work archive.

As long as there have been pop stars, the BBC has spoken to them. Here, Marc Riley and his trusty Time Machine will steer you back through the years to visit the great and the good, the famous and the infamous. In each episode, Marc travels to two different points in time and revisits two interviews that have something in common - a person or place, a shared influence or ideology, a discovery or a misunderstanding.

In this first episode of the series, we hear from Marc Bolan and Joni Mitchell. Although the two interviewees may seem poles apart, in fact they had much in common. Both came out of the late-Sixties musical underground and they both started as acoustic singer-writers before heading into glam-pop territory (Bolan) and world music and jazz (Mitchell).

We find Marc Bolan in conversation with Radio 1's John Pidgeon from 1973, as he talks about the financial hardships of being part of the late Sixties counter-culture scene - a scene not quite as glamorous as often portrayed. And then we hear Joni Mitchell in conversation with Richard Skinner, from 1983, where she not only discusses the counter-culture from the American perspective - as vividly portrayed in her own song Woodstock - but also how fame has impacted her life.

A Smooth Operations production for BBC Radio 4.