The Roy Harper Podcast, episode 25

pd's picture

Welcome to the 25th Roy Harper podcast for August 2009. This month we have the second part of an interview with Nigel Mazlyn Jones, conducted by guest interviewer John Cholmondeley. We also have the A-Z of Harper ('X' this month), listener feedback, and some music. Enjoy, and please leave comments in the podcast section of the forums at

Shownotes are available at my blog.

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arthurprecarious's picture


Hi Paul

Think i've listened to all the podcasts. It's great to hear discussion and chat about Roy somewhere. I remember Roy saying many years ago that he thought he'd only be fully appreciated after he was dead - sad but possibly true. I;ve been a Harper fan since HQ and have seen him around a dozen times now always eventful!! Once walked back from Bradford to (then home) Skipton, about 20 miles, after watching a very stoned Roy with Andy Roberts when he only got thorough about 6 songs. Another time in Sheffield with the Roy Harper Band  when he mooned the audience!! Think that was the night he told the story about pissing over a well heeled crowd in LA who wouldn't listen to him!!

Anyway with regard to the podcasts I don't want to sound churlish but would it be possible to talk to more people who have strong links with Roy for future podcasts? Chris Spedding, Dave Gilmour, John Leckie, People who have worked with him closely?  Perhaps a listener profile too?

I always kinda wondered why Roy wasn't more successful. Fancied writing something on that theme "When will Roy be Famous?" kinda thing. Some say it's because he won't play the game and whilst there's truth in that Dylan, Lou Reed and Neil Young don't "play the game" and they do alright.

It would be nice if you could do another intervuew with Roy and get listners to email questions in.

Well thanks again

Keep it up!!



pd's picture

would it be possible to talk

would it be possible to talk to more people who have strong links with Roy for future podcasts?

Help me to get these people to participate and I'll be happy to :)

Alan Jones's picture


Hi  - I was at that Bradford gig too, and walked ten miles home to Huddersfield (where I was living then) energised by the whole thing. It was the best Harper gig I ever went to - possibly because it was the one and only time I saw him perform “Same Old Rock”.  Sadly, it was the last time I ever saw him play, as well - just never been in the right part of the country to catch him live since then.

As for why he never got more famous, and just stays a cult hero - I agree, it’s not just because he doesn’t play the game.  I think it’s a combination of not playing the game (including his tendency to self-sabotage) and his wrangles with his major record label.  The other people you mention - and I think you can add Van Morrison to the list of people who don’t play the game - were all a bit different from Roy.  Dylan was on a major label from the start and I think he did play the game until he was a big enough star to be able to do whatever the hell he liked.  He also got in there first and as a solo artist  managed to be the template for the singer-songwriter ever after.  Since Dylan is only about a month older than Roy, I wonder what would have happened if Roy hadn’t been such a late starter.  Would we have had Roy as Britain’s answer to Dylan instead of Donovan? Would Roy have been on “Ready Steady Go” and “Top of the Pops”?  Somehow I think not…

The other difference between Roy and Lou Reed, Neil Young and Van Morrison is that before starting out solo those three all had had careers in bands which either had hit records or were very influential - so they had a reputation which generated interest which they didn’t have to create on the back of their own talents alone.  And Lou Reed and Neil Young may both have made “fuck you” albums like “Weld” and “Metal Machine Music” (i.e. not playing the game - I’m not suggesting Roy’s ever made a “fuck you” album, but he’s certainly done some “fuck you” gigs) but they didn’t do so until they had already made albums that had sold shedloads.

Alan Jones