Interview for ARTE documentary on British music’s scenemakers
Yesterday I was visited by a camera crew for an interview about the behind-the-scenes individuals who have made the difference to British popular music over the years.
The team, from Kobalt Productions in Berlin, are producing the documentary for Franco-German arts channel ARTE. The director is Simon Witter, who has a fine pedigree in journalism and broadcasting.
Entitled Bohemian Rhapsody (luckily I didn’t have to talk about Queen), the series will be broadcast next spring and explores managers, photographers, designers, writers and communicators, as well as significant performers, so our chat covered Barney Bubbles, Tommy Roberts, Lloyd Johnson, Charles Shaar Murray and Malcolm McLaren to Peter Blake, Hapshash & The Coloured Coat, David Bowie, Kevin Rowland and Boy George.
Other contributors to the documentary include Wire’s Colin Newman, Blur’s Graham Coxon, Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware, managers Andrew Loog Oldham, Simon Napier-Bell and Miles Copeland, designer Storm Thorgerson, writers Paul Morley, Jon Savage and Simon Reynolds and photographers Jill Furmanovsky, Gered Mankowitz and Pennie Smith.
Between takes Witter revealed that one of the first docs he worked on, about King’s Road fashions in 1983, included a fleeting glimpse of Mark Powell (when he was working at Dave Fortune’s rocking shop Robot).
Witter says he has a VHS copy somewhere. Now that Mark and I are talking seriously about a collaboration I will definitely press him to dig it out.
Read more about Witter’s world here.