Burn notice

It is possible to become jaded when you have been in variations on the journalism caper for as long as I have (I conducted my first interview for the NME, with Rough Trade-signed indie poppers the Heartthrobs, in 1988, which means I have, without any formal training, been a chancer with a tape recorder or latterly a radio studio, for 23 years). However, today, on 6 Music, I meet Bill Drummond, and I am properly excited and nervous. He is coming in under the nominal guise of the promotion of his latest venture, the paperback version of $20,000 (previously published as How To Be An Artist in fancy clothbound hardback in art bookshops), the gripping and self-deprecating/aggrandising tale of his 2000-2003 project in which he attempted to sell a framed photographic print by Richard Long for $20,000 and then decided to cut it up into 20,000 pieces and sell those individually instead. He originally limited his promo rounds to 100 questions, allotting just four per publication/outlet. These 100 questions and answers are gripping in themselves, thanks to the wit and honesty of Drummond’s answers, and are available to read here. Because the 100 questions are used up, I am allowed to ask him anything. In just three chunks over half an hour – the curse/blessing of music radio – I will struggle to ask him everything I have always wanted to ask him, but it will be fun trying. Tune in from 3pm today. And I’ll extend this blog entry with an account of the adventure later on. Your thoughts on the life and works of Mr Drummond are invited.

It was an entertaining interview, covering the father-son bonding power of AC/DC, that $20,000, the 100 questions, the Brits ’92, the Wild Swans, Select, the elements, and how he’s kind of forgotten what he wrote in his book. You can hear it at about 1.08 on iPlayer, – until next Tuesday – and here’s a nice photo. Yes, he is tall.

8 thoughts on “Burn notice

  1. I was at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park recently, and walking by the cafe area someone suddenly bounded onto the stage and spouted forth about something htat had happened ot them in their life. It was Bill Drummond. While he stopped people in their tracks momentarily, they soon went back to their cappuccinos. Sometimes I think he’s a bit grand. I don’t recall the story.

  2. It s no overstatement to say that Bill Drummond is my hero (sorry Andrew). I absolutely love the fact that he (appears to?) to do what he wants to do and comes up (more or less) smelling of roses. I wish that I had his self-belief/lack of self-awareness.

  3. I think you should ask everyone to write what they don’t think about Bill Drummond. Then you could collect their disparate thoughts into a book. Then Bill Drummond could read the book. Then he could write a book about what he doesn’t think about the book. Limited run of, say, 40,000 copies. £20 a piece.

    I admire him. He makes me laugh. But I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything he’s been involved with since his Bunnymen connections.

  4. I liked everything about the KLF when I was very, very young. Doctorin’ The Tardis was one of my first seven inch buys.

    Saw him far more recently at an Idler party launching the No Music day (I think) and he was pretty funny. I like his fringe-status and stance.

  5. Off topic so apologies in advance.

    A little birdy tells me you were playing Propaganda on the radio today – I was in work so I missed it and I’m absolutely gutted, they’re still one of my favourite bands 25 years on. Could you play them again next week and I’ll do my best to listen?

  6. waaaaaay off topic so i apologise but andrew, i just wanted to compliment you on what a fine head of hair you have!


    as you were….

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