Ref NoOHP/59
TitleGeorge Melly
Date16 October 2001
Extent1 minidisc, 1 cd, 1 file, 3 AIFF files (634.2 MB)
Creator NameMelly; Alan George Heywood (1926-2007); jazz singer, critic and film scriptwriter
DescriptionInterview with George Melly, film and music critic for the Observer. Conducted by Caroline Boucher on 16 October 2001. Also includes a data sheet containg biographical details about the subject and information about the recording.

Summary contents of interview (with rough timings):

Disc 1:
Track 1
00.00 Introductions

Track 2
00.00 Starting at the Observer on pop music in 1965
00.15 How he started music writing
01.00 Attending jazz parties
02.40 Asked to write pieces on jazz music
03.00 Discusses his contemporaries
06.15 Need for someone to make music writing humorous
07.45 Describes his first Observer article 'Weekend in the jazz world'
08.20 The use of images in newspaper
09.30 Visiting an abattoir for an article

10.10 Taking over a television column whilst the critic, Maurice Richardson, was absent
10.30 Discusses Richardson
12.12 Writing a pop column
13.00 Discusses the Who
14.00 Going to watch pop music programme Ready Steady Go!
14.30 Comparing pop music programmes from the period including Top of the Pops and Juke Box Jury
16.30 Meeting his second wife, Diana Dawson
17.50 His book on the world of pop
18.30 Discusses his literary career

21.20 Use of swear words in his writing
22.20 Throwing a party at his home to celebrate his book
24.00 Work as a television critic
25.30 An interesting era for television, 1967-1971. Melly gave evidence at the Oz trial
25.40 Before joining the Observer he joined a protest of the Committee of 100 and was threatened with arrest
26.30 Anecdote about author Doris Lessing
27.00 Anecdote from the early 1960s demonstration when he was arrested
27.30 Remembers playwright Shelagh Delaney at demonstration

30.00 His experience being arrested
31.00 Interacting with the Trotskyites and Socialist Workers Party
32.00 His working week
33.00 His move into film criticism in the early 1970s
34.25 Comparing music, television and film criticism
35.00 Discusses his pet dogs
35.30 Writing books, including his autobiography Scouse Mouse
37.10 Reemergence of his desire to sing

Track 3
00.45 His singing with band
02.30 Remembers Derek Taymor who worked in music public relations
03.25 Visiting Hollywood with Taymor
04.25 Performing at Ronnie Scotts parties
04.45 Remembers his time in Hollywood
08.10 Decision to go back onto the road to tour with his band
08.50 Remembers the Reading Festival
09.20 Interviewing the Beatles for the Observer

10.30 Pocket cartoons for the newspaper
11.00 Working for the Daily Mail
11.27 His resignation from the Observer. He describes David Astor's reaction
12.15 Continued to write books reviews for newspapers
12.25 Atmosphere at the Observer
13.20 Observer parties
13.55 Friendship with Clive James and others
14.45 Anecdote about bar frequented by Observer staff
16.00 His lecturing career
16.50 His art education. Had worked in an art gallery following Second World War
19.00 His early years in London
19.45 His time working in the art gallery which later closed
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsAccess to recording via GNM Digital Repository
FormatElectronic record
CD recording
Printed document
Minidisc recording
CopyrightGuardian News & Media Ltd and George Melly

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