Interview: Roy Wood
You all know who Roy Wood is. Hes the one my mum affectionately refers to as the Wizard. He pops up perennially with that song and admits to having no idea what "Blackberry Way" was supposed to be about despite the fact that he wrote it.
Atomicduster caught up with Roy on the night of his Market Harborough leg of his current tour. (Promoted & organised by Mad Hatter Concerts)
AD: Throughout your career, youve been involved in a number of musical outfits. Of these, which has been the most rewarding and why?
RW: All of them in a way for different reasons; The Move because it was the first chance I had to bring my songs into the open - I was always grateful for that, ELO because it was so different when we first started with a string section, Wizzard because it was a good laugh and because I think of all of them we made the best records, and now this band because its like going on a school outing with all your pals.
AD: Talking about Wizzard making the best records, how did you feel about arguably your most famous song, "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" being used for the latest drink driving campaign?
RW: Fine. I mean, they did ask my permission to use it, but Ive had a bit of stick since in the News Of The World. Some smartarse journalist came to a gig and said "Do you realise youre making a mockery of this campaign?" because 5 or 6 years ago I was actually done for drink driving. I wasnt drunk, I was just slightly over the limit and he made a big thing out of it and its like its backfiring on me a bit now. He also said in his article that I was earning ten grand out of it when in fact Im doing it for free.
AD: Of the current musical talent, who has been on Roy Woods playlist?
RW: My current favourite is that Anastacia song "Im Outta Love". She sounds like a young Tina Turner and I actually met her a couple of days ago so I was quite pleased about that. She was a really nice girl. Everybodys got their heroes and mine in the sixties were the Beach Boys. I actually got to work with them in the seventies and it was like a dream come true.
AD: Julian Cope has just published his account of medieval history entitled "The Modern Antiquarean". Have you any plans to embark on a side project outside of music and what would it be if you did?
RW: Blimey! Er...Im keen on graphic art and Ive always done my own album covers anyway. Probably getting more into computers but its getting the time. At the moment Im concentrating on writing some salsa music for the band.
AD: There have been a number of pop music feuds of late - Blur and Oasis, Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher - who if anyone did you consider to be your nemesis at the height of your fame?
RW: Oh Ive got one now actually! Ive recorded a single with the Wombles called "I Wish It Could Be A Wombling Merry Christmas Everyday", so regarding enemies at the moment were thinking about giving the Tweenies a good kicking. They deserve it.
AD: How did you enjoy appearing on "Never Mind The Buzzcocks" and how did Mark Lamarr come over to you as a comedian?
RW: Oh dear. It depends whos going to read this. Is he going to read this?
No, its just that hes one of these guys who do it every single week and to be honest they dont really leave you a lot of fresh air to say anything, so if you think of it youve really got to get in quick and loud. You can sit there all night saying bugger all if youre not careful. But those guys are good. I said a couple of funny things and that was about it. Phil Jupitus I found very funny.
AD: If you had the chance to do it all over again what would you do differently?
RW: Find myself a nice bird who was a millionaire and get her to pay for a great video to start with. Then form an all singing all dancing band with all females apart from me.
Interview by Nick James and Tone E. Transcript by Tone E.