On This Date, November 14th in 1979: Public Image Ltd released their second album, Metal Box, which included the singles “Careering,” “Memories” and “Swan Lake” (aka “Death Disco”). It reached the #18 spot on the U.K. albums chart. The album is sometimes referred to as The Public Image Reel owing to its unique packaging: three 12-inch records in a film canister embossed with the group’s PiL logo. Metal Box, now obviously a near-priceless collector’s item, was later repackaged in a standard cardboard sleeve format under the title Second Edition. The London post-punk band – fronted by John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) of Sex Pistols and also including guitarist Keith Levene, bassist Jah Wobble and Martin Atkins on drums – broke up in 1993.
Martin Atkins of Pigface, Public Image Ltd and Killing Joke, among many others, was born on this day, August 3rd, in 1959. I’ve interviewed Martin a few times in my career and he is such a character; so very candid and full of great road stories! Here’s a Link to the first interview we did together from way back in 1998! Happy Birthday, Martin!
Gail, you simply fucking rock! I love your piece for my book (Tour: Smart) in the section on Press and Publicity – your “Pet Peeves and How to Avoid Them” shreds any fence sitting and bestows some priceless advice – THANKS!
I have conducted and written about a gazillion interviews in my career, and most have turned out really good or great, not just thanks to my extreme talent but also to my good fortune at being able to interview some of the most verbose and charismatic figures in rock music. Somebody who’s always an amazing interview is Martin Atkins: drummer, label owner, entrepreneur and mastermind behind the revolving line-up underground supergroup, Pigface. Martin is the shit. Fortunately for all you struggling musicians out there, Martin has just written the definitive insiders’ book on touring tips for bands, entitled Tour: Smart. I was quite flattered to be among the 150 or so music industry luminaries that Martin solicited for input to be included in the book. Of course, I was thrilled to oblige.
My contribution to Tour: Smartcenters on interviews, mistakes musicians make when approaching interviews, how bad that pisses me off and what you can do to avoid my wrath. You will probably really enjoy reading that section, because I name names and use a lot of swear words. Tour: Smartshould be released this summer, and is a guaranteed must-read.