I have not been doing a lot of interviews lately, but this is a good one. Some guy named Michael Duane gets quoted late in the piece, who the hell is that?
Hats Off: An Interview with Roy Harper
[20 October 2008]
Jimmy Page wrote a song about him. Paul and Linda McCartney sang back up for him. And now, after decades of languishing as "the longest running underground act in the world", Roy Harper is reissuing his entire catalogue to a world that may just finally be ready for him.
by Jennifer Kelly
Roy Harper never had any interest in traditional folk. Even in the mid-1960s, playing at the legendary London club Les Cousins, surrounded by earnest pickers and song catchers, he had something else in mind.
“I was never really a bone fide member of the folk scene,” says Harper, whose 1960s and 1970s albums, including Stormcock, Sophisticated Beggar and Flat Baroque and Berserk are now considered classics—and precursors to today’s alternative folk genre. “I was too much of a modernist, really. Just too modern for what was going on in the folk clubs. I wanted to modernize music, but more than that to completely modernize people’s attitudes towards life in general. I was involved in trying to bring meat to the folk music, which is a big mistake anyway.”
Yet though Harper never enjoyed the mass popularity and commercial success of his contemporaries in Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, his work has drawn fervent admirers. A self-taught guitarist, he is known for eccentric and sophisticated blues-into-folk accompaniment. And, as a poet inspired more by Shelley, Keats and Coleridge than Dylan et. al., his lyrics have always been striking—full of riveting images and confrontational salvos. This is an artist who can spend half an hour explicating the politics and philosophy behind Stormcock, and who still, nearly 40 years after the fact, remains passionate about the injustices that inspired its songs.
“Me and My Woman”