Thursday, September 04, 2008

A Fall From Grace

During the late 80s I tired of pop music. It was the age of formulaic Stock, Aitken & Waterman drivel. Those acts which still had something to say through their music were increasingly marginalised. Talking Heads were viewed as an afterthought by the then almighty controllers of BBC Radio 1's playlist. The Clash had collapsed largely due to Joe Strummer's ego. Costello wandered off into the fascinating, yet commercially suicidal world of Americana.
It was against such a background that I started to listen to Andy Kershaw's programme on Radio 1. Free from the constraints of the station's normal playlist, Kershaw was one of the pioneers of what was lazily termed World Music. Within a month or so his programme had become essential liostening for anyone who wanted to broaden their musical horizons.
Kershaw also wore his left-wing politics on his sleeve, but in a humorous rather than po-faced way.
In the last year Kershaw's private life has gone into freefall. The details are obviously no one else's business, but it's been saddening to see someone like Kershaw go through the mixer.
He opens up in today's Independent ( ).
It's to be hoped that things begin to improve for him. Right now, however, the situation is bleak.

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