Episode 5
BBC Radio 6 Music

Memory Tapes -Tim Burgess

Assistant Producer

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Ahead of a very special one-off charity concert for The Charlatans drummer Jon Brookes next week, Tim Burgess is chatting to us about Jon and the tunes that inspired him, he loved and those he played on:

“Jon put out his first single with The Charlatans in January 1990 aged 20 and it was Jon who was on the front cover. The song was called Indian Rope

We knew it was our first single but we didn’t know if it was our last – so we made the most of it.

Hearing that song reminds me of the five of us at the time we thought we were oh-so-tough looking back at photographs. I just see giddy young men horsing around. We have all thought about Jon so much in recent weeks and months and when it comes to emotions I always think in terms of music

So here’s my Memory Tape for Jon :   

Booker T – Time is Tight  

I remember a graphic designer we worked with called ‘The Bear’ - real name unknown, but we’re presuming it was something less exotic than The Bear, which lets face it could be anything. Our only reference point was that his brother was called Gareth. Anyway The Bear came up to me after a show at the Astoria and was so blown away by the rhythm section he seemed lost for words and then had a eureka moment where he blurted out: “They’re like …they’re like…. the Brummie Booker T & The MG’s”, his geography might have been a bit off but his comparison was spot on. So that’s how I always saw Jon – his drumming always had a soul drive.

Chemical Brothers – Hold Tight London

The dance world headed for John Bonham and James Brown for their drum samples, but the Chems knew where it was at – they had the best JB they needed [as he drums on this track].

The Who – I’m Free

It was listening to The Who that prompted a young Jon Boy, as he was known back then, to set up a drum kit in his parents pub in the West Midlands. This track in particular fascinated him and influenced his style

Beastie Boys – In 3’s

Jon nabbed a copy of Check Your Head from a radio station in Springfield, Missouri. It was on repeat in the tour bus and it affected us all by osmosis. We were big fans and Jon was blown away. When they came over at a gig in Japan they actually knew who we were. We spent a glorious afternoon / evening / night chomping on noodles, drinking sake and sharing stories.

Led Zeppelin – Ramble on

Jon loved Led Zeppelin: they shared a birthplace and a love of making noise I must have heard him play this full blast in the studio / tour bus / mid-flight about 200 times.

Jon was a huge lover of music so most days I find myself stopped in my tracks by hearing something he loved. Long may it continue.“

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