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Is That Machine On?

Stuart Maconie celebrates the confessional, flirtatious and often unhinged golden age of the rock interview with the help of Caitlin Moran, Allan Jones and some classic recordings.

Stuart Maconie celebrates the golden age of the music press interview.

In the heyday of the printed music media between the mid-sixties and the early noughties, the music interview was many things - combative, intimate, confessional, unhinged, flirtatious, sometimes violent - but it was rarely dull. Still, it seems that long-gilded age of rock journalism is now over.

The days of extraordinary access, when a reporter might spend a week with a band on its tour bus or private plane, hanging out in their dressing rooms and hotel suites, are at an end. The music papers are gone. Earlier this year NME - the last inky survivor - went online only.

Stuart Maconie looks back at the lost world - those revealing encounters between journalist and musician. The programme features classic recorded archive interviews with Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Bob Marley and Michael Jackson - as well as contributions from journalists Caitlin Moran, Barney Hoskyns, Allan Jones, Dawn Slough and others.

Presenter: Stuart Maconie
Producer: Jonathan Mayo
A TBI production for BBC Radio 4.

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58 minutes

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