Rock's Backpages

E30: Dawn James on The Beatles + Roky Erickson R.I.P. + Neil Young audio

Episode Summary

Content warning: This episode contains a description of sexual assault that some listeners may find distressing. In this week's episode of the Rock's Backpages podcast, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle are joined by queen of Rave magazine Dawn James to talk about life as a features writer for pop magazines in the 60s. She tells stories of the Beatles' bad culinary habits, reveals who was her most difficult interview and surprises Barney and Mark by confessing her love for Emerson, Lake and Palmer. She also talks about her sister Twinkle, whose career as a pop singer-songwriter is celebrated in a new release on RPM records—Twinkle: Girl In A Million. Paying tribute to Roky Erickson of the 13th Floor Elevators, Barney and Mark discuss their influence on punk and the Texas psychedelic scene before moving on to a lengthy Neil Young audio interview from 1985. The three of them listen to a clip in which he talks about rock 'n' roll being a young man's game and marvel at the strength of his convictions. Lastly, Mark presents the highlights from the articles added to the library, including interviews with Nancy Sinatra about being in her father's shadow, James Brown wanting to see the Queen and the President get down to soul music, and the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne desire to struggle with the 'insane beast' that is music.

Episode Notes

Rock's Backpages ( is the world's only comprehensive archive of music journalism. Every week, Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle pick their highlights among the 50+ new pieces added to the database, and present an exclusive excerpt from the week's new audio interview.

Hosted by Barney Hoskyns and Mark Pringle with special guest Dawn James

To buy Twinkle: Girl In A Million, please visit You can find more information via the Facebook page.

Produced by Jasper Murison-Bowie

Pieces discussed: Who is the Funniest Beatle?, Françoise Hardy, Jimi Hendrix, Psychedelic Punks, Roky Erickson, Lenny Kaye's Nuggets, Neil Young audio, Eric Burdon of the Animals, Nancy Sinatra, Mungo Jerry, James Brown, The Runaways, West Coast Punk, Joy Division, Imagination, The Flaming Lips and Yngwie Malmsteen