Broadcaster, journalist and “swivel-eyed Dylanologist” Andy Kershaw, “a radio station within a radio station” during his time on Radio 1, gives us his unvarnished thoughts. From arguments with his dad about Bob’s greatness to his first sighting of “the human American bald eagle” at Earl’s Court in 1978, to his unravelling of the identity of the “Judas!” heckler, to Bob’s actual response (“he doesn’t say “play fucking loud!”), this is a delightful and surprising episode. Andy’s encounters include a meeting with Keith Richards (“he nicked my cigarette lighter!”), tracking down long-lost soul singer James Carr in Memphis; and his impromptu November 1985 visit to Dave Stewart’s Crouch End recording studio: “I gave Bob a jar of hedgerow jam. It was like handing a mobile phone to a chimpanzee”.
What hasn’t Andy Kershaw done? He was Billy Bragg’s roadie, a presenter of Whistle Test and Live Aid, and a subversive yet respected DJ. His shows on BBC Radio 1 and 3 provided an outlet for his love of world music, soul, reggae and blues. He married this with many forays into journalism, reporting on the Rwandan genocide and travelling to 97 countries including Iran, Iraq and North Korea. When he moved from London to the Isle of Man in 2006, he continued to host his radio show there and organised concerts featuring Robert Plant, The Who, The Kinks and Lou Reed. Andy currently reports for BBC 1’s The One Show. His autobiography, No Off Switch, is “an amazing read” according to Stephen Fry. Stephen is correct.
Recorded 7th November 2019