‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ Host Bob Harris Shares Rock-Star Stories in New Memoir
During his many years as a fixture of British broadcasting, Bob Harris has been privy to plenty of outlandish rock star behavior, and he shares many of those stories in his upcoming memoir, Still Whispering After All These Years.
The Daily Telegraph offers excerpts from the book, which is due in August, with a post that skims Harris' decades as a radio and television host and offers a sampling of some of the most memorable stories from a storied career. Unsurprisingly, one of the wildest tales comes courtesy of the Sex Pistols, whose feud with Harris came to a head during a 1977 bar fight that only ended after members of Procol Harum's road crew stepped in to stop the violence.
Far less tumultuous — but no less surreal — is Harris' recounting of his visit with Brian Wilson, who stopped by The Old Grey Whistle Test during Harris' 1971-78 stint as host of the long-running BBC series. According to Harris, Wilson "circled the table to look at the stereo microphones" before asking if they were submarines, and his attempt to perform a new song ended in confusion when he claimed there were keys missing from the piano.
Not that all of Harris' tales involve wild excess. In fact, during the early years of The Old Grey Whistle Test, budgets were so tight that the performance fees offered to artists were essentially little more than a formality. According to Harris, John Lennon asked him not to send cash, but to instead send him biscuits known as Chocolate Olivers — as he reportedly put it, "I can't get them in America."
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