Uncut Editor's Diary

Clapton, Mary Chain, MacGowan, Minutemen, Hurray For The Riff Raff... Inside this month's Uncut

Clapton, Mary Chain, MacGowan, Minutemen, Hurray For The Riff Raff... Inside this month's Uncut
John Mulvey

When Graeme Thomson sent us his interview with Eric Clapton, it was not, to be honest, quite what we expected. We anticipated a poignant chat about Clapton’s old friend JJ Cale, to tie in with the forthcoming tribute album, “The Breeze”. As it transpired, though, the album was just a jumping-off point for one of the most unexpected and revealing Clapton pieces most of us can remember.

Closing in on 70, Clapton ended up reflecting on his messy past, his stable present, and a future which could see him retiring a lot sooner than most of us would have expected. There was talk of diminishing powers, Cream reunions and a growing reluctance to tour. “JJ said, ‘When I turn 70 I’m unofficially retired,’” Clapton told Graeme. “I think what I’ll allow myself to do, within reason, is carry on recording in the studio, but the road has become unbearable.”

Interesting news, not least for those of you who were at Clapton’s Glasgow show over the weekend. But from there, the interview shifts into ever more moving and strange territory. It’d be strategically artless to reveal much more at this point; suffice to say, the full story can be found in the new issue of Uncut, out today.

It’s an auspicious issue in other ways, not least because it marks the last Uncut edited by our founder, Allan Jones. As he notes in his final Ed’s letter, though, “This isn’t a complete divorce from Uncut… I don’t plan to entirely disappear quite yet.” Allan finishes his revelatory survey of Dylan in the ‘80s in the new mag, and we also have an exclusive chat with the dynamically reactivared Jesus & Mary Chain, and a gripping look at the history of The Minutemen with Mike Watt.

What else? There’s a midnight rendezvous with Shane MacGowan in a pub backyard, that begins with him colliding with a shed and ends, nearly 12 hours later, with a whole new perspective on a by-now slumbering Pogue. Soundgarden revisit the making of “Black Hole Sun”, Loudon Wainwright III answers your questions, First Aid Kit reveal their favourite records, and there are further interviews with The Pretty Things, Echo & The Bunnymen, Southside Johnny and a newcomer quite a few of you seem pretty excited about, Sturgill Simpson. For my part, I spent a few days in New Orleans, learning more about Alynda Lee Segarra, Hurray For The Riff Raff, the fertile community of hobos, folksingers, radical and street musicians which birthed them, and the cultural riches and social problems of their city. One of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever done, I think.

Enough craven plugging, perhaps. But please do get in touch with your thoughts, responses, passions, rants, enthusiasms and so on (compliments, even…) at our new address: uncut_feedback@ipcmedia.com. Looking forward, as ever, to hearing from you.

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/JohnRMulvey

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The 35th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


Weird serendipities aplenty this week: versions of "O, Death" on two albums I downloaded one after another, by Mike & Cara Gangloff and Bessie Jones; dovetailing into Sea Island overlap between Jones and Loscil. It makes for a nice blurring between time and genre with, say, the Gangloffs...