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During his long career Nick Lowe has experimented with many musical styles and 2019 finds him collaborating with rock’n’roll instrumentalists Los Straitjackets, as Vintage Rock discovers

Nick Lowe is at an age when some blokes might be tempted to get out the pipe and slippers and muse reflectively over their past. But despite having much to muse on and nothing to prove, with exemplary back catalogues as producer and artist, this 70-year-old musical chameleon keeps looking forward. He’s constantly setting new challenges, taking on new tours, even playing at Glastonbury 2019 – yet he still maintains he’s lazy. Very much the selfmade music man, his work encompasses rock’n’roll, R&B, skiffle, pub rock, punk rock and even Americana and country, and his influence is felt across the decades.

As a boy, Nick Lowe grew up in far-flung corners of Europe where his RAF dad was stationed, listening to exciting new rock’n’roll sounds on the wireless in the 1950s, learning ukulele and cocking an ear to his mum’s and sister’s record collections. “My older sister used to bring home a lot of good rock’n’roll records, like Buddy Holly [who Lowe has covered] and Eddie Cochran. I was a big fan of him and Gene Vincent. Still am, actually. Although she mysteriously liked Pat Boone too, I don’t know why; even at that age I knew that was kind of duff!”

Lowe now thinks that his mother had even more of an influence on him. “Her record collection was, of course, what a lot of middle class families in the 50s had. A lot of show music, music from films, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, that kind of thing. I loved all that stuff and she had a lot of good singers like Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Sinatra of course, and Nat King Cole. But she also had rather bizarrely – I don’t know where she got them from – she had these two 10” Tennessee Ernie Ford records. And I just loved these things. I played and played and played them.”

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About Vintage Rock

In this issue of Vintage Rock we enter the riotous world of Wanda Jackson. She's finally just hung up her touring boots this year aged 81, so we decided it was time to honour the Queen Of Rockabilly's tenure at the top from her incredible rise to glory as both a country and rockabilly star to her greatest ever performances – "It's been a wild ride!" Little Miss Dynamite goes out with a bang! We got the exclusive on Brenda Jackson's retirement too! In our candid interview Brenda remembers her spectacular career, from rubbing shoulders with Elvis to surviving the British Invasion intact. It's been 60 years since the storming debut album that positioned Cliff Richard as the UK's own Elvis – with The Drifters in support – we remember a raw classic. It's also been 60 years since rock'n'roll was hit with it's first major scandal. Inside we get to the bottom of the infamous 'Payola Scandal', the real rock'n'roll swindle in which the scene's major players had to face the music. From villains to heroes, we talk to Memphis Mafia man Jerry Schilling about his days with Elvis and the upcoming 'Elvis In Concert' tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus we speak to instrumental hero Johnny Farina, one half of duo Santo & Johnny, about their timeless hit 'Sleepwalk'. Bringing things up to date, we chat with Darrel Higham about his new album Bop Machine, we met Nick Lowe, who tells about his new project with masked marauders Los Straitjackets, and we review Stray Cats long-awaited return to the London stage – and what a night it was! Plenty more besides from fresh talent and rockin' weekenders to news, reviews and more!