“I was surrounded by heavy metal and prog rock when I was growing up, with lots of Kraut, folk, punk and reggae. My mum and dad were very young when they had me and still bang into their music. I was quite embarrassed by them but then I realised they were cooler than anyone else’s parents, allowing me to have long hair and go to Motörhead concerts with them.
My first two albums were Prince Charming by Adam And The Ants and Bomber by Motörhead, which sums me up – two things that don’t really go together but I ended up being influenced by both. My dad was very big on Frank Zappa and that’s how I got into Apostrophe and Hot Rats. The Mighty Boosh Band covered Willie The Pimp when we supported Dweezil Zappa at The Roundhouse [in 2010] and that’s my favourite song. But Apostrophe is the Zappa album for me. It’s about the tundra, and it’s the Eskimo theme that inspired our stage show Arctic Boosh. Zappa’s very funny, his voice is like Steve Martin. In Nanook Rubs It In he says ‘Great googly moogly’ and as kid I was thinking, ‘who says that in a song in a serious way?’ I love him, and through knowing Diva Zappa I’ve become friendly with [late wife] Gail, who commissioned me to design the sleeve for the Help I’m A Rock 12-inch [in 2013].
On LSD Tangerine Dream’s Force Majeure contains a horrible devil’s voice…
Hawkwind were my mum and dad’s favourite band. The first song I liked was Hurry On Sundown ’cos it was quite folky-pop and I liked the cover – that crocodile made out of leaves is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen and I liked to draw it. When I got into them more it was via Doremi Fasol Latido; there’s quite a lot of Lemmy in that from start to finish. Hawkwind don’t sound like anyone else, they’re non-commercial and idiosyncratic, they grew from a whisper to a cult. My parents are still going to see them live; we saw them at Kentish Town Forum about a year ago. It’s quite nice to go to gigs with your mum and dad.
When me and my mate Pete first took LSD – I shouldn’t be talking about drugs but fuck it, look at me, I’m wearing a dress for fuck’s sake – we were like, ‘What shall we do? Shall we go to the common, or listen to a record?’ We settled on listening to Tangerine Dream’s Force Majeure. Unfortunately, on LSD that record contains a horrible devil’s voice. I was going, ‘Can you hear that?’ and Pete was saying, ‘Yeah, it’s horrible’, so we’d turn it off, then pluck up the courage to stick it on again 10 minutes later. ‘Is it still there?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘What’s he saying?’ [rasps] ‘Bleh, bleh, bleh.’ It freaked us out completely. Then about 10 years later when my dad and I finally had a conversation about drugs he said, ‘Once I was listening to Force Majeure on LSD and there was this weird devil voice…’ and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I heard that too!’ It was one of those beautiful moments that you share with your dad.
I got into the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band through reading a book about Stephen Fry when I was about 15, and he’s a big fan. The Doughnut In Granny’s Greenhouse fits together really well as a whole album. The track 11 Mustachioed Daughters has something Zappa going on and there’s Hawkwind in We Are Normal. Rhinocratic Oaths is unbelievable, though. There’s a character that Stanshall’s put into it: ‘‘‘That’ll fix it”, thought Ron, but he was wrong.’ He rhymed Ron with wrong. His wordplay is genius.
Julian [Barrett, Boosh co-creator] got me into Rick Wakeman as he’s a fan of Yes. He’s more jazz than me – Weather Report, Miles Davis – but we both liked Journey To The Centre Of The Earth and lots of other concept albums. We sampled a bit of Journey… for Boosh live [in 2006] as the theme for a hypnotising puppet envelope called Mister Jiffy. We also put Rick in an animation [in series two] about The Funk. He told us his Boosh appearance made him cool again for about a month.
My mum fancied Kevin Ayers, who was a posh, handsome Syd Barrett. I didn’t realise for quite a while that Kevin was in Soft Machine – that’s Julian’s territory again – but as a kid I loved Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes, quite Zappa-ish and a good story. I ended up liking all of his stuff. I parodied Caribbean Moon a little bit for Luxury Comedy when we did a mock calypso number about our only viewer called Terry Loves Fantasy, He Doesn’t Love Reality. I nearly got Kevin to do the music to Luxury Comedy, but then I got Loose Tapestries together with Serge [Pizzorno, from Kasabian]. Kasabian as a band are quite misunderstood; they’re arty, not laddy. We wrote some songs, then thought ‘we should put this out’ so formed a band. The album Loose Tapestries Presents The Luxury Comedy Tapes has got lots of weird influences. I’m called The Decision and Serge is called Vacuum Cloud and we wore medieval costumes on the sleeve as we saw ourselves as minstrel time travellers trapped in the future inventing music that would send us back home. We’re like The Incredible String Band but with hip-hop in there. We’re hoping to do a tour of venues with only moats or mazes.
I’ve been a fan of Primus for years but never got to see them live. My friend got me tickets for my birthday for Primus And The Chocolate Factory and it was amazing, everything I wanted it to be. I’ve always liked how uncompromising they are, so weird and undefinable. And then I got to meet Les Claypool, which made me nervous… but we chatted for two hours and it was like a dream come true.
Tame Impala are …Boosh fans, and were extremely freaked out to see me at their first London gig in the upstairs room of a pub. But I slightly prefer their offshoot Pond. They’re young and amazingly prolific, and their album Frond is my favourite. I like how all over-the-shop, funky and strum-out blissful they are. When I grew up there was access to a lot more weird bands. Now pop is king because of TV talent shows like X Factor so bands such as Pond should be allowed to get through to the kids. My OCD makes me want to mother them, though. They don’t have shoes or phones and I can’t see them going in for a lot of housework. There’d be cups with crisp bags in. Socks on the floor. Someone would have to do their hoovering…”
An Evening With Noel Fielding is touring until December 12. A DVD of the show will be released on November 16. Full details at www.NoelFielding.co.uk. Follow Noel on Twitter at @noelfielding11
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