Rock'N'Roll: Bob Harris

Do you still love rock’n’roll as much as you used to?

I do. It’s about keeping everything fresh. When somebody asks me: “What’s the most exciting record in your collection?” I’ll say: “The one that’s just dropped on the mat this morning.” Because that’s the future.

Do you disagree with the notion that rock’n’roll is a young man’s music?

I do. There’s no reason whatsoever why someone who can play brilliant guitar suddenly has to stop because they’re past a certain age. It doesn’t make any sense.

Do you think rock’n’roll is as valid an art form as literature or painting?

Yes I do. I think Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan are two of the greatest American poets to have ever lived. Popular culture has shaped the way we are, and rock music is a massive part of that.

Who’s the greatest rock star you ever spoke to for The Old Grey Whistle Test?

John Lennon. Meeting him in 1975 in New York was just one of those great moments. We just clicked. He really was a visionary.

Sabbath or Zeppelin?

Zeppelin. They arrived exactly as I started on the radio, and Robert and I have always been good friends, so I’ve always felt connected to them.

Punk or prog?

That’s actually a more difficult question, because punk brought in what we really needed, and that was a massive injection of energy in the mid-seventies. It may surprise a lot of people to hear me go for punk, but I’m going to, for that reason.

Henry Yates

Henry Yates has been a freelance journalist since 2002 and written about music for titles including The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Classic Rock, Guitarist, Total Guitar and Metal Hammer. He is the author of Walter Trout's official biography, Rescued From Reality, a music pundit on Times Radio and BBC TV, and an interviewer who has spoken to Brian May, Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie Wood, Dave Grohl, Marilyn Manson, Kiefer Sutherland and many more.