The Best Of 2014: The Return Of Brian Pern

Forget the return of Genesis or Pink Floyd - the biggest comeback in prog was Brian Pern, legendary Thotch frontman-turned-documentary maker. His three part BBC series The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern was the seventh best televisual highlight of the year.

Your documentary The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern was a resounding success but it failed to win any awards. Is there a conspiracy against you?

Ah well, awards are not important to me, it’s about the truth of the music. Some of the best artists have never won any awards. The Beatles never won a BRIT, so I am in good company… Okay, so these awards didn’t exist in 1971, but that’s not the point.

Did it feel like you were reinventing the documentary form, or was it just an accident that it was good?

No. I just did my thing, and I was told what to do by the director, who was a bit pushy.

Did anyone turn you down?

We weren’t turned down by anyone, but we did have a lot of lovely ‘No’s. We had lovely ‘No’s from everyone I asked.

Of the people you got, who was the the most difficult to deal with?

Pat Quid, my old band mate from Thotch. He’s a pig who only thinks about money, credits and shooting pigeons on his farm.

Not all of your Thotch bandmates came out of it well. Was that always the intention?

No – they did that themselves. That’s the way they are. As I say, we are all very different people – I don’t like them, they don’t like me. It’s sad but that’s their fault, not mine. Pat refuses to call us ‘bandmates’ as we were never bandmates, we were band colleagues. Not even colleagues. We were ‘band people’.

How did the documentary affect your personal profile? Do you now get recognised in the street by people who aren’t from the 1970s?

No. It was on BBC Four. No one saw it. Hopefully the new series on BBC2 will change that.

You’ve been strangely silent since the documentary was broadcast. What have you been up to?

You’ll find out in the new series. The award-winning director Rhys Thomas OBE followed me around for a year. You’ll see what I got up to in the documentary, which goes out any time now.

How much money would it take for you to re-form Thotch? Or to not re-form Thotch, whichever’s more?

Thotch is not about money. It’s about pride, and going back, and I don’t want to do that. None of us do. Thotch was great while it lasted but I will never tour with them again, sorry. People say ‘never say never’. I never say ‘never say never’ as I never say that ever, never. Ever. Never.

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