More tales of a Charlatan | In his memoir Telling Stories, Tim Burgess lifted the lid on life with The Charlatans and their experiences at the heart of the 1990s Madchester scene. He joins Ian Rankin at the Edinburgh International Book Festival to talk about all things vinyl, sharing recommendations from a stellar cast of friends – including Iggy Pop and Paul Weller – that he has tracked down in record shops across the world.
“It was probably the biggest thrill of my life.”
Tim Book Two, single-handedly the best book title ever, is a vinyl lover’s dream. The title came from a joking tweet Tim sent; he had the title, he just needed the content, so he “just decided to write about something I know about.”
The idea was simple: Pick people he admires, ask them to recommend a record for him to go find in a record shop, go find them. He got a feel for the record shops, but also the character of those recommending them.
“It was probably the biggest thrill of my life,” notes Tim, on record collecting as a teen. Nothing could compare to it then. Since then he’s gone on to do bigger and better things to be thrilled about, but he does still find great joy in buying new records.
“[Power, Corruption & Lies by New Order] – that changed everything for me,” he says of his own introduction to music. “That just changed my way of thinking.”
“[MP3s] just joined a music sharing club.”
Tim and Ian discuss their own interest in music and vinyl, the wonder of record shops and then to the change of format. Though Ian recalls the apparent founding moment of the Rolling Stones around vinyl, and not being able to replicate that with MP3, Tim says, “It’s just joined a music sharing club.”
To the recommendations of his book, there’s everyone from Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols to Iggy Pop and Paul Weller, and Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen recommending one of his own albums. Abba came up a lot. A lot. They chat everything from what makes a good DJ set, to their favourite record shops across the world, to venues – Barrowlands, Brixton Academy and Manchester Apollo are all stand outs.
As for The Charlatans, “We’re all talking” is all you’re getting, but it’s a great hour for anyone who loves music, just as his book is said to be an absolute delight for anyone who loves vinyl or record shops. Pick it up, discover some great records from great people. Sounds pretty perfect, to be honest.