The musical writing output of Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman formed a reasonable chunk of my youth, and evokes good memories. (A definite sign of the rose tinted spectacles syndrome.) So, it was good to read in the Guardian’s interview with Chinn, that there’s a new musical about their work. It’s called Blockbuster, and features Paul Nicholas*. Apparently the story line is about a Soho busker who travels back in time to the 1970s.
[*Interesting choice of star. Nicholas is no spring chicken. He was born in 1945, the same year as Chinn, but is two years younger than Chapman. Clearly the producers think Nicholas has got what it takes to not only bring in the crowds, but deliver the required performances on the stage.]
I was impressed by the honesty of this part of the Chinn interview:
Other number ones from Quatro and Mud soon followed and, Chinn says, the seemingly unstoppable run of success began to be accompanied by a certain arrogance. “It was an industry where you could go to bed on a Monday night and no one had heard of you, and by Tuesday lunchtime, when the charts were released, everyone wanted to copy you. It was tough to deal with, and even today I’m not sure I would be able to advise anybody how to handle it. We did the expensive cars, the clubbing, the drinking too much and maybe not treating people as nicely as you should. For a time we thought we were God’s gift to the music business, because for a while all the evidence said that we were.”
Chinn is now working in Nashville. Of that he says:
“I love working there, but for me it is not as crafted as the way I used to do it with Mike. In Nashville they want to write a song in a day and they will write a song in a day. I sometimes find myself saying it’s not quite good enough, we’re not finished. Mike and I did have a tremendous work ethic and we would keep going at a song until it was the very best it could be. I think we were far more fussy than they are in Nashville today.”
Interesting that he emphasizes the work ethic. In my experience, that aspect of the task in many streams of life – work or play – is too often ignored. But that’s my inner grumpy old man showing its face, probably.
Read the whole thing here. And if you’re anything like me, you will play the embedded videos!