On this episode of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast, we hear from Barry Cain – another key player in this incredible story arc as from the tail-end of the seventies to the beginning of the nineties, Barry was a music journalist, publisher, and PR man.
He joined Record Mirror at the end of 1976 – the start of the punk explosion – and was perfectly placed to take part in, and report on, the scene. Barry was viewed as an ‘insider’ by the bands of the time and his access was unrivalled. So much so that if you flip to the back sleeve of The Modern World album by The Jam, you’ll see a credit to Barry… (Special thanks to Mr B. Cain (Teenage Blue).
On this podcast chat, we hear about his first The Jam gig at the Hope and Anchor to the band’s first nationwide tour, travels across Europe including a visit to Dachau Concentration Camp, magazine reviews for gigs, singles and albums, and of course, interviews galore – including the band’s final one.
We also hear how in 1980, together with writer Tim Lott, he launched Flexipop! magazine.
A publication which featured a flexi disc on the cover of each issue exclusively recorded by artists like The Jam, Blondie, Madness, the Cure, Adam Ant and even Genesis.
Flexipop! has to be the most bizarre pop music magazine ever published… stand-out features include Paul Weller as a TV critic, revealing his nasty habits, a photo history of The Jam and even Paul Weller in bondage…
Barry had such a great connection with The Jam that Paul even wrote and performed – ‘Pop-Art Poem’ – just for Flexipop!.
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen…
EP138 – Barry Cain – Journalist, Publisher & PR Man – Record Mirror, FlexiPop!, Punk, The Jam, Paul Weller, and more… – Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul
’77 Sulphate Strip by Barry Cain…
An eyewitness account of 1977 by one of the only journalists allowed full access to the bands. This is the true story of punk – how it really felt and what happened – and how John Lydon, Hugh Cornwell, and Rat Scabies feel now about what they said and did back then.
’77 Sulphate Strip is packed with insights, anecdotes and great stories.
The book also features interviews with The Stranglers, The Clash, The Damned, The Ramones, The Vibrators, The Tubes, The Jam, Blondie, X-Ray Spex, Buzzcocks, The Boys, Sham 69, The Drones, XTC, Television, Generation X, The Heartbreakers, Alternative TV, Ian Dury, Radiators From Space.
As Barry mentions on the podcast, the updated version of the book, published in 2016, also contains a new 30-page interview with Paul Weller (which is appropriate as the book was the best seller at The Jam exhibition in Somerset House) – You can buy that here.
57 Varieties of Talk Soup by Barry Cain…
A Roller Coaster Ride of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll from Barry Cain.
57 Varieties of Talk Soup picks up where 77 Sulphate Strip leaves off and takes us through the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s scene featuring a wealth of exclusive, never before published interviews with the likes of The Jam, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, The Damned, The Clash and many more.
This is a very funny book about Barry’s 20 years of interviewing music’s biggest stars. In this book he gives an insiders account of the Eighties music scene, sharing his outrageous encounters with rock stars of the time – warts and all.
It’s a rollercoaster ride of sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, containing in-depth interviews with punk bands, new romantics, rock gods, soul legends, and household names. Published in magazines and newspapers, these astonishing interviews have not been seen since.
You can buy the book here.
Flexipop! The Book! is the story of the most bizarre pop magazine ever published.
Launched in 1980 by ex-Record Mirror journalists Barry Cain and Tim Lott – Flexipop magazine featured a flexi-disc on the cover of each issue. The magazine lasted just under three years with 33 issues (27 with Flexi Disc’s and 6 without). One of the most notable issues was the February 1981 disc featuring Adam and the Ants performing a version of the Village People hit ‘Y.M.C.A.’, called ‘A.N.T.S.’
BILLY HUNT ON TWITTER
I used to make my own sleeves for the Flexidiscs, out of cereal boxes.
Sometimes I’d even put myself in as Sleeve Designer; copyright reasons.
JEFF PRAD ON TWITTER
I have the disc and the colour pics, I cut them out and made a cover for Absolute Beginners!
DUNCAN ESSEX ON TWITTER
Here’s the disc and my home made cover (both sides)
BAZLEY 10 ON TWITTER
Flexipop was a brilliant magazine Still have my original yellow ( Pop Art Poem ) Flexi single & a green one Bought recently kindly signed by Mum Ann and Nicky Weller who ran The Jam fan Club
RUSSELL COX ON TWITTER
Still got this one and a yellow flexi disc somewhere in the loft!
Some Reviews by Barry Cain…
IN THE CITY by Barry Cain ©Record Mirror – May 1977
Armed and extremely dangerous, The Jam stalk the decrepit grooves. If you don´t like them, hard luck they’re gonna be around for a long time. His sounds from the street do sound so sweet, It’s been a long time since albums actually reflected pre-20 delusions and this one does.
THIS IS THE THE MODERN WORLD by Barry Cain ©Record Mirror – November 1977
Forget the sixties. Forget comparisons. Forget Jam, The Who, Beatles, The Kinks. Forget the naive neurosis of the plagiarists. The Jam are here. And now “This Is The Modern World” reflects a definite PROGRESSION (remember that?) a definite identity mould, here Weller is making an obvious attempt at creating a Jam SOUND. He succeeds. Brilliantly. It is in fact a ceremonial uncovering of the post-pubescent metropolitan veil, moth eaten but nonetheless sacrosanct. The name of the game is simplicity. It’s not that Weller is softening, it’s just that he’s learning. His cracked pavement voice has often been a cause for concern in certain circles which I could never understand. It’s perfect for his songs, he sings like he looks. Freddie Garrity could never say that.
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