INTERVIEWS WITH MUSICIANS KEEN TO TALK ABOUT THEIR LOVE OF CARS AND THE MOTORS THEY USED TO OWN
A love of rock music and a passion for classic cars have combined to form the basis for an exciting project destined for your bookshelf and tellybox. And if you own an air-cooled Porsche previously in the charge of a famous pop star, there’s every chance musician and machine could be friends reunited...
Many moons ago, I was the bass player in a rock band. We didn’t achieve the mainstream success we were hoping for, which is why, like so many musicians in a similar situation, I went out and got a ‘proper’ job. I found gainful employment in the field of information technology. It might not be as glamorous as rock and roll, but I made a success of my newfound career. In fact, things worked out well enough for me to be able to buy the desirable cars you might ordinarily expect to find tucked away in a successful musician’s garage. And yes, one of my cherished chariots is an old Porsche. for the first time in a long time. This is especially true of old band vans and touring buses, communal transport before each star of the stage made enough cash to travel to gigs in their own motor.
I’ve conducted dozens of interviews since starting the project. Nick Mason, the late Ginger Baker, Suzi Quattro, Marky Ramone, various managers and ‘drivers for hire’ are among those who have participated in my work, revealing amazing insight into the world of stars and their cars. Many more pop personalities have agreed to be interviewed, but before I get too far ahead of myself, I need to get a commission from a television network to allow the project to progress to the next level.
Back in 2008, my passion for both music and cars led me to plan a book documenting the weird, wild and wonderful four-wheelers owned and driven by pop and rock stars over the years. I lined up a series of interviews with various household names, only to discover most of them had memories and stories, but no photographs of their old rides. Sadly, hand-held cameras in the 1950s, 1960s and even the 1970s, were expensive, difficult to use and often produced photographs of questionable quality. If pictures were captured of musician and car together, unless they were a promotional shot — and therefore likely to be kept on record by media outlets — there’s a high probability they’ve been lost, damaged or destroyed in the decades following their creation.
With this in mind, I decided to alter the format of my project. No longer would I produce only a book. Instead, I developed the idea for television. As opposed to relying on stars of stylus to provide photographs, I made it my mission to find cars once belonging to musicians, with a view to reuniting man (or woman) and machine.
Doing so has unlocked many memories previously forgotten by my interviewees. There’s nothing quite like sitting in or driving a car you used to own, an experience which can bring to mind vivid images of days gone by. For musicians, this can mean waxing lyrical about time on tour. Amusing anecdotes are inevitably told about the vehicle being brought to the fore
This, dear reader, is not as easy as it might sound. After all, I may have a strong track record in business, and I’m obviously passionate and hugely knowledgeable about rock music and classic cars, but a proven pedigree in television? Not yet. Thankfully, the Rockstars Cars project has attracted huge attention across social media. This loyal fanbase helped encourage Fifth Gear presenter, Jonny Smith, to join me as co-host for a round of filming, resulting in fresh ‘sizzles’ to promote the project to a new and expanded audience. Since then, I’ve carried out new interviews with musicians keen to talk about their love of cars and the special motors they used to own. Just before this issue of Classic Porsche went to print, for example, I interviewed Mark Wynter, who had four top-twenty singles in the 1960s, including Venus in Blue Jeans and Go Away Little Girl. He bought two sports cars through Brydor, the business co-founded by Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, to supply exotic vehicles to celebrities of the day.
I’m eager to hear from any Classic Porsche reader who might own a car previously bought by a pop or rock star. I’d also be pleased to receive correspondence and photographs from musicians themselves. Perhaps we can track down a long lost Porsche and reunite star with car? I’m going above and beyond to prove each vehicle’s authenticity, as you’ll discover when my exciting new interviews emerge in the not too distant future. Oh, and if any of you happen to be a commissioning TV network executive...