Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rocket Hour Celebrates 50 Shows

Don’t miss a very special Beats 1 show airing tomorrow Tuesday 29th June 3am BST and 2pm BST. To celebrate the 50th Episode of the Rocket Hour, Elton is joined by special guest Neil Tennant. They chat and play each other music, new and old, and talk about The Pet Shop Boys over the years, gay clubs in Paris, touring, Dusty Springfield and singing at football games.


Elton and Neil talk about the start of the Pet Shop Boys, and what it was like working with Dusty Springfield, Elton saying he is very jealous that they got to work with her.

Elton: “For 35 years they’ve been without doubt Britain’s top selling duo. Electronic groups have come and gone, but PSB are still the most profile in this genre. David Bowie. I hate you because you worked with Dusty Springfield”

Neil Tennant: “We’ve worked with her quite a lot. I think that’s one of the things we 're most proud of in this long career we’ve had. When we worked with Dusty we didn’t realize she was at a very low ebb. She’d been living in a motel in West Hollywood and had really given up. It took ages to get in touch with her and when she finally came and did it Her voice was so intact and good as ever.”

Neil and Elton talk about the ‘Boy’ club in Paris, and reminisce about their time in there in the 1980’s. They then move onto talking about the PSB album ‘Super’, Neil talking about the process of making the album, working with Stuart Price and wanting to be “electronic purists.”

Elton: “We were talking about the Boy Club in Paris which was a fantastic gay club. It was one of the best dance clubs I’d ever been to. They played so much great music. A lot of alcohol AND drugs were consumed there. I used to stay there quite a lot then go on to another bar that was owned by a transvestite who was Spanish and then stagger back to the hotel. You arrived late on the scene for Boy right?

Neil: We arrived late we only consumed alcohol there. Then later by 89 it went. It was all over and it’s left a gap in Paris that’s still there. Nowadays a lot of gay men in Paris come to London.
Neil: we wrote ‘Super’ in Berlin and sent it to Stuart and he did a bit of work on it then we worked on it together in Beverly Hills. We’ve written ballads and stuff but they’ve gone to b-sides. We wanted the first time in our career to be electronic purists. If you think about our albums we also had orchestras, Johnny Marr had been on the album, but the previous ones have been completely electronic."

Elton talks to Neil about the Pet Shop Boys live shows, and touring.

Neil: Right from the beginning we had the idea that if we played live we wanted it to be a very well thought out visual show so it wasn’t just two guys and keyboards. We booked a tour in 1986 and they sold out 5 nights at the Mayan but then we got the figures in and saw we were going to lose half a million pounds doing the shows. We didn’t tour until we could afford to spend a lot of money on the show. We’ve always seen the visuals and stage shows as important as the music.

Neil: Our live show will be different on this run. We’re touring North and South America from the end of September. We’ve toured on and off nonstop since 2002.

Neil: Sak Noel ‘Loca People’ - When Chris and I were making an album in LA, two albums ago, we always used to drive around LA listening to this station that plays Hispanic music and we loved this track. It’s got this amazing keyboard riff on it. We thought it was a really obscure record but we discovered it had been #1 in England two months ago and we had never heard of it. It was a record that sort of inspired the succeeding two albums Electric and Super because it’s got that incredible street energy. Sort of rough but really well made at the same time."

Elton talks about how great it was being a gay Chairman of a Football club at a match and hearing football fans singing PSB - ‘Boring’. “being a track by a gay duo, i’ll never forgot”.

Neil: “We have a funny combination of liking what we used to think of as street or dance music, but also we like big orchestral sounds. A lot of our records have been putting those two things together. An electronic dance bass line and a symphony orchestra. We’ve always liked drama. Cities at night are so inspiring.

Elton: Another thing which is kind of really weird. The Pet Shop Boys and football. I remember being at Arsenal and the crowd was singing this. How great is it for a gay duo (and I’m sitting there as a gay chairman of the football club), and they’re singing ‘Being Boring’ at the football being played by our team. It was fucking amazing. It’s what football fans do. They’re so hip. I never forgot being at that match and hearing the crowd singing something from Neil and Chris I was quite jealous.

- Music News

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