John Niven


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Novelist, former A & R man and screenwriter John Niven begins by summing up Bob’s generally unloved Neighbourhood Bully: “I have a soft spot for Heritage Rock acts trying to do Punk in the late 70’s and early 80’s” before summing up the Dont Look Back days: “When you’re in your 20’s, you’re all about the cruelty”. His response to attending a New York screening of the rarely-seen Eat The Document? “An absolute pile of heroin-addled lunacy”.

But Niven reveals immense respect for the man and his work: “Listening to Dylan is like reading James Joyce. Just dip in. It can take 20 or 30 years to see the whole picture”. The author of the must-read novella Music From Big Pink references all sorts of artists from John Updike to Joe Strummer, from Jez Butterworth to... Rolf Harris. As a bonus, he includes helpful advice on how to deal with awful Q & A sessions. A scorchingly entertaining episode - not for the faint of heart.

John Niven was born in Irvine, Ayrshire. He graduated from the University Of Glasgow with first class honours and has written for The Times, The Independent, Word, Q, FHM and many other publications. His extraordinary novella Music From Big Pink explored the 60’s Woodstock scene from the point of view of The Band’s fictional drug dealer. John’s bestselling novels include Kill Your Friends, The Amateurs, The Second Coming, Cold Hands, Straight White Male, The Sunshine Cruise Company, Kill ‘Em All and his latest, The F*ck-It List. His screenplays include Kill Your Friends and How To Build A Girl.



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Recorded 12th November 2020

This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts

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