March , 1982
By David Huff
On The Road with Nick Lowe
Nick Lowe sounds about as threatening as breakfast in bed, but we love him just the same. He did an admirable job warming up for The Cars last month. He left the audience smiling benevolently and looking very satisfied. His new album, Nick the Knife is selling briskly even if it doesn't rock and roll. But you know what kind of guy Nick Lowe is. He likes the Everly Brothers, and Ricky Nelson of all people. In all fairness, though, the song, "Stick It Where the Sun Don't Shine" is a high energy rocky. It’s fast. It’s short. The intro is a direct copy of Creedence Clearwater's "Green River." Note for note. Carbon copy. But that's okay. There couldn't possibly be anything to be embarrassed about when you've got a song that sounds this good. We talked with Lowe after the show.
JAM: Nick, I've got this friend who used to play in Linda Ronstadt's band a few years ago and she lost her job because they found somebody else who could both sing lead and play guitar.
NICK - How unfair.
JAM: It's not unfair. But what's really funny is that my friend had sung with all these people - Stephen Stills, Dave Mason, Joe Cocker. She can't get a record deal anywhere!
Well, it's a hard cruel world out there. There are a lot of people who can't get them. But in a way I think that's good. Even I've done records that have been turned down. I did a record with my wife Carlene Carter and they turned it down. But I'd rather they do that rather than say, "Love your record. You're a master!" Then they don’t put it out don’t do anything about it. I'd rather they say it way crap and ask me if I could make it better. That's the way it's going right now. Everybody's toughening up like mad in the music business. I think it's quite a good thing.
JAM: Have you thought about relocating to America?
I own a house in Nashville. When I got married to Carlene, I bought this house there sight unseen. My mother-in-law found it for me. It's just around the corner from hers. I went to see it about three months later and it looks just like the way the houses look like on the The Flinstones. You know when they're driving around in their wooden cars and these houses go by in the background? It looks just like one of those.
JAM: Do you like it?
I could no more live there than fly. So I rented it out.
JAM: How'd you end up in Nashville with Carlene Carter?
She came to England to make an album.
JAM: Country album?
No. She's not keen on making country albums. She sings really great country, but she didn’t want to do it. She wanted to make more of a rock and blues album. I was still with Rockpile at the time, and she came over to make an album with Rockpile. I was away at the time, but when I got back they told me they were recording with this girl singer named Carlene Carter. Then our eyes met across a crowded recording studio. We didn’t like each other at all when we first met.
JAM: What does she look like?
Oh! She’s a goddess. Carlene looks like a country and western singer.
JAM: What’s your most favorite song you wrote?
Oh, blimey! I don’t know. They’re all genius.