Late Night Music Club With John Wesley Harding

When I was general manager of Sire Records, Seymour Stein used to sign most of the acts. He's such a crazy and eclectic kind of guy that he almost always brought in unique and interesting artists. Although some were or became huge stars-- Madonna, Depeche Mode, Barenaked Ladies, Brian Wilson, Lou Reed, The Ramones-- others didn't achieve stardom but were just as likely to create fascinating songs. One singer-songwriter who I always championed was U.K. folksinger John Wesley Harding. I was always trying to think of ways to break him to a larger audience. (Nothing worked.) Once I came up with the idea of putting out a special Christmas EP, God Made Me Do It with a couple of songs from his debut album plus an interview and 2 exclusive songs, a Christmas tune, "Talking Christmas Goodwill Blues" and a cover of the then-mega-hit Madonna song "Like A Prayer." At the same time Wes came out with a folk version of Madonna's song, Bi-God 20, our industrial German band did their own, much darker version of the song. I'm happy to report that Wes, long gone from Sire, is still putting out brilliant records, still performing live, writing books and blogging.


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