With 'documentary' Brian Pern: 45 Years Of Prog And Roll set to air on BBC Four next Thursday (14 January, 10pm) and live event An Evening Of Brian Pern taking place at London's Lyric Theatre on 1 February, the man who invented prog rock (with a little help from Simon Day and Rhys Thomas) answers five all important questions for Q.
WHO would play you in the film of your life? I would be very keen on Idris Elba as he has real gravitas and he was great as Nelson Mandela in Luther. I like the guy who plays the Danish transvestite who was also Stephen Hawkins, and he can sing. He’s real hot property at the moment. I met him at the premiere of Dirty Grandad last week. That film was hilarious. Shame DeNiro is too tubby and old as he’d be on my list. Most biopics I have seen of people’s lives have been poor, apart from the Chas And Dave biopic. The idea that Tom Hardy played both Chas and Dave was genius.
WHAT are you currently working on? I am currently working on a charity concert to raise awareness for molluscs. It’s on 1 February at the Lyric in the West End of London. At my studio, Poggle Studios, deep in the Virginia Water countryside, hundreds of snails have perished under the feet of many a musician who have stepped outside for a cigarette or whatever at night and crunch. We’ve all been there. The heavier ones with bigger feet – like Adele or Elton John – can wipe out five or six of the guys in one step. It’s snail genocide and many people think snails can grow their shells back, well they can’t. They turn into slugs and die. So all proceeds of the show will be going to making special footwear for humans to wear around snails on wet nights that can’t kill them and snail varnish, which I have developed with guts at the ZLS which is a glow in the dark paint to spray on snails to make them more visible at night. It’s also the 19th anniversary of the first anniversary of the fifth anniversary of the 10th anniversary of my Shelf Life album, so I am going back to the master tapes again and working on a new re-re-re-mastered edition re-re-released for the first time in over-priced, multi-coloured ultra-vinyl. In HD. Somehow that’s possible even though it’s analogue. I also recorded a new song for the sequel to The Legend of Bagger Vance which stars Will Smith and comes out in 2019. In 1986 I recorded a song with Falco that has never been released. As it’s the 30th anniversary of his death this year I might get that out there too. Who knows?
WHY do you do that thing you do? Because I am good at it. I like making sounds. I like to entertain people and after all of these years, I feel I still have something to give to the world when am on stage and looking at all of those beautiful fans in the audience – having said that, my fans are often not very beautiful. My manager jokes that my shows could be mistaken for a Cocoon reunion. Though I don’t know what he means. Also I can’t give up as these days live music is where the money is, no one buys records any more, and I have lots of children, wives, houses, cars, recording studios, horses, yachts and snails to support.
WHERE do you see yourself in ten years? Dead I have taken up smoking after 65 years. Never tried it before and wanted to see what the fuss was about and it’s been a lot of fun and gives my voice a great quality. I am up to 30-a-day when I am with friends, so the way I am going the old lungs will have packed up by then.
WHEN will there be a harvest for the world? I am guessing this is a reference to the song by the Christians and a semi-humorous question. Sadly I have no sense of humour. It’s a medical thing. I fell out of a tree when I was nine. My hair fell out and I lost my sense of smell and humour. The hair and the smell came back, but not the funny. That’s maybe why I never found the Cocoon reunion thing funny. So I can only answer that question seriously and I don’t know when there will be a harvest for the world. The way things are going with climate change and Hurricane Frank, I can see this planet being dead within the next 200 years. Sorry to leave on a downer.
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