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Joe Boyd

Joe Boyd

London

Record and film producer who has worked with some of music's most iconic names

Author of "White Bicycles" (2006)

Expert speaker on innovation and the creative process

“What was it about The Sixties?”

The music of the Sixties never seems to grow old. In the remaining record shops, reissues of ‘60s music accounts for the most of the box sets stacked near the cash register. New memoirs, analyses and documentaries about Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Stones and Beatles appear every few months. And it’s not just the music: fashions, ideas, movements – to this day, so much about that decade is either reviled or celebrated. What was so special about that era? Why was it so creative, so productive, so original?

They say if you remember the Sixties, you weren’t there. Joe Boyd was there… and he remembers. His Harvard dorm was around the corner from the coffee house where Joan Baez kick-started the folk music boom. His first job after graduation was bringing Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe to blues-crazy Europe. He was Production Manager at the 1965 Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals and plugged in Dylans’s game-changing electric amp. Six months later, in London, his first session as a producer was with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. He started Britain’s first psychedelic ballroom – UFO – and produced the first Pink Floyd single. His groups filled Fillmores East and West and was backstage at the Woodstock Festival. Warner Brothers Films hired him to supervise film music and he produced the “Duelling Banjos” score for Deliverance and worked with Stanley Kubrick on Clockwork Orange before producing Jimi Hendrix, the feature documentary made a year after the great guitarist’s death.

In later years, he produced the film Scandal, about the Profumo Scandal that helped kick-start Britain’s ‘60s revolution. He then wrote a memoir, White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s, that Brian Eno called “the best book about music I’ve read in years”. . The Observer called his podcast, JOE BOYD’s A-Z, “a treasure”. He has toured Britain and America giving talks about music, politics and social change and how they are interrelated.

Joe’s speaking topics include:

  • What can we learn from the Sixties? This amazingly fertile decade continues to inspire and guide creativity half a century later. Joe Boyd explains why.
  • Our culture can’t escape the Sixties. What was it about that decade that provided us with such enduring templates of creativity and originality? Joe Boyd was there and he remembers.
  • Lessons of the Sixties. Can the revolutionary creativity of that decade teach us anything today? Joe Boyd explores the question.

Our Comment

"Joe's unique career path allows him to bring a whole new perspective on the roots of creativity and innovation, and the many forms it can take. Currently Joe is producing a series of fortnightly podcasts - an A to Z of his favourite records - where he tells stories, plays clips from his extensive collection and explains the musical and social context in which it was created. The podcast was was given a glowing review by Miranda Sawyer in the Observer."

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