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Kenneth Gibson's Political Spin

Kenneth Gibson | Alamy

Kenneth Gibson's Political Spin

What was the first record that you ever bought?

A Wizard, a True Star by Todd Rundgren. That came out in the 1970s; I was about 12 at the time. He was also the first gig I went to in January 1977 in Glasgow. There were quite a number of my classmates there as well. It was at the Apollo, where the cinema now stands. I then saw Lynyrd Skynyrd nine days later and Frank Zappa five days after that. That was just a few months before most of the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd were killed in a plane crash.

But Todd Rundgren was extremely popular at my school and one of the most popular artists in the 70s. He was just completely different from anything else I had heard.

I still listen to his music from the ‘70s and ‘80s. He’s had a lot since then, but I only really listen to his stuff from that period, and I have done all my life. There’s rarely two or three days that go past without listening to Todd Rundgren.

What record will always get you on the dance floor?

We Found Love by Rihanna. It’s just the intensity and the emotion in it – I just think it’s fantastic. I love the build-up and the beat, it just builds and builds, and you just let everything go. 

I never went dancing when I was younger because my friends didn’t like it. I was keen but they weren’t. Although my sister and her pals went up the dancing on a Saturday night, my pals just weren’t into that. We used to sit and listen to music in dark rooms and contemplate the universe and that kind of nonsense. 

The one time of year I get on a dance floor I’ll do my thing, the kind of embarrassing dad dancing type of stuff.

What is your karaoke song?

This is a difficult one. There’s a few but I’ll pick Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I got the 12-inch single, I think back in ‘81 or ‘82.

What songs do you want played at your funeral?

I have four songs that I want played at my funeral. My mother died last year and we played four operatic tunes at her funeral. My son died in April, and I played four at his. So, I have picked four for my own. 

Somewhere Only We Know by Keane, that was played at my son’s funeral and on the grave next to my son it is written on the tombstone of a girl who was in my daughter’s class at school. I have Song of Bernadette by Jennifer Warnes, such a beautiful song. Next is For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her by Simon and Garfunkel, and finally Afterglow by Genesis.

What songs/music is guaranteed to make you cry?

It’s I’ll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga from A Star is Born. I love that song, I think it is great, the way she sings it with her heart and soul. Disappointed it didn’t win the Oscar. 

What is your favourite song?

It’s Forbidden Colours by Sylvian and Sakamoto, from the film Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence.

What music would you always associate with your childhood?

A Saturday was always classical music. My dad liked guys like Guy Mitchell and all that kind of 50s stuff. My mum was quite into Elvis.  But on the radio, there was the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I was never a fan of the Beatles, I have to say. They’ve had some wonderful music, but A Hard Day’s Night and Yellow Submarine undermined them for me. I loved the Rolling Stones: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Brown Sugar. And there was also lots of great Motown stuff in the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

What record do you absolutely hate but can’t get out of your head?

Where do I start, but maybe The Birdie Song by Black Lace. 

What record would you be embarrassed to owning up to having in your collection?

I can’t think of any record that I liked in the ‘70s that I can’t stand any more. I have about 400 vinyl albums and maybe 100 CDs.

What was the last band you went to see and who with?

It was Saturday night – I went to see The Barber of Seville. When you think about music it’s not just mainstream, it’s wider, whether it’s Celtic Connections at one end or the opera at the other. So, I saw that with my daughter, Heather. It was her second opera and she really enjoyed it. It was the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, a fifty-piece band of some of the best musicians in Scotland. 

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