Alan Edwards explores the phenomenon of the band reunion in BBC Four’s Hits, Hype and Hustle: An Insiders Guide To The Music Industry.
“We’re putting the band back together.” It’s a phrase that’s been uttered more and more frequently over the last couple of decades as artists put aside their differences and reform for a whole new generation of fans. Plus it’s very big business, as PR guru Alan Edwards explains as he presents his BBC Four TV show Hits, Hype and Hustle: An Insiders Guide To The Music Industry, which closes the three part series.
Alan is the founder of leading PR company The Outside Organisation and one of only three members of the PR Week Hall of Fame. He cut his teeth during the punk era and finds himself transported back to the time during a visit to Blackpool for the Rebellion punk festival, meeting a group of punk fans who quiz him on those original, heady days. The punk flame still burns bright and Alan discusses this with Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock who rejoined the band in the mid 90s in what was a pioneering reunion tour.
Alan Edwards said “This was fantastic fun to do and in James and Lorna I had a great team to lead me through it. It’s brilliant to see music covered on TV in a really authentic way. There were some very special moments for me, especially the hours reminiscing with Chris, Clem and Debbie of Blondie as well as Glen from the Pistols. It reminded me that I was actually there at the time!”
Alan is himself no stranger to band’s reforming having represented Blondie since the late 70s when he was hired having turned up in the band’s dressing room at Dingwalls, Camden offering to be their PR! His close relationship shines through as lead singer Debbie Harry and drummer Clem Burke open up about what it takes to get back in the room to make new music and perform live with a 40 year legacy and tangled history behind them.
Finally, we see how a band can reform without actually ever having to be there. This can be through sound tracking West End Musicals like the hugely successful Bat Out Of Hell or in the case of artists who have passed away like the legendary Roy Orbison, soon to perform a full live tour as a state of the art hologram something that has never been done before …
Alan is a regular contributor to TV and Radio, frequently asked to comment on industry issues and the current music scene. He fronted the BBC’s Music Moguls programme in 2016 looking at the way PR and music are intertwined and builds on that with this latest programme. Beyond music Alan was the resident PR advisor on BBC2’s Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes? coaching prospective astronauts on how to deal with the media and public recognition.
Hits, Hype and Hustle: An Insiders Guide To The Music Industry airs on BBC 4 at 9pm on Friday 2nd February and will then be available on BBC iPlayer.