Now – as you probably know, as well as the usual platforms (this site, soundcloud, iTunes/Apple) you can get to Sweetman Podcast on Spotify – follow it there and have it saved in your Spotify library. It’s on most of the podcast platforms besides the ones mentioned here.
This week’s conversation was recorded a couple of months back during a road-trip from Wellington to Hawke’s Bay. I stopped in Masterton along the way to catch up with my friend Mark Rogers. He’s a music publicist, promoter, DJ, regular raconteur and massive music fan. He also co-own the shop Bear Flag Books And Retro – selling second hand books and treasures in the main street of Masterton. The shop became famous for a photo-op post-lockdown with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. So of course we had to talk about that.
But there was so much to talk about. Mark was born in Wales, grew up there but the bright lights of the big city that is London was always calling out to this young music fan. So after a quarter-century of collecting stories, meeting some of the biggest names in music and compiling alt-country compilations, Rogers moved to New Zealand. He had a young family to raise and worked this crazy schedule for a while, conducting international music publicity business at night and then the morning’s school run.
Somewhere in all of this he started up and still hosts Nashville Babylon, one of the best things on RNZ. The Monday night show is classic old-school radio, slices of Americana – via country and soul and sometimes a little bit of reggae or even some hip-hop.
I first met Mark sometime a decade or so ago – through going to gigs, he hooked me up with some interviews and was the connection point allowing me to meet and work with Sylvie Simmons, one of my journalism heroes.
We were long overdue a podcast – he’s been a planned guest since I started this. But schedules can be a hard thing to coordinate. When I saw him at the very start of this year we made a pact that we’d get together for a chat about his life and times this year. And then we did. And I’m very glad we did. And I think you’ll be glad to hear this too – a fabulous chat about music fandom, basically. With some colourful stories about meeting and seeing some of the biggest names to ever own a stage.
So check this out. This is episode 256 of the podcast. My conversation with Mark Rogers.