My second show as a producer was So It Goes. So from World in Action I went to So It Goes.
That’s a big leap!
Yes. It was, wasn’t it?
Six months on So It Goes. My music background helped me get this maybe. So It Goes became a cult hit – still is – because it was right there when punk hit. Chris Pye produced series 1 in 1976 – featuring the Sex Pistols’ first ever TV appearance. I produced series 2. It was Tony Wilson’s show really, he badgered Plowright to do it, he drove it. The attitude was “this is important, let’s do it“. It was a show which was kind of half buried by the network. Not every station took it and it was late night. It got horrible press. I’ve got some of the cuttings. But it was important Wilson begged me to put the Clash on and I did – then I became his friend for life! Chris’s series was more of a culture show, mine more of a music series. I’m very proud of So It Goes. My series also featured Elvis Costello, the Jam, XTC, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nick Lowe, Steel Pulse. We did lots of live location filming, lots of OB’s, from the Electric Circus in Manchester, Eric’s in Liverpool, the Elizabethan Ballroom in Middleton, the Manchester Apollo. We did Iggy Pop at the Apollo. It was great fun. We begged Plowright to do more but he didn’t really believe in it, thought it a bit of an indulgence I think.
In the late ’70s Granada had a music thing going – I remember (David) Liddiment doing a series (was it On the Road?), a big OB series. From the Apollo in Manchester. With Tina Turner, Earth Wind and Fire, big acts. Bryan Ferry, I think, was there. We did the Bob Marley tribute for the network in 1981 which I produced. Then of course Granada had made Stones in the Park and the Doors Are Open. So there was a reputation and an interest in music and various producers and directors wanted to do more music. By the way, did you know Joy Division’s first TV appearance was on Granada Reports?