Jon Savage on his researcher’s board to join Granada


Jon Savage far right with Phil Griffin and Sue Woodward

I actually joined Granada in April 1979. But I went for the researcher’s board in November ‘78 and my position was that I was living at home with my parents still, I’m an only child, I was completing a Law Society’s solicitor’s qualification course and I absolutely hated it, and I was desperate to get out of it. And what happened was that – and I was of was course intensely pressured by my parents, being an only child to do this is, what they wanted me to do. They actually said to me, you know, “Why do you think we’ve sent you to Cambridge? So you can be a solicitor.” I thought, “Fuck that.” So… and I’d already been writing about punk by then for the music papers for 18 months, I’d written for Sounds for 18 months and I’d just started at Melody Maker in November ‘78. And somehow I got in touch with Wilson, and I think it must have been through Richard Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire, who was one of the groups that Tony had showcased in Factory and was also on his first Factory record, Factory sample, and I knew Richard because I’d done the first music press interview of his group Cabaret Voltaire. So I’m pretty sure it was Richard who made the introduction. I got in touch with Tony and I said, “I really want to come to Granada,” and Tony said, “Okay, I’ll put you in touch with Steve Morrison.” So I went to see Steve Morrison, Steve Morrison obviously liked the cut of my jib because I leapfrogged into a final board without having to take a first board, I think people usually had to take two boards and I leapfrogged into the second board. And it was in November, I’m pretty sure, I think Alex Goode and Liz Macleod got the job at the same time as me, I’m pretty sure, maybe Stephen Garrett as well, but there were something like 800 applicants for three jobs, and much to my surprise I got the job. I think part of the reason was, number one they couldn’t believe that somebody who was undergoing a law training like me was a big city firm of solicitors, Linklaters and Paines, was also an expert on punk and writing about punk rock for the music press, and also at the time when I’d had the interview I was on circuit with a high court judge called Sir William Miles Jones, this is the last attempt to try and get me to be a lawyer and maybe I could become a barrister. And of course I had no idea about what was involved and Sir William and I were getting on incredibly badly, and we were just not speaking to each other, and he was just being vile to me and I just thought, “You can piss off.” And so after having a week of this really serious judge having a go at me, I then turned up to the Granada board and they started having a go at me, and I was so fed up with everything and I just had to go back and I got the job! I couldn’t believe it. They were absolutely foul to me, and I was absolutely foul back. I remember at one point Mike Scott said something and I said, “Well, that’s an idiotic thing to say, isn’t it?” Half the people there kind of smirked because of course Mike Scott wasn’t that popular, and he glowered at me, and of course that’s one the reasons I think I never advanced at Granada because he was programme controller and I hadn’t realised. Anyway, I got the job and I arrived in Manchester, green, you know, wet behind the ears, in April ‘79 and I have to say I had absolutely no idea what was entailed and I didn’t for quite a while;

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