Somewhere in London a musician carries the keys to the musical kingdom. In his Technicolor sonic scope are all kinds of sounds, from rock to country to soul to pop. Nothing is off limits, as long as it has a groove and goodness based in reality. The musician has been performing for 40 years, but is as fresh today as the first time he stepped on stage. There are no tricks or short cuts here. Far from it. His songs are as solid as the earth, yet carry no lingering hype or heaviness. The musician is Nick Lowe, the headmaster of British rock.
With someone like Nick Lowe, who has been such an unending influence on music as a performer, songwriter, producer and all-around proud fan, there is always the question of how he knows when his songs are ready for their public debut. When I can pick up an acoustic guitar and play the thing through, he says, if I can do that and it feels like someone else has written it, or Im playing a cover song so it doesnt sound like me anymore, then its done. I dont try to make it anything, because when I try to make it something I cant stand it. It needs to be as natural as possible, and generally not sound too much like me. Its an inner gyroscope that lets you know when its done.