On Tuesday night, I had a date with the Reverend Al Green. Now I’ll be honest. My only real knowledge of our Al was via this Blues Brother, Soul Sister tape our Martin had whenever he was going through his “man at Top-Shop” phase. I wasn’t impressed but I do love to interview the old hands (my Andy Williams interview is still one of my favourites I’ve ever done and he even invited me to stay with him) so I jumped at the chance whenever Hot Press offered it my way.
Cue a few hours later and I’m sitting in my room prepping. His agent rings me an hour earlier and asks can I do the interview now, I tell her nope and we more or less do it at our previously arranged time. Now sometimes interviews can run over, it’s not an exact science, so I didn’t mind, but whenever EMI tried to patch him through (it was a conference call) and there was no sign of him I was starting go think I was in for a long night.
Eventually, Al’s voice came bellowing down the phone and here is a brief transcript of the first few seconds.
Al: “THEY SENT ME FREE CHAMPAGNE, BABY, CHAM-PAGNE”
Edwin: “Good stuff, Al. Pity I can’t be where you are drinking it too.” [notice how I’m using my ‘inside voice’].
Al: “WELL WHY AREN’T YOU HERE, MAN? YOU SHOULD BE WITH ME IN MEMPHIS BABY.”
Edwin: “Well, I’m in Ireland so I can’t really make it over.”
Al: “THAT’S OK MR MCFEE. I LOVE IRELAND. I LOVE YOU BABY. VICARSTREETROYALALBERTHALL IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE. ESPECIALLY WITH SOME CHAM-PAGNE.”
Al then promptly goes on to imitate the popping sound of a cork from a bottle, then answers my questions by telling me all i need to know is “REVEREND L.OV.E. IS PLAYING NEW ORLEANS. L.O.V.E. LOVE.”
Pretty quickly I realise the interview is an absolute write-off so I decided to abandon my questions about the US Elections and opt for comedy instead. Without spoiling too much before the interview runs, he goes on to talk about how much he loves hip-hop (he doesn’t), writing songs about sexing up his wife and drinking in the afternoon.
After hanging up the phone all I could think of after being shouted at by a pissed preacher man was fuck me, he sounds just like Ollie Williams from Family Guy.