Paul Carrack: ‘Fame? I don’t fancy it, but filthy rich would’ve been nice’

Former Ace, Squeeze and Roxy Music singer and keyboardist is this week’s Róisín Meets guest

Paul Carrack: “You gotta be happy with what you’ve got and what I’ve got is not too shabby.”

Paul Carrack: “You gotta be happy with what you’ve got and what I’ve got is not too shabby.”

 

“I wouldn’t have wanted to be famous, I’m sure I wouldn’t have liked it at all. I wouldn’t have minded being filthy rich, but that’s different,” says Paul Carrack.

Dubbed “The Man with the Golden Voice” by the BBC, the singer and keyboardist might be pop music’s best kept secret.

His career has spanned more than four decades, during which time he has played with and written songs for the likes of Elton John, Eric Clapton, Squeeze, Roxy Music, the Eagles and The Smiths.

Yet somehow, he has managed to avoid superstardom.

“You gotta be happy with what you’ve got and what I’ve got is not too shabby. People say it could have been this, it could have been that, but it could have been a lot worse I always say,” he told Róisín Ingle on the latest, Róisín Meets podcast.

Born in Sheffield in 1951, Carrack left school at 15, taught himself how to play the guitar, drums and any other instrument he could get his hands on, before settling on the keyboard.

“Not having a job was not respectable at all,” he recalls but seeing the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry and Roy Orbison perform at Sheffield City Hall, made up his mind about what he wanted to do with his life.

His first band was the prog-rock outfit Warm Dust, which with two people on flutes and no guitar, was “a bit bonkers” he admits, but they were pretty serious about it.

Out of the ashes of Warm Dust came Ace and Carrack’s biggest hit How Long, which he says was written about a bass guitarist who had been flirting with another band behind his back.

Ace “fizzled out” in the late 1970s and he started to work as a session musician. He scored some work with Roxy Music, which he was “a nit sniffy about” at first, but ended up touring Europe with Bryan Ferry who he describes as “a laugh”.

After the departure of Jools Holland, Squeeze looked around for a new singer and Carrack fit the bill, singing lead vocals on their much-loved song Tempted.

On the podcast, Carrack talks about his time with Squeeze, Morrissey and The Smiths, Mike and the Mechanics, Eric Clapton and many more.

You can catch Paul Carrack at The Olympia Theatre in Dublin October 18th.

Subscribe to Róisín Ingle’s weekly podcast.

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