When I interviewed Jools Holland for the booklet accompanying the ‘Bert Jansch at the BBC’ anthology a few months back I mentioned, in some chat about his TV show, that it’s been 50 years since John McLaughlin – still active, creative and an undeniable titan of music worldwide, living in Europe and playing at least one show in London every year, usually the Barbican – has performed on BBC TV. (He last performed on ITV in 1978, on ‘The South Bank Show’.)
Jools was amazed at this… though pointed out that his show has been cut to only a few episodes a year (and everyone wants to be on it). Fair enough. John’s very well-served by French TV and other stations in Europe. But it seems to me disgraceful that there has been no BBC TV spot in all that time for a cultural export of such significance. Radio-wise, it’s been 45 years since he performed on that BBC medium – a Peel session and an ‘In Concert’ for Shakti in the same week in 1977.
Here is that ‘most recent’ TV appearance, in 1972. Actually, for trivia buffs, it’s the surviving 30-minute edited repeat (in 1972) of a » Continue Reading.