Rock author Andrew Perry has been writing about music for four decades. Starting out on fanzines and London student papers, he’d sneak in through venue loading bays to chase down interviews with Sonic Youth and Morrissey, then got his first professional break interrogating alt.rock and indie-dance arrivistes for teen pop mag Number One.
In August 1990, he joined indie bible Select on its third issue, and stayed right through until it folded in December 2000, documenting grunge and Britpop (a world exclusive Oasis interview at Knebworth etc), and ultimately serving as its Deputy Editor.
From there, he went freelance, chiefly contributing to The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Mojo and Q, as well as countless other far-flung websites and publications, such as Rolling Stone, Numéro in Paris, and Japan’s Rockin’ On.
Along the way, he has gone mano-a-mano up against giants including Jerry Lee Lewis, Ringo Starr, The Rolling Stones, Al Green, Robert Plant, Siouxsie Sioux, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Iggy Pop. He rubbed shoulders with heroes like The Clash and Nirvana, and has interviewed post-millennial rock’s elusive genius, Jack White, more times than any other journalist on earth.
Along the way, he got bitten on the neck by Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan, survived Rihanna’s globe-straddling airborne 777 tour, sped through a pack of rabid dogs on the back of Pete Doherty’s moped, and could only look on in dismay as the US art-punk duo Royal Trux split up as his tape rolled – on two separate occasions.
Courtney Love stripped naked to his DJ-ing, while Jamaican dancehall prodigy Popcaan noted that “Andrew’s my G”, and Héloïse Letissier, aka Christine, got fed up talking about herself and interviewed him instead. Bobby Gillespie daubed him “one of the good guys”, and Lou Reed referred to him as a “fucking prick” (a term of endearment, surely).
Thus far, he has ghost-written three autobiographies. John Lydon’s Anger Is An Energy: My Life Uncensored, published by Simon & Schuster in 2014, which made the Top Five in The Sunday Times Non-Fiction Bestseller List. Work on Tricky’s Hell Is Round The Corner [Blink, 2019] was completed in unforeseeably challenging circumstances, when the artist’s daughter passed away midway through the schedule, but that one got rave reviews across the board, too. In 2022 White Rabbit published Bez's book Buzzin' which Andrew also ghost-wrote.
The good news is, he has plenty more books in him.