I started out as a music journalist in 1985 and spent the following ten years freelancing for Melody Maker. It was an amazing time, interviewing people I’d idolised and whose music I’d played to death for years: Joe Strummer, John Lydon, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Neneh Cherry. I went on the road with the Pixies, and Kim Deal told me why Black Francis was putting on weight (“He’s just discovered getting stoned, so he’s always eating chocolate.”). My first trip to New York, in 1987, was to interview Salt-n-Pepa about a strange new music called hip-hop. I headed to New York with U2, Zurich with Simple Minds, Ljubljana with Laibach. In 1992, I went to Siberia with Nitzer Ebb and ended up going back to live there, but that’s a different, very long story. I spent way more time than is healthy for anybody in the company of Shaun Ryder, and interviewed both Liza Minnelli and Peter Cushing (who kept calling me ‘Dear Boy’ and asking if I needed the toilet).