Jarvis Cocker

Private Passions

29-05-2022 • 41 min

In a wide-ranging and engaging interview, musician Jarvis Cocker tells Michael Berkeley about the role classical music plays in his life and relationships.

Fortunately for the world of music Jarvis Cocker abandoned his early ambition to be an astronaut and instead, at the age of 14, had the idea of forming a band called Pulp during an Economics lesson at school in Sheffield. Some 15 years later, Pulp was one of the most successful bands in the world, with a string of witty, emotionally raw, and musically inventive hits rooted in the details of real life.

Since then, he has become a much-loved radio presenter with the long-running "Jarvis Cocker’s Sunday Service" on BBC Six Music, and "Wireless Nights" on Radio 4. Amongst numerous other projects he has formed a new band, JARV IS…, and he has just published a memoir of his childhood and the early years of Pulp called Good Pop, Bad Pop.

Jarvis describes how, during a long period of convalescence after an accident, he transformed the way he wrote songs, realizing that the details of everyday life around him in Sheffield provided a goldmine of material. He tells Michael how he coped with fame when it eventually arrived in his thirties, and how he has never conquered his stage fright.

Jarvis chooses music by Schubert, Max Richter, Rachmaninoff, Eric Satie and Delius, all guaranteed to give him the ‘tingle’ factor. He talks about the power of particular vinyl records to bring back memories of his teenage years in Sheffield and of his son as he was growing up in Paris. And he talks movingly about the role Richter’s music played in his relationship with his dying father who had been absent for most of Jarvis’s life.

Producer: Jane Greenwood