Steve Harley

& Cockney Rebel

The Northern Echo

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The Northern Echo SATURDAY, JANUARY 16, 2016 Weekend

Car Torque with rock musician STEVE HARLEY
By MATT WESTCOTT

What was your first car?
I was junior reporter in Colchester at the end of 1968. I had full-time access to a Ford Escort 1100cc automatic.

How many times did it take to pass your test?
I passed first time. I learnt in the automatic Ford, and the middle-aged couple who taught me had never driven an auto so there was the occasional improvisation. I don’t think my examiner had tested anyone in an auto before.

Who would be your ideal fantasy passenger and where would you go?
Lewis Hamilton. We’d go to Snetterton race track and he’d put my BMW V12 through its paces. Then I’d give him a J-turn!

What is your dream car?
A Jaguar XK150, because it’s the car of my youth and several XK bargains have slipped away from me over the years – fool!

How would you describe your driving style?
Considerate, wary. But the 7-series V12 is a point-catcher.

Tell me one driving anecdote from your past?
I parked that little Escort in a ditch in 1970. The newspaper photographer had imbibed a couple of pints of Abbot for lunch while out on a story. We told the editor I’d swerved to avoid a dog. But I was blurry-eyed from the booze.

What are you listening to?
Soundtrack from the film The Mission. It’s Ennio Morricone at his greatest. Useless film, but amazing soundtrack.

What do you drive now?
BMW 760Li because it’s a wonderful touring car, and I’m often in the back sleeping after concerts. But I spend a lot of time at the wheel of my Land Rover Discovery. We live in the Suffolk cornfields and have a couple of acres of woodland. The Disco is totally perfect.

STEVE Harley is a rock musician best known for his hit record Make Me Smile which he recorded with his band Cockney Rebel. Number One in 1975, it has been covered more than 100 times. On April 23 at Hull City Hall, Steve and Cockney Rebel headline a fundraising concert, Rock for Ronson, for a permanent memorial to Mick Ronson, the musician, producer and arranger who was Steve’s friend.


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