The co-founder of Sire Records, Seymour Stein discovered and launched the careers of the Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna, signed Lou Reed and Ice-T and masterminded the American assault of The Smiths, The Cure, The Pretenders and Echo & The Bunnymen. He’s just published a gripping memoir, Siren Song, happily awash with the colourful acts he nurtured and the heinous twists and turns of 60 years of the record business. He’s full of great stories. Not for nothing did Belle & Sebastian write a song about him.
We’ve also got Belfast-based author and broadcaster Stuart Bailie on his book Trouble Songs: Music And Conflict In Northern Ireland which includes contributions from Bono, Christy Moore, Stiff Little Fingers and Orbital talking about the five decades since ’68 when music proved “a persuader, an agitator and a peacemaker”. Extraordinary times.