Michael: “I saw the Broadway show about seven times. But even before that, I’d always watch The Wizard Of Oz on TV every Christmas. It was a dream come true to get the part of Scarecrow, because he was the character I always loved the most. I think that most kids can identify with him and they always feel sorry for him. My nephews saw the movie and they said they didn’t like it because I got sawn in half by Evilene!
“In the States, when I first appear in the film with the Funky Crows, those birds get hissed and booed at. They are m-e-a-n, y’know!”
BE: Reading the quotes from scraps of paper was a brilliant idea. Was it in the original play?
Michael: “No, in fact although the storyline is almost exactly the same as the Broadway show, there’s a million new ideas that have gone into the film. Each one of those paper bits was put into my clothing just before I was due to take it out.”
On first glance, LunchMoney Lewis’s Lunchbreak spotify playlist could be that of any young rapper. The hit-making Los Angeleno has rugged hip-hop classics like Wu-Tang Clan’s CREAM [Cash Rules Everything About Me], deep album cuts like Jay-Z’s Lenny Kravitz-featuring Guns And Roses, and newer offerings like Earl Sweatshirt’s typically cathartic Faucet. It’s what you might expect from one of rap’s up and comers – something old, something new, something you might have missed. But sprinkled within the mix are Lewis’ less hip-hop-friendly pop favourites. There’s Maroon 5’s This Summer, Gwen Stefani’s Long Way To Go, Elliphant’s Love Me Badder, and Alessia Cara’s Here. It suggests someone with a hip-hop head’s heart and a pop ear.
Bonjo Iyabinghi Noah is standing by the roadside in Accra, Ghana, his voice almost drowned out by traffic noises and the clamour of passers-by. The elderly Rastaman is the musical driving force behind African Head Charge – the radical dub group whose first four albums, produced by Adrian Sherwood, have recently been reissued on the latter’s On U Sound label.
“When I was very young I was influenced by this man Count Ossie and The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari. He influenced everybody. My grandmother’s sister, her name was Nana Bunchie, and she had a Rasta camp in Clarendon, which was the first Rasta camp after Pinnacle…
You’ve got to hand it to Lee “Scratch” Perry. The legendary Jamaican producer hasn’t made a decent album in 30 years – well OK, maybe just a couple – and yet he’s constantly being asked to record more. It was once his skills at the mixing-board that set the reggae world alight, but that all changed after he burned down the Black Ark studio in the late seventies. Since then, he’s become a reggae court jester – talking in riddles and acting as mad as a hatter, whilst cleverly reinventing himself as a recording and performing artist…