I Loved the Crazy 1980s. the World We're in Now Is Loveless ; THIS CULTURAL LIFE ++ RICHARD JOBSON ++ the Former Punk Rocker and TV Presenter Loves Religious Art - but He's Not Such a Fan of Religion
Morris, Sophie, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
What was your cultural passion when you were 14?
Music, film and clothes, in that order. I was a skinhead as a young kid and would have been just coming through a ska period. Believe it or not, my brother was a hippie, and he was introducing me to all kinds of different things and I was moving towards a Lou Reed and Alice Cooper phase. Punk happened when I was 15, which was perfect timing for me.
What do you cling on to from childhood?
A love of film. I am an epileptic and cinema gave me great solace as a child. It's always been a place where I can lose myself and feel safe. I was a great lover of westerns and science-fiction movies. The first movie which turned me on to pop culture was Yellow Submarine.
What are you reading in bed at the moment?
Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It's about improbability versus impossibility. It's a bit of a brain-muncher, but hugely enjoyable.
What book have you been meaning to read since you bought it in a fit of misguided enthusiasm? And why haven't you got round to it yet?
Peter Ackroyd's biography of Shakespeare. Every time I read it I end up putting it back down again and thinking "Oh, not that interesting." Which is sinful but I think I like Shakespeare's writing rather than his life. I think he was a bit of a bore.
Are you a re-reader? Which book have you re-read most frequently in your life?
Martin Amis's books were embedded in my life in the early Eighties and he's the only writer I've remained a stalwart fan of. The younger Amis was all about fun and the older Amis has become much more serious. I loved the 1980s because it was such a crazy period in most of our lives and he really captured it in a nihilistic, fun way. His new books capture the world we're in now, which is loveless. He's probably the greatest writer of his generation, in my simple mind. I'm a bit like a fan of a band with him - I just buy the books without reading the reviews. I wouldn't want to meet him and spoil my idea of what he's about.
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I've got two kids who are 13 and 15 so they have an influence on what I listen to. My daughter's a bit of a rock chick and she's let me listen to a lot of unsigned stuff through MySpace and YouTube. My son is into punk which is really interesting for me as I was there, but he's not really interested in my part in it. My favourite band are a Scottish band called Mogwai who are very cool. They move from being delicate to hard and edgy so there's a kind of cinematic quality to what they do. They're a band I really want to work with on a movie at some point. I listen to a lot of revivalist music like Gillian Welch.
What is your ideal alternative job? And the realistic alternative?
I've got a passion for gardening which I've had since I was a kid. Three elderly women kind of brought me up and they were passionate gardeners. …