Instead of just pasting the article about John Miles that I wrote for the Derby Evening Telegraph, here's a full transcript of the interview I had with him prior to the opening of the Dan Dare musical in 2003. I hope you find it of interest.
Andy Potter, June 2003
John Miles - In Conversation
Andy Potter: How are you doing?
John Miles: I’m great, a bit knackered but okay
Andy Potter: Dan Dare – where did the idea come from?
John Miles: It didn’t actually come from me, but Tom Kelly who wrote the script, he’s a big Dan Dare fan since the Eagle comic days and he came to me to ask if I wanted to do it. We’d worked together on Tom and Catherine, and it was fun to work with him so I said yes. The next thing I knew was about six months later when he dropped the script off at the door, and lots of copies of the comics so that I could immerse myself in the stuff. I can’t say that the Eagle was my favourite comic though.

When I started to read the script I immediately thought of sixties music and rock and roll, and Tom had already written a few lyrics down that suggested the era straight away.
Andy Potter: Was it down to you to write both music and lyrics then?
John Miles: No, Tom actually writes the lyrics and I edit them down into song form
Andy Potter: So are musicals the way forward for you these days?
John Miles: I don’t really know to be quite honest with you, but I enjoy doing them because you’re not sitting down with a blank piece of paper. You’ve got characters and story which means you’ve got a start. It’s an enjoyable writing exercise from that point of view.
Andy Potter: Going back to the start of your career, where does the creative process begin?
John Miles: I’ve collaborated with a various lyric writers and stuff over the years, but its many different things. Sometimes you get inspired by a musical thought or a phrase that you hear somebody saying, if you’re in a working mode you take it from there. Otherwise you think you ought to write something and then you do sit down and start with nothing.
Andy Potter: Are we going to get another album from you?
John Miles: It’s possible. If I feel really inspired to do one, then I will but I would have to be really happy with what I was writing, and that it was great and that I should record it.
Andy Potter: When did it get to be that music was your life and career and not a job; or is it still a job?
John Miles: If you’re talking about touring then it still is a job, because it’s like groundhog day, on the other hand, the creative process I still enjoy it very much. Touring with Tina Turner it was like sixteen months on the road, basically doing the same show, so you end up on automatic pilot. That’s when I found golf, because it took my mind off it. It used to get me out during the day and I wouldn’t have to think about the show. Plus it kept me out of the bars at night!
Andy Potter: How many times did you go around the world then?
John Miles: We did four or five tours with Tina, two with (Joe) Cocker, one with Jimmy Paige, it was just a lot of stuff.
Andy Potter: How did you get involved with the tours?
John Miles: I was put forward by Alan Clarke from Dire Straits, who used to play in my band a lot of years ago. He was putting a band together for a TV special and eventually a tour and he literally bumped into an old guitar technician of mine who told him to give me a ring. I auditioned, got the job and it all came from there.
Andy Potter: Was it performing and living in the real world ?
John Miles: It was basically a case of being spoilt rotten for me, you didn’t have to pick a suitcase up or anything apart from play. We stayed in the best hotels, we flew everywhere business or first class it was crazy, but it was amazing.
Andy Potter: What’s next?
John Miles: A few gigs in the summer, Night Of The Proms, we’ll see what comes..
Andy Potter: You do have phenomenal respect in the business though, don’t you?
John Miles: I don’t know why, perhaps it’s because I can drink more than anyone else (laughs)
Andy Potter: In this country perhaps you haven’t got the respect you would have had if you’d been American?
John Miles: Respect or success?
Andy Potter: You’ve got respect in the industry, so success then
John Miles: I don’t worry about it, I wouldn’t change a thing to be quite honest with you. When the punk era came in it sort of screwed everybody up and I guess it put a dampener on my career. I’ve got no regrets and I’ve been a very, very lucky man in the business, I’ve worked with some of the best people and I’ve had a great time.
Andy Potter: What is the one thing or piece of work that sums up what you got into the music business for?
John Miles: Probably Music, because it’s still played or if I keep doing musicals we might get something into the West End.
Andy Potter: My personal favourite is The Right To Sing
John Miles: That was written in a moment of anger. At the time we were going through a lot of crap with the record company. They were going bust I think and what happened was they said that they couldn’t afford to let me do an album, but just a few singles and they started sending me ridiculous songs that they wanted me to cover. I think they were just trying to force my hand, which they did, and that’s how The Right To Sing Came About, because I felt I was being gagged.
Andy Potter: John, thank you very much.