Within a few days of interviewing Elvis Presley, Ray Connolly was answering Bob Dylan’s questions about the Elvis encounter. A week later it was the turn of John Lennon to ask the same questions. No matter how famous a star might be, he or she is always in awe of someone who went before. For Dylan and Lennon it was Elvis.
For over half a century Ray Connolly has been chronicling popular culture and asking questions of the famous. Muhammad Ali said ‘boxing was the best thing I could have done…if I could, I would have been a great doctor or something like that’; Spike Milligan described his call-up papers as ‘a cunningly worded invitation to partake in World War II’; Leonard Cohen said that, before he became a songwriter, he wrote poems as a way of getting off with girls; Dusty Springfield risked her career by suddenly coming out as bisexual in the interview; while Paul McCartney phoned him to ask to be interviewed about the Beatles’ break-up.
Born At The Right Time is Ray Connolly’s memoir of a career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter, that also offers reflections on the rapidly changing world that he, his family and his generation have lived through; one in which popular music became for many an ever-present accompaniment.
Along the way, he interviewed, or worked with, some of the most famous people in the world: Roger Vadim, Germaine Greer, Michael Caine, David Attenborough, Mick Jagger, Yoko Ono, Michael Palin, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Hagman, Charlie Watts, Lenny Henry, Joni Mitchell, Victoria Wood, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cheshire, Keith Richards, Tim Rice, Anna Wintour, Dennis Hopper, Michael Parkinson, George Martin, David Bailey, Bianca Jagger, Peter Hall, Don McCullin, Don and Phil Everly, David Essex, Little Richard, Joe Frazier, Tony Curtis, Tom Jones, Peter Bowles, Rod Stewart…and hundreds more.
Born At The Right Time is about all of them, and about all of us, too, who travelled the same road through recent history.