25 July Show: Johnny Green

In the studio is Johnny Green, former road manager of the Clash, talking about his other passion in life, Le Tour De France. In his new book ‘Push Yourself Just a Little Bit More’, Green gives a vivid and at times hilarious account of life backstage at Le Tour in 2003 and 2004 and finds out just why pro cycling has become the new rock ‘n’ roll.”

MP3

Track Listing:

Handlebars – Desperate Bicycles
All Through the City – Dr Feelgood
Six Days on the Road – Lefty Frizzell
There She Goes – The La’s

  • http://twitter.com/ubercurmudgeon Uber Curmudgeon

    This is one of my favourite episodes. Both the quality of the music and the enthusiasm for the sport displayed by the interviewee are of the highest level.

    It led me to finally pick up a copy of Johnny Green’s book, which is also a treat. It is similar in style to Ned Boulting’s more recent ‘How I Won the Yellow Jumper’ but even more irreverent. Consequently it is even more insightful (of the culture surrounding Le Tour, if not the technical aspects of the sport.) As well as the passages quoted in the interview, the following description of Jan Ullrich at the 2004 Tour (written years before he was linked with Dr. Fuentes) is a prime example of Mr. Green’s perspicacity:

    “Jan Ullrich, supposedly a number two, had been riding for days like a turkey. Now he looked like one. Every day he would announce how powerful he felt. Every day he’d come in behind Armstrong. He was a fat German boy. He supposedly loved the Californian high life. His taste was for choux pastry. Someway down my list of decadence. I had taken to edging close to him as he slowed down over the line. In the crush of press, I would say, rather than shout, ‘Ullrich, you wánker.’ Not that I was after a fight, it just needed saying and no one else was. Earl said I’d bottled it. He was right. I wanted to hang on to my pass. In the yards of column inches, Ullrich was daily talked up as a serious contender, but … nah. For my own honour and peace of mind, the word ‘wánker’ had to be spoken aloud.”