Episode 079: Glenn Tilbrook
I first met Glenn Tilbrook two years back in a hotel bar roughly 40 minutes or so outside of downtown Austin, Texas. I was nursing a whiskey after a long day’s work and overheard the older gentleman describing a corporate music gig in a soft spoken English accent. It took me longer than I care to admit that the guy sitting next to me was the frontman of one of the greatest pop group of the last 30 years. I’m also slightly embarrassed to admit that I slipped into interviewer mode a few times during that conversation — and subsequent conversations the following two nights, asking Tilbrook about my favorite Squeeze song, “Up the Junction.” A typically upbeat song musically, the number seems to take an abrupt tonal shift in lyrics roughly halfway through when, seemingly without warning, things shift from white picket fences to alcoholism and broken relationships. “I’d never thought of it like that,” Tilbrook answered. “I’d always just thought it was realistic. Fair enough. And really a pretty solid encapsulation of the musician’s approach to the world — a realist with the undeniable propensity toward perfect pop hooks. Fitting then, that things got a bit real in the tour bus parked just outside of the City Winery ahead of a Tilbrook solo show, as we spoke of matters of songwriting and life.