What Does This Post on the Porsche 911 Have to Do with Music? You May Be Surprised.

One of my favourite English bands of the early 90s was The Catherine Wheel. Songs like “Black Metallic” and “I Want to Touch You” have always been available in my iPhone.

In my opinion, they were criminally underrated and given far too much stick by the British music press. Maybe it was because they somehow fell in the gaps between shoegaze, grunge and Britpop.  A shame, really.

Singer Rob Dickinson (a cousin of Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson) was a super-nice guy, too, and a terrific interview. And when Universal asked Rob and the band to cover Rush’s “Spirit of Radio” as sort of a favour to CFNY/The Edge, they did.

They also did a killer version of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.”

The Catherine Wheel is long gone with all members finding new work. Rob tried a solo career that didn’t do as well as it should. So he went back to his first love: cars. Specifically, Porsches. From Road and Track:

The 49-year-old behind Singer Vehicle Design is a funny, self-effacing Englishman named Rob Dickinson. He is a genuinely nice guy who lives in Los Angeles. He named his company Singer partly because he once fronted a shoegaze band called Catherine Wheel. And he bears the same quiet impishness you see in a lot of L.A. Brits. You wonder if it’s a cultural thing, or if all of them aren’t just mildly thrilled to be far from their ancestral home, where it has been cloudier, far more polite, and generally unlike California for thousands of years.

At press time, Dickinson’s manner and work have convinced 28 people to give him at least $390,000 each in exchange for modifying an old 911. More than 40 others have put down deposits. Each car takes around eight months to finish. Dickinson has been doing this, in one form or another, since 2008.

Even if you like Porsches, the business model sounds unhinged.

Read the whole story here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “What Does This Post on the Porsche 911 Have to Do with Music? You May Be Surprised.

  • June 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I was just saying to a friend last week (after the Ride reunion show) that the time is right for Catherine Wheel to get on the shoegaze reunion train while it’s strong (although labelling them as shoegaze criminally undervalues them). I think they’re be a really strong demand for them.


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