Sam is amazed how few people, outside of his native North East, know about his hero’s work. He’s now on a mission to win back Alan’s place in music history.
In this film he traces the career of the man whose words and music put Newcastle and supergroup Lindisfarne on the musical map in the 1970s. Alan continued to write classic songs until his early death in 1995.
Sam digs out fascinating interviews, performances and unseen footage, and meets friends, family and bandmates who knew Alan best.
He also hears from top stars like Sting, Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Dave Stewart and Peter Gabriel. All were huge fans of songs such as Lady Eleanor, Fog On The Tyne, Winter Song, Clear White Light and Run For Home.
Sam is delighted to discover that Alan has inspired an entire new generation of musicians, like Kay Greyson: a young rapper from Tyneside. To his surprise, Sam discovers “Hully” also took the lead role in an acclaimed BBC TV play in the 1970s.
The film reveals a complex man – a political animal and an agitator, beset with his own insecurities but one who could break hearts and inspire minds with his lyrics and melodies.
Commissioned by BBC England and BBC Music, the new series has been produced by Daisybeck Studios. It aired as a one-off documentary on Friday 26 November and is still available on BBC iPlayer.