Albums should be forced by law to reveal where each song was written

Bob Dylan is heading into the new year with a reduced property portfolio, having sold his Scottish bolthole, Aultmore House in Speyside, for a shade over four million quid. Though the spec looks grand – 16 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, a folly (to complement his Christmas album, presumably) – only one aspect interests me: did Dylan ever write anything notable there? Is some piece of the Cairngorms National Park forever preserved in a line – perhaps the one he cribbed from Robbie Burns about his heart being in the Highlands – that came to him while gazing out enigmatically over the croquet lawn? Where musicians wrote their songs remains a crucially

The death of the pop star

The definition of ‘pop star’ in the Collins English Dictionary is unambiguous: ‘A famous singer or musician who performs pop music.’ Well, that seems fairly self-explanatory, doesn’t it? It also seems way wide of the mark, because being a pop star (or a rock star, its longer-haired cousin) encompasses a great deal more than being famous for singing pop songs. As Nik Cohn wrote, describing the first flush of idols of the rock’n’roll age, they were ‘maniacs, wild men with pianos and guitars who would have been laughing stocks in any earlier generation… They were energetic, basic, outrageous. They were huge personalities and they used music like a battering ram.’

A wonderfully unguarded podcast about the last bohemians

Ordinarily, if a podcast purports to be revelatory, you can assume it is anything but. There’s a glut of programmes at the moment featuring interviewer and interviewee locked in passionate heart-to-hearts in which a few, carefully selected beans are spilled to no real consequence or effect. The Last Bohemians makes no claim to shatter the earth with secrets, but the guests are so unguarded that the episodes possess that longed-for bite. Maggi Hambling reels off a to-do list she made at art school while she was seeking to lose her virginity: ‘Older man, younger man, black man, woman’. Dana Gillespie, singer and former flame of David Bowie, describes undoing her