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Indie Encounters is a regular feature for guest contributors to recollect a memorable indie moment, whether it’s meeting a band, a special gig or even the moment that indie music entered their lives.

In this feature Ben Vendetta @postpunkrunner recounts the day he interviewed Tim Burgess in a Hollywood bar and shares his fanzine pages


Hollywood Day Drinking with Tim Burgess

It was 2001 and I had recently moved to Los Angeles from Boston. I was keeping myself busy working for an independent record label, while also operating a nationally distributed fanzine called Vendetta. I got to know a lot of the local bands on the scene, including the Brian Jonestown Massacre, the Warlocks, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It was a cover story interview that I had conducted with BJM frontman Anton Newcombe that led me to Charlatans’ leader Tim Burgess.

Tim had recently moved to L.A. too and he had been DJing with Alan McGee on a semi-regular basis as part of Alan’s Radio 4 nights. I got to know both of them and one evening I gave Tim some back issues. Next time I saw Tim, he said, ‘Why did you put Anton on the cover? You should put me on there!’ I was like, anytime. Tim and I agreed to meet at a Hollywood bar and conduct the interview.

Tim was pretty drunk when I arrived that afternoon and I got that way in a hurry too as we sunk down many beers over the course of two hours. At one point, Tim got into an argument with his wife on the phone and asked if I could drive him home when we were done. So, in a semi-comatose state, I drove Tim through the winding Hollywood Hills to his house with a spectacular view. When I got back to my Hollywood flat, my wife realized that the door handle on the passenger side was broken! Somehow Tim must have done something to it when I dropped him off. To this day my wife will tell people that the lead singer of the Charlatans broke our door!

So, that’s my story. The two-hour conversation with Tim without edits is transcribed below and published in my fanzine “Vendetta”


Ben Vendetta is the author of Wivenhoe Park (2013) and Heartworm (October 2015). Wivenhoe Park is available on Kindle and paperback via Amazon. Signed paperbacks can be purchased from Elephant Stone Records.


Thank you to Ben for sharing that special moment. If you would like to contribute to this feature please contact us by DM on Twitter @indieover40 or email us at

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