pop; riffs

Roy Harper on Leopold Stokowski's Symphonic Synthesis of Parsifal
I don't have a single favourite piece of music , but Stokowski's precis of Wagner's Parsifal had a massive effect on me when I was a teenager. As a rule I hate opera - in particular the kind of pulp pop-opera that does such a lot for our national balance of payments - but I've liked Parsifal ever since I bought this as a cut-price record when I was 16.

It's a precis of the full opera condensed on to two sides of an LP. It contains all the major elements of the music; a brilliant piece of editorial work, both frightening and very moving. As a 16-year-old I was very affected by the grandiosity of it all.

Other important pieces of music to me are Miles Davis/ Gil Evans's Porgy and Bess, which is another way of doing opera in a populist style, with artistry. Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry": great song. Led Zeppelin's "Four Sticks" I like partly because I was there in the studio - saw Bonzo come in with two drumsticks in each hand, which suddenly explained everything. And Stephen Stills's "Black Queen", which is just brilliant improvisation by a man out of his head on Tequila.