'I bought it with my birthday money'
There are a lot of reasons why Vinyl creators Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger recruited Terence Winter to be the showrunner of HBO’s new, ’70s-set music biz drama — not least the fact that he performed the same role on Boardwalk Empire. But also near the top of the list was undoubtedly Winter’s own fondness for, and knowledge of, the many musical genres which feature on the show.
“I was born in 1960, so I had three older sisters, and an older brother, [and] I listened to their music,” says Winter, who has been involved with Vinyl since 2008, when it was still intended for the big screen, and is also one of the show’s executive producers. “I had a really really firm background in rock ’n’ roll from the time I was a little kid. I grew up listening to music from the ‘50s and obviously the British invasion stuff was just constant in our house. Elvis, even before that. And, then, into the ’70s, I was really into the Stones, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper. Then, I discovered punk rock in the mid-seventies and my musical taste became a little more eclectic. But, basically, I grew up on rock ’n’ roll. Vinyl is set in the year 1973 — that was the year that punk, disco, and hip-hop basically were all invented, if you will, within a span of about six months of each other in New York. I wrote the pilot, and here we are now.”
So, what is Winter’s favorite record which he actually owns on vinyl? The answer is Goat’s Head Soup by the Jagger-fronted Rolling Stones, whose tracklisting includes “Angie,” “Star Star,” and “Silver Train.”
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“The first album I ever bought was Goat’s Head Soup,” he says. “It all started there. It came out in 1973, the year the show takes place. I think I bought it with my birthday money for my thirteenth birthday. I’d been buying 45s up to that point. I went to a live show of theirs [recently] and it was so cool that they pulled ‘Silver Train’ out.”
Vinyl debuts Sunday on HBO. See a trailer below — and the promo video for “Silver Train.”
A version of this story appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1402, on newsstands now