Good to see that the venerable but impeccably preserved Muff Winwood (73) is having his career recognised with an “A&R Icon” award in early November.
Muff is probably best known in Sprout fandom as the guy who Paddy unfairly and wrongly thought had nixed “Let’s Change the World With Music” by suggesting he did more in the vein of “Earth the Story So Far”, leading to the famous, unreleased, and utterly unrealisable history of the world now sitting in a shoebox in the corner of a dusty ex-kitchen in County Durham. But he was also a staunch and unbending fan of the band since hearing “Lions” on John Peel and sending his staff hotfoot to sign them.
Not uncritical, though. He wanted Prefab Sprout to be massive, and often tried to tactfully iron away some of Paddy’s creases – for example his pathological inability to name a song after the predominant line in the chorus. Or to try and persuade him to tour. But there was a good and enduring relationship regardless, and Muff always supported Paddy in developing his own directions. Muff would later ruefully reflect that if Jordan hadn’t been the major worldwide hit it could have been, that was probably because Paddy didn’t want it in his heart of hearts.
So we owe him a lot. Congratulations well earned.