Langley School Music Project



Pete Paphides tells the story of a very special Canadian school recording that inspired the film School of Rock.

Hans Fenger was a rock 'n roll musician who got his first job as a teacher in the bible belt area of Langley, Canada, in the 1970s. He didn't follow the normal teaching methods, never had a lesson plan, didn't use a curriculum and instead taught the children the pop songs of the days - the Beach Boys, Wings, David Bowie, The Eagles. Together they made a record of these songs which each of the pupils took home.

Years later, Brian Linds, a radio presenter and actor, found the LP in a charity shop and took it home. He sent it to another radio presenter and producer, Irwin Chusid, who began playing the mystery recording of Space Oddity. It was a massive hit and Irwin secured a re-release of the songs on CD to massive critical acclaim. David Bowie was among those who praised the record.

Here, Pete Paphides speaks to those involved to hear how the record was made and why it had such an enormous emotional and musical impact.

Producer: Laura Parfitt

A White Pebble Media production for BBC Radio 4.