Denis Leary Has Some Surprising Views on Cat Stevens and The Carpenters

Gilbert O’Sullivan also earns a dubious spot on Leary’s musical list

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Don’t start playing ’70s pop ballads and progressive rock around Denis Leary — it might just start a fight.

Leary, the tough-guy comic who serves as creator and showrunner of FX’s dark comedy “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,” can’t abide music he thinks is namby-pamby.

“I play Cat Stevens in my trailer and he wants to snap my neck,” co-star Elizabeth Gillies, a pop singer in her own right, told reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association TV press tour in Beverly Hills.

“Most of the music that I hated from the ’70s growing up, she plays,” Leary complained. “She loves Cat Stevens and [expletive] James Taylor.”

“Doesn’t everyone wanna listen to [Stevens’] ‘Moonshadow’ in the morning?” Gillies asked.

Leary shot back: “Sorry, that’s just not my cup of tea.”

He added that Gillies will “[expletive] taunt me” with snippets of songs by the Carpenters and Gilbert O’Sullivan, whose anthem of self-pity “Alone Again Naturally” was a No. 1 hit in the early 1970s.

Prog rock is another of Leary’s pet peeves, and that one goes back to his days growing up with his brother in Boston.

“My mom wasn’t aware of what we were doing, but we fought all the time,” Leary said. “My brother was into prog rock in the early ’70s, which was the [expletive] worst music in the world, and we only had one little stereo system to share.

“I melted his records,” he said. “He beat the [expletive] out of me.”