Live 105 XTC Interview

KITS Live 105
Interview by Rick Stuart
Transcribed by Kevin Carhart

XTC Interview on San Francisco radio station Live 105, with DJ Big Rick Stuart. I [Kevin] only recorded a segment of it, and it starts and finishes kind of abruptly. I don't know the date, but it was the week of Chinese New Year during the Acoustic Radio Station Tour [1989], if that tells you anything. The comments in brackets are mine.

RS: (laughs) I mean, you know

AP: Ah yes, we keep abreast with the technology, sir

RS: Yes, here's an 8-track. Then, there was "Radios in Motion", then was it Drums and Wires next?

AP: Uh, Go 2.

RS: Go 2 was next, and then there was a weirdo version of "Go".

AP: Go +.

RS: Right.

AP: Which they're gonna, inevitable, gonna bring it out on compact disc, in about a month or so. [?]

RS: Now was that you that like flipped all the tracks around and dubbed them, and ---

AP: Dubbed the sh...ine out of 'em!

CM: That was when Andy took leave of his senses

RS: Yeah, were you lonely at that time, or you had nothing to do?

AP: Yeah, I used to play with myself a lot,and ---

RS: laughs

AP: No, I just thought it was a good idea to, you know, you get a ---

RS: It was neat

AP: Get music in one form and [who's to say you] can't go back and carve it up and put out the same stuff and---

RS: It had kind of a 3D cover? Or something?

AP: Um, no, there's something they've put in your water cooler here

RS: laughs

AP: Oh! Oh, yes---

RS: There was like a yellow, white

AP: There was a picture of Jayne Mansfield in a swimming pool full of hot water bottles shaped like Jayne Mansfield

RS: (laughs) that's what I thought

AP: I lie not.

RS: And after that was...?

CM?: Drums and Wires

AP: Drums and Wires, then Black Sea, English Settlement, Mummer, Big Express

RS: And now

AP: Skylarking,... oh there was a few Dukes of Stratosphear things in there

RS: oh yeah yeah yeah

AP: And now Oranges and Lemons... and here we are in 1973.

RS: Heck by golly, here we are. So no more live shows, do you think ever? Like maybe a benefit show or, do you think maybe?

AP: Urrr, well if I can't, you know, pay the rent..

RS: laughs

AP: No, I'd hate to have to do it just for money---

RS: Yeah---

AP: Hate to have to do anything just for money---

RS: So basically no---

AP: Basically, no, but you never---

RS: Now, have you ever like appeared at a little club in Jersey with Springsteen, or ---

AP: I did a live TV rendition of a song called "Happy Families" on French television but that was a real shock and I didn't know I was going to do it, so I just got up and--

RS: laughs

AP in phony French accent: step zis way, we have eh--

RS: says some french word, laughs

AP: I was just walking into the men's room and suddenly I'm live on French TV! Cruel swines.

RS: So as it ends up then, you guys must spend endless hours in studios

AP: Not endless hours, no, I think we spend--

RS: A few?

AP: Endless hours down at pubs, but--

RS: So you guys aren't studioheads then, you don't-- okay--

AP: [static]..long as you need.. [static].. Dukes make records anything from ten days to three weeks, and we make records anything from ten days to seven months!

RS: Yeah

AP: So--

RS: Okay--

AP: Whatever it takes

RS: And then what happens in the rest of your life? You know, do you have kids? Married?

AP: Yeah, we do all the straight things cause we're ludicrously straight.

RS: Travel? You guys travel?

AP: Hate it! I just like sittin in front of the news with a sixpack

RS: Thats the way

AP: I drink in bed - that's my hobby.

RS: By golly, you're just about an American

AP in cowboy accent: It's cummin awn reel strawng -- lawdy!

RS: Let's play another track by XTC, there's a new record and we're gonna heck by golly play something from it and did we just play "Generals and Majors"?

CM: "Making Plans for Nigel"!

AP: ...plans for Nigel...

RS: And now it's "Generals and Majors", I had this all worked out... "Generals and Majors" at Live 105, anything about this record you wanna talk about? This was really really groovy record...

AP: Yes, anti-war song, very pompous, you know, to all you generals and majors out there who want to start World War III, stop it.

RS: And it always seems to come around every 3 or 4 or 5 years, somebody else, there's a new general and a new major.

CM?: Yeah, they get their backs out and they want to get started...

AP?: Well, you know, the most violent animal on earth has gotta be mankind [gap]

RS: This is it. ["Generals and Majors" plays. I wasn't a sufficient fan to own Black Sea, so at the time I thought it was really valuable to record the song on the spot, of course wasting interview space...]

RS: "Generals and Majors", XTC from Black Sea it was called

CM: Thats right folks

RS: Fabulous fabulous fabulous. That was also.. a cut from that record was on a world music compilation record called.. world of music? What was it?

AP: Uh, the fabulous world of frog sections! [???] [static] There was a track from English Settlement, it was on, WOMAD it was called, and the track was "It's Nearly Africa".

RS: How did you get involved in that? Did they just ask you and--

AP: Uh, Peter Gabriel rang me up initially and said [Peter Gabriel impression] um um um hullo, Peter here, um um um have you got a song.. that you could put on this?

RS: laughs

AP: And I said, Yeah, all right Pete, take this!

RS: laughs

AP: And they put it out, it's easy, you know

RS: yeah, it was a good record. For record collectors, import b-side fans, 12 inch everything, you guys have been a---


RS: Gold mine! [laughter] Well, or a hell!

AP: walking hell.

RS: Yeah, thats true, cause there seems to be so much that's out, there's even a...a...isn't there a Christmas song somewhere in your past?

CM: Yes we actually---

AP: In yer what? Oh, your p---

CM: We actually did a Christmas record called the Three Wise Men, that pseudonym, and it came out about 1983, and it didn't do anything, but you know--

RS: yeah

CM: We just like to do those sort of projects

RS: Yeah, you do a Christmas record, you know--

AP: We're doing an Easter record next. "Nail 'im Up"! (sings and claps hands:) Yea-ah, nail im up! Yea-ah, nail im up!

RS: How bout a Chinese New Year's record?

AP speaks in phony Chinese: hoaaaa, [etc.]

RS: You know, that's Saturday. Chinese New Year parade in town and it's a wild thing! [does this information spark anyone's deductive skills?]

AP: Yes! We're over here for this very purpose!

RS: The Gavin... oh, that too.

AP: I mean, come on, you come in here dressed in a dragon suit and you haven't mentioned it.. [gap]

RS: about just a regular guy, I'm assuming. This is a guy who's a regular guy.

AP: He doesn't have any pieces of paper, any qualifications or anything, he's just Mr. Joe Regular, and he loves a girl passionately, and why not? Just because you don't have any pieces of paper saying how brainy you are doesn't mean you can't looooove..

RS: I read that "Mayor of Simpleton" was originally written as a reggae oriented type song.

CM?: Yeah, it was totally different musically, it was a really wretched kind of miserable reggae tune, I thought--

RS: laughs

CM?: This is not right, so I dicked about a bit more, totally changed the music, and made it really happy and positive sounding, and it clicked and so---

RS: Now, do you ever tell Andy, you know, hey Andy, great lyrics, but uh, the arrange[ment...]

That's the end of the part I taped, but I remember later Big Rick tells them that he's spent such a long time talking to them that they have to do some commercial messages. So he tells Andy about a Dead Milkmen show at the Cactus Club, and Andy sings like "oo, you got your Cactus Club and you got your Dead Milkmen, oooh"

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Transcribed by Kevin Carhart.