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Interview with Terry Yason in Frendz, April 1970

The Electric Mouth part two


Up till now there has been the problem of the disinherited  youth. We've never been allowed to control our own environment.

We're showing that kids can get together and do just that. We're getting them to get the ads, to prove by their letters that Radio Geronimo is a viable medium. We could have a station that just plays groovy music but there's a responsibility to move them. Perhaps we could be a clearing house. Everyone writes a letter and we readdress them to someone else. It’s not really a social organ. We'll probably end up as a background for balling. All very well but it’s music to listen to as well. Its hard to discuss radio without discussing revolt. But we don't want to get into politics. All you can say on radio is hello. How good my programme is depends on how well I can say hello. It’s a statement of holding hands. Simplicity is where we are at. We want to get beyond all the hip-shit, there are 2½ million all night workers who we should be getting to.

We’re against show biz and all the rim slurp grease rubbish. Presentation like that fucks up everything. Music is the expression of one person's personality; we shouldn't  break it up into three minute lumps of talk and ads, it ruins the chance of a beautiful journey. Hugh, Geoff and I realise that we're very ordinary guys but we know we have something very important here. Four hours of a programme can be a total trip. Mine I like to go from heavy to light. Hugh's far deeper into acid. I like to send them to bed feeling groovy. I want to give the music­ians a chance to get their trip over, and the audience a chance to understand them. We have a responsibility to get the audience in­volved and we want to tell them the truth how we see it using the media how we want. There's no time to sit back.


I'm not into violence, that's a loser. The only violence is against oneself. Ed Sanders said ‘violence is real pig shit'. There's so much speed about nobody's got any time for concentration, they get up, have a quick breakfast, take a tube to their draggy job, back home, food, chick, bed and it all starts all over again. If I could give them good sounds early in the morning I might just be able to alter that pattern. My only violent act could be to embarrass somebody, using my sense of humour as a weapon of revolution. Although the so called revolution is just all fucked up middle class intellectuals Iiving in £40 per week Hampstead flats. You don't see the Che Guevara posters in Stratford East. But the working class have their prior­ities right. My Grandmother in Bethnal Green would always give a hungry person food. The others would smile, maybe offer a trendy joint but they wouldn't do anything really important. The whole materialism trip is no more than an armour against saying hello.  We must  break out of  shutting ourselves  away.


I used to be in the Young Communist  League but I worked everything out and now I'm non-party, but I'm always very anti-government. The difference between government radio and ours is that they say ‘should'. and we say ‘may’. We want to take people to a decision point, to give them a high from music that takes them out of themselves. That's something that never happened on Luxembourg or Radio 1.


I had a fantasy once of how to stop wars. I would get all the bread, then send  out spotterplanes over everywhere. Any­where that was giving off bad vibes I should. send  off a Jumbo Donut Jet which would  dump loosely packed cream buns on them. It would have much more effect than napalm or the H-bomb.


Whoever is DJing won't get onto any big ego trip. Let the artist do the promotion of his own music - not our preachings and mumblings. If you say so little what you do say must be fucking important. When you're expected to talk there's no spontaneity, just script. Spontaneity is the only human spirit left between people. We want to beam out gentle vibes, not the whole virility trip. Everyone puts down peace and love as a load of Denmark St fairies, but looking hip is not just a matter of looking hard, although that always works. That's what Led Zeppelin do so well and no-one's ever heard of John Stevens. Peace is still only a matter of words, not hip enough for action. Is peace a state of mind, or is it not fighting or is it only fighting the right people?


It's very hard to get things together that we want in the music business; the pressures are incredible. You often say yes when you mean no.


Who buys BB King who was a major contributor to the scene? Twenty years ago he, was making records for fifty dollars each. Now J Winter gets 100,000 advance. There are enough albums around for us to play what we like and love for the rest of our lives.


But we can have too much of rock. Young people are beginning to hype themselves about it. It’s like the South Sea Bubble, only the investors are everyone who buys a rock record. Like Hermann Hesse says ‘Serene music reflects a serene nation,  violent music a violent nation.'


We may get knocked but we won't be hyped. I wouldn't ever play the Trems, I don't even want to know what they are. I must be honest. If a Beatles or Stones album  came out that I really didn't dig then I’d say it. I don't believe in pleasing everyone all the time.


Friends: April 14th 1970

click here for part one


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