Wally Badarou Interview
I love the postman. Not literally, just when he delivers something you are not expecting. I was lucky enough to just get sent some back issues of the rather nice Finger magazine out of Zurich, Switzerland.
There is a fair chance you haven't seen it but basically it's the dream magazine for a lot of us. It's a magazine of lists, that has additional slightly longer interviews. Not massive longer, just slightly. I've always loved charts as they are such an honest keeper of history. You can't mess about with charts. If you chart a bad record it stays in there and in ten years time folk can still see it. The honesty level is great. You can't re-write a chart.
Also, finding out what music people you like and love are into is always one of the best ways to find out about new stuff. When you have someone with great taste recommending you their favourite records you instantly want to get on YouTube (weird how that has become the jukebox of choice - maybe cause you know it'll probably be there) and check them out. So fairplay to Adrian and the chaps and chapesses at Finger for creating a magazine full of information that also has fine design.
They interview lots of people. And a good broad genre-crossing range across those people. It must take some putting together. For instance in the last issue (amongst others) they had Peter Kruder, Captain Sensible, Bjorn Torske, Beyond The Wizard's Sleeve, Saint Etienne, Moonboots, Matthew Herbert, Frank Black, Kevin Saunderson, David Rodigan, Midlake, ESG, Ray Mang and Wally Badarou. Here's an idea of the kind of interviews they do. This one with Wally Badarou...
First record you remember?
My first memories were through the radio, not the turntable. Edith Piaf’s «La Foule», Marcel Amont’s «Bleu Blanc Blond», Guy Béart’s «L'eau Vive». First records I remember seeing and hearing, but not actually «listening to» were my father’s: mainly film soundtracks like «Orpheo Negro», George Cukor’s «Let's Make Love», and lots of classical music.
A song that reminds you of school?
A song from pre-Zaïre Congo, which I never knew the title of.
A record you fell in love to?
I fell in love with music and songs, not records. From Beethoven’s «Violin Concerto in D Major», to James Brown’s «Give It Up Or Turn It A Loose», from Simon & Garfunkel’s «Bridge Over Troubled Water» to Jimi Hendrix’ «All Along The Watchtower». I fell in love with music, way before I knew I would make a living out of it.
Your ultimate heartbreak song?
Stevie Wonder - You And I. Very lo-res video of his solo performance can be found on YouTube. Pure genius.
A record that evokes the greatest summer of your life?
Mayaula Mayoni - Cherie Bondowe. Greatest summers were in the tropics.
First record you bought?
James Brown - Escape-ism on 7“. Brown overdubbed his vocals against slow-down backing tracks, yielding the funkiest slow groove ever. I wish I still had a copy.
Your boozed-up anthem?
Either Count Basie’s «The Kid From Red Bank», Lalo Shiffrin’s «Theme From Mannix», or Weather Report’s «Birdland». Pure energy from absolute masters in orchestration.
A song you use as a ring tone?
I keep my mobile silent at all times, as a courtesy to my neighbours and yet, never miss an important call.
A song you wish you wrote yourself?
Each and every Stevie Wonder ballad, period.
A song guaranteed to make you feel depressed?
Any song of the past, good or bad, when it happens to remind me of a close friend no longer with us.
A song that reminds your friends of you?
How could I know? Ask them.
A record that will make everybody dance?
A song that did make absolutely everybody dance, back in the 60’s in Africa: James Brown’s «There Was A Time» followed by «I Feel All Right», recorded live at the Apollo.
Best concert you ever attended?
Miriam Makeba at the Olympia, Paris, early 70’s.
A record you were looking for the longest?
Talking about Makeba, her first album ever (from 1960 on RCA), which I bought a copy on eBay for 70 euro.
Your Sunday morning song?
Thank god, Sunday is like any other day for us musicians. No darker, no brighter, just regular.
Best Beatles song?
The perfect anthem for London?
Talking about the Beatles, «All You Need Is Love».
The song to be played at your funeral?
I'll let it up to my survivors. Music won’t be my concern anymore. They’ll be the ones to worry about. I don’t feel like imposing anything to them.
That give's you an idea of what it's all about. Fascinating in a short incisive way. I think you'll probably be able to tell we are magazine fans here at Test Pressing and this format works totally. You can subscribe (pretty cheaply if you ask me) here with Finger being released bi-annually in limited runs of 6,000. Go check.