Friday, May 29, 2009

Listening to old interview tapes

I'm very impressed that Lynne Truss is on Radio Four's Archive Hour tomorrow night presenting "Did I Really Ask That?" in which she plays the cassettes of her old interviews with the likes of Arthur Miller and Tom Stoppard. I've never had the nerve to let anyone hear the tapes of my interviews with the members of Racey, let alone Bob Dylan. It would be like hearing your twenty-year-old self trying to talk a girl into coming back to your room. It makes me blush to think of the forced laughter, the exaggerated surprise, the mute toleration of a really boring answer, the agonising, crab-like approach towards a difficult question and the blood pumping in the ears when you finally get a quote you can use. It's not conversation, much as it would like to be. It's more like tickling trout.


  1. I have a question David.

    I've often wondered about the copyright/ownership of these interview tapes.

    Could you, if you so desired, publish these yourself?

  2. If I really wanted to, I think I could. But I don't want to.

  3. Whenever I'm transcribing the interviews I do, I always end up squirming at how long it takes me to ask the actual question. "For God's sake, get on with it!" I usually end up shouting at myself.

  4. I sometimes, for fun, when doing a documentary interview on video pretend that it's in real time, live, and try and make my questions sound vaguely sensible. The end results are no where as good as my nod, grunts, and cajoles. I then stop performing and concentrate on getting a result. I'd be interested to know if Lynn Truss provides us with the unedited tapes.

  5. I lasted ten minutes - the tapes are clearly in no condition to be broadcast - hissy, mumbling and clattery.