Forgive me for reminiscing…
Earlier today I found myself replaying a sampler CD from 4AD records. It was wonderful to hear Belly’s Super-Connected which still sounds as fresh as it did back on its release 21 years ago. The song makes me think of Belly’s singer/songwriter, Tanya Donnelly. When I worked in music journalism I got to interview Tanya and also her stepsister Kristin Hersh. The two had worked together in Throwing Muses but I interviewed them both on separate occasions long after they had stopped working together.
It was thrill to interview them. I also interviewed The Breeders, a band formed by Tanya Donnelly and Pixies’ bassist, Kim Deal. Man that was scary. I think Kim and her sister Kelley plus band member Josephine Wiggs had had enough of the interview conveyor belt. I found them, er, difficult to interview and wound up having a weep in the ladies’ loos. I was very young at the time. I don’t hold a grudge against the band. They must have been sick of answering dumb questions!
Belly, Throwing Muses, The Breeders, Pixies and Nirvana: what a wonderful sound North America made back in the late 1980s and 1990s. Memories of interviewing the lovely Kristin Hersh allow my mind to leap to Michael Stipe who duetted on one of her albums and then onto thoughts of Vic Chesnutt who was promoted and supported by Stipe.
Ah Vic, how I loved getting into his music. I recall a long lazy interview with him in a London pub. The Guinness flowed and we shared our love of Stevie Smith. It’s sad to have to describe Vic in the past tense. What a talent.
So too Mark Sandman, frontman of Morphine. Hard to believe he’s been dead 17 years this month. He had a wicked sense of humour I realise was lost on me when I interviewed him on the phone back in 1993. It wasn’t until I replayed the tape that I realised most of his lines had gone stright over my head. Never mind…
Long live great music.