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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1981
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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1981 - File 007. 1981-03. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. February 26, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/51/show/40.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1981-03). Connections, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1981 - File 007. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/51/show/40

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Connections, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1981 - File 007, 1981-03, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed February 26, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/51/show/40.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Connections, Vol. 3, No. 3, March 1981
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date March 1981
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962584
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 007
Transcript 6: CONNECTIONS' Tom Robinson isn't the first openly-gay musician. He is the first, and still only, successful one. The Tom Robinson Band's first single, "2-4-6-8- Motorway," hit number four on the British charts. Early in 1978, the EP "Rising Free," which included "(Sing if You're) Glad to be Gay," was released. Its content denied it any airplay in England, but it reached 18 in the charts anyway. In mid-1978, "Power in the Darkness," TRB's first LP, was released. It was certified gold in England and enjoyed similar success in Europe and Japan. Tom was also becoming known as a political activist. He helped establish the organization "Rock Against Racism" and TRB headlined with The Clash at RAR's "Carnival Against the Nazis." Tom also performed in the November, 1979 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Things didn't go so well in the United States. Some American programmers who were following British punk and - new ^rave began playing TRB songs, but airplay had subsided by the time the records were available domestically. The "Power in the Darkness" American tour only covered four cities. Most of the seats went to the press. Tom described the tour as "a very alienating experience, so far removed from the audiences of peers and real communication." When "TRB Two" was released, the Tom Robinson Band was in the process of breaking up over the strain of quickly-found success. The first real U.S. tour in April- June of 1979 (which included an appearance at Armadillo World Headquarters) featured a new keyboardist and drummer. The band was dissolved immediately after the tour. Shortly after TRB broke up, Tom accidentally met old friend Jo Burt, who had been touring with the Troggs. They began writing songs together. Tom's songs with the TRB had been very political, covering issues like racism, feminism, unemployment, and the oppression of gay women and men. According to Jo Burt, "We wanted to get more personal and away from the explicit and overtly political songs that we had both been doing. But, in fact, we came full around, because we were writing political songs again - not so much in the words, but in the music." Tom and Jo were soon recording demos and looking for musicians to complete a band. First came drummer Derek Quinton, "an amiable lunatic and reformed football hooligan ("Do you want to dance or what?") Derek's strong background in rhythm and blues and willingness to experiment with new patterns and synthesized percussion provider?' a firm foundation for the band's driving rhythms. The band spent weeks auditioning lead guitarists. "Everybody we tried was firmly attached to hack cliches," Tom said. Finally, the "almost too pretty" Stevie B appeared. He had picked up the guitar at age 13 because "I wanted to practice the pose. I used to skip school and stand in front of the mirror to get my stance right. At fourteen, I really began to learn how to play." His fractured way of attacking the music and strikingly rich echo- plexed guitar gave them the sound they were looking for. With the name Sector 27, a line from an Allen Ginsberg poem, the band began playing small London clubs, gradually building a following. The "Sector 27" album was recorded in the fall of 1980 with XTC producer Steve Lillywhite. It is enjoying more critical acclaim, airplay and popularity than any of Tom's previous work. Sector 27 appeared in Austin as part of a six-week U.S.-Canadian tour. The band seemed much stronger and happier onstage than the already-disintegrating TRB which had played Austin. Jim Olinger and Wayde Frey of CONNECTIONS interviewed Tom on the afternoon of his January 26 appearance at Club Foot. How was the March on Washington? I was really proud to be part of that. It was the most amazing thing I've seen. I was standing on the side of the street and the March was going by me for maybe an hour, an hour and a half, and there still was no end to it. It was just unbelievable. I've been in a lot of demonstrations, and I've never seen anything that size. I played at the British Carnival Against the Nazis, which was a big anti-National Front demonstration, and there was maybe 80,000 people there, but this was double that. When the Texan contingent came down, that was unbelievable, too, because there was all those marching bands and their leader and the flags and everything. There were people just crying and laughing and clapping on the sidewalk, because it was like they're used to Texans saying, "Hey, we're Texan," but people saying "We're Texan and gay," was really something. People were crying from it. Have you been doing anything else in the human rights area? Yeah, there's a movie we made for Amnesty International. It's called The Secret Policeman's Ball. It is partly comedy and partly music. It had people from the Monty Python team, Joan Clese, Terry Jones, and Peter Cook. It was in London and had all British people. On the music side, there was a new release from the Bonza Raktu Band, John Williams, the classical guitar player, Pete Townsend from The Who, myself and Betty Conway. They made an album of the musical items and an album of the comedy items. They're TOM RORINSON
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