called The Secret Policeman's Ball, part 1 and 2. You
can get those on import here on Island Records. There's
an unreleased track of mine called 1967 on that, and
an acoustic version of Glad to Be Gay.
It's a hysterically funny movie, if they ever
release it over here. It's a full feature-length film
of the stage show that we did for a week at a theatre.
It's already made well in excess of 100,000 pounds for
Amnesty International. (Current value of the British
pound is $2.35 American. Ed.) It's broken box-office
records in Britain. The film is very funny, very good
entertainment. Everybody donated their services, including the filmmakers.
One of the great things about it, it's a bit parochial, because it's England, is that there's a prominent politician, Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal
Party, who was implicated in a blackmail about his alleged homosexuality. He was alleged to have tried to
suppress the guy who was alleged to have been trying to
blackmail him. Peter Cook did this fantastic spoof of
the summing-up by the judge, who was totally biased in
favor of this politician, and against this gay guy who
he tried to have killed. The performance happened the
week that the real trial had taken place. It's still
really funny, even now.
It was the most outrageous miscarriage of justice
you've ever heard of. Peter ends his summing up by saying, "I trust you'll now all retire to consider your verdict of not guilty."
I thought it was important to do Glad to Be Gay for
that particular show because Amnesty International
doesn't recognize being imprisoned for being gay as a
political offense. Strictly speaking, it isn't, but
they don't regard it as part of their job to campaign
for people who have been imprisoned for that. Since
that has to do with the hierarchy at Amnesty, I felt it
was important to get that in there. So, it's perhaps
an angrier performance of Glad to Be Gay than the tone
of the film generally merited.
Have you heard Sector 27 at all?
Yes. I got the record as soon as I saw it in the
How many times have you been able to listen? That's
quite important, too.
Probably about five.
I'm just starting to . . , . Oddly enough, I made
a couple of notes about the songs . . .
Oddly enough! I take it it is oddly enough. A lot
of the straight journalists who come along from the local
papers might have listened to it half a time, or something like that, so they don't know anything about the
Probably about half of the songs have started to
sink in. I'm beginning to decipher lyrics and things.
Three of them seem to be about resistance to authority:
Invitation, Total Recall, and Take or Leave It.
'otal Recall is. It's a cliche now to talk about
the data banks and how easy it is for them to survey you,
but the myth that's being propagated is the 1984 myth,
which is that Big Brother is actually watching you. The
idea that Jo had, and that I was working on with this
song, writing it with Jo, who's my best buddy, and the
bass player in the band, was that they don't actively
survey you; they merely record facts, which is a very
different thing. So, the data bank is amassing facts
about you, as you live your life, but nobody's necessarily looking at that record. It's just that when they
do want to find out about you, and they call in on the '
walkie-talkie or whatever, they then have access. The
punch line of the song is "Checking the records is as
far as they go."
If you ain't on the record, they can't check ■shit!
They haven't been watching. It's things like your credit
card, driver's license, and medical records that are
recorded. The last verse is dealing with possible ways
of circumventing that - "Slip into the city like a Vanishing man, Midnight arriving at the station. Casual labor
paying cash in the hand, Short-let cheap accommodation.
Apply for a license at a fresh address. Get another bike,
take another test. What you never tell, they can never
guess. Better not forget to send off the registration."
It. was;,rreant to be quite light-hearted, rather than
pounding away at it.
I like it a lot better than 1984 stuff. Take or
Leave It is a nice hopeful song, too. Do you have you.
own record company, like the song says?
We did actually put our first two singles out with
Sector on an independent label in Britain. The finance
was the thing that meant we had to finally go with a
larger label there. We're with a small label in the
States, I.R.S. (International Record Syndicate), which
is nice. That leaves us a lot of flexibility. I have
to say, there are less than ten employees in that company and they've already done far more for us than
Capitol Records did for TRB in two years.
I'm not sure if the record company is directly
Continued on page 10
Sector 27 (from left): stevie B, Tom Robinson,
Burt, and Derek Quinton