'I miss exile.' he says. 'I didn't work a tenth as much as I have to here.' and he laughs that full raspy belly chuckle. ' And mostly it's community work, gratis work, mmm. But I owe so... If I didn't come from here, who would I be? Everything I am, my resource was this place. I sucked it dry, so I have to give something back.'
'Let's begin.' He says.
'I'd like to do this... ' I start.
'I don't care just put the thing on. I don't like to rehearse interviews.'
'The first thing I'd like to do is ask what you think the most influential jazz albums are.'
'Let's not rehearse just ask.'
'Well what are they?'
'Are you recording already?'
'OK. There are too many, Andy. Because I grew up in homes of prolific music collectors and my parents, my uncles, friends next door had records like by the Jazz Maniacs, local bands, by the Harlem Swingsters. And I don't know what you categorise as jazz but there was the Manhattan Brothers, the African Exports, there was like Dolly Rathebe, Thandi Claasen - this was all from the time when I was a kid to when I was a teenager. Then there was the Merrymakers of Springs and the greatest trumpeter to date, in my life has been a man called Eljiah Mkonyana, he came out of Springs, he was in the Merrymakers, he also played the tenor saxaphone but he played the most beautiful trumpet. I still try to play like him and I can't. He died in 1961, he also had the most beautiful singing voice and was the funniest guy I've ever... and I played in the Merrymakers as a teenager, which was like the greatest opportunity that I imagined anybody could ever have in life. It always reminds me of what Louis Armstrong said about playing in the King Oliver Band, you know that he looked up so much to King Oliver that he didn't believe when he was a teenager and got into the King Oliver Band. And there was another trumpet player who's still alive Banzi Bangane, he also played a mean trumpet in those days. And also a third guy who's name was Hanyane, he was a left handed trumpet player. And the three of them to date in this country are the best trumpet players, I don't know where the hell they came from because there has never been anything like them ever since. And then of course there's Louis Armstrong, from overseas, was the greatest influence I think from a personality point of view, him and Miles Davis, although they were opposites - but I think that if it wasn't for Louis Armstrong - because for us when we were affected by albums it wasn't just the music, it was the person and the personality and the way they talked and the way they dressed - but Louis Armstrong was the most... he was the all time homeboy, because he never finished a paragraph without mentioning his hometown of New Orleans. If you read any of the things that he said or anywhere that he talks, New Orleans always comes up. And he remained a kid. When I met him, he told me, 'the worst thing that people do is try to grow up,' and that growing up and wanting to grow up is the most disadvantageous focus that human beings have in their lives. Because as soon as you grow up you get fucked up. Even if the body doesn't allow it anymore, you have to remember to play. And you have to laugh a minimum of 100 times a day, otherwise you ain't living. And I think if it wasn't for Louis Armstrong the world would still be square and we'd still be wearing powdered wigs. I think he hipped the world. And of course his music was outstanding. Then of course there was Duke Ellington and Count Basie, Cap Calloway, Jimmy Lansford, Lucky Millender, Tiny Bradshaw, Glen Miller, Tommy Darcy and his brother Jimmy. There was Ari Shaw one of the hippest guys who ever lived then there was Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton these were all people we saw in those Sepia shots and some movies. And Chick Web, the little short hump-backed drummer who brought up Ella Fitzgerald. And then of course there was Ma Rhaini, Bessy Smith, Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughn and there was Carmen McGrey, Billy Holliday, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra. There were the Modernairs, the Mills Bros. We sang all their songs. And then there was Louis Jordan, I don't know if you've ever heard of them. He was one of the hippest bands Louis Jordan and his Tin Penny 5. And there were all the different soloists Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young. And then came be bop and there was Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Budd Powell, Oscar Peterson and of course Miles Davis and Clifford Brown. This is just the shortlist of all the people who had major major influence on our lives in the 40s and 50s. And I think I was very fortunate to be able to meet all these people. All my life I think I was the luckiest kid. Right through my life I met all the people and played with them. If I didn't play with them I played in festivals with them. And they became first name friends, all of them. And when I got to the States, I was lucky to have my career start very early in the States. As soon as I finished university I already had a band. And by 1968 I was headlining the Newport Jazz Festival with all those people, some of them had passed away of course. So I was not just influenced by the records, but actually the people. And I think from a radical militant standpoint Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong, socially, had the strongest influence on me. Of course Belafonte and Miriam Makeba too. Louis Armstrong in the 50s when they killed those kids in Alabama, used to do State Dept tours as a goodwill ambassador for the States and he said, 'I ain't doing any of this anymore until something happens'. And that's when the civil rights orders were given and the schools were desegregated. And then Miles Davis just didn't take shit from anybody. I was still here in 1954 and we were standing outside Birdland and he came up for a smoke and the cops asked him to move on, because niggers were not supposed to be lingering in the streets. And he said, but I'm playing downstairs. Cops said, we don't give a shit, either go back down stairs or move on. And he said 'fuck you!' to the cops. And he was a helluva boxer and a karate guy and the cops tried to hit him with his baton and he beat the shit out of that cop and the other cops had to come and arrest him. This appeared on the front page of the Star in 1954 and I said Jesus, what a guy.This was when the defiance campaign was coming up. And I got to meet him and he was the most directly honest person that I ever met. Him and Fela. He was just like, when you're full of shit they didn't waste time, but it didn't mean they hated you, they'd just say, 'Andy you're full of shit'. Stop that shit, you're full of shit. That's something admirable in a person, that they don't get mad at you but they can tell you that's bullshit.'
'So if you were talking to a youngster today who said they wanted to get into jazz but didn't know where to start, what would you suggest?'
'Well first of all you have to listen to all of those people I just mentioned. All of them. You've got to get all those records and listen. First of all when you want to be a musician, if you want to be a classical musician you have to have bach, Beethoven, Palestrina, Wagner Dubuissy - you know you have to collect all those things and listen listen listen. The you get a repertoire in your head and in your ears. When we started playing as the Huddleston jazz band in high school, we were already avid jazz collectors and jazz scholars and we had repertoire and we knew all the songs. So we didn't have to learn songs, we just had to learn the parts. The song we knew. It's like if you want to be a poet you have to read Byron, Shelley, Shakespeare and memorise their stuff so you know their style. So you have to listen. And if you want to be a musician you have to be determined to know the instrument. The instrument is your voice, so you have to study it technically. There's a lot of really good teachers in this country. So there's many good schools and you have to identify a teacher. All the symphonic players in the country teach. I went to a conservatory and the person who taught me the trumpet was the ex-first trumpeter of the metropolitan opera and he wasn't worried about anything just hwo to play the instrument, how to clean it, how to open it up, dismantle it and put it together again so it sounds good. Your instrument has to be in good shape, and you have to respect it. It's your voice, I call it my moneymaker. But you have to learn how it works.
'And then you have to demystify the structure of music, because music only has twelve notes and six chords. That's all there is. It seems mysterious, but that's all there is. But you know there's inversions and combinations... it's amazing when I tell people there's only twelve notes in music. It's smaller than the English alphabet.'
'In the 40s and the 50s, when you first really got into jazz is there any equivalent to modern music like hip hop or something?'
'No, it was a fascination. It was a great art. It also came with a style, it came with the clothes and the way the people dressed themselves. Jazz itself didn't follow social etiquette. And jazz people were not accepted because, like, the people who came up with nightclubs were not respectable people. People like Al Capone made jazz. Jazz owners and record company owners were not respectable, educated people. They weren't social rebels but they were innovators of a different social style. And they were looked upon very negatively by people of etiquette and by white high society. But I think that if they didn't come up life would be... like I say we'd still be wearing powdered wigs. So a lot of unsavoury characters - even in classical music and Shakespearan theatre, the unsavoury characters were always around showbiz. And they were either the illicit pedlars, the prostitutes, the gangsters, the drug dealers. Because it's a colourful world, a night time world and it's easily accessible. You don't have to have a special ID to join that society. It was also not exclusively for the rich or the well heeled. Entertainment as a whole has always been surrounded by a lot of corrupt characters.'
'You had a special relationship with Louis Armstrong - I remember a picture in Drum magazine of you holding a trumpet that he sent you?'
'Well he didn't exactly send it to me. He sent it to our band. I was at St Peters High School when Bishop Trevor Huddleston was like superior of the community of the resurrection order here in South Africa. He was the chaplin of our school at St Peters. When he came he started the Christ the King mission in Sophiatown. It was an order of monks who were all Oxbridge graduates. They excelled in anything that they did and worked in health, welfare and education mostly around African communities. But they also owned St Johns. So they started a lot of Anglican missionary schools. But he [Huddleston] was a particularly insistent nightmare for Verwoerd because he countered everything Verwoerd did. And he was a mentor to Tambo and a lot of the ANC leadership just with his honesty, he was a true true Christian. But he was also interested in the eccentric members of the African community, whether it was gangsters or youth or politicians or what. And one of my best friends was from Sophiatown, Stompie Manana, he's a great trumpet player, his brothers were both in music and so we went to see a movie called Young Man With The Horn, it was the story of Biggs Baderby. And we had been in a lot of trouble in school, in fact that year they asked Stompie not to come back. He wasn't expelled, they just wrote him during the holidays and asked him not come back. And I had to repeat form two, and I was in the top 10 of the class, but because of bad behaviour. And one day I was in bed with a cold, and Huddleston used to come and check everybody, and he knew my parents, my father was chief health inspector in Alexander Township and my mother was a chief social worker there and because he worked with the communities and the protests, Alexander was the bedrock of political protest in the black community here. And he was always concerned with people but he was never an admonishing person, you know, and he said, what do you really want to do in life? I mean really. What would really make you happy?
And I said wel you know father if I could get a trumpet I wouldn't bother anybody anymore. I had been a musician since I was six, I started playing the piano since I was six. Because I had been the official gramaphone winder and I could sing all the songs. So I was already a musician at heart. And he said are you sure?'
I said yes and he sent me with a note to Bob Hill at Pollyaxe which was the old music store at Eloff St and he said give this boy a trumpet, I can only afford ﬁfteen pounds.
Bobby was an old scottish bass player, who had immigrated here. He died about four years ago. He said, 'the father is crrrazy, fifteen pooound!' but he gave me a trumpet
And Huddleston went to speak to uncle Sowder, who was the leader of the Johannesburg Brass Band, Bunicipal Bative Brass Band it was called. And they practiced out of Jubilee center and he started teaching me the trumpet. And six months later myself and another guy we had two trumpets and we were playing, and I was really starting to excell and other guys got interested and went to Huddleston and said, father I want an instrument. And eventually we formed a band. It was called the Huddleston band. And when Huddleston was expelled in 1955 because he caused the Anglican Diocese in South Africa to close down all the black Anglican schools instead of accepting Bantu Education - and he convinced Bishop Ambrose Reeves you can't do it, you've got to close all the schools. Of course St Peters was the first, that was closed by the government, it was declared a black spot in 1955. And he was expelled and on his way back to England he stopped in the States because there were a few missions there. And in Rochester through another monk of his order, who was a clarinet player and who had met Louis Armstrong, he told him about the band and Louis Armstrong said, well I better send them a trumpet, one of my horns.' That's how ti happened and he sent up a trumpet - I still have it here. And of course that catapulted us into like the front porch of showbiz in this country and all the old musicians came up to help us. And the next year St Peters was closed but the five of us got into the mainstream of the music community.'
'The message in the music?'
'Like I told you, I owe this country. I grew up in South Africa when we were very very oppressed. I think that Miriam Makeba was a forerunner of making the world aware of what was happening in South Africa, which was a secret. I was also exposed to Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Belafonte who like helped me to go to school and along side Miriam was a major civil rights activists - and in 1963 after I finished at the United School of Music, I wanted to return home to come and teach, to impart all what I had learnt and all that, and to teach the technique and form a band and all of that. And Belafonte sat me down and said well with a mouth like yours and the way you like to talk about South Africa, you're not going to last there. They're gonna kill you, because you can't take shit from anybody who's trying to downplay who you are. And Mandela is already in jail and has been sentenced to death and all his colleagues, people are running away from your country who feel like you and you want to go back there. You must be crazy. And you know he said, why don't you try and make a name for yourself so when you speak about your country people will listen? And I said Harry but, how am I going to... what guarantee is there that I'm going to make a name for myself? And he said well we're helping you to got school, we believe in your talent, but we can't give you everything. There are some things we can't give you.
But then between him and Miles, Dizzy and Miriam I got steeped in not just looking for success because I thought I come from an oppressed society how can I not talk and sing about them. And not only did I draw from their repertoire but I met a lot of other people who were anti vietnam war people who became my friends and I played the Monterrey Pop Festival. So People like David Crosby from Crosby Stills and Nash became my friend - and Peter Fonda and Deniis Hopper and the Panthers were just beginning, and of course Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon and the Stones and the Mamas and the Papas, it was an endless list of people. I sort of naturally just gravitated towards that sort of thing. And when I moved to Africa I hung out with people like Fela Kuti, he was one of my best friends. I lived in Ghana, where I met my wife. I lived in Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, Liberia, I lived in Zaire. I moved around. I felt I was on a pilgrimage because I felt I was from Africa but I've never been there - and I followed my records that I had and I became friends with Franco, Rochero the musicians in each place - but Fela became my close friend and I met through him my first African band, in Ghana.'
'Popular culture in South Africa - have we lost the message?'
'People became... I wouldn't say complacent, for a second they started to bask in the sunshine of the new freedom that we had. And it was a time to enjoy those freedoms. But I think that... they used to call it freedom music but really it's social consciousness. That music is going to come back. I also changed my style radically. Because I didn't think I'd come back home. I didn't think we'd be allowed back ever. So I spent the last ten years just enjoying being with the people of this country, playing their music, performing for them, and them perfomring along with us.
It's just been a joy when people sing along, it's like we're an accompanying band for the audience. It brought me so much joy, it's like being able to say to the people, thanks for this gift that you gave me. You know they sustained us where we were throughout the years.
But there are a lot of disturbing things that are happening in our country and in Africa as a whole. The wars that are happening and the refusal of so many people who have been in leadership in Africa to step down. The ravaging of the continent. And you know in our country especially women absue and the rape of children and young girls and women, murder and crime and a major link to that is addiction, substance abuse and alcohol. And I think our country stands neck and neck with Russia, which is supposed to be the most alcoholic country in the world, and a very violent place too. Most countries that have experienced violence and oppression become alcoholic countries. The reaction to the oppression and frustration varies from country to country. But I think that South Africa and Russia have taken it very badly on the chin and our reaction to it has been violence against each other. And those are all disturbing things. On our new album time we've got a new song that talks about change and how everything must change, and there we talk about the wars and we talk about the old guys who won't give up power, who don't want to step down. And we've also got a song that says, 'I wan to be there when the people win the battle against Aids. I want to be there when the people triumph over poverty. I want to be there for the alcoholic, for the drug addict, for the victims of violence and abuse'. And I think I am coming back again to start to sing again about the things that disturb us. ON Tshepo/Zola's new album I wrote a song for him called Shame - and it's about rape, the shame of the rape in this country. And I say what is happening to South Africa? How can we just be standing by, looking on when men are raping babies and little girls. Didn't we kill discrimination? Come on South Africa it's time to say haikona! And I think that a lot of artists in Africa have to stop just singing about the beauty of the land and the beauty of our culture and let's love one another and all that and start to point out a lot of things that are wrong. It's not going to change the world. Shit if music could change the world Bob Dylan would have changed America long ago and we wouldn't have had a George Bush. But it keeps people on their toes and it keeps them aware of what is happening. What disturbs me about our present society is that before at th slightest infringement of our rights we used to take to the streets, now we just sort of sigh about the rape of a five month old child. And I think something has been deadened in our conscience and that's what I think musicians should be partly for, to conscientise people on things they have forgotten because freedom does come with amnesia, I have noticed all over the world.
We're the only place I think in the world where people not only forgave their oppressors but also gave them an elevated international social status. We actually freed our oppressors in this country. And it's never happened in history. You know Spike Lee warned us before we got free and he said, 'listen the one thing you shouldn't expect is for the privileged population of South Africa, after you are free, to come back to you and say, listen we're so sorry that we made so much money off your backs through these centuries here's 500 trillion dollars to show you how sorry we are. That's never going to happen, so you better start working hard because there won't be any goodwill or charity, instead the people who gained all these freedoms through you will be congratulated when they travel all over the world, because they will have the money. And they will be congratulated for freeing you. And Pik Botha and De Klerk have said it over and over again how they freed us. And then he said, they will be allowed to do business where they weren't allowed to previously, even in Africa they will be allowed to do business, they'll be the first South African businesses because they will have the money to do it. And they will still be in the cricket teams and rugby teams that weren't allowed to play and they will get that glory. And they will be allowed to criticise the government and not go to jail. Unlike the government that gave them the privileges - and you shouldn't expect any goodwill from them. But what is going to be your duty is to try and make them remember what happened in the past. Don't let them gloss over the past. You yourself shoudn't be comfortable and complacent in your own freedom otherwise you'll lose every little freedom you fought for. And I can feel that slide happening here, and all those things coming to pass. And it's necessary that we make people aware of all those things.
Spike Lee was on point.
Yeah he was right on there.
Do you see a social rejuvenation?
No I think it has to be inspired, because even the people who were in our political leadership, you know those who were the soloists in the chorus of our freedom have been sucked in to the privileged establishment without being aware of it and have left their communities to live the comfortable life of the elite. The very people who oppressed them have become their friends. They are not militant anymore and they were our conscience, they have left a void and I think we have to inspire those who want to pursue that loop, that it is OK, that they are not alone. And we also have to fire up the complacency of the youth, not to just be mired in raves and fashion and dance and grooves and wearing the same clothes and being European and American wannabes. We have to look inside to see what we have here, and also to realise how much the world envies us. I mean we are the only country in the world that can have an international cultural festival without importing anybody. We're the most cosmpolitan society in the world but we're xenophobic about it. Because there's xenophobia all over the world but here it certainly doesn't threaten us, and we should unlock the value of our immigrants. We have to unlock the value out of all those things that Verwoerd and apartheid tried to destroy, because those were the things that made us, South Africa unique. And we have forgotten them, this is evident because you see them. Those things sparkle a little bit on Heritage Day, on Freedom Day but they're just for that day then they go away but those things should be at least every weekend. And we need to enjoy this country so we need safety and security. Maybe if the givernment doesn't do it for us we have to come out in numbers and enjoy who we are. It's beginning to happen a lot in the festivals. Almost ever weekend we play festivals where 30, 40 thousand people come out and there's no violence, people are very calm. And I've been telling the promoters that there's still segregation in the festivals. There are white festivals and black festivals and that has to end, there should be cross advertising. People should advertise across all aspects of society.
Agree Publishing tow separate medias.
Because they are so mired in the past that even though we voted people haven't changed socially. I see it at Police roadblocks. You find the white police on one side and the black police on the other side. And I always laugh at them and ask why are you hanging out separately? And you read in the reports of what happens in the army - I haven't been to parliament but it seems there is a little more integration because they are all enjoying the same privileges.
Unity in privileges.
But yes socially we're still an apartheid country. I mean look at all the schools in town that have been abandoned by white children. It's embarassing. All the parents pulled out their children, 'Oh with black children no!' [laughs]
Because we formed a government of national unity, we kept the same civil service, the majority of whom were involved in our oppression.
I see the youth in malls and other places trying to mix together. I have nephews and nieces who live in a cosmopolitan world, I've spoken at universities and technikons, I've gone there to speak about substance abuse but my audiences are always black. And I laugh and say are they trying to imply that addiciton and crime are only black diseases?
A lot of addiction amongst whites - sub-conscious effects of the South African wealth divide.
Denial comes with anger, guilt and shame.
And that feeds directly into substance abuse.
Ja definitely. And first world kids, when they pool their allowances together, they can live an elite substance abuse life. We formed MAPSA. Musicians and Artists Assistance Programme of South Africa. When I came back from the States to home, I had been getting high all my life, but here I was even more privileged. And a lot of the crime syndicates came in, especially the West African ones, and they knew me from there and I didn't have to buy anything. I was more than elite, I was like a royal son returned. So my habits really shot through the roof to the point that my best friends and my familty just said what's happening to you, you, you, we don't know you. We want our friend and our brother back. And I went into recovery in England and when I was there I realised that I was misleading a lot of people and for the first time I looked at South Africa - because I was born in a shebeen - and I said damn we are an addictive country. Majorly. When December comes people just start dying long before Christmas. And in the townships people drown in puddles, if they fall face first. Little puddles and shallow streams. And I said, I've got to go public because it's the biggest denial that there is in this country and it's in every segment of society. And in the poorer classes it is massive, it's a way of life. It's competitive, almost. If you told somebody I was so drunk last night I was vomiting, they look at you with envy, like 'why didn't you invite me?' [Laughs]
Oh man you selfish motherfucker.
So I thought I should start with my own community and bring awareness. It's a labour of love, because when people are in denial you have to softly say, 'listen you have a problem.'
But I knew that if people in the arts were to come forward - and now it seems to a lot of people that only in the arts are the addicts - but when you're in denial you're always looking for a scapegoat. And even media people when they ask me they ask 'why is it that you artists... ' and I say wait a minute, just like all the musicians who taught me, just about all the journalists from Drum died from alcohol abuse. I knew that if one or two or three other people from the music world went public about substance abuse problems then this thing would be brought to the front burner of the nation's conscious. And just now it's starting to really blossom. Now we're getting calls from people in all segments of society and everyone wants to help and I think that we have started a virus. There was always SANCA and SAPSA but they were always white preserves.
And a huge stigma. Easy to get on drugs, hard to get off.
Well they're there. Because of our liberal constitution, all the syndicates are here. They do their business, their wholesaling, their export from here, because we have the most liberal constitution in the world.
Try get off drugs? No support.
In fact when I went public a lot of people said, 'why don't you just shut up and enjoy your cleanliness? Now you're putting the fucking spotlight on us. My wife is asking me, why can't you be like Hugh?' [laughs]
And I said but it's not my fault I have to do this.
The main thing is what we are beginning to remove is the stigma, we are beginning to remove the stigma of owning up to abuse and addiction, because there isn't one family in South Africa that doesn't have an addict. Not one. But we hide our addicts. A lot of people, especially if they're drinkers say, 'get him the beers and the brandy and let him go drink in the back, but don't let the people see him'. So to a certain extent we add to their addiction.
BY denying it.
I know a guy we were helping who went public. Kabelo. And his family were calling me saying, 'now listen this guy is calling the newspaper and saying this... his grandfather and father are very upset about this.'
And I said well it's not about them, it's about him. And he's helping a lot of people. If they are embarrassed then maybe they've got something to hide, that they're not telling.
Is Kabelo in rehab yet?
No, he's going at the end of the month. But he's become a messenger. And a major messenger. And he's very clear headed and very articulate. And he understands the culture without even having gone in there. I suggested that he take some counselling courses because he's a natural counsellor. He understands the speak and he's fascinated by it. That's what happened to me. Some people just enjoy being clean so much that they become messsengers. Other people relapse repeatedly. And when they want to get well you can't abandon them.
That's the hardest time. I was shocked to see the state of our nation. 444 8601 Janine Lewen 082 820 8952 MASPSA.
Some people are not even aware that they are addicted. Especially in the townships amongst the unemployed and unskilled labourers. They drink competitively and they drink the worst concoctions and a person who can really drink is envied. He's like a champ. And when he walks into the bar or shebeen it's like, 'yeah there's Lennox Lewis.' And when you don't know him it's like, 'you see that guy Andy, Andy, that guy's a great drinker.' [Laughs]
And a chick who can drink is really admired, they call her a sherman tank, that chick's a sherman tank you can drink with her. She'll leave you on your fucking face on the floor in the shebeen and walk away. You'll lose all your money there and not get anything. [laughs]
And things like 'what kind of a man are you who doesn't drink?' And chicks they say 'no, no, no, I couldn't go with a guy who doesn't drink. You'd bore me.'
I have a niece who just looks at me and says, 'uncle I don't know what kind of a man are you that doesn't drink?'
So it's like turning this whole mindset around, in the rural areas, the hostels and the townships, it's a major thing. The breweries and distilleries, in our country especially, have an obligation to aggressively promote responsible drinking - and they don't. The thing is in the African society in this country, the ethnic society were always the target market. During apartheid we were not allowed to drink. We could only drink legally in municipal and government drinking halls.
Where they could tax you.
Exactly. And then in the vineyards they pay the grape pickers with wine.
They fuel the whole cycle.
Justin Nurse - black label, Black Labour.
Something is rotten in the state of South Africa. That's from hamlet or Macbeth or something. If people in the high rises of business and administration who even among them, there's major addiction, if they don't come into this loop of awareness our country's in trouble. Because Andy, it's during inebriation, mostly during inebriation that the Aids virus is transmitted. And there's so many people who are HIV positive in high places. And HIV is made out to be a disease of the poor, but that's bullshit. And it's made out to be a black disease, but that's bullshit too. Just like crime is reported as a black business in this country. But when you know the syndicates in this country, the people who know when money is going to move from one place to the other couldn't be black people. The people who take orders for all these expensive cars and where to sell them. It's an integrated business. And very much the black criminals are often the cheap labourers. And the country is in denial about so many things. And it's going to take a long time for them to own up. You know the big thing when prominent people die in this country they say, 'he died after a short illness'. [Burps] And that's it, it's quiet. We have a country that is in the habit of trampling on things that should be revealed, they say just put your foot on it. Stand on it man.
Don't let it out.
Even family rapes. Family rapes, incestual family rapes in this country are just amazing and the family gets together and says let's bring in a diviner and kill a beast to drive the bad spirits away. It's denial that uses, no, abuses customs and traditional mores.
So as before I was saying to you, I don't really get too much rest because these are things that you have to push diplomatically. Awareness is a thing you have to soft pedal, but you have to keep on pushing for people to be aware. Because people don't see anything wrong in the same things. Some of my friends say, 'Hugh, we used to drink together, we used to get high together, why don't you just shut the fuck up and let sleeping dogs lie?' And I said, 'but there's people who want to get well and who say thanks, until you talked about it I didn't know where to go.'
OK Andy I think we covered just about everything.
It's been a pleasure talking to you.
Yes it's been a joy, and if I can just tax you for your new album...
Oh yeah, let me get you one. [walks off whistling][pack up... zips zip and keys jangle]