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Robyn Hitchcock and a cactus wren

A Conversation with Robyn Hitchcock

Puremusic: Hello, Robyn. This is Frank Goodman from Puremusic.com.

Robyn Hitchcock: Oh, right. The interview.

PM: Indeed.

RH: Okay, fine. Hang on, I'll just take the porridge off and we'll start in a minute. Thank you. Let me just--where are you, then, Frank?

PM: I'm in Shanghai, actually.

RH: Shanghai. How is it in Shanghai?

PM: Well, [laughs] that's a complex question, but it's pretty good. I've been here two months, and I've lived, like yourself, no doubt, in many crazy places. But none this crazy.

RH: Uh-huh.

PM: The language is a bear, but one must learn it. I came over here with a small band of guys, I do music business in Nashville. But a small band of us came here with the hopes and intentions of producing television.

RH: Oh, yes, television. Right, well, presumably there are a lot of TV sets there.

PM: [laughs] Yeah. And not much on them.

RH: Ah, well, there you are. That's why my friends from MTV and VH-1 are constantly shuttling over with their little diplomatic bags, to arrange stuff to be disseminated through the free world.

PM: Exactly.

RH: And doubtless somewhere there's going to be an MTV-Aljazeera linkup--

PM: [laughs]

RH: --so that once we're done defoliating the Middle East, all free people can watch television, and the world will be one.

PM: "While you rebuild your cities, learn these latest dance steps."

RH: Yeah, ex-actly. I think, really, though, with everybody watching TV, nobody minds too much what it is, that the principal thing is to hook up, to remove the barriers between the human mind and the television as fast as possible so that the two can sort of, you know, fuck in eternity.

PM: [laughs] It's really incredible how bad the TV is here, at the moment, at least to my western way of thinking. It's a lot of Shogun lite-type dramas, and a kind of really poor man's version of Crouching Tiger, where people are flying through the air.

RH: Ah, I see.

PM: And a lot of soap operas done either in the workplace or in a bar, sitcoms.

RH: Right, based on the same principles as ours, I suppose. They're just trying to adapt what's been passed down from us. What's the weather like over there?

PM: It's okay. It's a very warm winter.

RH: That's good. So whom is our interview for, Frank?

PM: Well, we have a webzine called Puremusic.com. It's four years old, and 600,000 hits a month. We actually had Gillian on the cover last month.

RH: Oh, right.

PM: And your friends, the Sadies, the month before that.

RH: Oh, right, okay.

PM: So you're right up our alley.

RH: Right then, jolly good.

PM: But that being said, I ask you, please take me as I am, because although I know this current release very well, it's really nobody's fault but mine that I know only a dilettante's smattering of your voluminous career otherwise.

RH: That's fine. I'd be quite happy to talk about this one, reasonably untainted by history.

PM: Great.

RH: As long as you spell my name right and you've listened to the record I'm basically happy.  continue

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