Interviews & Articles


"Friday Night, Saturday Morning"
with Desmond Morris
UK TV - Nov. 21 1981

To the Reaching Out (Interviews) Table of Contents

Date: Tue, 3 Sep 1991 01:16:56 -0700
From: rhill@pnet01.cts.com (Ronald Hill)
Subject: "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" with Desmond Morris,

UK TV Nov. 21 1981

"Friday Night, Saturday Morning" with Desmond Morris,

UK TV Nov. 21 1981

[Transcribed by Ron Hill. Thanks to IED for the tape.]


I: I always find watching you sing - because you do more than listen to you, you watch very much as well when you're performing - I always find I feel like a mouse confronted with a cobra because there's something hypnotic about it, it's very strange. Can you explain it? It's some sort of curious lilt you get into your voice which is almost like an incantation. Where did it come from?

K: [Laughs] Well "ssssss" is the obvious way, isn't it? I don't know, it's very strange because I think a lot of influences have been responsible for the way I am and I think that's the same with everyone, really. That you are, in many ways, the things that you like, and you try to be those things that you like. And I've always been incredibly fond of music, I've always tried to aspire to the people that I admire. And the same with dancing, I've always had a basic interest in it, I think mainly because of the expression that you can get, you know, through singing and dancing.

I: But was there anything... I mean it's such an unusual style, I think it's what's so extraordinary. So many pop singers do sound the same, but you sound absolutely different from all the rest. [Kate Laughs] What possible influence.... 'cause you didn't have a very unusual childhood, did you?

K: No, not particularly.

I: Where did you live, for example?

K: I was brought up in Kent. A very sort of normal upbringing. I think the music, again, that I was hearing at a very early age influenced me tremendously because before I was going to school, before I was reading, I was singing along to songs, to traditional music. And in a way I think that got my soul before the education even got near me. And I think really when you are that young, in a way I think the sparks of what you really want to do are there somewhere.

I: But the voice... where, where, ... were you singing like that then, this strange voice that rises up so high?

K: No, when I first started singing I had an incredibly plain voice, I mean I could sing in tune but that was about it, I mean I really wasn't that good. And really all I did was sing every day, because I was writing songs, I would sing them. And I was concentrating much more on my writing and therefore my voice came through that. And every day I'd be at the piano for hours, so really it was just a gradual progression from something that started...

I: Do you like your own voice?

K: No, I don't, and I think this is a problem that a awful lot of artists have, they can't actually enjoy what they do, or their voice, or whatever it is, to the fullest because they are themselves. And it's very painful for me to listen to my voice sometimes as it is for other people who don't like it. [Laughter from audience] But it's something that you have to try to accept, that you have limitations. And that's what you go for.

I: You have some very exotic body language to, where did that come from? Did you have special training for that?

K: Yes, I did train. But when I left school, I knew that I wanted to do music, but I also knew that their was something missing from the expression. And I was very lucky just to see an add in a paper. I went to see a show, and it was Lindsay Kemp, and really I'd never seen anything like it before. And what he was doing was he was using movement without any sound at all, something I'd never experienced, and he was expressing so much, probably more most people would express with their mouths. And it suddenly dawned on me that there was a whole new world of expression that I'd hadn't even realized. And so..

I: Do you still do a lot of mime?

K: Yes, I try to, yes.

I: You still train at it, do you?

K: It's very hard to get the time, that's the main problem, because I find I'm in the studio or writing most of the time. So fitting everything in is in fact the biggest problem and it's very frustrating sometimes because there's so many things that you want to do, but because of limitations you can't fit it all in.

I: Yet, [??? inaudible] and everything, you've got a reputation of doing absolutely everything for your shows, how many jobs do you do when you go on the road with your show?

K: Well, I think I try and do everything that I think I can handle and because I'm writing the music and singing and performing, a lot of things come from that which I don't think would otherwise. For instance, I don't think I'd be able to choreograph if I didn't write the music, because in many ways I know the music so inside out, and like backwards sometimes, that I already have ideas for steps and choreography that I wouldn't have otherwise. And in many ways it just goes from the song, the song just takes off, then a video needs to be made, and then a stage show. So, it's like the development of the songs, in many ways. It seems like a natural procedure.

I: 'Cause you're your own producer, I think, aren't you? You produce it all yourself, the whole thing.

K: Yes, I've only just managed to get there though. I mean this album is the first one that I'm producing. And it's incredible, I mean there really is so much you have to do, and it is very hard.

I: Hard work, is it?

K: Yes, especially also when you're the artist that you're doing the album of. I mean sometimes I keep thinking, "who's album is this," you know. And then I think it's mine and I think "well," you know, "I've got to keep working." I think I wouldn't be able to if I didn't feel that the songs need to be presented to people.

I: The strange thing about you is you introduced a very original style, it didn't grow slowly it was there, Boommp! The first time I saw you, I said in 1978, "there it was." How do you see it developing? K: Well, I see it developing especially on stage, I think that's where I found something. When I did the tour I'd never realized how much you can in fact do on a live stage. I think there's a lot that's used in video and film that has never really explored in a live sense and I think that there's a lot that you could do there that I would like to try and do, yes.

I: Apart from yourself, where do you think pop music is going at the moment? I sometimes get the feeling that apart individualist performers like yourself, a lot of it is beginning to sound, maybe I'm getting old, but it sounds all the same to me now, alot of it on Top Of The Pops.

K: I have that problem, too. I watch Top Of The Pops, you know, some weeks and I really find it very, very hard to identify with some of the music that people are making. And yet obviously the young people of today really do enjoy it.

I: Yes, but I think it's so marvelous that we have, in this country, produced another original performer. One of the most unusual singers I've ever heard. I certainly, unlike you, I enjoy your voice very much indeed.

K: Thank you.

I: Ladies and gentleman, Kate Bush!

K: Thank you.



Date: Sat, 7 Sep 1991 03:10:00 -0700
From: gatech!chinet.chi.il.us!katefans@EDDIE.MIT.EDU (Chris n Vickie)
Subject: Re: Friday Night, Saturday Morning

Dr. Desmond Morris (who wrote the books Manwatching and The Naked Ape, among many others) was the guest-host interviewer. He specifically asked for Kate to be his guest.

It was aired during the making of TD. Shades of "Leave It Open"...this is my favorite part:

K ...if I didn't write the music, because in many ways I know the music so inside out, and like backwards sometimes...

I played the audio of this interview in one of my Kate Radio Specials, and during that bit I cut it off and played the backwards version of LIO.


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