Interviews & Articles


"Pebble Mill at One"
Paul Gambaccini
Oct. 8 1982 (excerpt)

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Date: Fri, 9 Mar 90 06:53:07 EST
From: katefans@world.std.com (Chris'n'Vickie of Kansas City)
Subject: "Pebble Mill at One" Paul Gambaccini Oct. 8 1982

It's always so much fun to go back to old interviews and see things that point up to "future" songs. This is a partial transcription of a TV interview Kate did with Paul Gambaccini (sp?) in * 1982 *. The show is called "Pebble Mill at One".

There's a (minor) reference to a future Ninth Wave-type song, but this is interesting for other reasons too. Paul is talking first about a radio show that he and Kate did together in which Kate chose all the music played on the show.

The song The Dreaming had been released as a single and had bombed horribly (#48 peak) but the album was just then being released.

Before you start reading, stop and *think* about the sheer and utter courage it took Kate to insist that The Dreaming be the first single from the album. If Tenner or Gaffa had been the first single the album would have done much better (even though it did reach #3 in the UK).


"When we did our radio program for Christmas, for Radio One, about your favorite records, I'm sure that many people were surprised to hear how few conventional pop tunes were in there. You had a lot of Irish folk melodies, African songs, song with unusual instruments and I therefore thought that when you really did take full control of your career there would be a lot of various surprises for people which they may not find actually commercial and I think that's what happened on the latest single The Dreaming, isn't it?"


"Yes absolutely. I mean, it's not really a commercial song at all and I think that's rather lovely that you could see, from that program that we did, perhaps the direction I was going in and, from my point of view, that program was fantastic to get, you know, all those songs played."


"I recall you had some whaling songs so I'm waiting for your number about Orca."


(laughs)"yeah, yeah, sea shanties, that'd be great! But I think that's the problem too because the direction I'm going in with my art is the way *I* want to go because, for me, it's a little deeper, it's got more meaning. It's not so poppy I suppose, but of course, maybe that won't be so widely accepted, especially in the singles chart, where it seems that things do have to be obvious really to stand a good chance of getting places."


"I think a lot of the tracks on your new album are so intense and deep, with a lot of various sources of input, that it's difficult to hear on the radio, catchy the first time. For example, on The Dreaming you have Rolf Harris with his digeridu and you had Percy Edwards doing the animal voices and very complex lyrics and a change of voices on your part and I think that probably was the problem."


"Yes, I think it was a very complicated single in many ways. It was demanding as much from the audience as anything that they would give the time to listen to it and try to understand it. So many people said to me that by the fifth, sixth time that they'd heard the song that they were actually starting to really like it and before then they just hadn't understood it at all. So, yeah."

The interview continues on about other things but this is all I really wanted to post. Paul G. seems to be one of the few DJ types (besides Roger Scott) that Kate actually had intelligent conversations with. He's Canadian (maybe American) and I haven't heard anything about him in years. Does anyone know what he's been up to?

So there you have it. Sea shanties no less! Who knows, maybe Paul gave Kate the idea for TNW with his crack about Orca! :-)

By the time the single TD was released I was a die-hard hard-core Katefan. I lived in Leavenworth and made the 80 mile round-trip drive to Kansas City *just* to get the single! I remember driving home with it on the passenger seat and I kept patting it and picking it up to look at it and hold it and laugh and the way my spine was tingling....oh my god. I kept giggling. I just could not believe that I actually really honestly no foolin' really and truly no kidding had a *NEW* Katesong! It's a wonder I didn't get a speeding ticket. I've driven all over the country but that was the longest drive I ever made in my LIFE!

When I got home I yelled to my sister-in-law (I'd been trying to get her into Kate, maybe this new song would do it for her) "I HAVE KATE'S NEW SINGLE!!!!COME LISTEN!!!" I raced upstairs to my room and fumbled to get the single on the turntable. When that digeridu sound started I was intrigued but within seconds I was wringing my hands in despair. As soon as Kate started singing I looked at Cathy and she just shook her head and walked out of the room. Oh Kate, ohmygod what have you done? I truly thought she had gone off her rocker. I took it off and turned it over to listen to Dreamtime. More of the same. I sat in silence for a while and thought ok Kate, you're doing something I don't understand. What's the key to this song? I listened again. Horrible!

I listened again. Weird! I listened again. Strange, but I like the way you sing "see the light bounce off the rocks to the sand". I listened again. Unusual, but the digeridu sounds are very interesting and the animal noises are cool. I listened again. Hmmm, odd, but I like those tires squealing then, BANG-a goes another Kanga on the bonnet of the van. And that really interesting sound, what the hell is that? (I later found out it was Orch 5). Well, one more time did it. I really liked it. I turned it over and listened to Dreamtime again and that's actually when I fell in deep and irrevocable love with the A-side! So, first I loved the details, then I loved the music, then I learned to love her vocals!

By the time the album was released (another 80 mile drive!) it (The Dreaming) was my all-time favorite Kate song (besides Wuthering Heights, of course). Getting into the album is another story. I listened to it once without the lyrics and once with the lyrics. I put the lyrics away and for the next two weeks played the album whenever I could as background music, not paying attention to it. I had to get the music into my subconcious. I'd read, write letters, play games, whatever, with the album playing over and over and over again.

One night I was sitting on my bed reading and all of a sudden the chorus of "Night of the Swallow" hit me like a ton of bricks!! That's when I got the lyrics back out and spent the next few hours learning the words song by song. Well, for the next few months the *only* other album I listened to was Peter Gabriel's Security (I'd given that album the same treatment). It may seem a hell of a weird way to get into an album but for me it was the best way.

She's a genius...

She really is...

Vickie (one of Vickie'n'Chris)

ps: Cathy finally came around and saw the Katelight.

pps: A little less than a month after TD album came out I met Chris. What a wonderful thing!

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