Billy Hasset (The Chords MP3 London Calling Intro)
The LONDON CALLING Radio Show presented by Sir Eon Ballinger is Fortnightly on Mondays & you can hear worldwide now! He took time out of a hectic schedule to shed some light on his latest musical journey!
1. What were your early musical influences?
All The usual suspects: Beatles, Who, Small Faces, The Creation, Kinks, Bowie, Buzzcocks, The Clash, The Jam, The Chords, The Psychedelic Furs, and, of course, The Worzels! Oo Aah!
2. What sort of Music do your gravitate towards generally?
I’m kind of stuck in a time tunnel 1965-1983/4 I’m afraid…But it’s a nice place to be, a kind of Comfort zone: like clean Jim jams, hot water bottles, Chocolate & Milk, Crisps & Coke…oh, & not forgetting, several pints of Kilkenny & a Crack pipe…Blow the cobwebs away. Funny, even chooons I hated from back in the day sound like old friends now (that same feeling you get about people you work with & hate all year round, then, all of a sudden, they seem ok for that magical week around xmas), can never work that one out, strange but true that one, isn’t it.. Beauty of music I suppose? It’s still the highest art form bar none!
3. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?
Talk Talk Talk-Furs/Quadrophenia-The horrible oooo/Revolver-The Fabs/Kinks 66-68 & anything by The Creation (though there’s not much, is there) The Small Faces, Neil Young, Bob Dylan Blood on the Tracks & Ian Mcnabb/Icicle Works… depending on my muse!
4. What about the Formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?
Well, gotta be Vinyl for sound & sense of occasion (Art again), but cd for simplicity…Not an MP3 fan..They sound pants, don’t they!
5. Any Current Bands that you feel seem to be producing the goods?
I like Glamweazle, Pope (ex Chords, but like Ian Mcnabb, I think Chris Pope is criminally underatted & ignored… outrageous isn’t it..The Chords were just Chris tuning up). But currently Miles Kane..He’s kicking up a storm over here, you can see his confidence bloom , that’s nice to see, & he wears fabPantoloons too! And last, but certainly not least, ‘Is this England?’ by The Universal hits the spot!
6. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?
Good Taste… lol… Dunno: The A-Z from the Musical Bible & any bands new or old, who merit a bit of airplay… Send me ya stuff if ya reading this!.. But if people enjoy the show (& they seem to be), Job’s a goodun!
7. Anything that you Really Hate and Why?
Aaahhh… tough buster this… If you had asked me this question but a year ago, we could’ve made a boxset of what I don’t like… But nah… bit toxic that hate stuff, init!!… They say life begins at 40, don’t they (Who are they, while we’re on the subject?), I just think you’re just becoming depressingly conscientious of your own mortality, so hate is way too time & energy consuming! …Put it this way, I try to smile at least 7 times throughout the day! Chant “Hari Krishna you c**t” at anyone who cuts me up (which is often over here… Who needs theme parks? Just have a day driving in Paris, folks!…), yoga ‘n’ prozak help to keep me in a happyboystoytown frame of mind too. …Oh! hang on though… Bullies…there ya go… They come in all shapes & sizes, dont they… Starts in the playground…The Bullies & The Bullied! Meet the new Bully: same as the old Bully!
8. What about Requests?
What about them… lol …As long as I dig it… yeah of course…
9. Tell us what you are up to at the Moment, where can we catch you playing etc?
Well, busy recording an album (just for myself) as well as film & music for adverts! My hope is to make the Radio show bigger & better, we’re getting just over 8,000 listeners currently, which ain’t too shabby, is it… To be honest, it’s been very touching, the reaction to the show (Helps keep hate at bay – see question 7): emails from France & Blighty of course, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany (Who won the war?), USA, Brazil, Mexico & even (singular) a listener in Poland… Bless her Heart!
10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you Beyond Music?
Well, that’s the easiest question, BUT, not very Rock & roll & even a bit soft maybe… But being with my Family & watching my two Chidren grow into the Beautiful people they are… My two hits! I won’t say my No 1 & Number two… Flippin Eck Tucka, I just did!
11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your Musical journey?
Oh, by jingo, unfortunately, Yes. Oh, my giddy aunt, how do I answer this one, the most dangerous of all the questions… as I think you should never meet (and certainly not work with) ya heroes; the fantasy always outways the reality… right!But since you asked,well, ok….
I was put forward to write With Pete Townshend’s Daughter, so I got to meet him, who was & is an incredible person & very funny! But I also crossed swords with Mr Daltrey, who asked me to get my “f’n cigarette” out of his face (maybe this kicked off the idea for his cancer charity… only joshing Rodge..lol) I thought he was gonna throw a knuckle sarny on me snotta… Kinda dissapointed he didn’t, to be honest: I could’ve dinned out on that one for years!
I did alot of work with the guitarist from The Psychedelic Furs, John Ashton, in london & in New York, back in the day, who’s great fun…”Hi John! How are ya? Happy?”… ‘What’s Happy?’… lol
REM.…3 of them were nice, guess what one wasn’t… lol… Peter Buck offered to play on a few of my songs, folks! But most of them dissapoint our (outrageously high) expectations, don’t they!
I worked with Buzzcocks for a year, which was a real eye opener to say the least, from Boy to man cliché, not the happiest of experiences, but good never or less! We all have to face the dark side at some point in our lives – “Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” as Yoda, Jedi Master said. Use the Force, folks…
Then I went on to manage Steve Diggle for a year which was a hoot (literally), I love that Geeza… Most up & funny guy I’ve ever met!!! He’s the Keef Richards of Punk, isn’t he! If anyone was having a bad moment on tour, he’d simply say: ‘Don’t worry lads, we’ll all be dead soon!’… Diggle world! I won’t mention the other little fella in the act with his feet at quarter to two!!!…You wouldn’t be able to print it anyway…lol
The Chords are all top blokes. Brett and Chris are the most forgiving… I’ll leave that one like that… Not my finest hour…
But The King of Kings was Kenny Pickett of The Creation, who become friend, mentor & almost like a second father to me… Very sharp guy, with stories to make ya hair curl, especially the Led Zepplin days, & he was also cut from noble cloth… I can’t tell you how much I loved him in a few whimsical sentences… He recorded a song of mine… always motivated moi & was sure, certain in fact, I would find success one day, in some shape or form… Incredible man… Also (& this is heartbreaking), as you probably know, he was… err… responsible for writing GRANDAD (that is heartbreaking…lol) with Herbie ‘Walk on the wild side’ Flowers… which was the first song I ever walked on stage too, in a school play (Second was with Ronnie Corbett at London Palladium if ya interested???) & I had a picture I gave to him to proove my story. So when he died, he left all the Creation lyrics, invoices, memorablia etc. to me! So when I went to his house in Barnes for my inheritence (don’t know if that’s the right way of putting it, readers), there was that picture of me beside his gold disc for Grandad… Killer eh… People said he thought of me as his second son… Last thing he said to me was: ‘I love you’, which at least is some sort of saving Grace. Christ, listen to me… “Nurse! He’s out of bed again!”
And of course Eddie Phillips, who’s a Gent, played on some my own songs (violin bow et tout) & composed a jingle for the Show! Tons of others too… but the most interesting peoploids have never really been the so called stars, to be frank! or to be Eon… lol
12. Top Fave Tunes Right Now?
Inhaler – Miles Kane
New Life – Ian Mcnabb
Grow your own – Small Faces
Scrapeaway – The Jam
How Does it feel to feel? – The Creation
I wanna destroy you – Soft Boys
I lie in Bed – Steve Diggle
Love my Way – The Psychedelic Furs
Thursday night 1972 – Glamweazle
Slider – T-Rex
The Last Balloon – XTC
Crazy horse – The Osmonds (My first single poppickers, 1972… You do the maths…) oh & the Boxset of Quadrophenia – Whotastic.. Happy as a pig in Chardonay as Stephen Fry would say!
Love & Stuff
Sir Eon Ballinger