WOUR Interview

Anthony Phillips interviewed by Bob London on WOUR 96.9, Utica, New York on 29th June 1979

Transcribed by David Dunnington

... and no one would believe what Anthony Phillips is sitting here doing at the moment. Shall I describe it for them or shall we just let them imagine?

I'm just sitting here smoking my pipe! [laughter]

What are you going to play for us?

What I'm going to try and play is a piece of music from the Private Parts & Pieces album which is called Flamingo. Alright?


[Ant plays 6 minutes of Flamingo]

That is real pretty. That is nice.

Thank You.

Welcome. First let me say that is Anthony Phillips you've been listening to on WOUR in Utica - or maybe you want to say that, I don't know?


I'm just mumbling here. I'm getting over watching someone play with such dexterity here, I've never seen a 12 string played that way.

Yes it was kind of a difficult piece that one to be honest, you have to move both hands a lot in both different directions.

For someone who was saying that he didn't know if he could do it 'cos he hasn't played in a while that was really, really fine.

Well musicians are always a bit ... I mean they're tough task masters, I know I am. I mean that wasn't anything as good as I'd like to play, but perhaps one shouldn't say that.

I don't think we heard anything wrong with it at all.

Absolutely well I'm glad to hear it. Glad not to have heard it!

Let's talk about the problems involved with touring. We were talking a bit about it before during the news and unfortunately it's not possible at this point.

Well its very much a financial thing as I was saying to you earlier. The prevalent idea at the moment in the business is really that - certainly for this kind of music - tours aren't actually going to sell more albums. As was the old idea that obviously if you toured for 5 years solidly you're bound to pick up a bit, but being mainly a writer and innovator I've left that behind me.

I would love to do limited length tours whereby each night is something really fresh and you're not just doing a 9 to 5, you don't really care what the audience think. I think the only conceivable thing, given that no one is prepared to put up the money to do the full dramatic version which I would love to do, is to do an acoustic thing. Which as we were saying earlier, has its drawback from the point of view of people coming to hear the louder pieces on the album. They might even come wanting to hear Mike Giles and some of those names and I think that possibly just a light acoustic set would probably disappoint them.

What we might do - I would love to do this - is just to do a tour of the small clubs, that sort of thing, with perhaps 3 acoustic guitars with Dale Newman and Dan Owen (I got it the right way round this time!); do something from Sides. I would enjoy that; I think it is important because I've never had any experience, never played in any of the really big auditoriums; but just from an outsider it seems to me that you must lose audience contact. How can you have it when you're playing to 15,000 people that perforce you've always got to think of [as] penguins otherwise the thought of playing to 15,000 people would probably frighten you out of your mind. So you've almost got to see them as penguins anyway.

I remember seeing Genesis in Philadelphia and being dismayed that a band could be as big as that and yet people were still talking. Obviously just a few, but enough to ruin it for me, still talking and chattering and basically being merry through all the quiet sections. And its such a shame, so obviously I do feel that small clubs and things would be a tremendous place to start here actually.

It might disappoint a few people who were coming for the full rock presentation, but I think it would probably gain some more fans, perhaps from the folk end - I don't know.

Well you could just bill it as what it was and that way nobody would be disappointed at all.

That's true

Listen its a pleasure to have you drop by, best of luck

It has been a pleasure to drop by.

And you have a little piece that you were going to let us hear?

I'd nearly forgotten that, it doesn't have a title actually yet, its just "hello goodbye and thank you".

Thank you.

[Ant plays Postlude: End of the Season]

Anthony Phillips. Where are you off to from here, are you visiting a few more radio stations?

I think we're going just up the road to Italy to Rhone and Rome.


Perhaps we're going into a time warp back to Carthage, to Syracuse.

Someone has been on the road too long, I can tell! (Ant laughs) Listen again thanks for dropping by and best of luck with the album.

Thank you.

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