Music for Lunatics – Here’s Jonny II (The Cultural Pottage Cut)

Since The appeared on the OST Show on Resonance 104.4FM recently, people have noticed that I seem close to obsessed by him; this may be true but I’d not be the only one.

For instance, on this weeks’ show he said “There’s a man called Jonny Trunk that walks around the streets of East searching inside empty buildings, basements for old tapes and find things like this”. He was referring to the Kenny Graham & His Satellites album Moondog And Suncat Suites that’s been big in the FLY office and at the Chronicles sessions of late. So, time to ask Mr. Trunk of Trunk Records whether he was streetwalking when he came across this unusual tribute to (mostly) legend Moondog?
“At the time I was investigating the to the 1963 film The Small World Of Sammy Lee. It’s set in Soho with great sad jazz composed by Kenny Graham. He was an inspiring jazz character, and then started looking into his career and output. The Moondog And Suncat Suites is a recording from 1956 and seemed to be a bit lost, never issued since its original pressing in 1957. I realised it was British jazzers playing Moondog tunes, engineered by Joe Meek. It really doesn’t get much more interesting”.
Better not get onto the lengthy subject of Joe Meek as that’ll get us back onto The Simonsound and their album, Reverse Engineering so getting back to Jonny’s “bin diving”, on the recent OST show with Rich Morton Show, he explained how he found the tapes that formed the album Music For Biscuits by Mike Sammes & the Mike Sammes Singers? In short Mike Sammes had been ill and in hospital and Jonny asked a neighbour of Sammes’ if he’s mind asking him to contact Jonny when he came out of hospital. Unfortunately, Mike never did but that led to the neighbour desperately calling Jonny saying to get round to the as the builders had dumped a load of master tapes in the skip outside and they were trashing the place. “The saddest bit about it was going around the see his after the clearance people had wrecked it. Anything of any value had been taken, unscrewed and removed. All that was left in the was a large mountain of rubbish, paperwork, all his books, original scores and all his tapes. On reflection, the record I released from tapes found in this rubbish is joyous, happy and very entertaining. And I’m sure Mike would have been thrilled”.
And it is truly a 60s jolly and whilst at it, I thought we’d find out how it took nearly 10years after Trunk first heard the then incredible rare Sextet’s Hear, O Israel – A Prayer Ceremony In Jazz until you re-issued it, “I didn’t like the recording that much one when I first heard it. Ten years later when I heard it again I thought it was one of the most awe inspiring recording I’d ever heard. It just shows you how your ears change over the years.”
Wise words and definitly something to ponder as this week’s OST show started with the strangest Jimmy Saville that you’re likely to hear (and that is odd at the best of times), “I never thought I’d use a carton of yoghurt to pull two birds”. Now, 10 years ago, that might have sounded normal on Eurotrash with Antoine de Caunes but from the lips of Jim “Jim’ll Fix It” Saville! And then to ask to collect the silver foil tops? How did JT find this week’s expert guest? “Andrew Coram is an antique dealer, but has a good eye for a box of records. He would have found all the Lyntone flexi disks at auction somewhere weird, and probably bought them for about a fiver”.
So it’s not just your middle of the road flexidisc for this guy, its Lyntone flexidisc! And there were thousands of them, from Sperm Wales (that’s the real animal and not a band) to New Order to Samantha Fox. And Andrew certainly does have a collection as he treated us to the most obscure wealth of flexidisc heaven with very peculiar stuff from ‘Switch It On” (Midland Electric Board), Johnny Morris (rather dull story about a dog’s life), ‘Job For A Change’ promo for 10th of June by the GLC crew +1 (Ken Livingston) and loads more than you couldn’t begin to come to terms with; even the early Mike Sammes sounding sing-a-long advert for the Hardy Amies ‘must have’ this summer, ‘Red, Red Dress’ isn’t everyones cup of tea.
Not only that, whilst you can hear the repeat (see details below), the Saturday OST live version has the advantage of the famous OST pun competition. Jonny’s assistant Robin (with cycling jacket) said this week his favourite all-time answer ever on the competition was.Last Tangoed in Paris! OK, not so great out of context so is there a Johnny Trunk list of all-time best of answers for a future stocking filler book? “There have just been too many over the years. The level and quality of answers remains high every week”.
There’s at least one a week that cracks me up and sends Mrs Hectic into apoplexy (but that’s another mater) and this week’s mix of film title and brand name, the one of the loyal and dedicated fans came up with, “The Pukka Pies of Laura Mars“. Now that is rather good. Arguably the most loyal and dedicated are Jake and Amanda. They come up with such great answers week in, week out, I wondered if they real people? Jonny spills the beans, “They work in film. SFX I believe. They’re English and work in LA. They listen to the show as they get up on a Saturday morning.”
Now that does sound and positive lifestyle choice, having breakfast vicariously with Jonny Trunk and guests before doing/going/experiencing LA on a Saturday (and what with KPFM on Dublab Friday night and Carlos Ni?±o on Sunday night), LA is the space to be?
Back in sun stroked London Town, what highlights can we to look forward to on Trunk Records? He says. “lots more interesting records from Film music to strange music” that sounds standard fair for Trunk so what’s the Wobbles all about? “The Jellies you mean? Yes a post band that made one single that sold 30 copies back in 1981. It’s a great hooky track.” So whilst we post- up Bustin’ Out (New Wave To New Beat: The Post Punk Era 1979-1981 and its latest edition Bustin’ Out (New Wave To New Beat Vol. 2: 1982), the Trunk is going real rare groove; how can any record just sell 30 copies?
But then he’s even more weird and wonderful as in the near future there’s the release of Music To Suffer By that he’s gone and re-mastered but it still sounds like one of the scariest releases on your label? “This has always been one of my favourite terrible records, and I just thought others might quite enjoy how entertaining and clever it actually is”.
Now you might think that’s obvious Trunk oddness and then he’ll say, “I quite like Kompact”. Really, any in particular, “Yes that early paired down housey stuff”.
That’ll make Wolfgang Voigt, Michael Mayer and J?ºrgen Paape happy but really, the weekend’s OST should by rights have come live and direct from Glastonbury from the flexi disc ley line tent (shared with the St. Johns Ambulance Service).
There’s no denying, the Trunk is odd but in a national treasure way. An unbiblical cord that links to other like minded oddballs that have the passion, time, patience, inclination to be different, dedicated and obsessed with music that’s even less mainstream than FLY Global Music folks (even though he lets us connect to his umbilical cord at times).
So whilst I’m happy to talk about ACs, General de Gaulle, The Revenge’s rework of Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ and, of course, The Simonnsound (sheck out the interview with Simon HERE) to wrap things up, Jonny, is there any other things we should know about? In reply, in a rather Bod/Magic Roundabout type way he replies, “Not really”.
Fair enough and as it’s as good a place as any to stop with for now; what class – and I’m obsessed with Jonny Trunk – check him out ever Saturday and expand your mind (this week it’s the life and music of Walter Sears via Jonny’s special guest Joel Martin, half of Quiet Village).
Original Music for Lunatics – Here’s Jonny! interview of July 2007 see HERE.
Links: -Saturday 16:30-18:30 The OST Show: This weekly programme is dedicated to film music, TV music, library music and related recordings, and is hosted by Jonny Trunk. Each week the OST Show welcomes a guest (a collector, composer, director, artist) or specialises in a specific film music genre or composer. Expect lively chat, competitions and anything from avant garde Morricone to Hudson singing. Wednesday 15:00 – 17.00 The OST Show (repeat)
Trunk Records
Moonscape “Moonscape will be pressed on CD with new notes from Michael Garrick, and will also be pressed on limited vinyl, 500 copies only worldwide” — OST, the show is two hours every Saturday featuring film music, TV music, library music and related recordings – such as film stars singing, advertising incidentals, that kind of thing
The Shining (1980) @ “What does Jack mean when he says “Here’s Johnny”? …”
Gilles Peterson :: 23.06.10 :: Pursuit Grooves in conversation and live from Sonar.
Kenny Graham, & His Satellites – Utsu (Trunk Records)
Walter Sear: US-American synthesizerist, producer and theremin player, born 27 April 1930 in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA and died 29 April 2010 in New York, NY, USA. He was the owner of Sear Sound Studio in New York, NY, USA.