No Class interview: Mark Perry


Mark Perry

Mark Perry was always the personification of the spirit of the first wave of UK punk. He was a music fan who through writing the most well acclaimed punk fanzine - Sniffin' Glue - became the unelected spokesman of all things 1977-related. He then formed the seminal band Alternative TV and has remained active in music ever since. He's occasionally recorded under different names, but ATV never disappears for long. Here's what he had to say........

August 06

1. What three people well known would you invite round for tea, and why?

Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and Frank Zappa. I know that two are no longer with us but this is a fantasy situation! They are the three people I've admired most in music. I think that they could all be pretty grumpy but it would be interesting to hear them discuss music and politics, etc .

2. What's your favourite punk rock song, and why?

The Clash '1977'. It seems to sum up the feeling of those early punk months. Plus, it's nice and short and to the point .

3. What did your family think of you as a full time punk?

They didn't like the clothes but they've always been very supportive.

4. Which new bands do you listen to?

I don't listen to any new bands. The only contemporary band I listen to is Whitehouse.

5. How has Tony Blair affected you, since 1997?

I stopped voting for the Labour Party after the invasion of Iraq. I think that was Blair's fault!

6. If you remove rhythm from music does it become sound art?

I consider all music to be art anyway, even if it's got a rhythm.

7. What's the best present you've ever been given?

I have been given quite a few good presents over the years: it's hard to choose. Maybe my fossil watch which my wife gave me as a wedding present.

8. What's the weirdest place you've performed and what was it like?

ATV have played quite a few odd gigs over the years, especially when we did a free tour with Here & Now. One of the strangest was when we played a park in Bristol on that tour. We had no stage and the gear was soon overrun with kids wanting to have a go on our instruments. It decended into chaos.

9. Would you appear on Big Brother?

No. Can't stand the programme.

10. What surprises are there in your record collection?

I have a wide taste in music: rock, reggae, jazz, classical. A lot of people seem suprised when they see my Wagner and Elton John CDs.

11. Where would you rather go, to the moon or the bottom of the sea, and why?

The moon. I've always been very excited by the Apollo missions. In fact, I wrote a song about it in the 90s, on the album called Apollo! I think that it's a shame that they didn't carry on with the project. We could of had a thriving community up there by now.

12. If asked again, would you still refuse an appearance on Danny Baker's This Is Your Life?

How do you know about that? I don't think I was missed very much. I still wouldn't do it. I'm very choosy about what I do in the media. Most TV is crap although I did do the Jools Holland show a few years ago.

13. What do you remember of The Transmitters ?

Great band. I played with Sam Dobson a little bit. Their best record was a 12" on Step Forward. I think Sam's recently put out a 'best of'.

14. Have you re-opened Step Forward for the Long Decline?

No, I changed my mind. The label is now called Sniffin' Glue Records.

15. Are you playing or recording currently?

No, the last line-up of ATV split up earlier this year. I owe Overground Records an album, so I may put a band together later in the year.

**the end**

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