|BERLIN INTERVIEW - 06/07/03|
Bertie (Berlin) Marshall, author of novels and plays was born in Greenwich, South London in 1960. Attended various schools and colleges before dropping out to become known as one of the members of 'The Bromley Contingent'. Thanks Bertie for answering the following questions.
Yes I did, I wrote and recorded a single back in 1981 with my band at the time called 'Behaviour Red' it was a weird psycho tribal poetry rant - sold 1000 copies and got played on John Peel's show!
What were your favourite bands of the time? (Petah)
Roxy Music, Nico, Patti Smith, NY Dolls, Velvet Underground, T.REX, Bowie
Are you still in
contact with any of the 'Bromley Contingent'? Do you know what any of them are
doing now? (Petah)
Can you tell us the 'Dog On Lead' story? (Petah)
You'll have to wait to read Banshees biography for that and my book.
You have a book coming out, when is it due for release and what can we expect? (Petah)
It's called 'Berlin, Bromley' and fingers crossed it will be out next year... It's all about me in 1975-77 and captures my life and friendships, the scene as such of those years - It's funny, intense, sad and mad, hopefully with some never seen before photos of Berlin by Severin back in 1976.Were you ever a fan of the Banshees music? If so do you have any favourite songs? (Petah)
Oh yes, 'Hybrid',
'Green Fingers', 'Suburban Relapse', 'Israel', 'Voodoo Dolly',
Oh indeed, looking like I did at 16, think - Winona Ryder mixed in with serial killer Myra Hindley and you get the picture... It was dangerous and threatening to the general public the way we looked, once or twice I got attacked for the way I looked - bisexuality was vaguely tolerated, but queers not at all.
Do you think any of the bands/records from the punk era have stood the test of time? (Petah)
She still is a friend after 27 years and 5 months... she's wonderful and never boring, edgy and fun, like a big sister! I had a nick name for her once upon a time, called her 'Aunty Spooky'.
Who in the music
industry back then were there influences? (Nightly Visitor)
It's interesting to see influences, etc. Was anyone straight-laced and well behaved? (Toddicus)
Huh!Did anyone have a "high profile" job or was everyone pretty much waiting tables? (Toddicus)
None of us had 'jobs', Sioux did a stint as a waitress, I may have cleaned supermarket floors, but being nocturnal sort of killed off any orthodox routine...
I've heard stories from other first gen punks about their being a scholarly aspect mixed in with the glam aspect of the scene -- I've heard that "sociological gems" such as 'Subculture' were passed back and forth and read aloud in club lines, and Sioux herself cites Heartfield as the influence for use of the swastika. Were there any prominent academic/artistic influences that were discussed with any regularity within the Bromley contingent? If so, what were they? (Drkhntress)
Interesting question... We all had a passionate, perhaps naive interest in 'culture', films and music and fashion... Warhol, Pasolini, Burroughs... We all admired 'Pop Culture'...
Did Sioux and
Budgie ever have any path-crossing prior to 1979? (Toddicus)
I got welfare cheques that I spent on make-up, speed, and going out, clothes of course from thrift stores etc... Lots of time was spent in preparation for going out... I started writing in notebooks when I was 15 and called one 'Twins In Vomit' which I remember giving to Severin!
Was their a genuine social concern and a need for creative expression or >was it simply just youthful fun, or both? (Isaak)
It was a time of self discovery - we were after all teenagers.
Did you consider the Bromley contingent to be art revolutionists? (Isaak)
Not at the time - from the prospective of 27 years later - ummmmm yes.
Do you still like The Banshees? or is it more an old mates thing? What was the last thing you bought of theirs? (Tweedledon)
Yes... I have a promo of The Seven Year Itch I which is astounding. I like The Creatures stuff a lot too, I'm looking forward to their new album, bits of which I heard last week and it's really inspiring and uncompromising - great - I only listen to stuff that moves me in some way - it's not an old mates things at all. I'm a fan, why not?What happened to the leash and dog bowl Sioux had for ya and can I have it?
What was the
general feeling at the time with the group did you know at the time you were
starting something that would grow and change music / art history and grow and
branch off the way it did? (TattDawg)
What was the social hierarchy? (Sereneghost)
I know this sounds strange but ask him about little baby robins in tomato sauce?.....this is because I know Bertie. (Snowqueenkiss)
*Left blankDo you know who the girl is that Siouxsie locks lips with in the Fear video? (Jaguar)
Winona Ryder? - Joke!
I have a question. Does Sioux think that there is any hope whatsoever for the music industry? (Mrs Shanks)
I doubt it!... and I don't think it's something that would concern her greatly.