Terry Hall’s singing and song-writing — a potent mix of laconic humour,
cynicism and sharply observed social comment — have made him one
of the most unique frontmen in British music. In the late 1970s and
early ‘80s he helped to spearhead the hugely popular ska revival as
lead vocalist with The Specials, whose hard-hitting mix of ska, roots
reggae, punk and rock scored a run of seven straight Top Ten singles,
including such classics as Gangsters, Too Much, Too Young and
Ghost Town. Hall left The Specials at the height of their fame to form
Fun Boy Three, ushering in a musical eclecticism seldom heard in
the pop charts and on mainstream radio. Dubbed ‘a man who has
had more bands than a short-wave radio’, he has spent the past two
decades hopping from project to project: his bands the Colourﬁeld,
Terry, Blair & Anouchka and Vegas (with Dave Stewart), appearances
with Tricky, Gorillaz and the Lightning Seeds, and two solo albums.
What has remained constant throughout Hall’s long and varied career
is his distinctive persona and cynical lyrics mixing political and social
commentary with everyday ennui.
Who are you? And what do you do for a living?
My name is Terry Hall and I am an all-round entertainer
Do you trust yourself?
I could never do that
What have you done since you woke up
Smoked four cigarettes and opened my mail
What is your earliest memory?
Trying to throw myself off a wall to avoid school
Do you believe in life after death?
Which historical ﬁgure would you like to take out,
and what would you like to show them?
Alexander Graham Bell. I would like to show him
a mobile phone and then give him a good slap
Were you a popular child?
I was a lonely child
What is the meaning of life?
There is no meaning, that’s why it’s cool…
Do you scare easy?
Say boo! and I jump
When and where were you most happy?
Barcelona, European cup ﬁnal: United: 2,
Bayern Munich: 1
If you could make any one thing free for all
what would it be?
If you could have put a stop to any one thing in
the last 50 years what would it have been?
Bono forming a band
Which public space do you like best?
Which private space do you like best?
Do you subscribe to a particular belief?
Drink water… eat food… breathe a lot…
What do you like most about fame and success?
Champagne, birds, and Peter Stringfellow
What do you do for fun?
What one thing would improve the quality
of your existence?
An alternative to lithium… that works!
Who was the ﬁrst cultural ﬁgure to inﬂuence you?
What was the ﬁrst thing you produced/participated
in that you are particularly proud of?
Gangsters: The Specials
What is your number one priority?
To sort my teenagers out
Why do you do what you do?
There’s no choice
Who do you most like to talk shop with?
David Cassidy… It’s an imaginary conversation
What is your principal defect?
There isn’t one
What is your most marked characteristic?
What would you like to be better at?
What quality do you most like in man?
What is the quality you most like in woman?
What is sexy?
A two a.m. picnic
What is your favourite sound?
The tannoy at football
What is your favourite word?
What do you regard as the lowest depth
Do you collect anything? If so what?
American outsider art
Which work of art do you most covet for
Which book do you keep returning too?
The Yellow Pages
What do you predict for America?
Greed and growth
What is humanity’s biggest failing?
Please describe the space you are in?
A dark green room, a rusty day-bed, rugs, big window,
books, an ice hockey game
What is the best bit of advice you can give to
someone who wants to succeed?
If at ﬁrst you don’t succeed, forget it
What piece of music would you like played at
If You Go Away by Scott Walker
Is life serious?
Tell us a joke?
Waiter walks over to a table of Jewish mothers having
dinner and asks ‘is anything ok?’
What is love?
Love is blind
If you were to ask any two questions of any two
living people, whose work/life you admire, what
would they be and whom would you ask?
Patti Smith and Audrey Tatou: Do you fancy a drink?
Will you marry me?