Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home

10 cc

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Kevin Godley from 2007
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 4 at

You've had quite a career. I'm sure everyone out there is familiar with your work in 10CC and probably with Godley and Crème. Can you give them a short rundown on some of the other projects you've undertaken?
One World One Voice. A musical chain tape filmed and recorded for BBC2 IN 1989 or thereabouts. A multi-screen, stage film to support Paul McCartney's PAUL IS LIVE US tour, early 1990’s ish. Directed ZOO TV OUTSIDE BROADCAST. U2 concert show for channel 4 1995 ish. 2 screenplays, lots of videos lots of ‘stuff’ and still counting and coming.
MSJ: Speaking of 10CC, what happened with that band? Any chance of any future music from 10CC?
We split up for lots of reasons. Nothing very unusual or controversial. There were always 2 distinct writing/recording approaches in play. Classic song writing skills and experimentalism. In other words we all had different priorities and once the band became successful Lol and I wanted to explore our capabilities as individuals as well as a band. Unfortunately the 10cc work ethic wasn’t elastic enough to allow us to have some creative down time so, once we decided we needed to jump ship, we had to do it. It’s highly unlikely that the original foursome will work together again.
MSJ: You were one of the pioneers of the MTV Music Video era. What are your thoughts on the current state of MTV - now that's it's all reality TV and Jackass?
It’s substantially different. Today the cheap shot rules. Vulgar and crass seems to be the staple diet. More is less. S**t, I sound like my Dad. Video, as an art form, is pretty much dead in my opinion, regardless of which network they appear on. There are some directors still doing great creative work but it gets harder and the majority of stuff you see, you’ve already seen and seen and seen. Budgets are down and labels are doubly cautious about expenditure unless it’s for an idea that’s already been seen. Youtube, more than anything has changed the landscape. Labels are rubbing their hands in glee because cheap and lo-fi is the current way to go. Music Video is dead. Long live Music Video.
MSJ: Speaking of those videos - I remember there were a ton of version of Yes' "Leave It." Do you know if there are any plans out there for a set of all of them to be released? I remember seeing them back to back on MTV in the day and it was fun to watch for the little differences.
What a cool idea. There were about 12 versions as I recall. Each very simple, subtle one shot films. And all upside down. But there was one very complex version that screwed around with the basic performance shot in numerous post production ways. No way would anything that arty be green lit today.
MSJ: What have been the proudest moments of your career?
I received a CADS (creative art and design) award for ‘OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT’ in 2000. That was amazing. A world of video peers applauding little old moi. It was a very Bob Hope moment. It’s only at times like that you consider the effect of your body of work. Mostly you just consider the work and get on with it. Looking at it all, I’m proud of a lot of stuff. Not too many turkeys. Enough said.
MSJ: Are there musicians you'd like to play with in the future?
Not really. Maybe some dead guys.
MSJ: Who do you see as your musical influences?
Motown, Judy Garland, Tom Waites, Beatles, Blues, Rogers and Hammerstein, Keith Moon, Lou Reed, 60’s car crash pop, chain gang songs, Dimitri Tiomkin, Talking Heads, Bacharach / David, Brian Wilson, James Brown, Kate Bush, Verdi, Gospel, reggae, two tone, Elvis Costello, the Clash, Leiber and Stoller, Phil Spector, Bob Dylan, Bowie, Gouldman, Stewart, Crème.
MSJ: Do you think that downloading of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians? It's been said by the major labels that it's essentially the heart of all the problems they are having in terms of lower sales - would you agree?
Overall it’s a good thing. There simply have to be new mechanisms put in place for artists to earn money from the process. Free music is great, in theory, but can be a problem if music is all you do. Peter Gabriel has some interesting theories about how it can be made to work to an artist’s benefit. Graham and I are dipping our toes into this world as it’s a great way to get ‘specialist’ music out there without the hindrance of corporate thinking. Labels did too little too late to get involved and, as a result, are running to catch up. It’s too late suckers... We don’t need you any more.
MSJ: In a related question how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them?
It’s happening. Absorb it.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Directing my own screenplay, Making more music. Staying creative until the juices stop flowing.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought, or what have you been listening to lately?
Arcade Fire, Amy Winehouse. Both downloads.
MSJ: What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
U2 at Twickenham 2 or 3 years back. That band gets better the more they do it.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?
In the middle of an exhausting 10cc UK tour, circa 1974, I get a nasty abscess on my tooth. Sue rushes me to the dentist. Back in the day they administered laughing gas to put you out. Bang... I’m out but not completely. Out comes the abscess and it’s ‘Next patient, please’ time. My wife drapes me over her shoulder, fireman style. I’m semi conscious and dribbling. We exit through a waiting room now full of school kids. In my reverie I think I’m being helped offstage by a roadie at the end of a triumphant set and I’m screaming ‘THANK YOOOOUUUUU BIRMINGHAMMMMMM!’ or equally embarrassing words to that effect and throwing non existent drumsticks at 20 horrified teenage girls. Mortified, or what?
MSJ: Finally, are there any closing thoughts you'd like to get out there?
Too many thoughts out there, already. Mine won’t help clear things up.
Return to the
10 cc Artist Page
Return to the
Kevin Godley Artist Page
Artists Directory

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./