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The following are transcriptions of the interviews conducted on March 4, 1987 on the Frank O'Toole show.

FO = Frank O'Toole
JF = John Flansburgh
JL = John Linnell

Interview - Part #1[edit]

JF: La la la laaa!... [singing the ending of "Snowball in Hell"; loudly]

JL: La!

FO: Oh my god.

JL: Ow.

JF: Nice lady!

FO: Bring those levels down. Needles are pinned-ah! [pause] Hey! Hi!

JL: Frank!

FO: Ho!

JF: We're back!

FO: What were those dates?

JF: Oh, we don't— we're only doing one big show, but it's Saturday night and we are asking everyone in your listening audience to come because we need people to be at this place that holds 450 people, known as "The Village Gate." This Saturday night, 9 and midnight, and it's— it's a really good deal; we're really crossing over into a whole new jazz experience that everyone's going to enjoy.

FO: There was once a show there called "Let My People Come," by the way. I'm serious.

JF: Really?

JL: [background] I know.

FO: Earl Wilson Jr. wrote it.

JF: Really?

FO: That's as trivial as you can get.

JF: (laughs) [funny voice] You know your trivia, Frank!

FO: Welcome to the wacky world of WFMU, guys; John and John. And Bill, the silent partner. Bill is here, too. Without Bill, these guys wouldn't be here, am I correct?

JL: [quietly] We'd be the silent partners.

FO: A-ha; I'd be talking to dead mics. We were talking to Dead Mics, that was a band, by the way, nevermind. What did we hear?

JF: Uh.

JL: The last thing was called "Avalanche or Roadblock"...

JF: Parenthesis.

JL: ..and that was the original phone version. If people are listening, it's probably a good time to, like—

FO: "Avalanche or Roadblock"?! I thought it was called "Snowball in Hell"!

JF: Actually, it is called "Snowball in Hell." __I Was__ a Snowball in Hell, but—

JL: But I like to call it—

JF: (laugh)

JL: Nevermind.

FO: Okay...

JL: Before that, we heard, uh, "It's Not My Birthday," also the original phone machine version. Not the version that.. doesn't exist on our album.

JF: And then before that we heard a song that I can't hardly remember. Oh!

JL: So long ago.

JF: Yeah, but, it was on the phone today. We have a Dial-A-Song service; actually, people probably don't even know what we're talking about, so we should clarify that we have a— we are They Might Be Giants, which is like a rock band, and we have a Dial-A-Song service—

FO: We love you like a rock band.

JF: Well, it, it feels like a rock band. Often. But, uh, the Dial-A-Song is 718-387-6962, and that has a new song every day. If you look in The Village Voice, you can find the number in the Club section, in an ad for the band They Might Be Giants.

FO: Ah, I wasn't paying attention, what was that, 718-what?

JF: 718-387-6962, is the number for Dial-A-Song.

FO: The first time you were on, we must've given the phone number about fifteen times. And somebody called up later and said that when he was listening we left off the last number.

JF: Every time.

FO: As if that was an "s" as in "savings".

JF: Right.


JF: Hey.

FO: Um, so you guys are playing—

JF: Aren't you Robert Merrill of the Daryl Hannah school?

[snickering and laughter]

FO: Um, you guys are playing at The Village Gate. Who are you playing with, Pharoah Sanders?


FO:  Yusef Lateef?

JF: Yeah, Phar— Pharaoh is gonna be sitting in... on... bass.

JL: He's gonna be sitting on the bass.

FO: On— on those 88's.

JF: No, uh, a performance group called Watchface who are actually exceptionally... interesting are going to be opening for us there, and, um, there's going to be a special appearance by Frieda, the Swedish—


JF: Well, sort of like ABBA!

FO: No, but, is Frida from ABBA?

JF: It's not the exact same Frieda from ABBA, but it's a very similar Frida from ABBA.

FO: Okay, this is, uh—

JF: They're both from Sweden.

FO: What a coincidence!

JF: They are both from Sweden. And um, so, it's— it's a power-packed evening of entertainment, happening at The Village Gate.

FO: At 9 and midnight.

JF: 9 and midnight are two shows; two completely different shows. They're gonna push everyone out at 10:30 and make way for everyone; or at 11 or whatever.

FO: They— yeah, they have thugs? No, they don't have thugs. They're a club!

JF: No, actually, it's gonna be—

FO: Uh, we're gonna have you guys play live shortly and uh, in the meantime we'll go back to this tape here, is that—

JF: Ok, yeah, this—well, we could play some stuff off the record which is more of this slick rock show stuff, the tape is really more for alternative—

FO: You know what's really funny? What's really funny about that is that the record's not queued up.

JF: Yeah, so we'd better go back to that—yeah, this is—this is uh, this is a little bit of the esoteric side of They Might Be Giants I believe this next song is called "Mr. Klaw" but I'm not sure might...well, let the tape run and we'll see what it is.

FO: Might wanna give the ID, right before 11.

JF: This is, uh...

JL: The Frank O'Toole Show on WFMU. What are those numbers?

FO: 91.1

JL: 91.1

FO: That's good enough—East Orange.

JL: East Orange, New Jersey.

FO: Try not to yawn.

[foreign voice]

Interview - Part #2[edit]

FO: Now you're on

JF: We're back on the air with Frank O'Toole, this is John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants

JL: And this is John Linnell! Still out in the hall!

JF: Did you get that, Frank?

FO: Yes.

JF: Good. Ok, well, we are in separate places, and that's to remind you that we are performing live at the Village Gate on the seventh. We won't mention the price of seven-dollars-and-fifty-cents, because this is not a commercial radio, but we have a, we have a special tape, we're actually playing a lot of obscure stuff, usually we like to keep it kind of...main-stream, AOR...rock, with kind of a...heavy metal...beast bent—

JL: Raaaawk

JF: —to it. We were on SOU...last night, and uh—

FO: Wait a minute, wait a minute,

JF: -we had some serious head bangers, uh, calling up, going—

FO: You were on KROQ Sunday, SOU last night, Joe Franklin last night; where's the exclusivity of it all?

JF: But Frank, this is the only show that we do IDs for.

FO: Aw, all right, all right, as long as there is something different about this.

JF: And also, this is really the only show that we feel kind of...relaxed on. That's a very special feeling. For us. 

FO: Get moving!

JF: Ok, ok. All right, all right, sorry.

JL: Vin's show was really relaxed.

JF: What was that, John?

JL: I thought Vin's show was pretty relaxed, too.

JF: Yeah, Vin's show was pretty relaxed, too. KROQ. Vin is really, um, taking on the rock establishment there, in Manhattan....with his show. Pretty cool show.

FO: Before I forget, I guess I should mention, before you guys get into the music again, live music, um, we're gonna give away two pair—is it two pair? or two...  

JF: Three pairs.

FO: Three pairs.

JF: Three pairs.

JL: Three pairs. That's six!

FO: That's six people. Where is that other guy coming from? I thought we got rid of him!

JF: No, we didn't, we ditched him in the hallway, but he's stolen one of the mics.

FO: God. Whoa, you mean he's got a long long long long long wire? 

JF: Yup.

FO: Like a long long trailer?

JF: Yes, long enough to reach the ground.

FO: It's ten—ten minutes past 11 o'clock, by the way, 91.1 WFMU Frank O'Toole here with They Might Be Giants who are playing Saturday night at the Village Gate this Saturday and after they are done we will give away the...three pair, but you have to be able to identify what today is. Maybe, maybe you should be Catholic...I don't—it doesn't matter, but uh, we have to make you think. It's 11:11, back to live music.

Interview - Part #3[edit]

JL: [distant] What?

JF: We're back!

JL: [distant] We're back

JF: So I have to apologize for the quality of that tape there at the end I didn't realize that I was using such cheap...tape, but um, anyway—

FO: You guys are gonna get a reputation for that. Is—is John still...

JF: Yeah, John's still out there. You got...John on the mic.

FO: Is John still out there?

JL: We really enjoyed your sh—being on your show, Frank.

FO: I enjoyed having you, John. And John. And Bill.

JL: Bill too!

JF: So, are you gonna be going to the gate? and getting part of this, uh, big ticket giveaway?

FO: Uh...

JF: You're number one on our list.

FO: I might go late. I might go late.

JF: The late—the 3:00 show?

FO: I—I, I wanna know, I wanna know about the comparison with Germany in the 30's, but we don't really have time for that right now. So why don't you give the information on uh, Saturday night.

JF: Ok, one last time, we are playing at the Village Gate, which is a legendary jazz club in the heart of Greenwich Village on Bleaker and Thompson, we're doing two big shows, um, one at 9:00, and one at midnight, we're performing with a group called "Watchface" who are really really good, and uh, it costs money to get in, you have to be over 21, so be sure to bring...your fake ID.

JL: We really need people to come to this show, it's really important for our career.

JF: The what? Oh, yeah.

FO: What career?

JL: Our up—up-and-coming career in rock music.

FO: You guys won't make it. As far as I'm concerned, till I see you on Soul Train.

JF: Well, you know—

JL: We're depending on you to get us on, Frank.

JF: Yeah, Frank, we wanted to talk to you about the—the money involved in getting us on Soul Train.

FO: Yeah, well me and Don Cornelius, you know? We're like that!

JF: The sound—

FO: That!

JF: The sound that made it happen, Frank O'Toole and Don Cornelius.

FO: That's right, they get us confused all the time. Uh, right, uh, we're gonna give away three pair of tickets and you have to identify what today means.

JF: Oh, the date on that show...

FO: Saturday.

JF: Is Saturday, okay, I didn't know.

FO: What is it, the date on Saturday?

JF: The seventh.

JL: Seventh. 

JF: March seventh.

FO: You guys are thinking about that, I noticed. Not too sure, with your time, are you?

Bill Krauss: His mind is a calculating machine.

JL: How can you see him think?

FO: I smelled wood burning. WFMU, 91.1—

JL: Good answer!

FO: Thank you—good answer! Good answer!

FO: Thank you They Might Be Giants, for stopping down here, and we'll see you Saturday night.

JF: Thank you, Frank.

JL: Thanks a lot.

JF: It's always a pleasure to be on this show.

FO: Same here.