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Spotted this week a long interview with Jon King, of Gang of Four, who mention Hans Fallada’s "Alone in Berlin" as a source of interest and reflection. The short summary is not really accurate (but when you are interviewed, sometimes you mixed the things up, without meaning to) – The full interview can be read by clicking on the link mentionned herebelow. There are also interesting video-clips to watch. Enjoy !

[Q&A] Gang Of Four's Jon King on terrorists, funk music and asking the hard questions


Read more: http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/onthedownload/archive/2011/02/07/q-amp-a-gang-of-four-s-jon-king-on-terrorists-funk-music-and-asking-the-hard-questions.aspx#ixzz1DlD8or41


Gang Of Four have a lot of songs with economic themes, songs like “Guns Before Butter” and “Cheeseburger” and a number of others. How did this become such a frequent motif, lyrically?

Well that song, “Guns Before Butter”, like a lot of our songs came from pictures. In this case, the montage of the anti-fascist artist, John Heartfield, had this speech by Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist, where he was asked about the priorities of the state and talked about guns before butter. And John Heartfield did this montage of someone literally eating tanks and all this kind of stuff, and it was an amazing picture! And again, the question that is a hard one to answer is "How would I have been had I chose to be a good person in a society like that?" It's very easy to assume that we'd be on the side of the angels. And a lot of things come from that thinking, like “What would it be like to be a human being in this extremely repressive situation.” And you know, “All this blood and iron it’s the cause of all my shaking”, you know, there’s a book that’s been very successful in Britain this year, this German book called Alone In Berlin by an author named Hans Fallada. It came out in 1946 and it’s this imaginative story of these two people, a working class couple in the war years. He worked in some machine plant and she was a cook or something, and their son was killed on the Eastern Front, and they because strangely extremely anti-Nazi, and their way of protesting against the regime was to write on the back of postcards things like “Hitler is leading you down the wrong path, don’t let him do it”, and they would put these in post offices. And all over Germany they were writing on post cards. And after a while, huge resources of the Berlin police force were trying to track down these people, who were eventually found and executed. It’s this sort of idea that you can find a voice for resistance to oppression, somehow or another. It’s interesting, that question of “Would I be an oppressor, or not?”