donkey interview
(15th April 1997)

Donkey currently consist of founder members Ajay and Pim (bass and guitar) and new kids on the block Gaynor and Davey, "the fucking King of Rock'n'Roll and that's all you need to know" (cello and keyboard, drums respectively). They're based in Holland and release records through both their own Dutch label, Wormer Brothers (with a suitably copyright-infringing logo) and Guided Missile over here. Musically, they're pretty eclectic, the set tonight includes a dub number, piles of rhythmic noise, Fall-like mumblings and Karate suits although it comes nowhere near to encompassing the range that debut LP "I ain't yer house nigger" manages.

If you're not familiar with the Lazy Journalist and the Clint Eastwood Words and Objects Q and A number 8, refer back to some of the previous interviews.

Ajay: bike heroes? Eddie Merks (excuse the spelling).
Me: and that is who?
Ajay: he used to be a famous Belgian bike rider who won the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain and numerous other cycling competitions in the 60s and 70s.....and died from drugs!
Me: So you're into bikes?
Ajay: You've got no option living in Holland, bikes are an intricate part of your life. I love bikes, there's about 6 people who live in my house and we all had our bikes nicked or lost and we had to go out on a big bike retrieval expedition and I got about 5 bikes and did them all up: lights, brakes, tyres and painted them, the whole works, I like to consider myself a bit of a bike expert....

Ajay is obviously well into bikes because he went on in this vein for about ten minutes, thankfully Davey came to the rescue with his first dose of irrelevant madness. He interrupted...

Davey: ...actually, my favourite form of transport is the eagle, but there isn't one on here, so I'll just choose one and pretend...
Davey: a bit of string and an old bit of hanky and a receipt.
Gaynor: what's the receipt for?
Davey: my receipt is for...
Ajay: ..tobacco..
Davey: Christ Almighty, it's for changing money at the old exchange rate.
Ajay: did you get a good exchange?
Davey: aye. Now I'll put my bit of string back in my's a very important bit of string that..

Gaynor: Eddie Kidd..the first man I snogged.
Davey: was he intact?
Gaynor: he every way.
Davey: had he not even got a plaster on him? He must've cut his finger or something?
Gaynor: no, we snogged all the other stunt riders first, cos we couldn't get to snog with Eddie. I was about 13, you had to queue up at the back to get an autograph so I kept snogging him, I went round about ten times. So that's my influence.
Me: and do you feel that comes through in your cello playing?
Gaynor: it's that passionate aspect of the playing, I think.
Ajay: you mean reckless, like his riding.

Pim: It's too complicated for me...
Gaynor: but we like the little teacher.
Ajay: looks like he's going to give somebody a good whipping.

We then moved onto the Clint Eastwood questions, remember that you (and the band) get bonus points for working out the relationship to Clint Eastwood. Of course, the band can read the questions..

Davey: my Aunty met Clint Eastwood on a golf course.
Me: NO!
Davey: yes, he plays golf in the town that he was mayor in, I don't know what that's called, but my Aunty goes there every year to play golf.
Me: did she snog him?
Davey: err, yeah.
Donkey: YEEEAHH!

Colin the roadie arrived at this point, looking a little bemused, it has to be said, at the sight of the interview board. The band persuaded him to have a go, but he wouldn't do it until everyone else had taken their turn.

Ajay: no, but I know somebody who does...
Me: well tell us about it then.
Ajay: y'know the Germanics--ancient race--believed in the power of trees and they believed that they held a spiritual force inside them and it controlled how they lived their lives...I do believe in the power of trees and I have been known to murmur the odd thing, like "get growing fast". What's that got to do with Clint Eastwood.
Me: it was the b-side of "I was born under a wondering star"
Ajay: am I supposed to tell you that? I knew that! We've got a Clint Eastwood LP, by the way, Davey.
Davey: is it me? What? have I got to choose again? What do I do?

It took a while to explain the idea to Davey again, and several rather unsavoury comments about drummers were made..

Gaynor: what's the best kind of pet bird, eh Davey?
Davey: eagle!
Ajay: NO!
Davey: yeah.
Gaynor: yeah.
Davey: EAGLE.
Ajay: Charlie Parker?
Davey: Where eagles dare!
Donkey: ha ha!
Me: OK, that's double bonus then, you're through to the master game.

Several knowing nods and a couple of "aye-ayes" greeted Gaynor's selection of...

Gaynor: that's a bit difficult isn't it? I haven't got a clue.
Davey: Clint Eastwood. The Bond films...[cut the random discussion of who was in "Unforgiven"]...Even though he wasn't in them.
Me: I think you're getting a bit far into the Clint Eastwood aspect, you're just supposed to answer the questions, and then there's a Clint bonus.
Gaynor: it's too simple for us.
Ajay: go on then, answer it!
Gaynor: who is Unforgiven? err...
Ajay: the inventor of vitamins, cos he made sure that anyone who drank lots of beer had to take lots of vitamins.
Gaynor: (with relief) yeah.

Ajay: come on Pim, you're the Clint Eastwood man!
Pim: I'd buy a lot of pop, there's a really great local pop company at home.
Davey: that's nothing to do with Clint Eastwood!
Me: it doesn't have to be, did I not get this straight at the beginning? You can buy anything you like with it.

Another session of explaining the rules terminates with Colin claiming that his favourite thing in the world is..

Colin: Lucky? Fucking lucky?
Donkey: Ha ha!
Ajay: ha ha, Kylie Minogue.
Gaynor: you're lucky to be driving us.
Davey: you get to sit next to Ajay in the van.
Colin: and I can feel the vibrations coming through from Pim.
Ajay: doubly lucky then.
Me: do you think you were lucky with the audience tonight? I thought more people might've turned up for Hofman.
Ajay: yeah, I think it's all Hofman's mates, and the first band had a lot of mates in the audience too.
Me: you haven't got enough mates in Cambridge.
Ajay: only you, and you got in for nowt!
Me: but I would've paid..
Ajay: But I wouldn't have let you.
Davey: there's a lot of posh folk round here. I asked a couple of people where the tobacconist was, down the street there and they sounded like General Somebody's Son, "Hwah Hwah", like they had fucking faulty plums in their mouth. Like Terry Thomas, top man. Totally under-rated and he died a lonely man, totally penniless.
Ajay: and what disease did he die of?
Davey: death.

Normally, when you find people declaring themselves to be "zany and mad", you know that they are not at all mad, just wankers. Donkey don't declare themselves to be anything, but at least one of them is obviously deranged. What does this tell us? Beats me. If you want to get hold of some Donkey material, there's two 7"s and an LP on Guided Missile and a double 7" only available in Holland. The LP will be out in the States on CD in the near future.

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