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September 18, 2006

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Song: "It's A Long Way to the Top" by Susannah and the Magical Orchestra from Melody Mountain. an AC/DC cover. Meme: from WFMU> While flipping through a five-year-old copy of NME in a WFMU bathroom, I came across an article [Read More]

Comments

Vic Perry

Wow. That is wonderful, and even if it turns out not to be true about his own kids, "I love that story..."

Hey! Pink Floyd!! Leave Those Kids Alone!!!

Paul

I refuse to believe the Ezrin story. Can you back it up?

Station Manager Ken

"I refuse to believe the Ezrin story. Can you back it up?"

No, if I could've backed it up, I would have done so instead of citing where I read it. There are numerous references to this tale online, but I couldn't find any in which Ezrin himself is quoted. I also couldn't find any in which Ezrin denies it.

-ken

bunbun

Christ, that's harsh.

BrianTurner

There's also "Mr. Smith In Rhodesia" by Swedish sound poet Ake Hodell, which was considered an attack on the British government and actually banned for years. The group of kids that were assembled in studio to rattle off various repeated phrases (including "Mr. Smith is a murderer") sparked a lot of debate about the use of children for a political message:

"The children came to the Swedish Radio one afternoon. Under the guidance of an Englishman, they recorded the texts on tape. So that they wouldnt be bored in the studio, we gave them lemonade and biscuits. They were of course also paid for their work. Imagine our surprise a few weeks later when we found out about the scandal caused by this recording. When they returned home, the children told their unknowing parents that they had been a part of a composition which was directed against Prime Minister Ian Smiths white dictatorship in Rhodesia. The parents were shocked, turning first to the British Embassy in Stockholm, then to English newspapers and the BBC.

The Daily Telegraph put the news on its front page, where a creative reporter was allowed to write the article. The five children, whose age had now sunk to 6-7 years old, were bribed by candy and later tricked into appearing in an anti-American opera at the Modern Museum in Stockholm. At the end of the opera, they were placed in front of a wall and forced to say, "Mr Smith is a murderer." The reporter neglected to mention that the children also said, "Mr Smith is our friend and father", "Mr Smith gives us food and clothing" etc.

The Swedish tabloids reported the scandal in large headlines. The British Embassy protested to the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (SR), after which SRs program director at the time, Nils-Olof Franzén, explained in an interview that the recording would be destroyed, which it was. Fylkingen, which was co-producer of the recording, was not satisfied, and financed a new recording in England involving children whose parents were quite positive towards the political content of the piece. This is the version which was presented at Fylkingens and the Swedish Radios festival at the Modern Museum in April 1970. In spite of this new recording, the piece had since then been banned from transmission on the Swedish Radio, but from this performance on, the ban was lifted."

Definitely not the case when Yo La Tengo gathered tykes to chant "Nuclear War, it's a motherfucker", I suppose.

Sean

Found this on ILM:

from the Between Thought and Expression box liner notes:

On the song "The Kids" one hears children crying and calling out for their mommy. The sound is quite realistic and chilling. It has often been written that Ezrin went home one day and told his children that their mommy wasn't coming home any more, recording the resultant trauma for the LP. According to Ezrin the true story is that he went home and told his seven year old son David that he was doing a play in the studio and he needed some kids' voices to sound scared because their mom was being taken away. The first few attempts didn't sound terrifying enough but on the third, unprompted, his two year old joined in and just started screaming. The two children screamed so loud that they distorted the tape. He found that "the more compressed it got the more anguished it seemed. Most people can't listen to it."

The crying heard underneath is simply bedtime at the Ezrin household with the kids letting mom and pop know they are none too happy about having to retire for the night. Ezrin continues: "It's something you've seen a thousand times but because of the compression on it and the way that it's in your face [in the mix] it's relentless. And it's totally dry. It's completely dry, it's distorted, and it's compressed to death. It makes it so unbelievably emotional people accused me of beating my kids."

Listener_Paul

Geez, getting kids to cry is hardly a challenge. Stick 'em in front of the TV, let them get sucked into a show, then tell 'em they've watched too much tv and turn it off. It would probably work with a video game or a piece of candy.

bopst

The best kiddy work Erzin did was on, "God of Thunder" (Kiss: Destryer). Also, "The Elder" by Kiss...words are feeble to sum up that one...

esoterroriffik

May be we should start a thread- Things to say to make kids cry on your album. I'll start.

Hey kids, daddy got a new job. We're moving to Houston. It's very far away and always hot and humid, and by the way, you'll never see your your friends again.

Station Manager Ken

Thanks for digging that citation up, Sean.

Here's how I would elicit kid cries:

"Billy, Sally, I have some bad news. We're not your actual parents. Your real Mom and Dad have been out of the country for the last 8 years, and me and your Mom have just been helping them out by watching you all this time. Your actual Mom and Dad will be here in 15 minutes and they'll take you to your new home in Gary, Indiana. Go upstairs now and pack." (apologies to Barry Yourgrau)

Chris Barrus

I'm shocked that no one has mentioned Ezrin in conjunction with Alice Cooper's "School's Out." According to Wall lore, Ezrin was stuck on what to do with the end of "Another Brick In The Wall pt. 2" and said something like "DUH, I produced 'School's Out'" and then got the kids to sing.

Brian

Pink Floyd!!!!! what an awesome band!

glazier islington

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