a long lost radio interview with robbie basho from november 1974

Given that I recently posted my second installment of my series The Unaccompanied Guitar (Soli, Raga, and Beyond), which features Robbie Basho, I thought it might be a perfect moment to pass this along. It’s rare to have the opportunity to hear Basho talk about his own work, and this interview, stretching to roughly an hour and half, is an unusually extensive artifact. The interview was conducted in November of 1974 by Charles Amirkhanian, part of his Ode To Gravity program on KPFA Radio out of Berkley, California. It was timed to mark the release of Basho’s latest record on Vanguard – Zarthus. A great deal of the recording is taken up by the album’s compilations, but in each case Basho introduces them, offering insights into their origins, influences, as well as a number of related anecdotes and themes.


Robbie Basho –  Zarthus (1974)

While unquestionably locked in a specific moment, what is unavoidable and profoundly valuable, is the translation of Basho’s shimmering personality and generosity – his deep love and interests in the music of others. Numerous times he echoes frustrations close to my heart – the lack of curiosity displayed by most audiences, and a desire for the many musics of the world to be met with greater appreciation. It’s beautiful through and through, and reminder of the great loss we all suffered when Basho left us in 1986. I hope you enjoy it, and the sounds of his voice and guitar help ease you through the day.

-Bradford Bailey

The broadcast recording comes courtesy of Other Minds (www.otherminds.org and http://www.radiOM.org)


Robbie Basho interviewed on Ode To Gravity, November 1974



















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