The other day GK sent me a link to the second part of a two-part BoingBoing TV interview with Hot 8 founder Bennie Pete. Being a completist, I swiftly decided I had to watch part one first. (The links are at the bottom of this post.)
The host is a British guy named Russell Porter, who frankly didn’t seem all that well-informed. Still, Pete fascinates me and I was somewhat engaged. At one point in part one of this interview he says the Hot 8 never had a manager — “we made our own decisions” — because they’d seen other musicians get ripped off etc. He also talks about the rivalry with other brass bands, and people trying to make money off the Hot 8 by taping them, without cutting them in on the action. (This amusing in the middle of a nine-minute clip with three commercials in it, btw.)
But part two turned out to be the really interesting segment, and the one that is worth watching.
Pete talks about reworking songs like “Sexual Healing,” as well as traditional tunes — and deciding repertoire based on audiences.
And then, asked about whether he feels like the band has put itself together again, post-Katrina, he talks about Terrell Batiste, the young trumpet-player and Hot 8 member who, while in Atlanta, where he evacuated during the storm, was in a car accident and lost both legs.
Pete is clearly not really all that comfortable talking about this, but you can tell it’s really on his mind on even now — Batiste’s relationship to the group, and so on.
Again it’s not clear to me if the interviewer really knew the history of the band, which as you know if you follow this site has included a number of tragedies. The Hot 8 is an amazing story.
Anyway. There are some quite pleasing performance clips, too.