Monday, 2 November 2009

Jack Hayter

Tonight I’m going on Radio 6 with my friend Jack Hayter to talk about Hefner and the new re-issue of We Love the City.

I first met Jack around 1997. He was playing Pedal Steel on lighted disco flooring at the Paradise Bar in New Cross. The first thing I noticed was that he and his band were laughing. British bands were, and still are, very po-faced on stage. I find playing music on stage to be an absurd activity and find I can’t stop laughing. Never can Jack.

Jack is an unusual musician. Give him a simple sequence of notes to play in repetition and he’ll stare at the guitar as though it’s made from cheese. Give him a song with no instruction and he’ll play beautifully and make the song sound twice as good as it really is. Just make sure you press record.

Last year Jack and me did some shows where we played Hefner songs. Our audience and wage packet doubled. I had mixed feelings. I was glad to be on stage with Jack again and have no problem with playing those songs, but I have a small tolerance with this reformed bands thing.

I don’t care if it’s Pavement, Pixies or Skunk Afuckingnansie, all reformations have cheapened the band in some way. I can’t think of anyone who has pulled it off. Apart from Take That of course.

Despite making it clear that we weren’t Hefner without John and Ant I was worried that we had detracted rather than added to the Hefner story.

Jack and me fell out a little during the shows as well which didn’t help matters. This had nothing to do with Jack and everything to do with the insurmountable sleeping problem I have on the road, which is starting to prove a real barrier to touring.

It’s careless of me to fall out with Jack, especially at our age. Jack is soft spoken, intelligent, creative and wonderfully tender. Amongst all the Hefner related stuff last year we managed to record three or four new songs, which will appear on my next record. I can’t wait for you to hear them.

My favourite time with Jack was in 2001 when we made Dead Media and Practical Wireless simultaneously.

‘Dead Media’ is the album where Jack finally got to be himself in Hefner, contributing space age steel guitar, home made Theremins and even dueting with me on the last Hefner song on the last Hefner album.

‘Practical Wireless’ is a Jack’s only solo album so far, though I know he has enough material for three more. We made it during downtime for Dead Media and it features all the members of Hefner. We hope to make it available again soon.

You’ve been patient with me; here is a link to Jack’s Myspace where you’ll find some of his songs. Jack Hayter Myspace.

Here is an MP3 of one of the 'Jack and Darren play Hefner' shows. It’s from Madrid in December 2008. Franic, Jonny and Dave from the Wave Pictures also appear. It's free and yours to keep.

Darren and Jack play Hefner


  1. What a LOVELY Monday morning present... cheers!

  2. Great post, thanks. And it's true, Practical Wireless is a very fine record.

  3. Ooh thats a really good quality recording and sounds a fun show, thanks for making that available.
    Good session tonight, even if you did need to spent half the time putting Mark Riley straight on the Hefner reformed stuff.


  4. I really love those little line drawings you do. It's quite similar to a style I've been trying to develop much less successfully.

  5. Well thats because my guitar often smells like cheese! One day I'll get round to cleaning it.