The Mekons and Waco Brothers founding singer, guitarist, and punk/alt-country pioneer takes a break from his latest Freakon collaboration to discuss his Welsh upbringing, his art school days with pals Gang of Four, his solo projects, and his successful career as a painter. Jon has a tremendous work ethic, releasing the first of 23 singles from the “Lucky Seven Series” and starting bands and records with any free moment. He’s also a real gentleman…qualities the Troubled Nation could use more of.

Topics include roadwork, the Hard Rock Hotel scandal, the Rolling Stones at Jazzfest, vaccine resistance, port cities, Joe Strummer and the Clash, a record deal, LeMieux Galleries, Tom Stern and Blue Velvet Studio, Alex Rawls, OffBeat, Chickie Wah Wah, Steve Watson, Buddy Watson, the Sadies, Midway Pizza, country music, Thatcher and Reagan, union busting, signing to Virgin Records, a mining strike, the Aberfan 1966 mining disaster, moving to Chicago, honky tonk music, “Deserted,” inspiration, Yard Dog Gallery, “Lofty Deeds,” the chicken and the egg, and much more.

Jon Langford Offers A Global Perspective

Jon Langford Offers A Global Perspective (and Talks About Music)
The American political system is in complete disarray. George W. Bush–the first president of the new millennium–will carry the baggage of illegitimacy until his PR team can convince the public that his reign is warranted. Constant legal bickering amongst partisan candidates and their contingents has marred the reputation of our once seemingly infallible institution of government. Ironically, the balance of power in the so-called Free World has been a legal nightmare, determined by one state, Florida, whose shape resembles a handgun.
Offering insight into his own politics, as well as his personal world of sound, Jon Langford sat down with after a Waco Brothers CMJ showcase gig in New York City. Continue reading

Fresh Air 1998

Terry Gross, Washington, DC
* 12/17/98
Fresh Air
(c) Copyright Federal Document Clearing House. All Rights Reserved.
TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. My guest, singer-guitarist Jon Langford, is a founding member of the British punk band The Mekons — one of the few punk bands of the era that is still performing. Critic Robert Christgau says they’ve put out as much good music as anybody in rock and roll.
Jonboy with Gurf Morlix at SXWS 2000 Langford is Welsh, but now lives in Chicago. Living in the States is feeding his growing interest in country music. He plays in the country-inspired band The Waco Brothers, and he pays tribute to the father of western swing on his new CD, “The Pine Valley Cosmonauts Salute the Majesty of Bob Wills.”
Langford recently released his first solo CD called, “Skull Orchard.” Langford is also a visual artist, and under the pen name Chuck Death draws the syndicated comic strip “Great Pop Things,” which satirizes rock and roll history. The strips are collected in the new book, “Great Pop Things.”
Let’s get started with a track from the Bob Wills tribute record.Continue reading