“In a world full of people only some want to fly. Isnt that crazy?” Seal
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell
“We busted out of class had to get away from those fools.
We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school” Bruce Springsteen - No Surrender
Just a few of the memorable things people have said to me over the years..... in no particular order. I will keep adding things to this page as and when I remember....
For my first trip to Kosovo I drove there from Geneva with a Swiss guy who had worked a lot in the Balkans. Just as we were driving into Pristina he looked at me and said....... “Brian I wonder what makes you cry? Yes I wonder what makes you cry?” Over the next few weeks I found out.
Whilst driving through the country collecting interviews with a Kosovo Albanian journalist “No no dont bother talking to them they are just stupid countryside people I know what they will say and its rubbish”
“I have been watching what you do very carefully because I want to learn your method but you do not have a method
you just FEEL it”
“Everyone I have ever liked, everyone I have ever cared about, and everyone I have ever Loved has been crazy. I would not be interested in talking to you, and you would not even be here in this room with me, if you were not crazy too”
“You are a GOOD man”
“You have made a difference and I learned a lot from you”
And when I returned 9 months later..........
“I met very many Western Journalists last year during and after the war and I want to tell you that out of all of them there were only two who I would even call Human Beings. You were one of them”
“You have been here less than 24 hours and in that time you have restored my faith in radio”
I didnt hear this myself but was told about it...... “I dont give a f**c about your humanitarion broadcasting I want my money”
“We are young people and all that we want is to be normal but the problem is that we do not know what normal IS”
Didn’t see but read about it somewhere…… Graffiti in Belgrade....... “F**K YOU Christopher Columbus”
A gift from a multi millionaire.......
“You need TEN THOUSAND POUNDS? Is that ALL?....... Phone me in the morning”
And in the morning....... “ah yes well Ive got you three thousand. The rest will be with you soon”
A senior advertising executive from one of the worlds biggest advertising agencies......
“What you have achieved in China is truly remarkable but you are very dangerous”
I asked why...... “Because you are not motivated by money”
SCOTLAND - UK
Moray Firth Radio DAY ONE 23 Feb 1982....
Donnie Aird a FANTASTIC engineer. So much simply would have not got on air without him. At the end of the first morning phone in with Liz Campbell he looked at me and said.....
“Are we going to be doing this EVERY day?”
A shop in Inverness in the mid 90’s as I paid for a new suitcase..... “We do miss you on that radio station you know”
I had a wasp nest in my cottage and got a specialist to get rid of it. After a few minutes he looked at me and said........ “I know who YOU are. You were rubbish on that radio station. Real rubbish’
A lady in reception at Moray Firth Radio....... “Oh dear, he sounds so sophisticated on the radio. I never thought he would look like THAT”
“We think its cancer”
“Who the f**c is Bob Harris?”
“This too shall pass”
“Have you ever had a f**k in a Hearse?”
“Monnnnnnnnnnnnng” Followed by the most wonderful laugh I have ever heard.
“Ti Si Glup”
“Ja Sam Tvoya Baba You Dope”
“I want a WOLF”
In 1990 I brought 2 Shanghai government officials to the UK for 2 weeks. It was their first time outside of China. A Charity in Hong Kong paid for the trip.........
In my cottage near Nairn the one who could speak English went for a pee and the more important one who could not speak English looked at me and said......... “You are Free”
The next day I asked them what they wanted to do.... “today we want to see a pornographic video”
I took them to the Cawdor Tavern so that they could see a local pub. They looked at one of the locals and said “Is he a peasant?”
They looked at the fields and countryside near my cottage and said....... “Where are the people? Why is there no one working in the fields?”
Walking down the high street in Nairn one evening they both started laughing. I asked them why......... “Now WE are foreigners”
A few days later........ “We have been observing you and see that you have no money. We are making allowances for you but if it was our leader here instead of us he would have asked you to send him back home to China” Note........ over the next few years my company gave around seven million dollars to Chinese radio stations.
Email from PC of an Adult Oriented radio Station aimed at an ABC1 35- 59 yr old audience in Aberdeenshire about humorous comments made on a late night programme......
“Were you talking about farting dogs? This makes me nervous if you were”
And..... note on the studio wall.... “What have you said today that will make people talk about your programme?” It was taken down after a couple of weeks.
Txt received from the PC while I was driving in...... “Are you on tonight?”
MD of the same station....... “Brian I think you are an extremely talented and creative broadcaster”
...... and ten months later a phone call “Youve lost all your shows”
The Prisoner......... “I will not be Pushed, Filed, Stamped, Indexed, Briefed, Debriefed or Numbered“
The Prisoner......... “I am not a Number. I am a FREE MAN”
From the film BROADCAST NEWS ....... “Count yourself lucky if you can get out while you can still cry”
Bob Dylan...... “I Was So Much Older Then, Im Younger Than That Now”
17th Century English Poem......... Gather ye rosebuds while ye may. Old Time is still a-flying.
And this same flower that smiles to-day, tomorrow will be dying.
”Never forget where you've come here from. Never pretend that it's all real. Someday soon this will be someone else's dream”
“Sometime the very thing you’re looking for is the one thing you cant see” Vanessa Williams
A Government official. “Everything here is a game. You can never win the game but the only way to survive here is to keep playing it”
“We dont talk about June 4th 1989 but in our hearts we will never forget”
“Be a friend to China”
“Hello, are you from America?”
A T Shirt......... “Welcome to China now go home”
Mid May 1989 from HUNDREDS of people as I was walking the streets of Beijing with a microphone and Uher tape recorder….. “Please tell the people in your country what is happening here”
20th May 1989 Radio Beijing English service. The News....... “The Peoples Liberation Army consider the students to be patriotic and will NOT do anything against them”
5th June 1989..... I received a phone call in my hotel from the Central Peoples Broadcasting Station in Beijing - the Worlds biggest radio station. “I am sorry but we will have to cancel our studio booking today. There are tanks outside of our building and I dont think you would be able to get in”
“Our Director will not meet you because he doesnt want you to see how stupid he is. You can meet with our Deputy Director”
An item on CNN about pollution in Beijing. Owner of a small restaurant talking about the fire used to cook their food........ “We have no pollution here. All our smoke just goes up into the sky”
A card from a listener in Shanghai with a small drawing of the sun and a caption which said......
“To the another Sun in our lives”
A taxi driver in Shanghai...... “But I cannot drive you to the airport I must have my lunch”
After recording one of my first programmes at radio Shanghai..... “What do you think? Are we professional like in your country?”
“I dont know why Nescafe need to spend money sponsoring a radio programme because everybody knows that Nescafe is the most popular coffee”
“This is wrong. You have made a mistake in the script. The Beatles are not British they are American”
“Why dont the BBC just shut up and then there would be no trouble?’
“You are so stupid. You had the winning lottery ticket and you just threw it away” I would like to comment on this. It was referring to the money that I ‘could’ have made there if I had been prepared to ‘change my ways’ I regard this comment as the biggest compliment I have ever received anywhere, at any time, from anyone. If it is true then I am immensely proud to have done so.
“You are so stupid”
“F**C the listeners Im gonna be the first to tell them to f**c off”
Shanghai - a sunday afternoon visit to a Buddhist Temple. It was good to find ‘calm’ and ‘spirituality’ amidst a sea of people.
“You are SOOO STUPID” my companion said. “They are praying to the God to give them money and make them rich”
Telephone call from the secretary of somebody important in Hong Kong to my room in a cheap hotel in Shanghai…..
“Mr Anderson I have a call from Mr xxx for you....... Ah hello. You need to get yourself some decent clothes and be here next week. You’ve won an award”
When a Chinese who I had taken there because we had won an international award looked at but decided not to buy a portable CD player in a shop near times square the guy in the shop said “Why dont you guys just go f**c a horse”
An American……. “Come on Brian Ive got six million dollars to spend here and I must spend it in the next six weeks. Give me some ideas man we can make good money out of this”
A British Consultant……. “So what if it wont work? Just do it and take the money”
One of my Trainees……“You are the best teacher”
One of my Trainees……. “I told them all that you are not like the other foreigners”
One of my Trainees…….. “I did not think that I could speak live on the radio and you showed me that I can”
What a great place it is. Wonderful cool relaxed clever and happy people with none of the sad nonsensical racial baggage of South Africa.
“Its good to work with you again Brian”
“Goodbye Monna and come back soon to earn more money to pay for your divorce”
A LOVELY Black Person....... “I want to tell you that you have really taught me something. You should move here and start a recording studio and I would like to work for you”
Another LOVELY Black Person......... “I just want to be able to do something that helps my people”
Yet another LOVELY Black Person......... “Do you think you could lend me 300 rand? I will pay you back” He didnt. But hes still a lovely guy.
A FANTASTIC LOVELY WONDERFUL ORDINARY Black Person........ “We are living in one World you see, we are all Human Beings and we must help each other”
A Coloured Person............ “Hello Comrade”
A White Person........ “Im sorry the Tiramisu isn’t up to my normal standard”
Another White Person........ “Vrot”
A piece of PAPER in a book that is most probably still waiting to be read by someone who has nothing better to do........ apart from maybe writing some words in another book....... that will most probably wait a while before it is read.......... by somebody with nothing better to do....... except write some words........ in a book...... that will.........
“We view 'labour' in the broadest socio-economic and political sense. We view all people as 'workers' whether unemployed or leading a self-sustainable livelihood outside of formal employment. In this sense we are aimed at all disadvantaged South Africans with 'labour' as its core organisational constituency and guiding perspective”
And a note about South Africa, parts of which are breathtakingly beautiful. Having lived and worked there for a while I am reminded of a piece from George Orwells ANIMAL FARM......
"No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?"
And.... a quote from Victor Hugo....... “Liberation is not deliverance”
There are some lovely people in South Africa and many people who need ‘help’ not just in terms of money but in confidence building and in understanding how to better themselves and to break down the numerous barriers of understanding which exist in that beautful country and indeed in their own minds.
Here is just a short extract taken from a journal of my experiences there......
Until the rhetoric and big words used by some people in that building are understandable by those who sweep the floors, clean the toilets, cook the lunches and make the coffee in that building there can be no hope of any kind of political awakening in, or better future for South Africa.
There was a day in which we were all quite busy but it was “suggested” that our staff should take part in an anti Bush demonstration in town.
We all bundled into my hired car and headed to town…..
Off we went to the demonstration and I paid I think it was 10 rand to park the car near the demonstration which consisted of 25 people wearing T shirts and carrying anti Bush posters.
We decided we didn’t wish to stand in the road looking stupid so went into a café 40 metres from the demonstrators. The café was full of people drinking coca cola and eating sandwiches, happily chatting with each other about nothing in particular. You could find similar people in similar situations in just about any other country.
Nobody in the café was taking any notice whatsoever of the demonstration.
I went outside and back to the demonstration where one of the demonstrators was being interviewed by a radio reporter…… he was saying something about American imperialism in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So……. Here we have the beeeeezaaaaaar situation of one of 25 Cape Town anti Bush demonstrators outnumbered 40 metres away 2 to 1 by coca cola drinking Capetonians who couldn’t give a damn about the demonstration.
The demonstrator was blabbing passionately into the reporters microphone about American imperialism in countries which he had never been to and knows nothing about apart from what he had read in internet newsgroups.
Toyotas Mercedes Fiats and Fords were driving by as the demonstrator continued to blabber into the German microphone which was plugged into the sony recorder while a boeing aeroplane flew overhead with passengers from afar some of whom would spend that night in the Holiday Inn and pay in US dollars using their visa cards.
And I of course as the foreigner knew nothing of South Africa…… but I took a lot of photographs of happy smiling faces when I was in Afghanistan.
This was one of the weirdest experiences of my life.