Ex-gas fitter, footwear lover and exceedingly nice chap, Terry Farley, has played in venues as far reaching as Japan, Argentina and Thailand, as well as a few well-paying military dictatorships. Things really started to happen for Terry when he and Pete Heller began releasing records under the Junior Boys Own label. Together they went on to produce a wealth of material under the pseudonyms Fire Island, Roach Motel, Bocca Juniors, plus the most popular and naturally-slanted Heller & Farley Project. This week Terry is playing at Detached.
Hey Terry, feeling Farley good today?
Yeh, cheers mate.
As you know, it was those young shysters from Detached that arranged this interview, so I shall do the polite thing and mention what’s happening on this Friday.
The boys from Detached are celebrating their first birthday at the Telegraph in Brixton.
So, how did Terry Farley get roped into it? Was it the lure from a stinking wedge of money-cheese or were Terry Farley’s nearest and dearest threatened with bodily harm so that he would play?
I play for Smartie Party who are good mates with the Detached crew. A mutual friend recommended me to these guys. It’ll be the first time I’ve played for them. I’ve played in the Telegraph quite a few times. I like it, it’s got that old, crumbling, decrepid house-club feel about it.
It appears that after Detached the next BIG Terry Farley event is the back-to-back New Years Eve/New Years Day events at The Key and Koko?
Yeh, we’ve also got Boxing Day. Myself, Stuart Patterson and Rocky from X-Press-2 are doing a small private party at Plastic People up in Shoreditch.Then we’re doing NYE at the Key and the next day is Koko for the guys who run Turnmills.
I read that it was Terry Farley who came up with the name ‘X-Press-2’. Is this a big fib?
I was playing at Back 2 Basics and Diesel [from X-Press-2] gave me the tapes because he didn’t like the music. In fact none of them really liked it. I played it in the car on a C60 cassette and I didn’t think much of it either, but we got so bored on the way home that we played it about three times and decided that we actually did like it.
Interesting story, but did you come up with the name?
Yeh, I did. I don’t know how but I sort of came up with it. I came up with most of the names for Junior. It was one of the only things I was quite good at. Roach Motel, Fire Island – I’m to blame for all of them.
I also read that Terry Farley can not only play chess but is actually the National Champion – how does it feel to be # 1?
Absolute rubbish. I cant even play chess. Draughts maybe, yeh.
According to ‘The DJ list’ however, Terry Farley is currently ranked # 7774 best DJ in the world, as voted by the web-happy public, just below Nitin Sawhney (and a couple of places above my Nana Doreen). Let’s set the record straight.
I don’t know. I would’ve liked to have been a lot higher than that, but then I guess that’s because now I tend play low-key places. Places where people are really into their music, as opposed to the more commercial stuff. I don’t tend to play those venues any more. I’ve done that and didn’t enjoy it very much. Nowadays, I need to get something out of the gig apart from the money. I need to get something back rather than just earningthe cash.
Well said that man! I thought it seemed a bit odd considering Terry Farley is a name synonymous with remixing and producing for popular names such as U2, New Order, Simply Red (oops, I did say ‘popular’ names), the Happy Mondays, Primal Scream, The Farm, M People, Jamiroquai and Michael Jackson. Even the Chuckle Brothers, right?
The Chuckle who? I don’t think so. Maybe I once played chess against them?! Ha-ha
Who would Terry Farley most like to remix or produce for then, dead or alive?
My mate Paul has a wardrobe full of trainers that are still in their boxes. How many pairs does Terry Farley have at this present moment?
Actually, I don’t have that many. I wear them and throw them. I’m a wearer rather than a collector.
Are we talking a couple of week’s-worth of wear or are we talking a trainer life of about six months here?
Nah. They last six months. I probably have about five or six pairs at one time. Rocky [of X-Press-2] is your man for keeping them in the cupboard, all stinky. I’m into them for their function rather than their asthetic appearance.
So you never really buy expensive trainers then? What is the most money you have ever paid for a pair of trainers?
About 2-50.[At this point, it was difficult to say whether Terry meant ?2.50 or ?250]
Aside from trainers, what else does Terry Farley collect?
Nothing really, I’m more into ‘doing’ than ‘collecting’. I love my music, my football, and stuff like that. I don’t have a particularly big house so storage room is tight. Not much room for trainers. I tend to get bored very easily so if I did collect anything I would probably throw it away in the end anyway.
I hear Terry Farley is a bit of an old-skool Chelsea fan – been to any games this season?
I’ve got a season ticket so I go to every game.
Are you going tonight? (Chelsea Vs Liverpool Champions League)
I’m not. It’s not included in my season ticket but then I’m not really convinced by the Champions League. I think it’s a plastic, corporate con. I don’t particularly see it as a real event. However, saying that, I’d still be more than happy to win it.
Has Terry Farley got a favourite football chant?
No, I don’t sing.
Favourite football-related movie? (If you say Mean Machine we end the interview right now!)
The one with Sylvester Stallone was quite amusing. Escape to Victory, that was a classic movie.
OK then, imagine you’re in the corner of a burning room (a disco inferno, if you will) and in each of the other three corners is:
- An unconscious Frank Lampard
- Terry Farley’s fave 12-inch record of all time
- A pair of Diadora Borg Elites, supposedly Terry Farley’s favourite trainers
What happens next?
For starters, those trainers were probably my favourite when I was 18, I wouldn’t wear them now, so I wouldn’t save them. I’d drag Frank out because I’d probably get more of a reward that way. I’d certainly expect a healthy drink from Mr Abramovic.
Name five other famous Terrys?
Scott, Lawler, Wogan, Francis…
I’m going to have to hurry you…
Nice work! Who is the most famous person to have shook Terry Farley’s hand?
…and to have played with Terry Farley’s decks?
I used to be a resident at a club called Future with Paul Oakenfold. But then I also played with people like Frankie Knuckles and Danny Tenaglia.
Ok, so let’s say I am from the planet Zorb and I’ve never heard of Terry Farley (which is surprising in itself because Terry Farley has played EVERYWHERE), in 22 words or less, persuade me to buy Terry Farley.
This is a typical website question, isn’t it? Well, I would say “good value, long lasting, you’ll continue to be happy with the product, and it boasts a lot of stuff that you will like for a shorter length of time too”.
How about – “An integral part of the UK dance community since the late 80s combining muscular, sleazy house grooves with soulful New Jersey garage”, as it says on the net?
That sounds about right as well, absolutely.
Thanks Terry, you’re All Gold.
P.S. Please note how I resisted the temptation to make a joke about Terry’s surname and a certain well-known baby food – because that would just take the biscuit!