“Martin is actually a different persona of mine, a fantasy character that I have in my mind. He’s also the guy that appears in ‘The Winter of ’79’ (a song which will be on Power in the Darkness). There’s this guy that sings ‘Martin’, who I call David Harris. His brother is Martin Harris.”Tom Robinson (1028)

Power In The Darkness

“Last time I had the choice of four candidates, Conservative, Labour, Liberal, and – Nazi. That’s when I wrote ‘Power In The Darkness’. I was totally stunned to see four names on the polling from, and the fourth one was National Front…”Tom Robinson (1029)

(It Ain’t Nothing Like) The Real Thing

“It was done from a personal point of view rather than a campaigning point of view because a friend of mine is busy messing himself up with it. Of course it’s also about my own coke experiences otherwise I wouldn’t have known what I was singing about.”Tom Robinson (1030)

Glad To Be Gay

“I wrote a song called Good to Be Gay for the Campaign For Homosexual Equality in 1975. But it was a completely different song. I’d become politicised after becoming the musician with a theatrical troupe from New York called Hot Peaches, who were very camp. They exposed me to the notion of being proud of being gay. I also saw the Sex Pistols, who kicked open the doors for the art of confrontation. At the time, the police were regularly targeting London’s oldest gay pub, the Coleherne in Earls Court, on a regular basis. When the editor of Gay News famously tried to take a photograph of one raid, he was charged and fined for obstruction. I’m now married with kids, but Glad to Be Gay was about anyone who didn’t conform, from lesbians to transgenders, a way of recognising that most of us have complex sexualities. I never imagined that, 35 years later, it would be called the gay national anthem, or that we’d have openly gay pop stars and a Tory prime minister campaigning for gay marriage. I received a letter from a US teenager who had been disowned by his Christian parents. He’d just taken an overdose when Glad to Be Gay came on his college radio station. He put his fingers down his throat, threw up, and moved to San Franscisco, where he was now living happily. It would have been worth writing the song for him alone.”Tom Robinson (1031)
“But in the intervening year I saw the sort of thing that the London Met Police were up to in terms of beating up gay people, running people in for no reason and no excuse, just the same as they were doing with black youths in Brixton. They’d get a soft arrest if they ran in a banker from Surrey who was wearing leather and chains and stuff, because he wouldn’t want it to get in the local paper. So it wouldn’t be contested and their arrest record would go up, so they’d get their promotion. So it made me make all sorts of connections; you either live in a free and a fair society or you don’t, and clearly we didn’t. And Glad To Be Gay was a badge that people in the gay scene were wearing at the time, and that pre-dated the song: people would wear them when they were in the pubs and the clubs and then they’d take them off when they went into the street. So I thought ‘So how glad are you to be gay?’ That was the idea of the song, to write something scathingly sarcastic and then list all the different stuff that was happening and then going ironically, ‘Well then, sing if you’re glad to be gay, hey!’.”Tom Robinson (1032)