Broadcast in their home studio
Broadcast in their home studio


I have hazy memories of meeting the musician Trish Keenan in a Custard Factory recording studio many years ago. And I remember other times, saying hello from across noisy rooms. The last time I spoke to her was perhaps 2005, in a Mailbox walkway, Birmingham, UK.

I still can’t believe that she has died.

My memories of meeting Trish in April 2003 are clearer because I wrote down what she said. I was interviewing Broadcast for the BBC website. It was the band’s first interview in three years. They were preparing for the release of HaHa Sound.

Trish had presence, she was intelligent, funny and kind to me when I went to meet her in the Kings Heath home she shared with James Cargill. Trish, James and Tim Felton were all very patient with me.

I asked them if they were setting out to be difficult to listen to. James responded by asking Trish and Tim “Are you just trying to be awkward?”

Trish replied: “You’re made awkward.”

Being Broadcast, pursuing their particular vision, was not always easy.

Jam (James) told me: “We don’t want more money to buy a Mercedes or jacuzzis.”

Trish: “Just to buy a studio would be good and more gear would be good.”

Jam: “So we could do more things towards the music.”

Trish: “But it’s that catch 22 thing – you have to start making more commercial decisions in the studio.”

Jam: “And we’re not going to, are we?”

Trish: “Money always costs something and we can’t make those payments in the studio.”

I asked: “Do Broadcast carry a message? What’s it all about?”

Jam: “I remember seeing Roman Polanski interviewed and the guy who interviewed him was asking about how the Sharon Tate thing and the Manson thing come out in his films and he said it didn’t – he just carried on making films.”

“Polanski was probably the only one who didn’t know how it had come into his films – where as everyone else could see it.”

Trish: “Yeah.”

Jam: “So it’s probably better for someone else to tell us how we’re doing.”

Trish: “A poet needs somebody else to tell them what they meant – you can say I was trying to do X, Y, Z – but whether you actually achieve that is for everyone else.”

When they got talking about films, the conversation became more animated.

At that time, ‘The Loves of a Blonde’ was Trish’s favourite movie.

Trish: “It’s Miller Forman’s first film – it’s an early 60’s film about a girl in an orphanage. It’s about her loves – the men she fancies and goes out with – a funny but really sad film.

“It’s Czech – it’s interesting. It’s set post second world war in this small Czechoslovakian village.

“A lot of the men went to war and never came back so there’s too many young girls.

“They post a lot of soldiers there after the war to help stimulate the population.

“All the girls are excited – waiting at the train station – waiting for these soldiers to arrive because there’s a real shortage of men and they’re all really old blokes. It’s just lot’s of funny things like that.

“Then she falls in love with a musician in it”.

James, her partner in life and music, smiled and made an appreciative “Ahhhh” sound.

The interview ended in laughter.

By CTS Ryan. Published: 15 Jan 2011


  1. Vincent Gallo July 1, 2012 at 7:04 pm - Reply

    Trish Keenan was such a beautiful person and so talented and special. The most special. I’m extremely lucky and grateful for the brief time I was able to spend with her and I wish with all my might I could speak with her again.

  2. Ciaran July 2, 2012 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Thanks for dropping by Mr Gallo, I hope you’re well.
    Please would you tell us about the song you performed with Trish at the Troubadour? What are your memories of that night? Video: . Many thanks. Ciaran.

  3. Vincent Gallo March 25, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

    I just now watched the clip of Trish and me at the Troubadour and was overwhelmed with sadness.

    Broadcast and I were on the same label, WARP Records. We came to WARP at around the same time, both brought there by the brilliant Rob Mitchell, one of the label’s founders.

    Rob introduced me to the band Broadcast and gave me copies of their first releases as they came out. I was immediately drawn to Trish in such a strong way. Not a crush or something so basic, but instead another kind of clear recognition of someone I had always been looking for and wanting to know.

    Over the years I went to see Broadcast play live several times but was always way too shy to try to meet Trish. We did finally meet in 2008 when someone at WARP introduced us. I had written a song I wanted Trish to sing for the soundtrack of a film I was making.

    That film, Promises Written in Water, was extremely challenging. I was trying so hard to transcend myself in a real way and make something much better, smarter, and more intelligent than myself or anything I had made. Something way beyond me and my understanding of things.

    I talked with Trish several times on the phone and explained what I was trying to make as best I could. I felt very connected to her and was so happy to talk to her. She was open to working together and that felt so good to hear. The finishing of the film moved slowly because I was working with material that was nearly impossible to edit. And Trish seemed so far away in England. When I am editing a film even leaving the house seems too far. I wish I had gone to visit her and James then.

    Broadcast went on tour and I had the chance to meet Trish and James one night at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. When I arrived at the club Trish was waiting outside for me on Santa Monica Blvd. She was standing across the busy street and we waited for the light to change to cross and meet. She was so beautiful. We went to The Palm restaurant and sat at the bar and talked. Then afterwards we went to the Troubadour and before Broadcast’s show I played her the song I wrote for her to sing. She wanted to play it that night live. She was about to go on stage to perform with James so we only had a short while to work out the song together. We decided that we would play the song on stage after they finished their set and also that I would play a short bit with Broadcast on stage beforehand. I remember the brief moments I played with Broadcast that night and how much I connected with both Trish and James. It’s a rare thing for me to feel that kind of connection. James is very special.

    As planned, when Broadcast finished, Trish and I were left alone on stage to perform the song I had just taught her hours before. On stage she held a paper with the lyrics in her hand. I had told them to her quickly and she had jotted them down backstage. Somehow she remembered the melody perfectly.

    Trish will always stand out for me in a way far beyond anyone else.

    Vincent Gallo 2015

Leave A Comment