In 1985, John Trubee did something that—maybe?–one person's done since: interview Jandek. Trubee talked to Jandek for Spin, then in its first year, though the 50-minute tape wasn't released until the 2004 arrival of the documentary Jandek on Corwood. A Jandek fan named Jamie Morrison got around to transcribing the interview last year, posting the results on a Jandek listserv. Download the full transcript here, or read my favorite 300 words (and listen to a bit of it) after the break.
TRUBEE: Oh, I see. So anything going to the PO Box is actually you, and you answer it and run it and so forth? That's interesting - self-made person. Also, the name Jandek - now you've explained that to me once and I forgot it...
JANDEK: Originally I had called the thing 'The Units'. U-N-I-T-S. The first album had 1000 done under that name. And, in my first mailings out and everything it was playlisted in... a couple of stations in Colorado - Colorado Springs and Denver - I don't even think they do this kind of music, and I think they went to a classical format or something. But anyway, back in '78, it was playlisted there, and, you know, it got around a little bit, and I was sending it out and I sent some out to... one time I tried sending copies to record stores, to see if I could get orders, but I guess they just kept them all because I never got any response out of that. But I sent some to a record store in San Francisco, and I got a real nasty letter from somebody who sent me in registered mail an entire portfolio of his group called The Units, and the fact that they were on record in Washington and everything with the name, and that if I didn't cease and desist using it they were going to sue me. And they had done it before, and they assured me that it would be found in their favor. So I said well, to heck with this, and I just tried to find some name that nobody would use. And, I was thinking, it was January, and I was speaking on the phone with someone named Dekker. So I just combined the two.
TRUBEE: (laughs) That's great. Jan-dek.
JANDEK: It seemed to be something that not too many people would pick.
Grab a 12-minute segment from the fine folks that made Jandek on Corwood here.
Reminder: Jandek plays Sunday, Feb. 22, at Gerrard Hall at UNC-Chapel Hill. And our Marc Masters kind of/not at all interviewed Jandek here.