Jerry (Garcia) Speaks To You!!

Cover art by John Howard.

When music journalist Joe Territo called up indie label head Matthew Kaufman

and tried to pitch him on releasing a CD of an interview the writer had

conducted with the late Jerry Garcia, Kaufman didn't at first get excited. "I

wasn't sure it was a product," said Kaufman, who runs the Beserkley and Son of

Beserkley labels. "But I was intrigued. So after thinking it over, I gave the

tape he left with me a listen. Halfway through I realized that the way Jerry

was dealing with Joe, Jerry could have been talking to any fan out there. Joe

was JQ Average Fan. I knew people would want to listen to it."

A Talk

WIth Jerry Garcia was released this past November; Kaufman is now on his

fourth pressing. And he's now in the interview CD business. Kaufman plans on

releasing 10 to 12 interview disks this year. Talks with Oasis (Feb. 18), the

Smashing Pumpkins (Mar. 2) and Jim Morrison are on the way.

"I did some

research and found that there is an entire segment of people who buy rock books

because they want to know more about the artist," said Kaufman. "So what would

be more insightful than a well done interview? There hasn't been an Oasis

release in a while, so for the fanatic who wants to stay in touch, its the

perfect vehicle for them."

Although the idea of selling interviews with

artists seems obvious, Kaufman said that when he first ran it by others in the

music biz, they were not impressed. "I discussed this with several other

learned people in the biz including record company presidents and every one of

them had a reason why interview CDs weren't going to make it," said Kaufman.

"It was the same wisdom I got in the beginning when I started Beserkley with a

various artists package of unknown artists."

That album, Beserkley

Chartbusters, Vol. 1, released in the mid-'70s, was what got Beserkley, and

the career or Jonathan Richman, off the ground; "Roadrunner," one of the most

influential songs of the punk era, was included on that collection.

Kaufman

says the negative response he got this time around just inspired him. "They

were all laughing at me like I was an idiot," he said, starting to laugh.

"Yeah, great idea but no one wants to buy these things. In a sick way this

encouraged me even more. I knew I was on to something."