Jonathan Handley is the enigmatic songwriter and guitarist of that legendary band from Springs called Radio Rats. Michael Cross made a documentary about the band called “Jiving and Dying: The Radio Rats Story.”
According to Cross, the film, twenty-five years in the making, introduces the music of the Rats and the words of Jonathan Handley “in an attempt to afford them the place they deserve in the history of independent rock ’n’ roll in South Africa.”
I went to the screening of the film this past Saturday at the Labia Theatre and lured Jonathan and Michael back to the garage the next morning to talk about the Rats, the film, the music, Springs and James Phillips. Jonathan also riffs on digital tape machines, tape hiss, noise reduction, how small town music scenes are Darwinian in nature, not having suitcases full of cash and why he is an anaesthetist by day and a songwriter, guitarist, cartoon artist and an archiver by night.
This episode is sponsored by Valve House Music’s online shop – listen to the intro of this episode for the special discount offer and go to VHMUSIC.CO.ZA.
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