Friday, February 25, 2005

‘Oops Delhi Times Did it Again’ of the day

From a Q&A with Mark Knopfler on page 1 of today’s DT:

Q. Has India ever inspired your music?

A. I spent the first six years of my life in Scotland. Then I went to Newcastle-on-Tyne in northeast I heard a lot of that music. I heard my uncle Kingsley playing boogie-woogie on the piano when I was 8, and I thought those three chords were among the most magnificent things in the world. I still do. Among my inspirations are the early Elvis, the Everly Brothers with Chet Atkins on guitar, and Bob Dylan.

What, no Vande Mataram?!

For anyone who doesn’t know how these things work, this is what probably happened here: the interview was almost certainly conducted on email (because if it wasn’t, it becomes very difficult to explain this blooper - not that I want to throw my back out trying to justify anything Delhi Times does). DT probably prepared a template of questions, mailed them to Knopfler’s promotions people, and in return got a pre-fabricated template of answers. I suspect this template thing works on a keyword system, so that a question that includes words like “inspired” and “music” will throw up an earnest pre-written answer about the artiste’s musical inspirations. And so it goes...

Naturally, it would have been asking too much to expect the hallowed city supplement to rewrite its question so that it fits the proffered answer. Oh well, so long as we get our daily dose of inadvertent humour...

1 comment:

  1. Giggle, giggle - yes. Or no, actually, not even that. How it normally works is - the promotion people or someone who's organising this gig, sends a whole interview as a press release. The questions are put in later :)
    If you arm-twist the PR guys into an 'exclusive' - only then will you get to email a list of tailor-made questions.