Interview: Terry Farley talks Boys Own, Balearic and 90s NYC


DJ, producer, remixer and acid house trailblazer, Terry Farley is heading to Herd on St Cuthbert’s Street later this month (Friday, 24 November) for what is bound to be a very special night.

Terry was at the vanguard of the music scene in the late 1980s and his Boys Own fanzine, which he started with the much-missed Andrew Weatherall, shared that passion with other music lovers up and down the country.

In these days of social media, mobile phones and immediate music at our fingertips, it’s hard to imagine the dedication it took to track down records, find out where parties were taking place and meet up with your friends [Sorry, my rose-tinted glasses are steaming up – Ed].

Terry very kindly answered our questions about his early memories of the scene, the legacy of Boys Own and what the crowds at Herd can expect this month…

Bedford Clanger: When you started the Boys Own fanzine, did you imagine it would have such a long-lasting legacy? 

Terry Farley: Absolutely not. I remember not wanting to go on a booked holiday with my partner in May 1988 as I was worried the Acid house madness would be burnt out by the time I got home.

Boys Own was a fanzine for and about our mates – the music we loved and our obsessions. We had no idea anyone else would be interested.

BC: There was an era-defining cross-over of genres in the late 80s/early 90s – with indie and dance music colliding. What did it feel like to be at the vanguard of that scene?

TF: Never thought of myself in that way, I was simply a music-obsessed young man who had loads of musical ideas but without the tools to put them into action.

Incredible thinking back on the ‘power‘ given to a rather small group of untried and unskilled kids by the big record companies! The studio engineers we encountered early on didn’t share that optimism and would try and quietly try to make our mixes sonically more traditional to a rock/pop audience, which was the opposite of our plan.

BC: How influential were the Slough soul boys on the Balearic/Acid scene?

TF: The small Slough/Windsor axis that consisted of working-class Britwell soul boys and middle-class Windsor lads such as Cymon Eckel and Andrew Weatherall jumped both feet into the Shoom/Future side of the early scene.

Steve Mayse (Boys Own) was part of the Monkey Drum scene which was very indie crossover. Slough had a scene of serious clubbers since the mid 70’s; I guess when you’re outside of London you make something happen rather than just go to whatever club up west is in vogue.


The track that never fails…

BC: If you had a time machine, what club and record shop would you go back to?

TF: Sound Factory and Dance Tracks, both in NYC in the 90s. The idea that a club would start at 11pm and finish at 11am with only one resident DJ would blow kids’ minds these days.

Junior Vasquez during that early 90s period ruled New York.

BC: What is the greatest gift that music has given you?

TF: To see the world and the opportunity to take my family with me on occasion. My kids have quietly grown into really cool people (without most of my rough edges ) and I think seeing the world and other cultures shaped them in a way I couldn’t have if I never had the career I was super lucky to have.

BC: What can guests at Herd expect from your set? What is your guaranteed floor filler? 

TF: Oh, House music and its Disco roots and some of its modern branches. The Believers, Who Dares To Believe In Me is a tune that never fails – it’s pure HOUSE.

Ticket details for Terry Farley at Herd will be shared here.