INTERVIEWER(S): John Leslie and Colleen Nolan
SUMMARY: Originally scheduled to promote the re-release of the compilation album 'Gene Pitney: The Ultimate Collection' but de-railed due to the tragic events of September 11th.
BROADCAST DATE: Wednesday 12th September 2001
RUNNING TIME: 4 minutes (approx.).
KEY: JL=John Leslie
..........CN=Colleen Nolan
..........GP=Gene Pitney


CN: But first, um, Gene Pitney is here. I mean, Gene, hello and welcome...
GP: Hi.
CN: And terrible morning, really, for all Americans and all us, really as a nation. Where were you when you found out?
GP: I was here doing promotion and going around talking about the new CD and everything, you know, very happily...
CN: Hmmm
GP: And I was at a, uh, a-a-a news station, and while I was talking I looked through all the glass windows and there were all these surreal pictures which I’d never associated with reality, you know,
CN: Mmm.
GP: And I saw people running in all different directions and everything...Then found out what happened, you know. I mean, gut wrenching for me.
CN: Yeah. I mean, you don’t actually live in New York, but you live just outside, don’t you?
GP: I live in Connecticut - the next state up - and really the only... I have a lot of business associates there which I’m not sure, you know, what’s happened with them. The only one is my son, uh, Todd, who runs a recording studio for me who goes back and forth, and I finally got through last night on a line to check him...Fortunately he was home. He was okay.
CN: He was okay.
JL: What...From what you can grasp from speaking to Todd an-an-and some of your friends, what’s going through their mind at the moment?
GP: Well, everybody’s shocked because, um, we’ve never - in the States - never ever had anything like this at home, you know? I was just talking this morning about the fact that most of the countries in Europe - at some point in time - have had land wars and...um...relationship with things like this happening. The States have never ever had that. So, this - I think - had created, uh, a-a whole different situation.
JL: Uh...uh...But you as an American...Have you always felt safe within your borders. This true what we hear that...that...that you’re kind of untouchable in a way?
GP: Well-
JL: You’ve had...uh...the audience incident <I’m not entirely sure what’s said here>
GP: I think yes that, uh, everybody always felt that way, but I think really there’s been an inkling for a long time that something was bound to happen at some given point in time.
JL: Mmm.
GP: And I...I was brushing my teeth last night and thinking about the whole day’s events and I thought, you know...The horrendous thing that happened and the, um, all the loss of life and everything, put that aside a little bit and to me the only thing that was compromised was the aircraft. I really feel that the thing that was allowed to become a missile was the airplane and-
CN: Yeah.
GP: I think that’s the thing that has to be fixed. That -
CN: Yes.
GP: -became the delivery system and if I’m gonna go get on the airplane again I want somebody to change that factor of somebody being able to walk into the cockpit-
JL: Hmmm.
GP: -and take over the aircraft and control it.
JL: There has been a lot of talk about the fact that internally the security is not as great as...as ex-external security for getting on and off a plane because Americans use it like buses. Their...Their internal transport system is, um, you know....
GP: When you say ‘internal’, you mean in the plane?
JL: No, ‘internal’ as in America.
CN: In the United States.
JL: You know, to get from-
GP: I don’t think it goes-
JL: ...Getting on a plane. It’s a lot easier, is it?
GP: Security is security is security, but I think on the actual airplane itself, I’ve sat there myself and watched this thing and saw like a...a stewardess with a key in her pocket
CN: Hmmm.
GP: And she takes the key out and goes and opens the door and goes into the cockpit to bring the pilot something to eat.
JL: Yeah.
GP: I’ve always thought ‘how tough is that for someone to get that key-
CN: Yeah.
GP: -and then control this aircraft?’ I think that has to be changed. I think something has to happen where - even if it’s access through not through the internal part of the airplane for the flight crew.
CN: Hmm.
GP: I think that has to be changed.
JL: But the culprit will have to be isolated.
GP: It doesn’t take away from the horrific nature, you know, of what happened or anything like that, but I-I thought that’s the thing that created this. Without those aircraft, wouldn’t been...Wouldn’t have been...Wouldn’t of happened.
CN: I mean, for me...For me watching yesterday the thing for me...It...It was - like you say - this was New York...This didn’t happen in New York, you know? To see the New York skyline so devastated and...It was like watching a movie, you know, one of those really over-the-top movies.
GP: That’s what I thought it was.
CN: How...How can this happen? And, like you say, maybe the way to address it is to sort out the security on things-
GP: Well, I can’t see any other way it could of happened...
CN: -because it just seems too easy.
GP: I mean it had to be an airplane...
CN: Yeah.
GP: It had to be something that...of that magnitude to go into that building...uh...
JL: There is talk, you know, of them using pen knives, not having actual guns on board...It’ll all come out e-e-eventually. But at the moment it’s all so conjecture...Do you, um, feel angry at the moment?...um...shock?...Or...uh...um...Will this kind of, you know, move into some...a grief thing? What...What...What’s your state of mind at the moment?
GP: It’s not angry. It’s a...questioning ‘why?’ and...um...I mean, the world is in such a flux. Just thinking to myself ‘is there a way that something can change this so it can’t happen again?’...
CN: Hmmm.
GP: Not...Not anger.
CN: I think that’s the thing as well is to...They were saying on the news about not letting anger make us make too many, you know, rational-
JL: Mmm.
CN: ...Unrational decisions...
GP: Yeah. I mean, that’s not gonna do any good at this point, is it? I mean it’s probably a natural reaction-
CN: ‘Cos the easiest thing to think is, like, ‘Let’s get in our planes and go over there and sort it out’...But that isn’t the way to do it, I suppose...
GP: Hmmm.
CN: How do you think the Americans themselves are going to...kind of recover from this?
GP: Oh, they will...uh...over a period of time. But this is, uh, it was like sanctity for a long time that this could never ever happen and especially....I mean, they got done what they wanted to do - they showed that this heart of New York being the...uh...I suppose they wanted to eat at the financial centre probably as much as anything else...
CN: Hmm.
GP: And to say ‘We can do this to you’. They did that. But the Americans are Americans and, uh, we’ll turn that around.
CN: We will pull through it.
GP: Absolutely.
JL: Well, thank you Gene, uh, for coming to talk.
GP: My pleasure.
JL: You’re here to talk about your album and-
GP: What album? (with a smile)
JL: Sing us a song...Yeah...um...We’ll do that tomorrow...
GP: Okay. Fine.
JL: I’m sure you’ll understand. But, um, for the moment thank you very much indeed.
GP: Thank You.