Lost and Found Sound: Kenny Hone

When I started volunteering at Trent Radio, early in my year at university, I met two guys, Richard Hamilton and Ken Hone. At the time I was an empty political vessel waiting to be filled up, and Rick and Kenny happily facilitated this. They were a couple of the rabble-rousers behind a storefront political group called “Projects for Change.”

Projects for Change was many things: a food bank, a lending library, a place to print leaflets, a place to drink beer. It had a revolving membership of university students, radicals (real and aspiring). The issues we concerned ourselves with ranged from poverty to nuclear power to the arms race.

Although I don’t think I ever made it to bona fide radical status — I always felt like an interloper — I loved the place nonetheless, and was involved, to one degree or another, for four or five years. I still have the old Projects for Change sign, hand-painted by Kenny, hanging on my wall.

Towards the end of my time in Peterborough, I partnered with Oonagh O’Connor to produce a radio documentary called “The Emotions of Activism.” Our goal was to interview a series of people involved in activist politics, but rather than interviewing them about their cause, we talked to them about the underlying rationale for their orneriness, the emotions behind their activism rather than the thoughts. What, in the gut, gets people up and out on the barricades, or behind the printing press or on the radio.

Although I have lost the tape of the final product, I do have the original, unedited interview tapes. An interview with Kenny is among them. Setting aside my rambling interviewing technique (this was before I got the Ann Thurlow brevity religion), the interview is a great listen, due entirely to Kenny’s clear-minded ability to get at the stuff of what drives him. It’s also an excellent short course in how to be a good human being.

The interview was recorded on an inexpensive tape recorder, using one of the classic Radio Shack PZM microphones that, to my ear, make excellent mics for doing interviews like this because they produce bright sound and lots of atmospherics (some of this has been drummed out by the digitizing down to 32K; the silences appear too silent, but it makes for a smaller file).


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on March 8, 2003 - 05:58 Permalink

Just a note to say I’ve added a link to the second part of this interview.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on March 8, 2003 - 14:19 Permalink

This is astounding.

November 1989! Don’t let Ann do too much to that interview technique… given the chance she may have eliminated Peter Z’s mumbling and destroyed our national culture in the process. There’s way too much ‘technique’ in journalism these days and this interview proves that point in spades.

Your questions are breathtakingly clever and insightful for an “empty political vessel”.

Ken has managed to arrive on the tropical shores of self-acceptance just before drowning. What no one would have ever understood — had he not made it — was why he left a ship that, at least in popular view, wasn’t sinking. I think several of our Island activists should listen to Ken, and listen carefully for the “b” channel.

And (here’s some soul-baring for you) his comments, even though spoken well over a decade ago, are something like just-in-time inventory for my soul.

I think no more of your efforts (you & he) than this:

Your interview with Kenny perfectly encribes everything that journalism is missing and 99% of journalists haven’t the gene for. (and I’ll happily end that sentence in a preposition to illustrate, metaphorically, how I feel about what “journalism” is today — and I quote that for the same reason)

rachelle's picture
rachelle on March 23, 2011 - 20:30 Permalink

Hello RUK… sitting here in 2011 with Kenny Hone at the kitchen table. Listening- so pleased- to this brilliant 1989 interview. Check out www.justiceforlevi.org. R

hi peter kenny here don”t know how to use this thing. Really miss you man. Still doing Trent Radio. Food Not Bombs. Same old political shit. I don’t know if you heard but Jim died two years ago. Hepatitis. Still see Hartley, John Muir, Ruth. Hope all is well with you. Fight the good fight. Love Kenny.

Tim Piper's picture
Tim Piper on July 17, 2016 - 17:42 Permalink

I also have a recording of Kenny when I interviewed him on Trent Radio. In fact I also have Richard on another recording.