Transcript by Irene
Taraf de Haidouks on Radio 3's World Music Awards at 'Ocean' in Hackney on Monday 28 January 2002. The band [pronounced Taraf da Hi-dukes] were the 'Europe & Middle East' category award winners.
The band played 'The Return of the Magic Horses' to rapturous applause, and then one of the women presenters came on.
Presenter: Totally super-charged! That's the Taraf de Haidouks! Fantastic! [waiting for the applause to settle down] Thank you! That was brilliant! And to present the award we've invited one of the band's biggest, biggest fans. You may recognise him. He's coming in straight from hell..and I don't mean Hollywood. 'From Hell' is his latest film. Please welcome -- Johnny Depp!
JD comes on, stage right, and walks downstage to the presenter. As he goes he does a little salaam to a couple of the nearest band members (ie bowing his head & briefly touching his forehead). He's wearing a brown double-breasted pin-stripe suite, black patterned tie, black shirt, and his Viper Room knit cap. When he gets to the front he does a more formal salaam to the oldest member of the band and then shakes his hand. The audience is going crazy, clapping and hollering.
Presenter to JD: Now, we know that you're a huge fan of the Tarafs. Could you tell me, when was the first time you came across them?
JD: I'd heard their music in fact...
The crowd's still so noisy it's hard to hear what he's saying.
JD to the audience: Hi! [with an embarrassed laugh]
The audience applaud him & finally settle down to listen. The Tarafs are crowding round the back of JD and the presenter, looking delighted and watching Johnny closely.
JD to the presenter: I'd heard their music, you know? And then we made a film together; they played my family. And it just sort of started then. And kept going, y'know.
Presenter: So what is it about the Haidouks that you love?
JD: Their music is like.. beyond anything I've ever heard. Firstly they're the greatest musicians I've ever heard -
The audience start applauding again.
Presenter: Well, actually I heard that you liked them so much that you actually missed one of your own film premieres to go and watch them play. Is that true?
JD [with a wicked smile]: Probably.
Laughter from the crowd.
Presenter: Now, some people would say that was a bit irresponsible, but I say : "Oooh! Suits you!"
JD was having a quick drag on his cigarette when she said this, and almost choked because the gag took him by surprise :-)
Presenter: So, Johnny.. I'd like you to ask the band whether they feel that all that hard work, that dedication, that passion... How do they feel, to know that we really appreciate it? [As this question gets longer & more complex, Johnny looks increasingly like he's going to have a bit of a problem translating! lol]
JD calls over one of the band members. The name sounded like 'Euneetza', and the big accordion player stepped forward.
JD [to the audience]: We're going to speak French...Sort of. [Whoops from the crowd] Its kinda... yeah... Real bastardised French.
[I can't speak French nor write it, so forgive me if I get the next bit totally wrong! But I caught something like "Es coutouz monde contente" and then "poular hoscal" ?? which got a big laugh from the French speakers in the audience. Then he held up the award for them, after apologising and turning it round the right way.] (See Karelle's translation below)
The Taraf accordion player then gave a really sweet speech in French which included a big tribute to Johnny's support and ended with "friend Johnny Depp". JD touched his own heart in appreciation, and the crowd went "ahhhhh" and cheered.
JD to the audience: He said I am a pig. [big laugh from the audience]
JD [to the Tarafs, who all laughed]: Je suis un cushion. Moi.
JD [to the audience]: He says they're very very happy to receive the award, and to receive the attention for their work, for their hard work and their music. Yeah. Finally.
JD [to the Tarafs]: Haska! "Finally", yeah?
Presenter: So Johnny, can I just ask you then to do the honours. Please present Taraf de Haidouks with the award.
JD: Of course. [holding up the award] Boys! Ce pour vous.
JD presents the award to the accordion player, and they shake hands and kiss while the crowd cheers.
Presenter: Taraf de Haidouks and the amazing Johnny Depp!
Johnny joins in the clapping along with the audience, then backs off to leave the stage, kissing other band members along the way. When he's gone & things have settled down, the Tarafs play another set: 'The Ballad of the Dictator'.
****************** Later, in a backstage interview area. The noise of the crowd and the music in the auditorium make it hard to hear some of what's being said. There's a female & a male interviewer, and Johnny's seated beside Joe Strummer, an English musician who's there to present another award.
Male Int: So, Johnny Depp: how did you become a fan of a Romanian gypsy band?
JD [caught lighting up a cigarette]: I'll let Joe answer that.
Joe S [busy rolling his own cigarette]: It was in a car park, Johnny. Go on, tell the story. JD [laughing]: OK. It was in a car park.. And something horrible happened, and they went to jail, not me.
Joe S: You were running a film!
Male Int: This was on a film?
JD: Yeah, yeah, I was doing a film. I'd heard their music before, and then I was doing this film and they were hired to play my family.. Yeah, it just sort of commenced from there and it hasn't stopped.
Male Int: And what really attracted you to the music?
JD: Well, first of all their musicianship is unbelievable. Like, these guys were the greatest musicians I'd ever saw in my life! Also just the quality of life that they.. They just LIVE. These guys move forward and they don't look back and they don't look to the side, they just keep going forward.
Female Int: Don't you think that's very present in their music? I mean, just now I was watching them and you get a physical reaction when they play -
JD: Oh yeah!
Female Int: - you don't just think: "Oh, that was a nice tune". It actually kind of physically holds you and takes you. So, Joe, are you a fan of Taraf?
Joe S: In fact, watching that group, Johnny's group there, it made me feel sick. 'Cos it's like we're all out of a job really. [To JD:] It's got 13 guys, no? And they're hitting all together, and the dynamics between all 13... I mean, you can scream yourself hoarse for 20 years as a rock'n'roll band and you'll never get a dynamic going like that. They've got a tradition.. This is what these events are for, is to see traditions that we just don't have - or can't even HOPE to have.
Male Int: Back in Romania they're not major stars, though.
JD: No, in fact I was talking about that to -
Male Int: It's bizarre. As gypsies, they've had a tough time.
JD: Oh, they have a tough time everywhere, yeah.
Joe S: Well, they're a boy band, aren't they?
JD [laughing]: Yeah! The original boy band!
Joe S: A large boy band. But they're still going!
Female Int: A 13-piece boy band. But what really struck me as well, when you watch them perform, is that physically it's all moving so fast and it's so full.. But for them, it's like they're chilling out! And smiling, and laughing, so it's just kind of an integral part of getting up and moving through the day to them.
Joe S: Yeah, they're playing 19 to the dozen, but they're just chilling out.
JD: Yeah, they're WAY more comfortable playing, than they are just walking around.
Female Int: So, when you were asked to come and give this award to them, were you just really happy to come and do that for them?
JD [smiling]: Oh man, I'd go anywhere for those guys. Anywhere. As I believe they would for me, because they're incredibly loyal, you know? They're really loyal guys and just.. Oh, they're just amazing.
Joe S [ after answering a question about the award he'd presented]: We got the chance to hang out with Johnny's Romanian guys and they told us some of the things, the way they live. They say: for breakfast always have a cognac - like, a large one; they were going like that [indicating a large measure of drink] - and a Romanian marijuana cigarette. For breakfast!
JD [nodding to everything Joe's been saying]: Yeah. For breakfast.
Female Int: So that's why they're smiling!
JD: That's their way to start the day.
Joe S: So that seems to be what they call breakfast!
JD: Could be.
Joe S: I think we should sling out the Full English Breakfast and like... [JD laughs]
Female Int: Well, thank you for taking time out to be with us. They rock!
Joe S: Oh, it was brilliant.
French translation from Karelle -
In French, he says with a very good accent: "Est-ce que tout le monde est content pour le... le Oscar?... ša c'est... hein? ša, c'est pour vous... ah... tu sais ah... pardon... c'est comme ša!"
"is everyone happy for the.... the Oscar? This is... what? This is for you... ah you know ah... sorry... this is like that" (he had given the award in the wrong way)
then, someone explains in english he gave it "backwards" or something like that (maybe he said it in english? can't remember)...
and then, the band says something like: "This is very important for us... because we consider him like our brother.. and you came here to give this to us..." (ok, i can't report exactly what they said because i don't understand everything...because of their accent, there are few words that i don't hear)...and then they say something like: "it's not from a star, it's from our brother Johnny"...
and then Johnny says in english they said he's a pig and then, says it in French "Je suis un cochon" (=i'm a pig)...
Finally, he says: "boys, c'est pour vous" which means: "this is for you"...