THE COUNTRY MAN – Interview with Winston
W: We’re continuing our Bad Penny Opera song-by-song interview with Glen Laughlin with The Country Man. The Country Man is one of the few characters in the Opera other than Penny. Was there an individual that you modeled him on?
GL: There was a person and event that inspired the song, but it wasn’t modeled on anyone in the way I think you mean it. I have a longtime friend Karen who lives in a small village in England. She came to L.A. and brought a friend of hers. I took them to dinner and I happened to mention that the Guilford Four were finally released from prison. Karen’s friend said, “Too bad they didn’t leave them there and throw away the key!”. I asked, “Why? Because they’re Irish?”. It was that provincial bigotry that inspired the song. Penny meets this character, but quickly rejects him.
W: What were the musical influences?
GL: That one is simple! The Beatles’ We Can Work It Out, The Kinks’ Shangri-La and probably several XTC songs!