Episode 7, Season 3 / Jun 15, 2023

We Watched The Radio

With Terry & Jo Harvey Allen

The Prologue

The Prologue

In this episode, producer Christian Adam Brown travels to Santa Fe to meet Terry Allen and his wife, Jo Harvey Allen. Terry is a prolific artist, musician, and writer. His songs have been covered by Lucinda Williams, Sturgill Simpson, David Byrne, and many others. His visual artworks have been exhibited in The Met and MoMA. Terry’s radio work, which features the incredible theatrical performance work of Jo Harvey, challenged audiences when they were first broadcast. We bring segments of this work to you in this episode. Here, explore some visual examples of the pair's cross-medium work. (All images © Terry Allen and © Jo Harvey and courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA.)

Beyond The Prologue

“Torso Hell” (1986)

Terry Allen wrote Torso Hell as a “movie for radio.” It was a part of Youth in Asia, a decade-spanning body of work that dealt with the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It was first broadcast on KPFK Los Angeles in 1986.

“Anterabbit/Bleeder” (1981-83)

Loosely based on Terry Allen's friend who was a hemophiliac, Anterabbit/Bleeder is Allen's take on “biography.” It was originally conceived as a theatrical production starring Jo Harvey Allen, though the pair eventually adapted it into a radio piece for NPR. In the image below, Jo Harvey appears as the character “Woman” in the 1983 production at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art.

“Dugout” (1999-2006)

For Terry, of all the radio pieces, “the most personal is Dugout,” Jo Harvey Allen says in the episode. “It was about his family and everything that sort of haunted him.” Years later, Terry revisited Dugout as a series of paintings and installations; check out “Full Swing“ (top) and “For Blood“ (bottom) below.

“Pedal Steal + Four Corners” (2019)

Listen to a remastered and Grammy-nominated compilation of the Allen's audio works, released by North Carolina-based label Paradise of Bachelors.