(Zachary Richard and the Zydeco Rockers appeared on Kentucky Public Television's Lonesome Pine Special in 1987. The musical performances were interspersed with short clips from an interview, minus the interviewers questions. Following is a transcription of the four interview clips)
When I started playing music ... I was still playin' in bands, and still wanting to play in bands, and it was just the next step, to play Cajun music in a rock and roll band. We started playing at Jays Lounge in Cankton - that was our first gig ... and they used to have cock fights in the back. They had about three people (who) came to see us, and then when they would take a break from the cock fights, a whole bunch of people would come in, and they didnt understand what we were doing because we were putting rock and roll together with traditional Cajun music. That was in the early seventies. We started playin' it, and kept on playin' it, and then finally, slowly, the people started to begin to understand. And the young people came to it, and today in South Louisiana there must be a couple dozen young French bands. And thats something thats only been happening within the last five ... ten years.
All the attention that Cajun cuisine and culture has been getting over the last couple of years ... theres people in Louisiana who talk about it; theres a lot of controversy. People say its a good thing, people say its a bad thing. People say that were going to turn into drugstore Cajuns, and that when they ring the bell, well all come out and do our little two-step. I think its a great thing! I think anything that preserves the culture, whether its the cuisine or the music, or anything thats attached to Cajun culture - you have to understand that this is a community that was culturally on the edge of oblivion. And anything that prevents that oblivion, to me, is a positive thing.
There is the traditional ride, the Mardi Gras, which dates back to medieval France. The captain is the only rider who is unmasked. And he is responsible in every sense, for the way in which the parade is conducted, so that if anything is broken, or any harm is done to animals or livestock, or a farmers fences, the captain is personally responsible to make amends. The riders will get together ... traditionally theyll start partying Friday, so by the time Tuesday comes around, theyre well fermented. Theyll start out early in the morning and theyll ride from farm to farm, and the ritual is always the same. The captain will arrive at the farm, and he will ride to the farmhouse while the Mardi Gras themselves stay on the road. He will ride to the farmhouse under a flag of truce, and theres a formula in which he promises that these are masked men who are out for a party, these are not bandits or thieves.
I dont feel anything but joy behind the success of Rockin' Sydney, and the fact that Dopsie and Buckwheat and Michael Ducet and Terrance Simien and Clifton Chenier (when hes feelin good enough) are out on the road, promoting Zydeco and Cajun music. I think its a wonderful thing for everybody thats involved in the music in Southwest Louisiana. It brings in money, it also promotes creation amongst the musicians themselves.