Interviewed by Shannon Q.

She’s a brainiac, so I expected good questions. I wasn’t disappointed.

1. In what ways are you the same as when you were thirteen? In what ways are you different?

One of the first decisions I can remember making regarding my own life was that I was going to be a definite character and not a jellyfish. Since I was determined to find out who I was and be it to the hilt without moderation, much of my personality was already a settled question by thirteen. By then, I was a curious, loquacious, humorous, affectionate, aggressive, scholarly, soft-hearted, hard-headed little bastard who giggled a lot and had freakish powers of concentration. Ever see a rooster in a barnyard? That was the model of masculine attitude I got from my dad and uncles. The men in my family always thought they were a cut above the rest and I caught this too, as well as their sense of heterosexuality-as-adventure.

The years have tempered all this. Today, I’m less vain and more sure; less hard on myself, more forgiving of others and much gentler with every one and thing. The chief difference is intellectual, of course, since so many of the blanks have long sense been filled in by experience and observation. The curiosity is still there and grows more subtle all the time. There’s also a heightened sense that the world is still FAR bigger than I know. What a wonderfuly detailed and THICK place reality is!

2. Name five influential dead people you’d like to invite to a dinner party. Who would you sit next to whom, and what three topics would you have them discuss?

I would invite Hunter Thompson, Chester Himes, D.B. Cooper and my reverend ancestors, Frank and Jesse James. The dinner (catered by Wolfgang) would take place in a hired conference room high above downtown L.A.. After brandy, whiskey, bluntz and cigars, I would treat my guests to a PowerPoint presentation involving traffic patterns, timetables, routes, vehicle specs and the disposition of a large sum in cash. Cooper might grasp what I’m talking about a little before the others. After imparting my story, I’ll leave them the room and contact information.

3. What form of intoxication or method of mind alteration do you find most felicitous?

After years of tasting and culling, I have to say hallucinogens and meditation serve me best. I’m energetic by nature and don’t like anything speedier than coffee. I gave up wanting to be numb right before I gave up alcohol and junkie girlfriends weaned me away from the needle as effectively as electroshock might’ve. For purposes of altering the inner landscape, yoga and chanting hit every bit as hard as hash and psylocybins.

4. What music was playing during your first sexual experience? If none, what would have been playing had you chosen it?

I can still remember the green dashboard light of her Vega! Late-nite FM radio was playing and “Fanny Be Tender (With My Love)” by the Bee Gees came up just after I went into her mouth. She was much older, but no one was EVER tenderer or more sympathetic…

5. Who are your top five most overrated musicians?

1) EMINEM It’s difficult to honor the tough-guy persona of someone who looks like he’d break in two if looked at slantwise.
2) THE GRATEFUL DEAD Their music is simply dull and the fact it survived and prevailed had more to do with marketing than anything else.
3) BILLY JOEL has no redeeming features. He’s simply a nightmare of banality and possibly the worst pop songwriter of all time.
4) NINE INCH NAILS is music for people who hate music.
5) It’s difficult to assess LED ZEPPELIN’s actual contribution to rock ‘n roll, since so much of their catalog (including their best-known song) was directly swiped from other, better musicians. I also find Robert Plant’s voice hammy and irritating, sort of a Freddy Mercury without the sense of humor. He’d have to stand on David Bowie’s shoulders to kiss Burton Cummings’ ass.

Remember, kidz, in order to play this game you must–

1. Leave me a comment asking for an interview.
2. I respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


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