1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life? (I should say that all-in-all, my stupidity has ended up bouncing back and teaching me a very, very valuable lesson each time. So, I don’t necessarily regret the stupid stuff. Like the fixer says- “get addicted to….” but I thank whatever god is listening that I was lucky enough to become an addict, because when I finally cleaned up, I had a better life than before I went down the rabbit hole. So…. with that in mind… I am going to try and focus on things that caused other people pain. Those are the stupidest things I can think of…)
a) Been a promiscuous asshole because I could be a promiscuous asshole in my early-20s. (So many amends to make…)
b) Insulted the head of A&R for RCA records when he took me and the rest of band out for dinner at the Austin Grill. (read: NOT cheap.) I don’t really care that it torpedoed any deal we might have had with RCA. That’s beside the point. The point is that this guy took us out to a $200+ dinner and we were ASSHOLES. (It was a combination of road fatigue, industry mistrust and general brattiness.) I tracked the guy down last winter (ten years later!) and apologized.
c) I trusted someone else to do the books and handle huge aspects of my career as a musician, and I got fucked for it. It wasn’t anything personal. It was just incompetence all the way around the table. I learned from it, and I don’t know that I would change anything, but it took me eight years to dig myself out.
2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?
My lovely and gentle wife. The collective will of my new band is important to me, too, but it’s a distant second place. My folks and step-folks get smarter and smarter the older I get, too…
3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?
-My paternal grandfather (He died before I really knew him, but I think he was a lot like Mark Twain, if my memory serves me…)
-George Orwell (he’d have to make the tea. He’s kind of picky.)
-Ernesto Che Guevera
-Audrey Hepburn (she sits next to me.)
-Don Pablo Neruda
Hm… Looking at this list, I can’t help it… other than Ms. Hepburn, I feel like this is a real sausage party. I wouldn’t mind adding Simone de Beauvoir, Frida Kahlo, Dorothy Parker and Marla Ruzicka.
4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?
I want my old dog‘s passage into the next world to be painless. He’s old and it’s about time to let him go. I don’t want him to be afraid or sad.
I want the Iraq war to end, end soon and end well. (Yeah, I know, fat fucking chance.)
I want America to be the greatest nation on earth again. I want us to lead the world in Justice, peacemaking, exporting of technology, doctors, fairness and TRUE democracy.
5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.
Two things it’s a shame we don’t have:
1. a Vietnamese (or dim sum) restaurant.
2. a theater like the Springer.
1. Football game days at UGA. Good lord, what a seething mass of idiot flesh.
2. If you’re not used to serious heat and humidity, August as a whole should be avoided.
6. Name one event that has changed your life.
I am a human ping pong ball. Breakfast can change my life.
OH! OK, here’s one- when I was 20, I was dating a woman who became pregnant. She promptly left me. My life pitched headlong into chaos, depression and guilt. I dropped out of school and ended up homeless and sleeping on couches as I beat myself up for 1. not having the foresight to prevent an accidental pregnancy, 2. being unable to provide for this woman and child, and 3. being “unworthy” of her love and fealty. (Look, I was 20.) Eighteen or so months later, I discovered that the child wasn’t mine. Those eighteen months were the wake-up call that I wasn’t as special or different as my folks had told me, that life was going to happen to me on life’s terms and that there was a lot of shit that I couldn’t control. It was the hardest year and a half of my life, and I think that’s when I did the most growing up in the least amount of time of my adult life.
7. Tag 5 people.