Part of the job here at Rocks Off - this daily Make-A-Wish kid circus - is talking to musicians and people in the musical know.
One of the most fun parts of the job is booking an interview with an artist coming to town and cramming for a few days into the nooks and crannies of their career so you don't ask questions like color preference or favorite food. It's also sometimes a challenge to not geek out into the phone a la Chris Farley and Paul McCartney's sweaty exchange on Saturday Night Live.
The goal is to ask these people things that other journalists haven't thought to ask them so they have to veer off the PR script that is sitting in front of them and make them sound human, instead of glad-handing love-bots. In turn, this gives you, our beloved readers, a glimpse into a musician's world that you can't get anywhere else.
Like asking Violent J of Insane Clown Posse yesterday how he shoots Faygo bottles out of his hands. Or the time we ended up talking about the Stooges with Henry Rollins for 10 minutes instead of staying on track and yakking about his speaking tour. Billy Corgan railing for 20 minutes about the current state of rock was something we didn't expect.
We will never forget talking to Katy Perry while we were hung over, and her purring into the phone at us when we brought up pizza. It was one of the most erotic moments of our young life. Oh, and her calling Madonna the c-word was fun. It rhymes with bunt, by the way.
We attach these cords and recorders to our phones at the office to record our conversations with these people. Sometimes they don't work, or we push the wrong button, and we only record our own voice for half an hour. Hearing yourself talk to Hank3 isn't too interesting, quite honestly.
Every few weeks we ask the Twitter and Facebook Rocks Off followers what they would ask a musician of their choice, given the chance. We kept a log of the best ones for you.
"Stevie Ray Vaughan, why don't you consider not taking the helicopter tonight?"
We wish Stevie was still alive too, but we bet he would just tour with John Mayer and bore all the college chicks.
"Shannon Hoon, instead of playing Numbers tonight, how about you and me just go grab some beers?"
Hoon died in 1995 after allegedly buying a vast amount of drugs at the Montrose goth haven and overdosing on the Blind Melon tour bus on the way to New Orleans.
"Neko Case, will you play a Houston show if I beg? And what's your favorite book?"
One thing at a time, Romeo.
"Elliott Smith. Seriously? Why? Plus, a series of questions interrupted by intense bawling."
Yeah, we never got to see him do a Disney soundtrack or tour with Monsters of Folk.
"Jimi Hendrix, do you regret that the last thing you ate was a tuna sandwich?"
Is that true? We would've assumed it would have been groupie panties or something cool.
"Kurt Cobain, who really killed you?"
Fame, excess, drugs, or the missus?
"Hey, Salieri, Y U KILL MOZART?"
"Hey John Lennon, what do you think of punk rock?"
We always wanted to know this too. Maybe he thought it was dull? Too loud?
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"Hey Les Claypool, why did you waste your time auditioning for those losers in Metallica?"
Yes, bassist Claypool auditioned for Metallica in 1986 after the death of bassist Cliff Burton. Imagine the possibilities.