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The top-hatted rocker on comas, cars and cooking shows.

Where's the top hat?

I don't really wear the hat around that much. I used to, but now it's just too recognizable. I love wearing them at shows and all, but when I go out in the street with one on, people act funny, like I'm the poor man's Mickey Mouse. It's just a $35 hat. I guess people notice the leather pants too, but that's different. They're the only pants I've got; I've been wearing them forever.

Did your friends tease you the first time you showed up somewhere in leather pants?

No, I was 14 the first time I wore a pair. Even then, everyone knew I was going to be a rocker, so they just seemed to fit. I found my first pair by the trash chute in my family's building. I was psyched. I didn't wash them or anything. I just put them on. I think they might have been Rod Stewart's drummer's - he lived in our building - but I didn't want to ask. I was just happy to have a pair.

Don't you ever get dressed up?

Not really, well... I had to get dressed up and go to court, but it's not my style.

What were you busted for?

I guess I smoke a lot; in the shower, on the toilet; in bed, everywhere. So I'm in this bathroom on a plane, and the stewardess starts banging on the door. I must've set off the smoke alarm or something. It was really embarrassing; everyone on the plane knew what happened. That's a federal offense, did you know that? I didn't.

What else do you do in your spare time? Is it true you're a fan of the Cooking Channel?

Yeah. It's not that I cook or anything, I just need something going on in the background while I do other stuff. I have this thing at home called Channel 80. It's super-hardcore, nonstop 24-hour porn. Whenever I'm recording in my studio I have it on. All other times it's either Discovery or The Cooking Channel. Emerl's a rock star, but I still like the old Galloping Gourmet.

I heard your house was robbed. Was it an inside job?

I don't know who did it yet. They took all kinds of stuff; mikes, studio gear, 11 guitars. They even took my rock-star stuff,a ll my top hats but one. These guys knew who they were robbing, so they better watch their ass. There's only so many places you can sell that stuff, so when they try, I'm going to hear about it, trust me. When I find them, it will definitely be an unfortunate day.

Have you ever put someone in a coma?

Not that I know of, but apparently I've been in a couple. I don't know why, I just woke up, and the doctor told me I'd been clinically dead. It was during my drug days.

Any regrets from those days?

Only two. I wish I had never pawned my BC Rich guitar; it was one of my first good guitars. Now I have like 80 or 90, but my whole career started on that guitar. It's out there somewhere. Some snotty kid's probably got it sitting in his closet behind his Erector set. It's really got some history; I'd give anything to get it back. The other regret's getting married. I'm not built for it.

What was the first car you trashed?

I haven't trashed too many cars, but one time I borrowed a car from a friend - Tom Keenan, the guy we wrote "It's So Easy" for. Anyway, I lost it. I was so wasted, I just parked it in the wrong subterranean garage. I stumbled home and passed out, but we couldn't find it. He was pissed, but back then, I didn't even have any money, so he got over it.

Which car would you rather have: KITT or the General Lee?

If I had to choose betweeen those two, I guess the General Lee is more my style. But why can't I have Herbie the Love Bug, or even better, the Aston Martin from James Bond?

OK, I'll let you have the Bond car, but who would you eject?

There is one guy I'd like to eject. I can't tell you his name, but I think you know who it is.