Here's a vintage, and utterly wonderful interview from the 1990s with Lux Interior and Ivy Rorschach of The Cramps. Dig Lux's beautiful outfit and pearl necklace! The lovely rock and roll duo charm their way through some typical chat show questions, riddled with a bit of Letterman-esque irony. You figure this was buried in local late night tv (Lux mentions fans masturbating in the front row in Europe, while in the US critics scribble away--entirely different modes of response!) Lux and Ivy seemed always gracious and calm in interview settings, leaving all the pathos and angst for the proscenium. Thanks so much for bringing this one to light, Conrad Holt!
Stumbled across this really interesting interview with Marcel Duchamp, who did record quite a number of interviews both on film and tape but not nearly as many as you would hope. Such a lively interviewee who was frequently asked to cover the same material, but usually he didn't respond in exactly the same way, often with a twist and some exertion of his considerable charm. I also highly recommend the book published last year of Calvin Tomkins' 1964 conversations with Duchamp entitled The Afternoon Interviews.
I'm feeling pretty punchy and irreverent, due to teaching, prep, and the decompression from both those previous activities and it's only mid-week! Yikes! In this state I was especially glad to run across an interview with my local art critical colleague (and writer of terrific fiction as well) Megan Dunn in Victoria University's Salient magazine. That is to say, Megan is a superlative conversationalist, witty, irreverent and engaging and this totally comes across in this short piece, stay tuned for such fascinating anecdotes as Kylie Minogue confronting a Jake and Dinos Chapman work...but lest I spoil the fun...also I will take this opportunity to call attention to Megan's wonderful piece Submerging Artist, posted last year. Like an increasing number of wordsmiths, Megan also has an informative Twitter feed. Man, I've gotta get with the program.
The folklorist Alan Lomax (1915-2002) was a pretty impressive individual. Recorder of many unknown musicians in the midst of their daily lives, as well as such figures as Woody Guthrie, Huddie Ledbetter (aka “Leadbelly”), Muddy Waters, and Jelly Roll Morton. With the recent Coen Bros movie taking on in satirical fashion the folk music revival of the 1960s, I thought it could be interesting for some to see this lively 1991 interview conducted by journalist Charles Kuralt with Lomax, who was a very unconventional fellow for his time, and as is clearly evidenced here, quite a talker. From the interview’s first part, Lomax describes the role of the folklorist:
“I think our job is to represent all the submerged cultures of the world. You and your CBS and all your big amusement industries represent a way of silencing everybody. You know communication was supposed to be two-way, but it’s turned out to be basically one-way. From those people who can afford to own a transmitter which costs a few million dollars to a little guy who can afford to buy a receiver which only costs a few bucks. … I think the most important thing anyone can do is to try and restore the balance. I call this cultural equity. The slogan is every culture with its equal time on the air and in the classroom. Cultural equity should join all the other principles of human dignity. … Freedom for every culture to express itself cause that’s all we’ve got you know. Culture … Human beings are about 98 % culture and 2 % individuals.”
For more on Lomax check out the Alan Lomax Archive at: http://www.culturalequity.org/. And jazz historian John Szwed (who previously wrote biographies on Miles Davis and Sun Ra) wrote a fascinating book on Lomax recently entitled The Man Who Recorded the World (2011).