The second in our occasional series of top-notch transcontinental rocknroll conversations tapped out over our gmail IM....
lamont: alex, hi, how are you?
Alex V. Cook: hey good, how are you?
lamont: good, I really wanted to ask you about the subtitle for your book?
Alex V. Cook: It's going to be called, 'Darkness, Racket and Twang - Essential Listening from the Fringes of Popular and Unpopular Music'
lamont: Wow! That's great. That's fantastic! I actually made a sound here alone in my office not un-akin, but not wholly the same, obviously as when I once came up a staircase and found myself 5 feet away from Prince, in full Prince Regalia.
Him, not me.
Alex V. Cook: Cool! Essential Listening from the Fringes of Popular and Unpopular Music it is, then.
Wow. It's hard to imagine Prince in the flesh. I imagine him looking like a porcelein doll or something
lamont: He looked like a great flawless intalian african american
in a purple suit and gloves
Alex V. Cook: nice. I've talked with folks from Minneapolis and they all have a legendary Prince-out-of-context story
lamont: HE spent a little time in Stratford too, and only left the hotel disguised as an old man apparently
Alex V. Cook: like one girl saw him at the public Library with festooned entourage in tow
Alex V. Cook: hm - prince as an old man......he wouldve been the perfect Willy Wonka for the movie
not that johhny Depp did a bad job, but Prince IS willy wonka
lamont: Yes willy wonka, exactly
In some ways he is the fulcrum of the entertainment business
Alex V. Cook: true. one of the few that has universal respect and appeal. The modern elvis or sinatra
nobody comes out and says "I fucking hate Prince"
lamont: Yeah and I think, he enables many of the magnetic fields type band to wear the sweaters
in a way and that makes a sort of anti-Prince statement, remark, anti-showbiz statement. Who wants to see stars who dress like your friends?
Alex V. Cook: One of the times I saw Henry Rollins, he went on a tirade about Prince at the grammys, and how he'd wished bruce springsteen had mopped the floor with the little purple bastard...
lamont: They're both in the same game. Rollins. The TV star. Does anyone even know he used to be a musician?
Alex V. Cook: the deal with Rollins is that he's still telling a story no one is interested in hearing, but he's such a good storyteller that it's still captivating
lamont: People I know don't actually talk about him and they go all the way back to when SST was something. I think people who have known him think him broadly irrelevent.
Like he's the last one you'd get for a minutemen tribute album
Alex V. Cook: oh I bet. I bet Rollins is the white elephant in the room in Los Angeles that no one dares mention
lamont: And when I went to Joe Baiza day - everyone played, George hurley, Mayo Thompson Watt everyone and no Henry
Alex V. Cook: well, what would he do? just go up and muscle-man the UCO songs to death like he did with his Black Sabbath special appearance
lamont : Do you watch his tc show?
Alex V. Cook: no I haven't seen it. I have tivo now so I might try to catch it
lamont: yeah, I fast forward to the musical acts
liked Dinaosaur jr on there but
music on TV is still like soccer on TV - who knows whats really happening
Alex V. Cook: but I lasso him in with Elvis Costello: yes, OK, you meant a lot to me at one point, really, but I'm tired of seeing you all the time
I interviewed the kid form deadboy and the Elelphantmen for 225 a while back, and he was quizzicly excited about appearing on the HR show'
he said, all these big names: Pixies, Radiohead, (someone else big) and then me
lamont: I am unsure how, of all of the big winners and losers of the past 20 years, Henry has pulled it off.
Here, he's on the cable package of the very well to do - Wife-X has just banished it from our houes since we're feeling less well to do, I suppose, - its' despicable this lack of cable choice but thats another matter... So its hard for most people to see him, but his perseverence after 20 years has him nipping at Carson Daly's heels
Alex V. Cook: that's surprising, since LA is where all the cable programming comes from
lamont: They work for the same company don't they?
Alex V. Cook: is IFC a viacom company? which is probably a silly question since I think they are all the same company
lamont: Viacom, maybe, Sundance and IFC - a channel of obvious interest to everyone in LA who watches TV is always on the super premium digital cable level
that is theft I think
Surely you'd want to get your channel on basic cable?
When will it come, where I can choose the ten channels I watch in the summer and the two I watch in the winter? (Lakes home and road games)
Alex V. Cook: dude, that would be the perfect cable solution for me. cafeteria plan...
I have a friend who is now makes an occassional appearance on the Vh-1 I love X shows, and once I told her my theory that HR is gay, and she had a fit. like it was so implausible
lamont: That does not seem in any way implausible to me. That would be a relief
Then I could understand his anger. He might be oppressed then, closets do that to you
Alex V. Cook: well, he wrote that book or whatever about his roommate getting killed
lamont: JOe Cole
I think his name was
Alex V. Cook: and while yes its a tragedy, it seemed to me that there was something deeper than friendship and sharing of the water bill
lamont: Honestly, Americans still want their men to be like James stewart or whomever I read about the other day who slept with hookers to prove he was straight
Alex V. Cook: plus in one of his spoken word things I saw, he went on tangent about subjects that would be a challenge for him to write about and said "What if I tried to write a really steamy gay porn story?" And kinda seemed to chuckle at the concept a little too knowingly
lamont: I flicked through 'Get in the Can' once
It was alright
lamont: Mike Ness who is another, perhaps less serious contender
Alex V. Cook: oh yeah, with the eyeliner and all
like he seemed to be defending the eyeliner thing when no one made an issue of it
Alex V. Cook: I'm just waiting for Toby keith or some big country bohunk to be outed
lamont: I'd like to see a big gay country star I'd be very supportive
Alex V. Cook: I would too. I had some hopes for kenny Chesney after the divorce from what's her face
lamont: oh the country boy who married and divorced the bridget jones actress
Alex V. Cook: yep
lamont: I don't like her - I can't remember her name either
Alex V. Cook: she always looks drunk to me
lamont: good for her
Alex V. Cook: not in a good way
lamont: she's the most ugly unnattractive superstar
I don't get it
Alex V. Cook: its like there is an implosion behind her nose
and her whole face is getting sucked from within
lamont: hahaha! Yesyesyes the chewing thing unsightly
Alex V. Cook: plus getting married to Jack White for 6 months, if that doesn't say "beard" i don't know what does
Cameron Diaz should offer some high-dollar beard lessons
lamont: there aren't many top stars left she hasn't married
Alex V. Cook: maybe Henry Rollins, when he's ready to settle down
she could pack her prada in his milk crate shelves and it would be a hollywood meeting of worlds
lamont: They're probably already neighbours
Alex V. Cook: go to the same gym or something horrible like that
lamont: they have that long beach connection. SST is long beach and so is she
Alex V. Cook: there you go. I bet her vintage Black Flag shirt has been gingerly tossed on the bedpost in a sweaty fit of image-maintenance already, just at our invoking
Alex V. Cook: I think oprah should marry a country singer. that might just unite us as a nation
lamont: and for all this time, people have questioned Oprah's taste. She obviously has a clearer idea about the veracity of country musicians than you or I or she would have gotten herself one by now.
Alex V. Cook: once she gets tired of trying to make us read, she will. When literature gives way, pop country is the obvious next step
Alex V. Cook listens to everything and writes about most of it. His latest book, the snappily titled Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in South Louisiana's Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls is an odyssey from the backwoods bars and small-town dives to the swampside dance halls and converted clapboard barns of a Louisiana Saturday Night. Don't leave Heathrow without it. His first book Darkness Racket and Twang is available from SideCartel. The full effect can be had at alex v cook.com