By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Otherwise, there was no music in the media at all. There was no pop-rock music in the media, and people forget this also. It was very, very difficult to hear music, and so, therefore, if in life you came across somebody who knew the music you liked, it was extraordinary. But now, of course, it’s blasting everywhere, and it’s background music in television soaps, it’s background music in everything. But it wasn’t the case in the ’70s; it was very, very rare. But now, of course, everybody just sells their soul wherever they can.
But that’s part of the pleasure for a child or a young person, the process — the work you have to do to get music.
For me, it was — I don’t know about now. I think everybody wants everything thrown at them, but for me, the discovery, the search, the digging was half the fun. And you had to work it all out for yourself. What were people saying, why were they making this music, where did they live, what did they do every day? It was all a mystery! But now there’s no mystery at all.
Do you think that there’s a way to somehow get us back toward that time or do you think that it’s over?
I don’t think we can ever go back in any way.
I don’t mean go back, but I mean somehow try to make music special again?
No. No. It’s impossible; it’s all been institutionalized. And it’s so lucrative because it’s so special to people and it’s triggered now?with the major labels, how we will be listening to music forever. We will be listening to the music we love forever, so we might rebuy, rebuy, rebuy the music.
So, no, I think everything has slightly gone to hell. This is why live music is so important, because it’s the only moment when it’s untouched by anybody other than the artist who is singing the song. Unless you’re somebody dreadful like Madonna or Britney Spears, who mime when they’re onstage.
Right, right. So, in a way, do you feel like the live experience is more important now than it was?
I think it’s very important; it is very important. Because it’s undiluted and it’s pure — for better or worse, of course. I’m not saying anybody who stands on a stage and plays . . . [A squirrel hops onto the wall next to us and leans over to check Morrissey out, and he makes squirrel noises with his mouth, holding out his hand. For a moment, it looks like the little guy may jump onto Moz’s forearm, but then he turns around and hops off over the wall.]
He was very interested in you.
Well, he knows. He knows I’m a kind spirit. I have scraped so many squirrels off roads, because often we’re driving and we see a squirrel, and we assume that they’re dead, but they’re not. They’re just concussed. So, I always stop and I always lift them to the side of the road, ’cause otherwise they just get pummeled and pummeled and pummeled. People always assume when they see something on the side of the road or on the road that it’s dead. And it isn’t.
A friend of mine was driving down Melrose and there was a cat in the road that seemed to be flattened, and she drove for a while, and then she turned ’round, she thought, no, I will go and see that cat and lift up the cat and make sure that it’s dead or not dead. Determine whether it’s alive or dead. And she kept the cat for 10 years! [Laughs.] It was alive, but it was just concussed. And people always assume there’s no point trying to help or there’s no point investigating, and it’s a mistake.
Oh my god, I never thought about that.
Well, so, next time you see a squirrel on the road, if its innards are not splayed all over the place, you should stop and make sure and move it.
Do you ever think that there is some kind of karmic — you know, you get help, always get the best parking space or something?
No, I mean, I’m not looking for merit badges and I’m not looking for special praise. It’s just instinctive; if you’re a human being, you don’t like to see anything in distress. This is why the big idea of abattoirs mystifies you completely. If you’re human, you cannot bear to see anything else, any being, suffering — whether it’s human or animal, I think, anyway.
I feel the same way.
Many people do. Once again, it’s a suppressed opinion. We’re meant to believe that the world absolutely loves T-bone steaks and Kentucky Fried Chicken, but it’s all crap. It’s not true. People really care about animals, and people don’t want to kill anything. So, when you see George W. Bush saying, “Can’t wait to cut that pig — cut into that pig tonight,” as he said on television recently, you just think, you idiot, you passé, useless, old-fashioned, redundant idiot.
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