Nov 132009

It’s generally acknowledged that Ray Manzarek is the most annoying interview for music fans to have to sit through in all of rock history. Even the 36-second clip of an upbeat Ray talking about the continued popularity of The Doors is a little annoying. Beyond Manzarek, however, there’s probably some strong competition for the #2 slot. This came up recently while I told my close personal friend, Townsman andyr, about a the Lynyrd Skynyrd portion of a surprisingly good Al Kooper interview that I read in TapeOp.

“Oh man,” he said at the mere mention of Kooper’s name, “he’s a close second to Ray Manzarek for most-annoying interview in rock!”

I agreed, although his recent TapeOp interview is surprisingly free of all the things that typically bug me about listening to an Al Kooper interview: the “Like a Rolling Stone” story; the inflated notion that “This Diamond Ring” is a good song; the notion that Blood, Sweat & Tears was in any way a worthwhile contribution to humanity. Beyond content, though, maybe what annoys us about some interview subjects is their delivery. Following is Kooper telling his most tired tale:

Here you can find a whole 20 minutes of Kooper on NPR’s Fresh Air, wheeling out all the self-aggrandizing tales in that faux low-key hipster way that is meant to suggest his shit doesn’t smell. Ugh.

Until proven otherwise, Al Kooper gets my vote for second-most annoying rocker to have to listen to interviewed. Agree or disagree?


  9 Responses to “After Ray Manzarek, Who Is the Most-Annoying Interview in Rock?”

  1. I’m going for Bono. Despite being a massively popular rocker who has become a regular face in the upper echelons of political circles, he still always seems to sound like he is talking fluff.

  2. I personally can’t stand Joan Baez for her continued condescension toward “Bobby” Dylan and how scruffy and rube-like he was at one time. I guess its her defense against realizing that the only reason people want to talk to her is about Dylan.

  3. Mr. Moderator

    Bono was one of the other contenders who came to mind for me, cher. Worth consideration!

    Baez is interesting, and it raises the side topic of which artist is responsible for the most otherwise easily dismissable artists to continue to get “gigs” as interview subjects. If not for Dylan, for instance, think of all the minor artists like Baez and Kooper who would be footnotes in rock history.

  4. I’d go to the mat for Baez. She both has an unexpected sense of humor and seems very realistic about her position relative to Dylan. Compare her interview segments to Maria Muldaur’s in the Scorcese documentary. somehow every MM story about Dylan seems to somehow reduce him to a bit player in he 60’s. Baez stopped being insufferable around the time of the Rolling Thunder Tour. I’m not a big fan, but folks should really catch up with the times. That was 35 years ago.

  5. BigSteve

    Richard Lloyd

  6. I swear if I ever have to hear Mickey Dolenz say that The Monkees becoming a “real band similar to Leonard Nimoy becoming a Vulcan” one more time!

    Sir Paul can be pretty bad, too. He’s so rehearsed and canned. Did anybody see The Beatles Anthology? Paul was the original “I’m on a Boat!” guy…


  7. Henry Rollins has become an “expert” on way too many subjects for my liking. If you want to interview him about 80s LA punk, I can stomach that, but I don’t need him to weigh in on all kinds of different topics.
    pretty annoying.

  8. mikeydread

    Bono. Check his buttock-clenching awfulness in the Leonard Cohen doco. And just about every other time his great round pudding head appears on a screen.

    Bono simply cannot help himself from taking in great hyperbole, giving his subject a tongue bath in the process. When Bono hoves into view I’m mentally reaching for the pause button.

    On the other hand it’s always nice to be surprised by an interviewee. Chris Hillman for example in the Gram Parsons doco comes across as a thoroughly decent and sane chap.

  9. I’ll put a vote in for Bono, as well. I know, big surprise.

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