Aug 262010

For some time The Back Office and I have discussed the concept of running one-question interviews. In fact, we tried to nail down such an interview once, when we were approached to review Eagles guitarist Don Felder’s autobiography. The one-question interview is best reserved for major artists who are too busy to sit down with us for an extended chat. The question should be a question that you feel only you have the insight and balls to ask. Felder’s camp considered our offer, but he was already booked for some 2:00 am appearance on CMT.

For years prior to launching Rock Town Hall I’ve kept a pocketful of single questions that I would ask some of my favorite artists, if I ever had the chance to run into them.

For instance, I’d ask Roy Wood what it feels like to have had Jeff Lynne suck the creative blood out of him in as brazen and desparate a fashion as Klaus Kinski’s Nosferatu.

I might ask Brian Eno if what sounds like purposely sloppy tape splices made during the rests in the solo of “Needles in the Camel’s Eye” were done with a purpose.

And I’d definitely ask Martin Scorsese if the gangland killing montage in Goodfellas is in any way an homage to a similarly beautiful and vengeful killing spree in Kurusawa’s Ran.

Sure, these may be serious mouth-breather questions, but if you’ve only got one question to ask a favorite artist what would it be?


  16 Responses to “One-Question Interviews”

  1. misterioso

    My interview with Rod Stewart would consist of this question: “Rod, when you sold your soul to Satan did you handle the deal directly or did you work through your agent?”

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    I would actually ask Roy Wood: “Howcum all your solo albums sound like they were recorded and mixed on a cassette 4-track?”

    Seriously, that’s the burning question I’ve had for Roy for YEARS.

  3. To Lennon:

    After spending 13 years or so with the greatest sidemen of all time, what chemical does one have to take on a frequent basis to allow one’s self to choose new musical companions such as Phil Spector, Elephants’ Memory, Harry Nilsson, Yoko, Jack Douglas (or, for that matter, any buffoon involved in the Double Fantasy sessions).

    E. Pluribus

  4. Mr. Moderator

    GREAT questions, you three. Keep ’em coming!

  5. mockcarr

    I’d ask Green Day how come they never change their drum sound.

  6. junkintheyard

    To Dylan:

    Given the Bootlegs version of “Idiot Wind” where you are actually holding a decent melody, and therefore the obviously sabotaged “Blood on the Tracks” version- have you considered a vocal coach?

  7. i’d punch Pete Doerty in the fuckin face.

  8. misterioso

    “Robbie, do you ever watch the interview segments in The Last Waltz and want to never stop punching yourself?”

  9. hrrundivbakshi

    “Mick Taylor, seriously — how deeply do you resent being ripped off by the Stones?

  10. misterioso

    “Lou, Metal Machine Music. Really?”

  11. Speaking of Double Fantasy, I noted in the latest Mojo that Yoko must be in need of a cash infusion. John’s 70th birthday is coming up and that can only signify one thing – public relations synergy for more of the same. Or as Mojo puts it “the remastering of John Lennon’s solo LPs plus other ‘stand-out recordings’, to be released to commemorate Lennon’s 70th birthday on October 9.”

    And that includes a two disc version of Double Fantasy with a second disc called Double Fantasy Stripped Down (I guess Double Fantasy…Naked came in second place) which, Yoko explains, “allows us to focus our attention on John’s amazing vocals…by stripping down some of the instrumentation the power of the songs shines through with an enhanced clarity.”

  12. misterioso

    A Double Fantasy stripped of crappy production and Yoko’s songs would not be without merit. Better, a combined best of Double Fantasy/Milk and Honey, completely remixed and sans Yoko’s “contributions.”

    Just Like) Starting Over
    Cleanup Time
    I’m Losing You
    Beautiful Boy
    Watching The Wheels
    Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him (Lennon vocal version)
    I’m Stepping Out
    I Don’t Wanna Face It
    Nobody Told Me
    Borrowed Time

    And just to be fair, Yoko’s “Walking on Thin Ice,” which is pretty cool.

  13. yeah i could deal wit dat!

  14. ladymisskirroyale

    Grant McLennan and Robert Forster: “Did either of you ever have a positive relationship?”

  15. “Ry Cooder, seriously — how deeply do YOU resent being ripped off by the Stones?”

  16. BigSteve

    “Isn’t it time to start wearing a shirt, Iggy?”

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