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xmag.com : March 2001:A whore like the rest

 

"...offensive, repellent, repulsive and totally without redeeming social anything."

--Liza Williams, head o' publicity for Capitol Records,
on Meltzer's scribblings.

 

Well, seein' as how I'm rearin' to get the hell outta this burg, I gotta tie up/cut off the loose ends, right? And seein' as how there are no more cowboys out here in the storied West, a gal's gotta invent 'em, right? But there's still tequila, and there's still RICHARD MELTZER. I've had Meltzer in my sights (for an interview, jackass) for ever-so-long...but was waiting 'til I finished his latest book, A Whore Like the Rest, ya know? But Meltzer can be an--er--challenging read. Witness this CCR review from Creem, circa 1971:

"You you you kinda kinda kinda get get get the the the impression pression pression that that that Creedence Creedence Creedence Clearwater water water keeps keeps keeps doing doing doing the the the same same..."

You get the idea. But then, as he says in the intro, "....rock repeats itself more than any of us ever could." And HE SHOULD KNOW!! He was there since the beginning!! And, to those of us who still CARE about the genre, he's a god of sorts. Cuz, see, he wrote the book on rock criticism, and back when it mattered, back before the rules got invented. Back when he could make up fake interviews with Andy Warhol or title reviews "Hot Tuna is Hot Fuckin' Shit" and "What a Goddam Great Second Cream Album." Back when--get this!--rock criticism was regarded as an art form in itself!! Perhaps even equivalent to plain ol' rocking!! Jimi Hendrix read the first US review of his shit--by Meltzer--and shook the guy's hand and said, "You were stoned when you wrote that, right?" AND IT DON'T GET NO BETTER THAN THAT. Not if you live in Viva's world...

Of course, calling a spade a spade has never been too popular, and Meltzer probably got kicked out of more magazines, parties, and concerts than he got invited to (and by the likes of Rolling Stone and Bill Graham, no less). A goddam COWBOY.

Unbelievably, a fishwrapper still prints his heatseaking missives. The San Diego Chronicle seems to know what it's got, and once even let Meltzer weigh in on a Pat Benatar show (11/28/97) thusly:

"ROCK DEATHS THIS WEEK: Art Garfunkel (stroke)...Van Morrison (smallpox)...Mark Mothersbaugh (crushed by falling safe)...Belinda Carlisle (contract killing)...Richard Hell (natural causes)...Cat Stevens (don't ask), Steven Tyler (deviated face).

"STILL LIVING:...Pat Benatar."

But enough slanderous accolades. I'll let the man speak for himself. AND HE DID! For two hours of tape! Yikes. That's well over 3000 words, here chopped
to bits so you can see more nubile ho's on the following pages. 'S alright. Cuz everyone who knows knows there ain't nuthin' better in this world than a nubile ho, and one thing's FOR SURE--no one knows this better than
RICHARD MELTZER!!

"The sixties were the only time since TV came to take over when kids stopped
watching television... So they had to figure out a way where this would never
happen again, and that was MTV."

 

(We begin our interview after Viva and Richard have been philosophizing extensively on Valentine's Day, the horrors of romantic love, the different kinds of pain this life has to offer, how all love leads to grief, but how people would rather hurt than feel nothing, right? Otherwise HOW DO YA KNOW IF YOU'RE ALIVE?? RIGHT??)

 

VIVA: So, uh, my questions...What song, if you can remember, did you lose your virginity to?

Meltzer: Well, there wasn't music playing.

VIVA: What?!?

Meltzer: See, once upon a time rock 'n' roll was not always playing. In fact, it wasn't until the early eighties that I realized you had this state of sound everywhere. So, when I first got laid, I think it was the spring weekend of 1963 or 4...went to school on Long Island....

VIVA: And it was quiet.

Meltzer: Yeah...in my college dorm room with some horrible person named Enid Levine, and she became my first official girlfriend and now, in retrospect, was the second or third worst girlfriend I ever had.

VIVA: Well, what would you say is the best music to get laid to?

Meltzer: It doesn't mean that much to me. I guess I'd prefer that the music not be too loud. But usually, cuz I'm such a gent, I would let the woman pick the music. And there are certain musics I would not listen to. I wouldn't listen to show music. I wouldn't wanna hear Madonna, or Billy Joel. But the point is, I've had sex with women who listen to Melanie, you know? She's someone who had a song called "I Don't Eat Animals (Cuz I love'Em)." She was this fat chick who sang bad songs about things you weren't interested in. But I remember being with some woman who had a Melanie album. The sex act crosses all cultural barriers, you know? Yourself?

VIVA: I dunno...Led Zeppelin...

Meltzer: You like Led Zeppelin? I never liked Led Zeppelin cuz I saw them as being kinda the nail in the coffin of the British Invasion....an overkill version of lesser Stones. They seemed cheesy. They always seemed like a comedy act to me.

VIVA: Well, that's really all I heard in high school. Kinda the soundtrack to my sexual beginnings, I guess. "I Can't Quit You Baby." They're all just old blues covers.

Meltzer: I've been listening to a lot of very old blues, and there's this cut "Ham Hound Crave" by Rube Lacy. He recorded maybe two or four sides back in 1927, and then he was afraid he'd go to hell so he became a minister. But he did what I think is like the ultimate rock 'n' roll cut; it has this line, "I don't want no kissin'/ don't need no huggin'/ momma got a ham-bone/ I wonder can I get it boiled?" 1927! It doesn't get any better than that. He recorded a great thing and then he gave it up. He was really onto something. And I think that rock 'n' roll was much better served when it was just fish-fry music, you know, pass the hat and here have a drink of this. Just a ritual music for creating this frenzy.

VIVA: Yes. Gettin' the panties wet.

Meltzer: Does music itself ever get your panties wet?

VIVA: Yeah, sure!

Meltzer: Really? Cuz music itself has never made me stiff. It's the thoughts themselves.

VIVA: So, is there a worse time to be alive than right now?

Meltzer: No.

VIVA: I agree. And it's only gonna get worse.

Meltzer: It always gets worse! But the fifties were pretty bad. If rock 'n' roll hadn't come along to redeem the fifties...the best you could've hoped for was to grow up to wear a tie to work every day. But then when I was eleven years old, I saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show the night before I was going to go to junior high for the first time. It was insane! The sound delivered me to a different place, and it did this for a hundred million kids! My parents could never tell me what kind of clothes to wear ever again, or how to comb my hair. I'd seen this movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Kevin McCarthy. In it these pods take over and turn everybody into these unfeeling androids. And Kevin McCarthy is on to it, "what are we gonna do?!?!" And in the end he just about gives up and has this look of surrender, it's the end of the world. And Elvis had the same exact look! I don't even think I related to it sexually. It was just the madness of it. He had the same look as this guy in a monster movie, and yet it was celebration. It reminded me of monster movies and wrestling.

VIVA: And for an eleven-year-old, that's the height of it, huh?

Meltzer: Yes! And wrestling was good then! I can't even watch wrestling today.

VIVA: Now they've got that wrestling football team where hopefully people will actually die. That's what the consumer wants to see.

Meltzer: The XFL. When's that on?

VIVA: I dunno, but I hear about it all the time. People love it. Real blood! Reality is getting to be something you only experience on TV.

Meltzer: Yeah, and that's what's so bad about it. What the sixties were was the only time since TV came to take over when kids stopped watching television. There were things to do! You know, play some sides, smoke some dope and if all else failed, you'd smoke more dope and turn on the TV with the sound off and make fun of it. That was the only function of TV: a joke. So they had to figure out a way where this would never happen again, and that was MTV.

VIVA: That's the nail in the teenage coffin, huh? Jesus. So, what's the best Dylan album?

Meltzer: Time Out of Mind. The thing that got me was that it's the most fully evolved, fully developed album on the theme of death and dying. Every cut is about "Going down the road..I'm bound in irons...they're taking me to the train....trying to get to heaven before they close the door..." It really got to me.

VIVA: Best Stones record?

Meltzer: Aftermath. It was the first album they did where they wrote everything on it.

VIVA: Who's better, the Beatles or the Stones?

Meltzer: The Beatles. Without the Beatles you have no Stones. They were totally influenced by the Beatles.

VIVA: The Beatles get such a bad rap...

Meltzer: Cuz of McCartney.

VIVA: And their songs aren't as clearly about fucking, I think.

Meltzer: Well that's a fact.

VIVA: What's the best rock song of all time?

Meltzer: Have you heard of "Fat Man" by Fats Domino? Some people consider it the first rock song as such. It's from 1949. The lyric is, "They call me the fat man cuz I weigh 200 pounds. But the girls they love me cuz I know the way around." Two sentences! The Ramones always reminded me of Fats Domino. He was a real dumb guy who just had this primitive grasp of music. And the Ramones were just dumb guys who kept it simple and did sorta similar music.

VIVA: Who's sexier, Patti Smith or Debbie Harry?

Meltzer: How about neither? Patti Smith I knew as a friend, a good friend. The day Jim Morrison died we sat around in our underwear and drank 151 and listened to Doors records. I'd lay my head on her tits or put my hands on her cunt, but never fucked her.

VIVA: I hear she has great tits.

Meltzer: She has enormous tits! She'd wear these outfits so that ya never knew, but she had great tits. She was in many ways a very girly-girly girl. I didn't see anything androgynous in her at all. You know, she smelled like a mammal, I found her very appealing. But the second she transformed herself into a rocker chick she went from being completely real to completely fake.

VIVA: Do you still have a Patti Smith pubic hair mounted somewhere?

Meltzer: I don't know if I ever really did...I had a hair, and I remember putting it into my wallet. There was one occasion when we were sitting around and I said, "Well, Patti, I'd like to fuck you someday, but I guess there's really no rush." And she says, "Yeah, we could do that some time." And I reached into her pants and came out with a hair.

VIVA: Sexiest song of all time?

Meltzer: The first record I bought, Elvis's "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel." The greatest two-song single of all time. They're two fuck songs! One of 'em angry and the other not so angry. "Don't Be Cruel" there's a part where he just goes "mmm!" It was just so rude! All these nuances of "uh-fuckah-me-babay."

VIVA: Would you rather go bowhunting with Ted Nugent or drink 'til ya puke with Lemmy Kilmister?

Meltzer: Lemmy for sure. But I don't wanna puke. I don't like puking. I've only puked once since I got to Portland and that was only cuz I drank tequila for the first time in many years. Well, twice, the other time was beer.

VIVA: What color panties are ya wearing and how long have you been wearing them?

Meltzer: Black, and fresh today cuz I took a shower. Yourself?

VIVA: Lessee... Um, I've got cute little gray ones on. T-back with pink zig-zag borders and this naughty little pink ladybug on 'em.

Meltzer: Very nice.


X

 

 

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