You were one of the first women to be a rock critic. What made you decide to break into that field?
Well, basically it was just because I loved the music so much. Not being a musician, that was pretty much the only way I could get into it.
Yeah, thatís pretty much true for a lot of us. That was pretty much a male dominated thing at the time. Was it difficult to get into that field? Were there any obstacles?
It wasnít really difficult to get in because of the publisher of Jazz And Pop magazine which is where I went to work in 1968. It had started in 1962 as Jazz magazine published by Pauline Rivelli and in 1967 I think the August issue, she had turned it into Jazz And Pop to include the progressive rock that was just coming really in around then. Monterrey had just happened and she was really inspired by that. Thatís how she got into it and then she was pretty much putting it out single-handedly. It was just herself and a sort of secretary assistant and then somebody else but nobody else really wrote except on an ad hoc kind of basis. I had written her a letter in I guess around September or so of 1967 and just asked please, is there anything I can do to help anybody and then she wrote back and said sure so I started there early the following year. It was basically another early case of women helping women.
Thatís awesome. September of 1967. I had only been in the world for one month.
There you go. How things have changed.
Yeah, it sure has. You think about it so many years later, 40 years later, there are more female journalists and female musicians out there.
Well, people donít really think about what it was like back then. When I graduated from college in June of 1967, it was still legal to say M or F in employment ads, in classified ads for work. All the male jobs were really cool and promotable and all the F jobs simply required typing.
People had really antiquated notions about women back then.
It was only just beginning to get started that women were beginning to protest that sort of treatment and rightly so. Even then it was all trivialized. Everybody was like ďoh yeah, youíre a feminist. Youíre into burning bras.Ē Well, no. It means Iím into equal pay for equal work and all sorts of other good things. Are you into those things too? Well, yeah, surprise! Youíre a feminist. They basically didnít want to get tarred with the label I suppose. It was all extremely annoying. It was like trying to run in the ocean. It just sapped so much of your energy up front before you even started to get anything accomplished. Quite maddening really.
Yeah, because you always had to explain yourself and you had to work twice as hard as a guy to get the same kind of recognition.
Whatís really bad is that you would think here in the United States we would progress forward and we have to a certain extent. But for every step that we take forward, we seem to go two steps back. Now all of a sudden I see all of these websites popping up saying that women are really inferior because of this, that, and the other. All these old antiquated notions about women and minorities are starting to pop up again. Itís like a vicious cycle.
It is and I blame young people a lot for that. Especially young women because they seem to think that all the battles are fought and they donít have to do a damn thing.
Theyíre so wrong and they also trash the pioneers such as myself and Pauline. She was ahead of the curve. She was about 10 years older than I was and she was one of the first liberated women around anywhere. Doing what had been traditionally regarded as a manís job. Women donít start magazines about music yet she did and she did just fine.
I can understand why people are down about voting because it always seems like you have to vote for the lesser of the two evils and the Fortune 500 basically picks which two candidates youíre going to vote for and so are you going to vote for asshole number one or asshole number two. I vote because there were women who put their very lives on the line to give me that right and I owe them that much.
Absolutely. People went to jail for it.
I think women owe it to the women who came before them to go out and fucking vote.
And it wasnít even all that long ago. My mom was born the year that women got the vote. Sheís still around and sheís been voting every year she could obviously. People really do take it for granted. It isnít a god given right. Itís something that people had to fight for. And guys too. There were plenty of male suffragists out there as well. It wasnít just chicks.
Letís face it, you do have to have their help sometimes.
And sometimes we like it. I donít mind having a door opened for me every now and again as long as I reserve the right to do the same myself.
Thatís just good manners.
Exactly. Turn about is fair play.
This happens at work a lot. If I walk in a door behind a guy, heíll hold the door open for me whether I come in ahead of him or behind him. You walk through a door behind a woman and sheíll let the damn door slam in your face.
I know. It doesnít make any sense. As you say, itís all about good manners.
Absolutely. When you started writing for that magazine, were The Doors one of the first bands you wrote about or did they come along later?
They were my favorite band with The Airplane. The two of them were my complete favorites. I wasnít really into The Grateful Dead so much. I admired them as musicians and I thought they were really great people but I really didnít care for the music. It didnít move me so much. They were my second year with Quicksilver Messenger Service and even there I say itís The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. The Airplane and The Doors were really my two bands of choice.
I think the Grateful Dead is an acquired taste. When I was in the Air Force I was like 18 or 19 years old at the time and it was so funny. We lived in a coed dorm so most of my neighbors were guys. You shared a bathroom with girls on the other side. I had one neighbor that was a total Doors fan. He had Doors shit all over his room and the guy on the other side was a total KISS fan so his room was decorated like that. There was a guy upstairs that was totally into David Bowie so his room was all set up like that.
I have to admit that KISS is my favorite out of all the bands I listen to but I listen to a lot of different people. Any time you wanted to get a good dose of Doors music or KISS music or whatever, you just went to the appropriate room. How did you meet up with The Doors? Did you just start interviewing them?
Yeah, I started out doing little critical pieces and column gossipy kind of stuff and then I got into reviews right away. Interviews were never really my favorite thing to do but obviously the people I wanted to meet were The Airplane and The Doors which I got to meet really right away. The Doors not as much. I started as I said in Ď68 at the magazine and I didnít meet Jim until the following January of Ď69. They didnít come to New York all that often even though Iíd seen them a lot in the very, very early days when they were playing the tiny clubs like The Scene and Ondineís and places like that. Then when ďLight My FireĒ hit, they started doing bigger venues and they opened at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium for Simon and Garfunkel which was definitely a strange bit of programming to say the least. Half of the audience was there for them and half were there for Paul and Artie and never the twain shall meet. There was a lot of bad feeling amongst the audience either way. They did some very odd things booking wise at the Tennis Stadium. There was another double bill that had Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees.
Youíve got to be kidding me.
They both wanted something out of it. Jimi wanted exposure and The Monkees wanted cred. I guess to some booking agent it seemed like a match made in heaven. Jimi got really pissed because The Monkees fans started yelling at him the way the Simon and Garfunkel fans started yelling at The Doors and he actually walked off the stage. Then there was a story put out a couple of days later that said, I donít know, that he had gotten threats from the DAR. It was really weird. Thatís the way it was. But the great thing of it was that you could see people like that in tiny, little clubs the size of your living room which you never could. I saw The Airplane I guess for the first time in early í67 I guess it was. Yeah, it must have been at the Cafť Au-Go-Go in the West Village. It was literally a room no wider than my apartment and the stage was no bigger than a double bed. Then there was the band and then a little space and then a table against a brick wall. I sat right there and let them blast me into oblivion. My ears were ringing for three days afterwards. It was fantastic. You could reach out and touch them. Thatís what was so great. Then it all changed. The record companies realized that this was something they could really make some money off of even if they donít like it and even if they donít understand it and even if theyíd rather not. Thereís bucks to be made here so that was when it all kind of got out of hand for everybody.
In the 60ís is when I guess bands really started blowing up because my mom told me back in the 50ís when people started making rock and roll records, with the exception of people like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis, most of these people just put out one single with a flip side and that was about it.
Very much so.
So in the 60ís all of a sudden it seemed like you could just make a whole career out of this sort of thing.
Yeah, and it was really The Rolling Stones and The Beatles I guess that got the album thing started. Basically their earliest albums were single compilations that were what you would call true composed or concept albums. That really didnít come in until Sgt. Pepper and then everybody just jumped on the whole idea. We got some amazing stuff out of it.
In the 80ís when I was growing up, it seemed like the music from the 50ís through the 60ís and 70ís just got progressively bigger and bigger. You could practically just explode overnight it seemed like.
Because it hadnít been done before I think especially in the late 60ís and early 70ís. Nobody really knew what to do with it as far as the record companies were concerned. What they would do is that they would hire company freaks who were basically hippie music fans who understood what was going on because the suits didnít have a clue and everybody did what they felt like doing. You could be in the studio for six months at a time or even a year. Some groups it got very out of hand very quickly because nobody really knew how it was being done and also nobody really knew how to put a rein on these people so it did kind of get out of hand considerably. But as I said we got some terrific art out of it even if a lot of it was self indulgent.
You were talking about the suits back then. A lot of people talk today about how the music industry has gotten so greedy and itís like the act of the month which to a certain extent itís gotten totally ridiculous and I see where itís on its way down. They always talk about how in the old days people were more passionate about music so basically even in the 60ís it was mostly about money.
It was just more about the music. A lot of the bands had at certain points in time too got a little corrupt with the feeling that music should be free. Music should be for the people. Which went very well and good until they had to remember that this was their way of making a living. A lot of them didnít really pick up on that very quickly. Whatís happening today I think is really evil because a few conglomerates are running the whole thing. You can actually be dropped from a label and viewed as a failure if you only sell half a million copies because it doesnít make financial sense for the conglomerates. Big well known bands, not any really that I listen to or Iím familiar with, but I was reading an article about this just the other day and it said these bands that sell consistently in the half million to a million dollar range are not considered successes by their labels because they arenít selling 15 million. The labels donít think itís cost effective to keep people like that on. Itís the same thing thatís happened in publishing. Thatís why I couldnít get a publishing deal for the rock and roll novels. They really donít want to be bothered with a mid list author anymore. They only want the superstars. So if you only sell consistently 50,000 to 100,000 books, which is huge really, they donít want you. If you canít sell them 15,000,000 books, they just donít want to be bothered. So itís all about money and itís just disgraceful. God bless Ani DeFranco for getting it out there and making sure that people could see it could be done on your own and that a record company didnít have to have anything to do with it. Thatís whatís happening now with publishing with Lulu and Iuniverse and places like that where people can print on demand and do not have to rely on a store and a publisher. It can all be done online.
I think one of the great things about the Internet is that you can basically cut out the middle man and get your music out there online. With people like myself and a lot of these other webzines out there, we can help spread the word and promote these people. If you canít get a major million dollar record deal, you canít even get your music in a damn store or get anybody to hear it.
No, you canít. They wonít do anything to promote you which is the other thing. Theyíll give you peanuts up front. They wonít promote you. They wonít go out of their way to do anything for you and Iím speaking about publishers as well as record companies. Yet they expect you to sell in the gazillions. It makes no sense whatsoever. I would rather rely on my fan base and musicians would too apparently.
It seems to me like the days of selling 50 million records are in the past.
I think so because itís so fractured and fragmented and there are so many different choices people have these days. Itís not like theyíre being force fed by record companies the way they used to.
Which I think pisses off a lot of these labels and people like Clear Channel and thatís why theyíre so big on trying to censor the Internet. The Internet belongs to everybody. We should be able to do what we want.
Theyíre not happy about it. Not by a long shot. Way more famous and well known people than I have resorted to self-publishing because itís the only way you can really do it if you want to change genres which theyíre not fond of. ďOoh, you used to write science fantasy and now you want to write mysteries. I donít think so.Ē Well yeah, itís what I want to write. I actually had several publishers tell me that, I wanted to do a Viking novel, and they said they wouldnít buy that. I asked why not because itís really good and they said yeah, probably it is. Theyíre sure it is but theyíre not buying Viking novels. So let me get this straight. Youíre not buying novels because people arenít buying Viking novels. That really makes a lot of sense. Wouldnít it make more sense to be the first person to start the Viking novel trend, hello?
You could probably get people into it.
I know. They wanted to instead have me write a Tudor murder mystery about Elizabeth the First or something because thatís what everybody else had. Yeah, like I really want to write a book that everybody else has already done. I donít think so.
Itís already been written.
Other people will have it if they want it. Theyíre not willing to take the chance to go out on the limb to be the first person even though itís a really good idea and a really well written project. The same with music. Itís not like what everybody else has. Well, no maybe not but donít you think thatís a good thing to be creative and original? Apparently they donít.
Wasnít that the whole idea back in the 50ís and 60ís? To do things that nobody had ever done before?
Yeah, that was the whole thing but I donít think people are as creative the way they were back then. Most kids today who get into music just judging from what Iíve seen just want to be stars. They donít want to be artists. They donít want to put in the dues. They canít play instruments. Is there a person under 30 who can do what Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix did? No, there isnít. There might be out there somewhere but I guarantee you nobodyís ever heard of them because nobody would think it would sell. There arenít any creative artists out there anymore. Itís all by the book. Itís all according to form. Itís all plastic.
When you look at The Doors, for those guys it probably wasnít really all about the fame. It was more about a passion and a fire.
Oh, absolutely. And The Airplane and The Grateful Dead and all those groups back then. They really werenít in it for the fame and the money. They were in it because this was they wanted to do and they were lucky enough to hook up with record companies, some of which understood their point of view and others of which didnít but just saw a chance to make money. At least they got out there. It was all out there and even the second level of groups and even the 10th level of groups were head and shoulders above the kind of crap I hear today.
A lot of these bands start out full of fire and passion about the music. They find themselves all of a sudden in the spotlight with all this fame. Did a lot of these people have a really hard time dealing with that when that happened?
Invariably they do just judging by history. We see how people had a hard time. Jim found it kind of amusing because he figured it was a forum to get his ideas across. He would like to play with people and mess their minds around. A lot of people really didnít know how to cope and then after a few years of having to deal with it, somebody like Jim, it just didnít get to be fun anymore which is where the alcohol and all the other stuff started happening and that became the coping mechanism because he couldnít get people to take him seriously when he started talking about serious things.
At that time too there was so much political upheaval. Also at the time was the Vietnam war and my dad had to be in that. I feel like we are at the same point that we were at back then, that this war in Iraq is once again about corporate interests and about oil and about the drug trade just like the Vietnam war was. The thing that I find missing today is that you donít find these people out there like you found back then to speak out against this shit and incorporate it in their music.
I think theyíre there. Maybe theyíre not incorporating it in the music a whole lot but I just think that the evil forces waged against us have learned how to shut us up. I think thatís what it was. Back then we had the advantage of surprise because they werenít expecting the kind of stuff that we did so all this protest was really a new thing. They were really badly rattled by it but now I think theyíve learned the lesson unfortunately and they know how to shut us down. And they have done it. This country has been taken over. This country isnít America anymore. Itís a banana republic. Weíve lost all sorts of civil rights and nobody seems to notice.
Isnít that crazy?
It is crazy and nobody seems to get upset by it. When they do, they get shut down by being accused of being non-American.
Supposedly these 19 boogey men got a hold of four airplanes and Iím not really sure that I believe this bullshit but they did all of this damage and all of a sudden I am supposed to be searched at the airport, people can come into my fucking house and search it, people can keep records on everything I do from what I spend my money on to what I eat and what I drink.
Yeah, theyíve used it as an excuse to establish a police state. Make no mistake. Thatís exactly what weíre operating under. My big fear is that the evil unelected President whose name I will not soil my lips withÖ
Oh, that bastard.
Yeah, that bastard weíll just call him. The unelected President. I wouldnít be surprised if he declares martial law and refuses to leave.
He did get some legislation passed through where if he personally feels that the country is in some kind of a crisis, another ďterrorist attackĒ, he can stay in office.
I know. Giuliani tried to pull that stuff here right after 9/11 and we just had nothing to do with it. We had no truck with him. ďIím the mayor and I was here and maybe I should stay on.Ē Everybody said no, I donít think so.
What the fuck did he do for anybody? My friends in New York hate him.
Heís disgusting. Heís a horrible man. The idea of him being elected President is enough to make me flee to Iceland or the Moon or someplace. Heís just awful. Is this the best this country can put up? Giuliani and Hillary and Obama. Iím sick of the lot of them. Whereís Bobby Kennedy when you really need him? Heís not there and Iím not sure heíd be allowed to be which is the other thing.
Iím from Dallas and of course the Kennedy assassination is something thatís very close to me. Itís something I grew up being fascinated by and I even went so far as to do a research paper in a history class on why I believed it was a Mafia hit and it was a crossfire instead of one lone gunman.
Nothing would surprise me.
The story they came up with was that Oswald shot him from the sixth floor of the Schoolbook Depository window. Thereís no way he could have shot Kennedy from that location because thereís this tree that has always been there. It was there at the time of the assassination and thereís this one branch of the tree that hangs across the street that Kennedy was riding down and if anybody had tried to shoot him from that window they probably would have gotten the branch of that tree.
There you go and then you start sounding like Oliver Stone which is never a good thing.
Now that a lot of these people who were involved in the assassination have one foot in the grave or theyíre already in the grave, a lot of this shit is starting to come out.
Hopefully weíll hear more but I really have no great hopes of it. Itíll be crushed like everything else.
My dad told me there was a hotel in Dallas that was called the Cabana that had some people waiting there to get him on the freeway if they didnít get him where he was at in downtown Dallas. The thing I donít understand about that is everyone knew that the Kennedyís came from a family that trucked with the Mafia and were basically fighting a war against a certain branch of the Mafia. Not the Mafia in general but a certain branch of it and it was only expected that he might get assassinated.
That wasnít really general knowledge back then. We look back on a lot of this stuff and we have learned a lot since but back then it wasnít really out there the way it is now.
I donít understand why the Federal Government felt they had to cover up the fact that it was a Mafia hit.
Maybe they had a hand in it too. Who knows? As I say nothing surprises me where the government is concerned.
It bothers me that people are more concerned with whether the Dallas Cowboys won a football game and they donít really get out there and bitch and raise a fuss about the stuff that they should.
I know. Itís bread and circuses. Theyíre being distracted by the powers that be unfortunately.
You can only be distracted so much. Yeah, Britney Spears is a dumbass and Paris Hilton, I donít what the hell that woman contributes to society.
Theyíre completely useless. But even stuff like the economic situation and foreclosures and mortgages, people donít seem always to have a whole lot of energy to spare to fight the good fight unfortunately. The 60ís were really prosperous and we were all kids so we werenít really as affected by economics and all that kind of thing the way people are now. It seems most people I think, especially young people, are just really concerned about having a job when they get out of college.
Thatís where they need to raise a fuss because for the past 20 years these jobs have been leaving the country and going to other places. The kids these days grew up during that 20 year time period so they should know this.
And now theyíre grown up and theyíre looking for work and theyíre confronted with the fact that there isnít much.
And once again youíve got to raise the shout.
Yeah, but they donít. I donít know why they donít. They certainly have their parents who were around in the 60ís to inspire them for that but very few kids, you obviously and my nieces obviously, very few in this generation are really attuned to that kind of thing.
I was never really that big on politics, I would vote and I would definitely keep up on current events and I was always interested in what went on around me, but it wasnít really until the evil man that we shall not name got into office that all of a sudden it was like what in the hell is going on. He was so in your face with it.
I know and people werenít really aware until he showed up and he embodied, he encapsulated, all the evil of the past 20 years. It was there right in front of them and yet they still voted him in.
I donít understand it. Heís so stupid. I canít even look at him. I canít listen to him. He sets my teeth on edge. He makes my flesh crawl.
We call him the ape man in my house.
You look in his eyes and thereís nobody home.
His Vice-President is the most evil looking, sadistic looking bastard.
Thatís the thing. Heís the Darth Vader behind the Emperor.
The Goebbels behind Hitler.
Exactly. Heís the one who is calling all the shots and heís evil and smart which there is nothing worse. An evil, stupid person you can kind of get around. But a smart, evil person is the worse thing that walks the face of the earth and Iím convinced is the work of the Devil if you believe in the Devil.
My father is Native American and I have a lot of Native American superstitions because everyone has superstitions. I think there are skin walkers. I think there are evil spirits in human form.
All the Jewish spiritual beliefs holds to that as well. Theyíre called kelipah in the Kabbalah. Theyíre just evil souls that kind of inhabit shells. Theyíre basically just shells. I think thatís what he is. Thereís no there, there. It just astounds me that people can even take him seriously. Itís the emperor with no clothes and everybody is saying ďoh yes, that is a fabulous suit youíve got on darling.Ē Hello. The man can barely put one foot in front of another.
This is funny. He has this ranch in Crawford, Texas and this place isnít too far from where I live. We went down there one time to see what the place looks like. Itís a really run down, poverty stricken area with a couple of ranches. We came to find out that that ranch was bought right when he supposedly won the presidency and he never set foot in that place until afterwards.
Unbelievable. I just donít know. Itís really fatiguing to keep fighting 40 years later when you thought you won back in the early 70ís. You realize that maybe you won for the moment. We won the battle but we didnít win the war. And then when you think that basically people who were hippies, I donít really consider myself a hippie, but itís a convenient piece of terminology. I basically trashed the people. I thought they were lazy and dull and stupid and for the most part they were. Itís amazing that we got a lot of ideas through but we never really got the power to go with the ideas. We got ideas for organic foods and improve the environment and all kinds of anti-racist and anti-sexist stuff but we didnít really get the power to go with it and when you consider the people of my generation who are in power today, who do have titles and are senators and congressmen and people like that, theyíre basically the people we didnít want to have anything to do with back then because they were horrible people.
Something Iíve come to find, a lot of people who might have started off with the hippie thing and they were all liberal, somehow or other they hit the magic age of 40 and all of a sudden they become these ultra-conservative anal retentive assholes and itís like what happened.
I donít know. Itís very depressing. They got caught with the stupid stick or something. I donít know what it is. I would have never been friends with Bill or Hillary back when I was in college. They werenít the kind of people that I thought I would really have anything in common with. Now people like that are the ones who are running the show. The ones who were like me and wouldnít have wanted to be running the show. That was the whole point. But it just didnít seem to work out. We didnít think far ahead enough unfortunately.
Sometimes not wanting to run the show might be a bad idea because maybe you should be running the show.
I think nobody who wants to be President ought to be allowed to be President. This is my take on the whole thing. I think there should be a national lottery and whoever gets elected in the national lottery is the President for the next four years.
Can you imagine trying to clean up this damn mess?
It would be great if we got some little old grandmother from the middle west somewhere. It would be fantastic. A little old Black grandmother. She would set the house to rights in no uncertain terms. Itís like dealing with naughty children. She would just spank them all and make them go to their rooms without their supper. It would be great. It would be fantastic but it isnít going to happen.
No, youíve got to buy your way into that position or have your daddy buy it.
Unless somebody gives me the Death Star and unlimited power, Iím just not going to be able to take things over unfortunately.
A lot of people to this very day are still influenced by Jim Morrison and a lot of the things that The Doors did. Why do you think those guys still seem to have such a holding influence on young people even today?
I think because the music was so incredible. Itís so far ahead of its time. Nobody was playing stuff like that back then but a million times more so, nobody is playing stuff like that now. The letters I get from people I would say are more from kids under 30 and even under 20 sometimes than they are from people my own age. They all say the same thing. They all say ďGod, you were so lucky to have had this when you were our age.Ē And I write back and say yeah, you bet I was. I knew it back then but even more so now because it just isnít like anything that ever was. Even though I loved The Airplane, I think The Doorsí music has held up really better because it isnít quite so much the sound of the time and The Airplane were amazing instrumentally but I think they were also very dated in a lot of ways. I still listen to it all for fun because I do love it and I donít listen to Doors music because itís just too painful but I think that The Doors really had a finger on a lot more than they thought they had. A lot more pulses than they thought they had a finger on. They werenít really overtly political the way The Airplane or The Dead were. Their politics were sort of soul politics except for stuff like ďThe Unknown SoldierĒ and a couple of other things. They didnít really address the issues of the day all that directly. It was different. They were after bigger game I think. Certainly Jim was.
I think it kind of transcended politics.
Oh, very much so. It was just some other kind of politics. Spiritual politics I guess.
My utmost favorite song by The Doors has always been ďRiders On The StormĒ. That song got my attention when I was a kid and always stayed with me because that song has such an eerie feeling to it. Just an eerie sound and basically eerie lyrics. Thatís always stuck with me and Iíve always wondered what he was thinking about when he wrote that.
I was there when they were recording it and I have to say I wasnít all that impressed. Itís not one of my favorites.
Itís that one song I can never get out of my head. Every time I heard it on the radio Iíd have to crank it up. My friend had gotten a copy of the DVD that Oliver Stone had done about The Doors. We were watching it and I guess you had some input in that movie.
Well, yes and no. He did consult with me and I act in it and I did write some lines for my character but basically he lied to me up front. He lied to me about Jim and how he was going to treat him. He lied about me and how he was going to treat me. I talk a lot about it in Strange Days, my memoir about the experience of making the movie and having to deal with Oliver and basically Oliverís take on everything. ďWell maybe it happened that way but I think it would have been better if it happened this way and Iím the one whoís making the movie so I can make it happen the way I want.Ē
Thatís not really the essence of a true documentary.
Oh, itís not a documentary. Thatís his big defense. ďOh, itís not a documentary. Itís not a boring documentary. Itís an artistic piece of whatever.Ē An artistic piece of crap is what it is. If you want to do that kind of stuff and distort real facts that happened with real people who are still alive to dispute you, you donít make a movie and make claims for it to be all kinds of accurate when you know damn well it isnít. We have a word for that Oliver if you want to do that. We call it fiction. If you want to do something like that, you donít call it The Doors. You donít call the characters Jim Morrison and Robby Krieger, et cetera, et cetera. You make up your own little movie. But thatís what he does with everything. Not just The Doors movie. Heís since apologized kind of half-heartedly for treating me and Jim and The Doors and the 60ís the way he did but frankly Iím not accepting the apology. The only apology I accept from him is the one he will make me in the middle of Times Square at high noon dressed in a French maidís uniform and kneeling at my feet. He wouldnít like that. That would be the problem. Otherwise Iím not buying it. Heís just pissed off because a lot of Doors fans and people who were around for it and people who actually knew Jim unlike Oliver got really and righteously incensed about the fact that he told all these lies and he didnít tell all the stuff he should have told. Stuff like the fact that Pam was into heroin. Pam probably gave him the heroin that killed him. Pam became a hooker after he died. Itís all true.
Didnít she die from a heroin overdose?
She died from a heroin overdose as well, the little slut. He had to make deals with her part of the estate to be able to portray her and to use the music so he sold out.
But itís common knowledge that this girl died three years later from a heroin overdose.
Well, yes but her parents didnít want her depicted as having had anything to do with Jimís death which everybody who was there says she did and the fact that she did become a prostitute after he died. Canít mention that. So basically he got away with all sorts of stuff and stupid, credulous people who canít be bothered to actually research and find out the truth are accepting that which I find completely reprehensible on both their side and Oliverís side. ďWe went to the movie. It must be true.Ē
All you have to do is get on the Internet and google stuff.
Theyíre too lazy and theyíre too stupid.
Youíve got information at your fingertips.
They canít be bothered, honey.
Iím so fucking curious about what goes on with everything and everybody. I even worked on a degree in medical technology when I was attending the university because I love the human body and Iím always curious about how it functions. The Internet is the greatest thing for me because if I want to know about something all I have to do is type some words in and I can find whatever I want.
But the unfortunate thing about the Internet is that the crazy people are out there and they too can get on there and type in whatever the hell they want that come into their weird, lunatic minds. They have all this stuff. I was just reading the other day in North or South Carolina for the primary, all kinds of dirty tricks and just garbage is being put out there that Hilary is having an affair with one of her female staffers and itís all lies but people believe it because thatís what they want to believe. It makes me nuts.
All this bullshit about Obama being a Muslim and it turns out heís a Protestant.
But itís all a distraction from the real stuff. The people who are all putting this kind of thing out think that if they put enough garbage out there, people will be distracted by the garbage and they wonít see what theyíre really doing.
I would rather people in office werenít any of these religions.
And then weíre faced with the possibility of a President who doesnít believe in evolution. We have about three of them I think who are out there like that.
And one is a Mormon. Youíve got to be joking.
Romney is a Mormon and doesnít believe in evolution. Huckabee doesnít believe in evolution and a few other things and I believe thereís somebody else as well. There they are. And when you think about how much of a huge percentage of the American populace goes along with this insanity, itís really frightening. Itís really so stupid as a country. It just makes me so angry that people perceive us as a bunch of idiots. In fact we are and itís all due to people like this.
Well, unfortunately thatís the world view. My mother is from Europe and she just cannot get over how stupid most of the people here are. She just canít deal with that too well. She doesnít even like to leave the house unless my dad or I accompany her.
I donít blame her in the slightest. Itís a scary world out there.
It truly is. Itís gotten really bad. Do you ever sometimes wonder what Jim would be thinking if he was still here?
I think either his head would have exploded long ago or he would just shake his head and say what can you do. I think it would probably be more along those lines and he would just go on doing what he did and not paying attention to anybody else.
We could have run Jim for the Oval Office.
The thing is, if they had written him in he probably would have won. At the height of their popularity I wouldnít be at all surprised. We could have put him over the top and then I think he would have just lost his mind completely probably because he wouldnít have been able to cope with all the stuff and maybe thatís why politicians are the way they are. There is so much crap out there to deal with. You have to make deals and you have to do things youíre not maybe terribly proud of just to get something done. I donít know. I wouldnít want it.
I think one of the problems with, for example John F. Kennedy, is that he was actually under the impression that he was in charge of the country. He learned the hard way.
As did we all. Itís sad and itís sorry and every now and again I find myself thinking oh for the days of Peter the Great. A nice benevolent dictator. Whereís somebody like that when you really need them? At least heíd be able to get things done. Heíd be able to put things in order. The trick is, it has to be a benevolent dictator and then thereís that whole little tiresome thing about absolute power corrupting absolutely which Iím not necessarily sure I agree with. Itís one of the problems I had with Dumbledore in the last Harry Potter book which I donít know if you read or not. But he says at one point when he is talking with Harry that he knew very early on that he could not be trusted with power even though he would most likely be a better person for the big job of Minister of Magic than anybody else would be. I was thinking as I read that, thatís really true. Unfortunately itís always the people who would be better even if they are a jerk themselves. Rather than the people who just go in there and go ďooh, look at all the stuff I can do.Ē People like Guiliani. We hated him so much and we still do. I love it that all the stuff is coming out now about his corruptness. Using New York City security people to protect his slutty girlfriend. His now third wife which we donít hear about and then thereís this guy Kerik who was the Commisioner of Police back around that time and now weíre hearing all sorts of corrupt stuff coming out about him and Giuliani. So weíre hoping to kind of derail this and yet by the same token I canít help thinking he did have a lot of liberal positions on very good things like gays and abortion and sexism and stuff like that which the other people who are Republican candidates do not. I donít know and then when I find myself thinking that maybe he would be the best candidate is when I really start thinking that he could go back on drugs or something. Itís frightening. Itís just so frightening. Thereís just nothing out there. I had great hopes for John Edwards but thatís not going to happen. I would love to see Al Gore run again.
I also like Dennis Kucinich.
I love Dennis Kucinich. Absolutely. But heís not going anywhere.
Oh no, because he wants a Department of Peace and we canít have peace. We have to be out there fucking killing people. Because killing people always solves all of the problems. I like that one bumper sticker that says why do we kill people to get the idea across that killing people is wrong.
I know. Itís very odd. Unless youíre just going to come right out and say an eye for an eye which it is, which Iím not opposed to necessarily as long as there is no mistake. Iím a big believer in punishment and debtfulness but I believe itís a bad mistake by and large because you can make mistakes unfortunately and as you say, it is not a deterrent to people.
No, besides that I can think of better ways to deal with people. I feel that death ultimately sets you free and you donít have to be responsible. My idea is to, in the case of a serial killer, plaster his cell with photos of all of his victims and pipe in screaming and shrieking 24 hours a day. Heíll hang himself.
That would be a good thing. I donít think they should be treated in a soft sort of fashion. Put them back in hard confinement. Solitary confinement. No televisions. No anything else. Let them go nuts. If they want to kill themselves, make the means available to them.
At least theyíre doing it by their own hand and not someone elseís.
Absolutely. When did people get the idea that people shouldnít be punished for doing bad stuff? Itís another whole rant which I just donít have the strength for.
You were talking about Jimís death and many moons later people are still arguing about what happened and how it happened and whether it happened. Why do you feel people have so many varied opinions on all that?
Itís very hard for me to talk about. I think because it was handled in such a mysterious, stupid way that misconceptions and lies and all sorts of issues were allowed to take over in the absence of facts. People are going to speculate so naturally they started speculating. Then when people who were there and had some knowledge of what had actually gone down finally started talking, it was way too late because of early biographers. People like Hopkins and Sugarman, a little piece of garbage. They put forth all sorts of irresponsible stuff and because that was the first and for a very long time the only thing out there to go to for any kind of information about Jim or indeed the end, that became enshrined as a kind of spurious fact because that was all that was there. Then when people finally did start saying ďexcuse me, no it wasnít like thatĒ, nobody wanted to believe it. I for one believed completely that Pamela killed him. Maybe she didnít do it on purpose or maybe it was more like ďoh here Jim, have some of this. It will make you feel better.Ē And it was really heroin and he didnít do heroin. He was very, very down on heroin and all the people who did it. Basically my take on it was that he only stuck around with her as long as he did and in such a way as he did because she was an enabler for him and his alcoholism. He knew he didnít have to try to clean up for her the way he did with me and thatís a powerful attraction and very hard as we now know for an addict to shake free of. Back then it was like ďoh well, Jim can go to Palm Springs and dry out for two weeks.Ē Nobody really realized how hard it was and what a difficult situation it was and plus the fact that she was around. I got letters from him and had phone calls with him saying basically he was only going to Paris just to end things with her because he was afraid sheíd kill herself if he just dumped her. So he wanted to let her down gently which I felt was very gentlemanly and indeed incredibly stupid. But thatís how he wanted to do it so I didnít really feel I could try and talk him out of it. So thatís how he did and his own lawyer said that he was convinced that Pam killed him because she knew he was dumping her and other people had said the same thing. People who were getting letters and communications from him around the time so itís hardly that the information wasnít there but by the time it finally started to come out and certainly by the time I felt I could bear to talk about it because it was so difficult and so hard, it was really too late and the other thing was kind of enshrined. Theyíre maddening and then Oliver goes along and compounds the offense by the ballad of Jim and Pam which it was nothing of the sort. A dirge if anything. Thatís why weíre in the situation we are with regards to that.
I think the craziest thing somebody has said to me thus far is that heís still alive and works for the CIA. I sat there and said ďyeah, and I saw Elvis last night.Ē
Yeah, the two of them were hanging out together with Mozart in the fried chicken place down the street. Oh my God, people are stupid. Itís so ridiculous. If he were still alive and seeing what The Doors are doing to his legacy and by The Doors I mean Robby and Ray, thereís no way heíd be sitting around doing nothing. People arenít strange, people are stupid. He just didnít get around to writing the next verse of that unfortunately. Well, actually he did. We wrote a couple of extra verses of ďPeople Are StrangeĒ together because I was always on his case about him never having enough verses in his songs. When he did it was always the same thing. Like ďPeople Are StrangeĒ which is one of my favorite Doors songs, itís two verses and itís all repetitions of those two verses. One day we decided we were going to write a few extra verses which I have actually. Iíve kept them all these years and theyíre kind of fun. Every time I hear the song in my head I hear him singing the three or four extra verses that we wrote which is nice.
He seems like he was a hell of a sweet guy.
As I say in the book he was just courteous, gentlemanly, kind, sweet, polite, and well brought up. All these wonderful things that nobody ever gives him credit for being because theyíre too interested in the idiot side which of course he had. Iíd be the last one to deny that because all you have to do is look at the record but he wasnít like that 90 percent of the time. He couldnít have been. Not and still made the kind of music and done the kind of work that he did. But thatís what they donít want to see. They see him as legitimation for all their own excess and stupidity and they throw it all on him and they blame him for it. ďOh well, if he can do it I can do it.Ē It doesnít work that way. Youíre not a genius kids. You donít have the kind of talent and the kind of chops and the kind of brains that he had because you canít really because youíre just assholes.
I hope one of these days when somebody actually does do something about him, they do it in the right sort of way and they actually concentrate on the positive aspects.
You get some people who are like that but for the most part no, you look at all the idiots on MySpace who say theyíre Jim Morrison and itís actually someone on there pretending to be Jim. And somebody who actually was pretending to be me and answering people as me.
Karma is going to kick these people in their asses. When you do fucked up stuff like that something bad is going to happen to you and that is something I honestly believe. We all are going to meet a bad end if we do fucked up shit to other people.
I really hope it works that way.
Especially if youíre trying to impersonate someone who has passed on to the next level.
And then pretending to be his wife who is actually still alive. Itís sick. It is completely sick and obscene and I hate it more than I can tell you. Unfortunately it seems to come with the dinner. Then I think about really, really famous people. How the hell do they cope with this stuff? I just donít get it. I donít understand why so many people seem to feel they have something so lacking in their own lives as to feel they need to do this kind of thing. To pretend to be me. To pretend to be Jim. Itís completely nuts. If I ever get my hands on them theyíll find out how nuts it is. Oh, yes.
When you get them committed to some psychiatric institution.
Instant karma is going to have nothing on it, believe me. Iím going to tan their hides out behind the woodshed. Oh, yeah. Itís the only way you can keep sane about it. I just got an email yesterday on my live journal I think. They can send me mail but they donít get my e-mail address. They can send me things. I just posted it on my MySpace and on my live journal page. ďOh yeah, my friend is a psychic and sheís in touch with Jim. Iíd really like to talk to you because I have so much to tell you about all this because heís been talking to her for years and years.Ē Anybody can say theyíre Jim. I mean look at all the people on MySpace who are Jim. There are probably jokers in the afterlife just as there are any place else, right?
Do you remember that one program that used to be called Crossing Over with some jackass named John something or other?
Yeah, that sounds familiar. He would talk to the spirits of the dead.
It was always people who had friends or relatives in the audience. Isnít it interesting how Adolph Hitler or Mussolini or somebody never contacted him?
And how people are always Cleopatra in their past incarnations. Theyíre never Cleopatraís lowest, least slave. Theyíre never some charwoman who died on a London street in the 1880ís because she starved to death. Theyíre never anybody like that.
Or one of these prostitutes that was killed by Jack the Ripper. I noticed that program didnít last very long. If I wanted some comic relief I always turned that on.
Oh God, it just makes me too angry unfortunately that I want to start smacking people.
Yeah, you loved them and this was somebody who was very close to you. As close as any human being can possibly be so yeah, that hurts.
What I canít get behind is why they think Iíd want to know. Why would they want to tell me this. I get letters and emails from people who say theyíre Jim reincarnated. Oh yeah, I donít think so. I think I know where Jim is pretty much and heís with me. Heís not you. Then I get letters from people saying that they have the soul that our child would have had if we had not terminated the pregnancy which is really cruel and hurtful and hateful. I just donít know. I had two stalkers who tracked me down to my actual house which is very difficult to do. One of them thought I was his kid by Jim that I had abandoned in 1968 in a shopping bag in a Glendale, CA mall. Considering I didnít meet Jim until 1969 it would have been a little bit hard.
That must have been the immaculate conception.
He was good but he wasnít that good. Then there was this Italian girl who believed she was Jim and I donít know if she wanted to renew the relationship or whatever but she tracked Mike Demming to my house and I had to call the cops on her. I just donít get people sometimes. I really, really donít.
It is scary. I go around armed but you donít like to do that either.
Jesus Christ, why canít people be normal?
Because theyíre nuts. Theyíre just nuts and I blame it all on Jim. If he were still around none of this would be happening. It would all be very different. There wouldnít be any of the crap because he would be here to actually refute all of it and to tell people in no uncertain terms that they should just knock it off. Heís the only one with the moral authority really to have been able to do that. I can only do so much. John Densmore can only do so much. Ray and Robby Iíve given up on. Theyíre just basically in it for the money these days.
I remember when they wanted to reunite and travel around as The Doors and then there was some legal shit and then it became the 21st Century Doors.
Basically they did reunite just Ray and Robby, some reunion, for a tour. They called themselves the 21st Century Doors. John had nothing to do with it. John sued them. Jimís parents sued them. So they were finally apparently not to be allowed to use the word ďDoorsĒ anymore. So that was something. I mean they could still play but Ray, who is the biggest moron who ever walked the face of the earth in my opinion, though a great organ player. He never gets enough credit for that and Iíve got to give credit where credit is due. But heís just an idiot. He actually said theyíre doing it in the spirit of honoring Jim. Theyíre not imitating him. Theyíre not ripping him off. This despite the fact that Ian Astbury, the guy who was doing the vocals, got out there on stage in a white shirt and a silver concho belt and black leather pants and sunglasses in front of a 40 foot screen blow up picture of Jim, but no they werenít trying to capitalize on his name or anything like that. Thank God the family and John won the case. Theyíre not allowed to be doing that anymore. Iím thinking you know, Ray, if you had any kind of creativity really on your own wouldnít you want to be doing something else after 40 years? Youíre 70 years old for Godís sake. Isnít it time to let it go?
Yeah, I think so. You had your heyday and it was really cool and unfortunately Jim is gone now in a physical sense, not a spiritual one. Do something different. Something fun.
Because heís not an untalented guy. He could have done any number of things. I think he produced some kind of punk group which Iím not really familiar with but basically heís done nothing but capitalize off a legacy which is really, really sad.
Yeah, thatís kind of pathetic.
Itís not something that Jim would have liked. He wouldnít have liked to have seen this. I can speak for him a little in certain respects and I think he would really be hating to see that sort of thing. Heíd be the first one telling Ray and Robby to get out there and do something because they were really talented guys. John as well. They were brilliant musicians, the three of them.
There was definitely a chemistry there.
Absolutely and John Iíll give a lot of credit for because not only does he hold off against this and he will not let any Doors songs be used as a TV commercial for which God set a flower on his head. Heís the only one who holds out against that because basically the original deal was that the four of them had veto power over the other ones. That way if anybody said no, it didnít happen. So John said no and Ray and Robby have been wanting to sell songs for commercials for years and years now and John said no every single time. Good for him and heís had a career on his own. He does all kinds of stuff. Heís acted. Heís done dramatic presentations. Heís done drumming work shops and drumming kind of presentations. A tribal drumming kind of thing. He moved on and he accepts the fact that The Doors were great and they will always be great but thatĎs not what itĎs like anymore. As George Harrison used to say, there can be no Beatles reunion as long as John Lennon remains dead. Good for George. And there could be no Doors reunion as long as Jim remains dead.
When you lose the main songwriter and the vocalist of the band because to me the vocalist changes the band.
Oh yeah, because heís the front man. Heís the one whoís out there.
When that person is gone it just doesnít work anymore. With Van Halen, I really wasnít a David Lee Roth fan because I thought he was an arrogant asshole. But I loved Sammy Hagar. The vocalist makes the group. When that person is gone or you switch that person out, it just doesnít seem the same anymore.
It didnít seem the same and thatís why you canít call it The Doors. You canít call it anything else. You canít call it The Beatles. Itís different.
Look at what happened to Nirvana when Kurt Cobain died. The other guys said they were going to give this up and do something else.
Yeah, thatís the way. As you say theyíre the creative main spring and once thatís gone itís a whole different dynamic. Itís a whole different setup. Unfortunately Ray and Robby didnít see it quite that way.
Oh well, theyíre just morons.
Pretty much. Really artistic, creative, genius morons but yeah.
We all have to have our stupid side.
I guess so and then Ray goes offÖhe was the one who was also responsible for that whole first wave of ďis Jim really dead?Ē
Are you kidding?
Oh yeah, he was all over the place. I think he went to the cemetery the year after or maybe two years after and got up on top of the grave basically or on top of a neighboring grave and was just ranting to the people who were there about ďhow do we know heís really here? Nobody really saw the body. If anybody could pull this off it would Jim.Ē So he was really responsible for a large part for fueling that first round of asinine rumors.
Oh for crying out loud, thatís why some stupid idiot believes that he works undercover for the CIA. I was like Jesus Christ dude, that seems a little out of character.
People feel free to say anything because it comes into their little tiny heads.
I was like well, what the hell is he undercover for?
I donít know. I guess it was like Elvis. Being given a Secret Service badge or whatever it was by President Nixon.
Yeah, my God. Is he spying for the Russians? Is he a double agent?
I donít know. Too many crazies out there.
Like you said before, you like to write different genres of books. How did you get started writing novels?
Well, I never really thought when I was in journalism school and being an English major, that Iíd have any ideas to write fiction. That was also one of the reasons I decided to go into journalism. But then I did and it came to me. In fact the idea for my Kelts book, my Keltiad series which is Keltic science fiction. Like King Arthur meets Star Wars. That first came about I guess well, back when I knew Jim because he was pretty much the first person I think I ever explained it to. I had basically ideas for one book back then. I thought I would be a very lucky girl to get one book out of that so I explained to Jim and it had three parts. He was like ďokay, okay but donít you think it sounds like Rashamon a little bit? Like too many different view points for one thing. Maybe you should break it down and concentrate.Ē I thought that was pretty good advice so I picked one of them. I took the one that was the most traditional piece of story telling which eventually became the first series. The Aeron books. The Copper Crown, The Throne Of Scone, and The Silver Branch. Thatís how those started. He read a little bit of those basically back around then so theyíve been around for a long time. At least the initial idea. Then he died and I decided I just couldnít deal with music anymore so I went to work for a couple of record companies where I didnít really have to deal with the music so much. I was just writing advertising. It was a nice way of sort of staying in touch but not really having to deal with it on an up close and personal basis. Then I guess in the early 80ís I left CBS and decided it was time to actually start writing the books so thatís what I did and the first one came out in 1984. Then far be it from having no ideas or ideas for just one book, I had so many ideas I didnít know what to do with them. They multiplied like rabbits. The first series was eight books and then when they finally cut me off at HarperCollins because I wasnít selling quite enough for them as we discussed earlier, I had plans for about 10 more. Now that Iím doing this self-publishing thing from Lulu I think what I would like to do is do a few of the new series, the Rock & Roll Murders and do maybe four or five of those. Quite a few of them are written on significantly and three are completely done including the one thatís just published so I wouldnít really have to write anything except the second one which is what Iím working on now. For the next two years I could just publish two books a year just out of that and not even have to write anything new so then I thought perhaps maybe with the publishing on demand and what all the readers are asking me is I would get back to the Keltic fantasy stuff. So I think thatís probably what Iíll do. Iíll put out four or five maybe of the Rock & Roll Murders and then Iíll do a Kelt one. Then maybe Iíll get to do that Viking novel that no one wanted and then theyíll see how wrong they were. Screw them all. Thatís the great thing with self-publishing, you can. Plus you have control which they donít usually give to people like me and which as a control freak of long standing is really important to me. Basically being the queen of the control freaks, unless you really, really argue and make a complete nuisance of yourself they donít give you a lot of control. ďI would really like that typeface.Ē ďWell, we like this typeface.Ē ďWell, I like that one.Ē ďI like this one.Ē It goes back and forth until they eventually give in because youíre just being too much of a pain in the butt for them not to. But then again thatís another reason why they get a way to dump you. They consider you a difficult author. What, because I want the book that goes out under my name by the way, not under your name, to look the way and feel the way and read the way I want it to? Whatís so wrong with that?
They do the same thing with music.
You release your first album and itís pretty much all of you and thatís cool. Then itís time to do the second one and then theyíre like ďokay, this is what we want.Ē
Thatís right because they know theyíve got you over a barrel.
Youíre sitting there saying ďthis isnít me.Ē ďWell, this is what the people who listen to you want.Ē
But thatís not even true. Itís just what they think is going to sell. It isnít what the people want because itís all the same crap.
Exactly and itís like ďhow the hell do you have this foresight.Ē
I know. Itís completely maddening which is why I thank God for being able to be independent. Indie labels and indie publishing. Itís just a great thing. It takes the control away from the people who just didnít know what the hell to do with it. Basically a publisher or a record company should just be a middle man. They should just do what you do. Put it out there. Get it out to people and just stay away from the creative side of it completely because they donít know what the heck theyíre talking about.
Just distribute. Thatís all you have to do. Distribute.
Distribute. Thatís all we need you for guys. They donít see it quite that way unfortunately. Now theyíre learning the hard way. The music companies are floundering. Publishers are beginning to be in the same quicksand marsh that the record companies are in and yet they still donít get it. This is what amazes me. They just donít get it. I donít know. Iím very glad to be able to self-publish so the next one after Ungrateful Dead: Murder At The Fillmore which is out now, also available on Amazon at the moment, it just became available yesterday so thatís really nice and hopefully it will get around a little bit more. The next one is going to be California Screaming: Murder At Monterrey Pop which is due out I think Iím planning on next June. Not being tied to a publishing schedule, as soon as the books are ready I can just pop them out there every six months if I feel like it.
Iím going to have check those out because I love mystery novels.
Itís really fun and itís a continuing cast of characters so the first one is a lot of setup unfortunately because the first one has to be like that. Because I have to set up the 60ís for people who werenít there and talk about the music for people who may not be all that familiar with it which is a considerable number of people. Then also to get the plot out there and get the characters started and get everything moving in that direction. The first one really has a lot in there. Thereís a lot of stuff but I think if I say so myself, it reads very well and the second one will be much, much, much more music oriented and along with the murders weíre going to meet all these people at the Monterrey Pop Festival. Jimi and Janis and The Who and The Airplane and The Dead. Itís going to be a much bigger part than it was in the first book because the character was just getting started really in the first book along with the series. That story and expositioner take up a lot of space. Once thatís all out of the way then I can move on to just dealing with the characters and dealing with what happens to them. Itís a lot more fun for me and hopefully for the reader as well.
Speaking of Janis Joplin, I was never a huge fan of hers but I watched a documentary of her one time. It was really amazing at how many things we had in common. She liked wild and crazy clothes and I like the same thing. I was so totally amazed at how creative she was.
She wasnít on a Jim level obviously. Very few people are but for what she did, she was completely outstanding. I was very fond of her. I knew her fairly well.
I totally admired her after I watched that documentary. When she went to school people would make fun of her and tell her how ugly she was.
They voted her the ugliest man on campus at college.
And yet she got the last laugh.
She got the last laugh. Yes, she did.
That is absolutely fantastic. I went through that kind of shit when I was in school.
We all did. We all went through that. Nobody I know had a happy high school experience or even college for that matter particularly. I would rather have been that way then and be the way I am now then had been the Homecoming Queen and the head cheerleader because we see how those people end up. Itís not a pretty sight.
No, it isnít. My college experience was actually a lot better because I went after I got out of the Air Force rather than going right after high school. That worked out a lot better. I think having to put up with peopleís stupid bullshit and stupid remarks made me a lot stronger woman.
How long were you in the Air Force for?
I was in the Air Force for four years.
Good for you. Where were you stationed?
Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, Texas and I loved every minute of it.
In Texas all of the time. That was kind of close to home. Where were you at before?
It was kind of funny. I grew up in Dallas and I did my basic training in San Antonio and I got stationed in Austin. In a way it was kind of sad that I didnít get to actually travel much but in a way it was awesome because it was close to home. I love Texas. Itís where I grew up.
One of my best friends lives in Austin and she loves it.
Itís really an awesome city to live in. Itís great. Itís kind of funny. It was such a different world from Dallas. Itís only been recently around where I live that they started selling beer and wine in grocery stores. There were dry and wet areas and then I go to Austin and you can buy beer in the grocery store. Itís in the same state but there was this total world of difference. Plus people in Austin arenít as conservative and anal retentive like people in Dallas are. Dallas is in the Bible belt and I get such a such laugh out of these fundamentalists because theyíre so weird.
I would think the university in Austin has a lot to do with that.
Well, the university and at that time the Air Force base as well. You had a different mixture of people from all over the place. It made for a very I guess bohemian experience. Aside from writing books what else do you spend your time doing?
Thatís pretty much it. I donít really care for traveling so I donít do that a whole lot. I go out to L.A. once a year for an Oscar party that a friend of mine has every year so I generally try to get out for that. Thatís always fun. I want to do a little bit of traveling eventually if I start to do the Viking book. Iíll need to go over there to do some research.
You did a lot of traveling around back in the day didnít you?
Yeah, I did but I definitely donít like being away from home. Nothingís the same when youíre not at home.
Youíre sleeping in someone elseís bed.
I know. Itís so weird when the light switch isnít where you find it and the refrigerator is odd. It just upsets me. I like being places. I just donít like going places. Iíve traveled a lot in England, Ireland, and Scotland mostly. I donít usually get over to the continent because thereís not a whole lot there Iíd like to see. I donít like the heat, the beaches, or the sun so I donít go to the tropics so thereís that. Basically I just stay home and being a novelist I donít have to leave, do I? I can be anyplace I want anytime I feel like it.
In your own head.
Living in New York is so great in that way because youíre not really by yourself even though you live by yourself. There are millions of people around. I know I could always do all this amazing stuff. Itís all out there if I should ever want to do it. Itís like knowing that itís there. If and when I do decide, itíll be there.
Iíve been to New York City once and I loved that visit. Of course this was pre-911. Thereís just this electricity there that I never found anywhere else in all the other places that Iíve been.
I know. Iíve never lived anyplace else and frankly I canít even imagine. When I wake up in the morning and my feet hit the floor, Iím in the place that everybody really wants to be in. And itís fantastic. Iíve never felt the desire to have a house in the country because I had a house with a friend at one point about 15 or 20 years ago and I never went there. What would I do? In the country everybody knows who you are and they all know your business. I really hate that. You walk into the local store where they sell grocery stuff as well as tractors. ďOh, havenít seen you lately. Howís the new book doing? Howís everything?Ē I donít like that. Or else they look at you as if you come from another planet which I like to think in fact I do. The country really doesnít appeal to me much either so Iím very happy just to stay here.
I donít like that down home southern style shit either.
Politeness and courtesy are fine but when it comes to people sticking their big noses into business that is no concern of theirs, not so much. Even if they do so under the guise of friendship or whatever, no.
Well, I guess that covers everything. It was a real pleasure talking with you.
I enjoyed talking with you. Have a good holiday.