Vpro interview transcript, 1994

Interviewer: (Says a name of a David Bowie book which I just can’t hear clearly enough and asks John if he reads it)

John: Well I just look at the pictures, I don’t read it (takes out the book) I’ve just always loved looking at pictures of David Bowie. The only stuff I would read was when I was 17 and I would buy coke on the streets everyday and everyday I was starving coz I didn’t have any money but I would manage and days that I couldn’t manage I would……I would like……since I really wanted to do coke, I would just look up all the sections in the Bowie biography that I had….in the index which is cocaine and then just look up all the parts about cocaine and read them so I would feel like I was on coke. (Flicks through his book) But, yeah I just really look at the pictures (shows a page with a picture of Bowie and Iggy Pop. The interviewer doesn’t seem to interested about what John is showing him and is eager to move onto the next question. You can’t see the interviewer in the frame but he must have been smiling or something because John asks in a very serious and threatening tone ‘Do you think something’s funny?’, refering to the picture and then he says “Joke”.)

Interviewer: Why did you want to be on coke so badly then?

John: Coz it’s great……coz it made me feel great……and plus, I just thought it was cool, I just thought David Bowie did his coolest stuff when he was on a lot of coke and that feeling and that image is just the whole reason why I got into rock n’ roll in the first place….like, bisexuality and drugs were the two things in life that I related to rock n’ roll in my overall image of it when I was about 9 or 10 years old when I got into punk rock. That was the whole world that I felt within me that wasn’t going on around me at school that made me feel like I had no reason to exist….that in rock n’ roll that was part of everyday living and that gave me a reason to live, to actually feel like I did have a place where other people felt the same feelings for life that I did (thank God for rock n’ roll!) …..and so when I was 17 I had never really done any drugs in my whole life and moved to Hollywood and decided that instead of practicing guitar 10 to 15 hours a day which is what I’ve been doing for 5 years, I was just gonna live life and do cocaine and wear make-up everyday….I wore make-up everyday then and just…you know….I would be wearing full make-up and pink pants….and I met some guy who thought I was queer (? I think he says queer but the film gets a bit muffled) I would argue with guys I didn’t even know, just like that.
Interviewer: But have you ever wondered about this drug thing…what it is in people or in somebody like you or others, there’s many others, that they have to have added something to their body that changes them and alters them.

John: Every second alters you, every single thing you’ve ever seen alters you, everything you eat alters you. I think a parent yelling at you is an extreme way of altering yourself. I think somebody kicking you in the thighs is your……the one you look up to as being the role model of masculinity I think that alters you.

Interviewer: Are you referring to your own parents?

John: No, not necessarily. I’m referring to everybody’s. Everybody’s parents make some sort of mistakes and have some sort of sense of carelessness when it comes to developing their child’s sexuality…..and their brain, like, what’s considered smart to the world and parents is like memorising things and doing good in school and what I’ve come to find is what smart is, is being able to trip out….you know….that’s using more parts of your brain, that’s your subconscious at work, that’s lining up thoughts that are…..and doing really intense things to your whole existence here and in all your other lives that are going on simultaneously……that’s what smart is, not just memorising something, a monkey can do that…so drugs just help that. I did it my whole life for……Kiss was the first time I really tripped out on music where it just really took me to a magical place and drugs are just….go along with that. I don’t think of it as any sort of heavy alteration that hurts you, it ‘s like, if I snort a lot of coke, like (sarcastically-) ‘Oh God that was terrible! I wish I hadn’t done that in front of you, oh awful…are you ok?, I think I’m gonna be Ok’

Interviewer: Ok, but now you just said you’re shooting up, you’re using heroin, I mean what about that, that’s something pretty heavy isn’t it?

John: (Shrugs) People say so, I don’t know what that means really. I don’t think of it as being any sort of naughty thing or anything.

Interviewer: What does it mean to you?

John: It’s just a way of making sure you stay in touch with beauty instead of letting the ugliness of the world corrupt your soul.

Interviewer: And you don’t care if it destroys your body, or doesn’t it?

John: I don’t destroy my body, I feel great. If I didn’t feel great I’d change the way I live, I’d start running or something, I feel great. I have lots of energy, I’m writing all the time, writing music all the time, developing my brain, widening my appreciation of art of all kinds and being a nicer person…..always working on being a nicer person.

Interviewer: And so it’s not a habit that you would want to stop?

John: No, even if addiction didn’t exist I’d still do it exactly the way I’ve done it.

Shows little clips of John playing the songs he’s recorded onto tape, he sounds tortured and in anguish.

John: The reason I released the record is because there’s not that much good music around nowadays, that was how my friends convinced me……it’s like, there’s no good music around really now….so, like the kids are….even though they’re excited about the music that’s out, I just think they’re settling for something that doesn’t have the same vibe as Da Vinci. Like, to me the really good music like Jane’s Addiction and Jimi Hendrix and just things of that calibre has the same vibe as Da Vinci in my head, like there’s something in it that ties together all artists from all times and no bands around now really have it….you know….and this music does so I released it.”

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Pages: 1 2 3

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Follow by Email