July 2000
by Michael Zanna
(Ariel Pink)
California USA

1. How's your health?
a matter of private concern...you'll hafta ask my recent free-clinic physician guy...it's pretty cathartic, one day at a time...days are alarmingly questionable, nights are party numb. (coughs) why do you ask, doc? (gaggg) nosey bastard, izzat really yer 1st question? in a music interview? ok, a capricorn with cancer...how's that?

"i feel great" is not a phrase i utter often, maybe once a month (if coerced).
2. For the past year or so it's become a slight habit to ask each & every "hipster", store clerk, what-have-you, upon meeting them if they've ever heard about R. Stevie Moore, and only once someone responded "yes". What is the cause of this gross, unforgiveable gap on the Rock & Roll radar screen? Is it straight lack of promotion? West Coast complacent-plastic indifference?
unpopular beliefs point to the zodiac...there have been many young strologers to have asked to me to that very same question... politics aside... doncha see? that's my main selling point! pity the poor amputee.

i'd love to blame someone, anyone; but that would be as unfair as it would be unwise... if it's not your fault, it certainly must be mine... any tips? straight lack, yup. (btw: we northsouth eastcoast can whoop yo Cali-Stylee Apathy any ole day!)
3. What's your current fan base like? Is it growing? What kind of people does it consist of?
exactly like it's always been, 30 years on...the game of watching it grow and then shrink, explode and then disappear...no natural flow nor sensical seizure of converts...one humanoid will buy one item and then vanish...another humanoid will rush me a certified $500 international money order for a first-time tower of stevie records and cassettes...the answer to your question is that there is no RSM fan base to speak of...only individuals. like you.
4.Do you know of any recent (past 15 years?!) bands, musicians who've claimed to be directly influenced by your music? Have they found a bigger audience?
none worthy of mention...what were you thinking?...Guided By Choices?... just my friends...most modern artists/bands claim to have never heard of me, honest...shows who's studying up on their musical history, eh? or least, the obscure footnotes...

dave gregory is a true fan.
5. After 30 years, are you still even interested in music? Is there anything out there that's exciting to you?
up and down...forever the gift of discovery keeps my ears from their funeral...the old classics of the 20th century...nothing else new...loathe the current scene like i never have in my entire life... latino bip-bop, bah!

i do feel like an unknown founding father, i respectfully submit my own founding musical fathers. forever we shall reign. period. there is no vacancy for all these great grand-chillun.
6. I noticed on your homepage you're wearing what appears to be a fast food cap. Have you finally changed your day gig?
semi-retired, fully-lazy, beneath the ability to work, earn, even eat...pick me up some big macs, please? hold the rhetoric.

constantly busy, productive. uh, lotsa internet interviews lately. does that qualify? keep answering the same cryptic questions. always assuming my story is common knowledge. naive is my middle name. positive email is my only salvation.

and new composing has become a rebirth of sorts. my daily routine is webpage building, then burning discs for customers, then lying down short of breath. mind is working overtime. i have manic dreams in HTML code. a href = " / .. / font downtransload my commode via the dirt road to yer abode www cuppa java mode, past the bill gates cellspacing width to my humbledotcom digitally analog cabin essence .

googleplex gobbledegook. stunted growth. haunted pink.
7. Do you think working at a record shop has been a useful playground for field study research, and has it worked to enhance your musical miseducation?
whelp, i did work and ultimately fail in countless disc stores from 1971-1999, but never again Puh-Leaze! always thought i was enjoying it, but who was i fooling? anyhow?? along with the good (discounts, perks, advance finger on the pulse, minor amusement with the current (s)hitparades or cutting-edge Next Big Things) came the abhorrently bad (ineffectual ladder climbing corporate ultimatums, dull lack of stimulation, decades of watching truckloads of pseudo artists getting the promotional push i was never given).

workin' in a record store these days must be worse than like the A & P.
8. Let's get philosophical; Do you think that the tag/concept "Underground" has historically been of value as a prime-mover of influence into the mainstream, is there any thing really credible about it, or is it a farce, a construction revered by pretentious, elitist record necropheliacs who attribute an artists lack of success to uncompromised artistic integrity? Rephrase: Is Show-Biz dead, or is ShowBiz all there ever really is?
i think, know and adhere to the constant belief that ShowBiz is still aimed at Young Upwardly Mobiles (YUMMIES). the 1960s was the last true renaissance. all the bloody kids who weren't born to experience that creative volcano, they haven't a clue, do they? and how it shows! our yearly turnaround of boybands and teendivas gives me burning hot diarrhea, which i prefer to drink with lemon juice and schnappes.

underground schmunderground. rap & hiphop, forget it. braggadocio violence really sucks, yet sells millions! will somebody please explain that to me? british fey? NEXT! roots rock, duh! zzzzz. even appealing retropowerpop has become a passe joke (critics darlings, minimal sales).

this music lover HATES music now. ok? not my mistake, by any means. forgive my rage rant. somebody's gotta do it. i dig '40s jump blues, acapella choirs, Factory postpunk, sinatra, hank williams, PiL, zappa, 3 minute 45s, me and nothing much else. does the term "oldies but goodies" really mean what it sez? perhaps.
9. Is there any thing in the course of your 'career' that you would have done differently? What advice would you give the young and unassuming artiste, as far as working within and without the 'system'?
naw, no advice, not me.

if i could do it all over again, i'd be top of the pop nauseous. i know zilch re: careering. heck, there are countless people giving lectures, writing books or whatever pontificating on "how to rilly make it in the music biz" like there's some magical formula! feh! copy anyone else's plan and you'll end up magnifying someone else's errors...scratch that, copy everybody and win a platinum DVD! yeah, that's what i meant.

man, do i seem drunk or what? wait a minute...I AM!!
10. What is your proudest R. Stevie moment on tape?
absolutely my entire oeuvres, all or nothing.

a very puzzling question, that. never understood lists rating favorites, in any context of life. sure, i favor certain rsm specifics. but i don't attach priority points to them. worst is best. best is subjective. tomorrow's not today. yesterday is...i don't recall. yes or no? i may change my mind. hot or cold? a game show, this? embarrassing. more embarrassing. most embarrassing. everything's a fuckin' contest. unless...

ok, my "proudest" moment is the first note of the first song on my first tape (1957). no, it's the last note of the last song on my latest (last?) tape. nevermind.
11. Does Irwin Chusid still think your songs don't go anywhere? Is he still right?
hmmm, contacted him about this and he feels that he was misquoted. he mentioned something about songs going to a landfill in new jersey, but he was really tired and mumbled something about checking your sources for accuracy. he's keen about such things.

he's right. no question, my songs proudly stand still, just like their author. resisting temptation to go from point a to point b. frozen in place, in time.

what destination, please? search mp3.com. it's all there.
12. Is "Everyone but Everyone" about Madonna?
who's madonna? and what is she doing wearing my clothes? i've never given that gal one iota of concern, matter of factly. i cannot help but resent you making her a reference point, like so many in our modern era always do. howdy doody is more influential. noone but noone's talking about him.
13. Is Krystena O. a techno buff?
she invented techno but prefers polka music for relaxation purposes and opera for daily ablutions...
14. What percentage of recorded output was recorded under the influence of pot/pills, and what is the ratio of pot to pills?
are you a narc? .31578392837 divided by pi.
15. Who do you envy?
my penis
16. Who are you voting for?
roy g. biv
17. The number of web pages you have might soon eclipse your cassette tape catalogue. Are you a net junkie?
my orbs are glued to the screen and my fingers are afixed to the keyboard permanently to the exclusion of every other activity in my waking life. i dub cassettes and cdr's for orders while i sleep. no time toulouse! honestlessly, this papa here is gushingly devoted to his hunderds of webpages. i have potency, they are my daily offspring. there was an old man who lived in a shoe.
18. Have you ever collaborated with any of your heroes, influences? Which ones?
not to my knowledge, no. just my wife.
19.Who's the grumpiest : You, Oscar the Grouch or Molly Ringwald?
what the fuck??? i'm not answering that!


ask more and differently, sir.

(Anyway, that's all for now. get back to me with these and maybe we'll do a part 2. 'Fuck yeah' about the collaboration. I'll send you a tape within the next weeks. many thanks, Pink)


R Stevie Saga continued....
part 3 of part 2

(Had some moments to reflect; I'm at a crossroads in my investigation of the all-access enigma, R. Moore. truth is, just about everything I could possibly wonder about you can be found all over your many web pages, and with my own interest at stake, it's hard to devise questions that haven't been answered already to some degree by you in this or other interviews. I guess the draw to a published questionaire is exposure to some degree, but my own fancy is, uh.... eh! whatever, I'll get over it. In the meantime, here are some more shots in the dark for you.....)


20. Could you remenisce a little on the WFMU days, your slot, cast of characters, evangelical pledges, etc....?
that might take another chapter. i was what i thought as a truly groundbreaking deejay; spinning public image ltd, bubblegum, buzzcocks, shaggs, sinatra, chipmunks, vinyl skips and winston churchill speeches long before others followed in my tippytoed footsteps. it was truly phenomenal for me at the time, but i got out quick. why ask why? seems like a dream now.
21. Live stuff notwithstanding, did you ever make any Video's, (preferably turn of the 70's/80's) promos, public access dementia? Where do I find em'?
rsmtv is living large. as i've documented my life on audiotape, so have i also kept the camera rolling. hundreds of hours captured; home shoots, live gigs, skits, vintage footage, historic hoopla. findable via the artist in residence, rstevie schpielberg.
22. With today's current corperate musical malaise, and no end in sight, it seems there's so much to fight against yet so little to fight for. Revolution's a Lie, selling out Suckz and there is no sense in doing things in a vacuum by choice (am I talking to myself here? hmm, well, I guess I am alone right now.....(hey, don't worry man, being the savior of modern music is only my day job, I swear...!!)). I can only imagine these being reoccuring concerns for you too, but I'm presuming.....
awaken. wobbly legs, loss of equilibrium. diarrhea. visine. seltzer. egg toast, V8 splash juice, some coffee, 2 aspirins with vitamins, rice chex, no exercise, avoid the early cigarettes, fried sardine sandwiches w/melted cheese, 3pm=break out the booze, garlic spaghetti and a fierce temper, doritos, chainsmoke, day's worth of hard work to crash on. next day: repeat process. expect to expire within 5 years.
23. I know for a fact there is only one R. Stevie, but commonsense leads me to believe that your story (to generalize, recording monk alone at home, his way or no way, decades pass, flickers of intrest abound....) must be more common than expected. Have you studied up on others who share your niche in the marketplace?
no. my niche is incapable of being shared. i'm virtually incapable of studying.
24. Who's Hopper? All those links to other dudes? They your friends? Musicians you admire?
yup, my other talented schoolmate musicpals, then and now. i've always admired them, as long as they admitted to admiring me. the literally longest running steviecult (35 years). their music is quite user friendly.
25. You went a little into this already in the first part; I think it's really bitchn' that you get to deal with your customers/fans on a one-on-one basis. I'll bet it's a mixed blessing. When you first began seriously producing your tapes, did you anticipate this kind of exchange? Would you have preferred a steady lable? Where there any rights wars between the few that did release material (new rose, cuneiform, etc...)?
well, lemme think...mixed-blessing indeed. decades of innocently vulnerable handshakes, come on in, oops, gettin' too close, go away sociopathic creep. false alarm. never anticipate anything. forget to learn from my mistakes. antisocial welcomewagon, go figure. rights wars, ha! mia-pow.
26. One last question, do you own a drum kit?
i do not. i make use of those that do.

mine is inside a little electronic box with manual finger pads. like keith moon's laptop.

I guess that's a wrap.

I'll throw in a .com plug in my preface.

apologies to anything that may have been deemed insulting by the panel. thanks alot for your coolness and music and I look forward to hearing from you soon,
P.S. expect a tape and $ome titles in the mail.

(note: all typos are "intentional," yer honor.)

rsm's ariel pink pages