5 years ago Kiko Amat wrote a big feature on me for La Vanguardia, Spain’s biggest selling paper. A couple of days ago he emailed me 38 questions saying: “…we’ve started a new series of Q&A to people we like or we feel inspired by. It’s a very simple Q&A, very Guardian Weekend like, but we find it very telling. And amusing too.” Since my answers will be published in translation, I thought I’d share them with English speaking readers here.
Q. When were you happiest?
A. This morning.
Q. What is your greatest fear?
A. The US hardcore punk band Fear – I’m not a huge hardcore fan but I do like Fear’s I Don’t Care About You and I Love Living In The City. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
Q. What is your earliest memory?
A. Being on a ferry boat going to The Isle of Wight in 1964 when I was 2 years old. It was raining and there was a striped awning over the passenger deck. This may not be my earliest memory, I have a lot of memories of central London from the same period, but this stands out because I often went on the tube into central London as a small child, but going on a boat was more unusual.
Q. Which living person do you most admire and why?
A. Myself. Everyone should admire themselves most…
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
A. My modesty.
Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
A. No sense of humour.
Q. Where would you like to live?
A. London in the 1960s.
Q. In what historical time would you have liked to have lived?
A. 1960s/70s London but as an adult so I could have seen bands like The Who and The Creation at small clubs in the mid-1960s.
Q. What would your superpower be?
A. Bullshitting but since I already got that one, maybe I could get to sing as good as Aretha Franklin too!
Q. What makes you depressed?
A. Ignorance and stupidity.
Q. Ever been in a fight?
A. Lots of them when I was teenage. But the best fighters don’t need to fight, as Bruce Lee demonstrates early on in Enter The Dragon; I’m a real fan of the art of fighting without fighting.
Q. Would you kill?
A. I’d prefer not to kill, but there are circumstance in which it could be unavoidable. I’m vegetarian but not a pacifist.
Q. Who would play you in the biopic of your life?
A. Pamela Anderson.
Q. Make a list of 4 or 5 favorite books.
A. Tainted Love, 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess, Slow Death and Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie (published next year); all by me, of course!
Q. Make a list of 4 or 5 favorite records.
A. The Electrifying Eddie Harris; Link Wray, Walking With Link; Lee Perry, Scratch The Upsetters Again; Willie Mitchell, Ooh Baby, You Turn Me On; The Real Kids, The Real Kids. All albums.
Q. Vinyl, CD or MP3?
A. Vinyl for dub reggae and heavy dance grooves that depend on the bass, CDs for pop & rock & Motown, MP3 for convenience (but non-proprietorial OGG format is better than MP3, if only everyone would use it).
Q. Make a list of 4 or 5 favorite films.
A. At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (Coffin Joe), Last Year At Marienbad (Alain Resnais), Female Prisoner 701 Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shunya Ito), Persona (Ingmar Bergman), Succubus (Jess Franco).
Q. What is your favorite smell?
Q. What is your favorite food?
Q. What is your favorite drink?
A. Coffee, espresso naturally.
Q. Where do you stand politically?
Q. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
A. My nose (could be smaller – scaled to the same level as my ego would be great – but I guess it ain’t all bad, coz you know what they say about men with big noses and big feet….).
Q. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
A. Seeing my name in print.
Q. What do you owe your parents?
A. I got my good looks and sharp mind from my mother…
Q. Who would you invite to your dream party?
Pamela Anderson, Naomi Campbell, Carmen Electra, Angela Mao, Jennifer Lopez, Meiko Kaji… and Soledad Miranda if she could be brought back to life looking as beautiful as she did on 17 August 1970.
Q. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
A. A groove sensation…
Q. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
A. A few bad decisions about which bands to go and see when I was still at school in 1976/1977 and didn’t have enough money to get in to all the gigs I wanted. Around May 1977 I should have gone to see The Ramones rather than The Stranglers…. But I saw both bands other times. Also I’d change getting turned away from gigs in 1976/1977 for being under 18 and would have seen the shows I missed, which included one by The Stranglers in January 1977. Being pissed off over getting turned away from that Stranglers show was what made me decide to go and see them and not The Ramones in May 1977.
Q. When did you last cry, and why?
A. When I got these questions coz it made me so happy knowing I’d see my name in print again in Catalonia!
Q. How do you relax?
A. With coffee or a work out!
Q. What is the closest you’ve come to death?
A. I had a near death experience in the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood in the winter of 1984. I went in there to rest from the cold coz I didn’t have a regular place to live and was staying with different friends. It felt like I was propelled out of my body on this silver chord into a lot of golden light. I thought I was dying and it was a very happy experience. But then a museum guard shook me and asked if I was alright. It took a while to ground myself after that.
Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Leaving the Bethnal Green Musuem of Childhood alive, despite croaking seeming like such a great option when I had that near death experience there in 1984.
Q. What keeps you awake at night?
Q. What song or songs would you like played at your funeral?
A. Burn, Baby, Burn by Mel Williams and Disco Inferno by The Trammps.
Q. Where would you most like to be right now?
A. Riba-roja d’Ebre.
Q. What is your most treasured possession?
A. My mother’s fashion model portfolio photographs and press clippings.
Q. How would you describe yourself?
A. A groove sensation!
Q. How would you like to be remembered?
A. As the first man to commit adultery on Mars (but I’d have to get married to do that and marriage ain’t really my thing).
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!