Stewart Home answers 38 questions from Catalonia

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?
A. Coffee.

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Curry.

Q. What is your favorite drink?
A. Coffee, espresso naturally.

Q. Where do you stand politically?
A. Left.

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?
A. Coffee.

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!

About mistertrippy

Stewart Home was born in south London in 1962. His mother Julia Callan-Thompson was a showgirl and club hostess. He has never held down a regular job for more than a few months at a time. On those rare occasions when he's been forced to work, Home has taken employment as a factory labourer, agricultural labourer, shop assistant, office clerk and art class model. Deciding he didn't like working in factories as a teenager, Home pursued cultural and political interests, writing many books and participating in even more gallery exhibitions.
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17 thoughts on “Stewart Home answers 38 questions from Catalonia

  1. Tim says:

    Great interview. Disco Inferno! One of the few quiz interviews I read all the way through. Homage to Catalonia indeed . . .

  2. In that case we really must be the same person! Schizophrenia is a groove sensation!

  3. Lemmie at ’em! I’ll teach ’em to run off with Nicole!

  4. The Man In The Moon says:

    Coffee may keep you awake at night, but I prefer speed…..

  5. Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad says:

    Here’s another good interview I hadn’t read before —

    http://www.readysteadybook.com/Article.aspx?page=stewarthome

  6. Howling Wizard, Shrieking Toad says:

    Speed makes you one of the most boring people at the party.

    Then a scary annoying irritating depressing one the next morning.

    Nasty stuff.

  7. Michael Roth says:

    I love the smell of coffee in the morning, it smells like victory.

  8. Michael Roth says:

    I now know a bit more about Stewart Home, but Mr. Trippy remains an enigma. BTW, great link HW,ST .

  9. Andrew Stevens says:

    They didn’t replicate the Graun’s ‘How often do you have sex?’ though.

  10. raymond anderson says:

    Link Wray’s Three track Shack is a groove. Beans and Fatback!
    Would you, could you squeeze Edwige Feneche into that party?

  11. Feel lucky punk? Well do ya?

  12. I’ve always wanted to meet you. And don’t forget, Canadians do it better!

  13. Simon Strong says:

    New York’s alright… if you like saxophones.

  14. Neoist Vidiot says:

    This makes you sound just like Istvan Kantor!

  15. Old Rope says:

    Should there not be some sort of blue plaque to inform punters in Bethnal Green Museum, Trip? History is important. We should never forget

  16. Michael K says:

    Michael K answers 38 questions from Catatonia
    I’ve been having shitloads of trouble with fat goth debutantes, their imagnary (if it ain’t attention-seeking it’s sympathy-seeking) hospital visits and their metaphysical rich-boy counterparts so… being as I’d already had enough of the village that is Facebook (me being the only K in the vilage), I decided to pose nude as myself and answer these questions from a rumoured ex-member of indie-band Catatonia:

    Q. When were you happiest?
    A. Ask me later.

    Q. What is your greatest fear?
    A. Fear itself.

    Q. What is your earliest memory?
    A. I often have memory outages caused by the fact that I have too many multiple personalities within my psyche. Some of them have great memories…like for instance, the one that was in the band Guilty Achievements can remember precisely what colour the gemstone was in the necklaces of those two girls that came into the dressing room when I was 15 to give me a good dressing down.

    Q. Which living person do you most admire and why?
    A. I’m no self-admirer. In fact, I hate myself and want to die so I’d probably say that the person I admire most is….hmmm….now that I come to think about it, it IS me!!!

    Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    A. Acute undiagnosable sensitivity to substances and pathetic little lies told like they’re the gospel descending from the mount.

    Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    A. Consumer osmosis.

    Q. Where would you like to live?
    A. This aint about who what where or HOW, this is all about the freaks doin’ everything they wanna do NOW

    Q. In what historical time would you have liked to have lived?
    A. I wuld have dug hearing Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band floating out over London from Mama Cass’s flat the night that Lennon and McCartney brought the acetate around.

    Q. What would your superpower be?
    A. I have loads of them but they’re obviously classified although some people have witnessed that I’m not bullshitting when I tell them that the Earth moves cos I told it to.

    Q. What makes you depressed?
    A. Bio-chemistry

    Q. Ever been in a fight?
    A. Are you looking for a fight?

    Q. Would you kill?
    A. Kill kill kill for peace love and mental health!

    Q. Who would play you in the biopic of your life?
    A. Myself.

    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?
    A. Coffee.

    Q. What is your favorite food?
    A. Curry.

    Q. What is your favorite drink?
    A. Coffee, espresso naturally.

    Q. Where do you stand politically?
    A. Left.

    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 pictures stored on my phone of all the funky people who got undressed for my camera.

    Q. What do you owe your parents?
    A. A used condom

    Q. Who would you invite to your dream party?
    Nobody from Facebook unless they’re already ‘out here’, otherwise they’re all just pixels. I’d probably have fairly random people picked from a line-up by a court-appointed attorney

    Q. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    A. Erm…or something

    Q. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
    A. I’ve always been editing my past, putting in flash frames, subliminal soundtracks and trailers for NOW which is the place to be

    Q. When did you last cry, and why?
    A. I cry because I wake up depressed and know there’s no reason for it and nothing can be done about it. It still hurts though

    Q. How do you relax?
    A. Tree-sex

    Q. What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    I have died clinically three times. It’s overrated as an experience.

    Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    I have two great achievements that are completely unattributed to me and must remain so forever.
    Both revolutionaised the political state of play in the united kingdom and one of them was in 2009. Tiring and stressful though. And it doesnt pay well.
    Mostly I’m proud of those I love.

    Q. What keeps you awake at night?
    A. Ideas

    Q. What song or songs would you like played at your funeral?
    A. I dont have funerals

    Q. Where would you most like to be right now?
    A. Right here. Right now.

    Q. What is your most treasured possession?
    A. My skill and my imagination

    Q. How would you describe yourself?
    A. Funker than a sack of grandaddies

    Q. How would you like to be remembered?
    A. Forgotten but not gone

  17. Contemporary Spaniards couldn’t tell difference between Vanguardia and Soaps even if Stewart Home would indicate it to them with the middle finger.