DISPATCH 05-08-12   WOLLONGONG AUSTRALIA

05-08-12

1309 hrs. Sitting in tonight’s venue. We drove here from Sydney earlier today, took about one hundred minutes. We will be doing this one again post show and then in the lobby at 0815 hrs. tomorrow to fly to Perth for three shows in Western Australia.


The last few days have been somewhat distracted, thinking about the passing of Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. He was a great guy and it’s a tough thing to think about.


A few days ago, I woke up in some hotel and checked out the internet for news and read the headline that Adam was gone. I have been trying to avoid thinking about this because within a few hours of almost any day out here, I am onstage and I was afraid of being unable to stay on track.


Adam’s passing is one of those felt all over the world as the Beastie Boys were such a major part of modern music. Anywhere there is electricity, their music can be found. Beyond that part of the loss, he was a guy who was taking a lot of his time and devoting to help others. He really was that guy. It’s just a damn shame. That we have the music to remember him and the great achievements of the band, a loss is a loss and it is hard.


On a different note, the shows here have been going great and besides a few tickets available on the last night of the Sydney and Melbourne shows, the entire tour has sold out.


Public Enemy is here at the moment. Chuck D told me a couple of weeks ago that PE was coming down here but didn’t say when. The posters are now up all over Sydney. When they are here, I will be on the other side of the country. Very sorry to be missing them.


It’s been interesting being away from America and reading the news from all the way over here. The rhetoric is heating up, no surprise there. The lowness of it, no doubt, anywhere near its peak, is depressing. It’s too bad when big strong adults resort to this kind of behavior. Interesting that France did not re-elect Sarkozy and went for Francois Hollande, who promptly announced that he was going to pull French forces out of Afghanistan by the end of the year. I think that’s great. There are only a few thousand French soldiers there but that’s a few thousand too many for me.


Last night was one of the few nights off on this part of the tour. I wrote a piece about Adam for the LA Weekly that should be on their site by this coming Thursday. I finished that and got an e-mail from some journalist (?) in Cape Town, South Africa telling me that he needed these questions done now, I tell you, now! So, ok, I answered them. South African journalists are a strange bunch, truly. They ask some weird questions. This journalist saved his zinger for the last question. It’s like finding a dead mouse at the bottom of your soup bowl. Enjoy!


It has been said you don’t form strong attachments or feel loneliness. Would you say that is because of being an only child? What do you find attractive about a solitary life, albeit one lived in the public eye?
====== I find the work attractive. That’s what I do. I go where the work is and do it. For thirty-one years, I have lived all over and been onstage, on sets, wherever and you meet people here and there but not always in a way that sticks. You see them when you see them and that’s it until next time. Where I come from, there are people I have known for about forty years and I still know them. It’s good to see them when I do but I don’t see them all that often. I am alone a lot as it takes that to get the task done and that’s always of the greatest importance. Loneliness and all that, it’s not all that much on my mind.


What sparked this one man mission to seek out the things you consider interesting all over the world?
====== I am like a lot of people—curious. I go to find things out. There is an ultimate truth that you get in touch with that makes all the miles worth it. You can’t get it out of a book, you have to do the miles and the time and get it for real. I live for this. Life is short. Living in one place all the time, it’s for some people, not for me.


Did you have a religious upbringing? What were your parents’ views on religion and politics? Did they encourage you to form your own opinion or was there a conflict with their beliefs?
====== I have no religious affiliation at all. My mother is a very left leaning person and my father is very much to the right, all the way up to the wall. They didn’t encourage me to do much of anything except stay out of their way, so I went out and got my own thoughts on things for the most part. As to politics and all that, I never talked to my father past a certain age and never had those discussions. He didn’t like black people or gay people or communists, all that, so there’s nothing more you need to know there.


Do you talk about South Africa in other shows, and if so, in what context? What currently stands out about our country to you?
====== I really don’t say much about SA that isn’t extremely positive. I know you all have been through a lot and your history has a lot of pain in it. But it’s history, it doesn’t have to be the present, it can be a lesson from the past. I see South Africa as a very hopeful place. I have met some amazing people there. I truly enjoy my time there. It’s really rough in some areas but the good parts I have seen are really good.


With new issues arising every day, what’s on your mind right now? How often and how fast do these thoughts, concerns and/or ideas change?
====== What’s interesting to me right now is the American political scene. The Republicans and how they can’t handle president Obama. No matter what he does, it’s the worst thing in the world, etc. I think that’s going to cost them plenty. I put new things into the set all the time.


What holds your interest in your personal time? How do you switch off? Do you even switch off?
====== I listen to a lot of music, pursue a lot of music. I do a lot of reading and writing in my down time, a lot of time in the gym on the treadmill. I don’t really switch off. I have too many deadlines.


Were you ever apprehensive about going around the world and speaking your mind about so many issues other people probably wouldn’t touch. Was it a “fuck it if they hate me or not” attitude?
====== No fear, really. I never thought anything I was saying was all that explosive or dangerous. I am not onstage trying to anger anyone. More than anything, it’s a desire to communicate. There need not be any swagger in that.


How do you deal with it when things aren’t received well?
====== That really doesn’t happen. It’s not like I am trying to convince an audience to go kidnap a bunch of kids this coming weekend. Someone in the audience might have a disagreement with me. I think two gay people should get married if they want. It’s not my business what they do. Someone in the audience might disagree. I don’t think that would really anger anyone all that much. I have never had some mass reaction to something I have said in the negative
sense, I am just not aiming in that direction.


Are there any sacred cows, and if so – what and why?
====== Not really. What could be sacred that I would want to go after? Perhaps religion is a sacred cow. It’s honestly not of my interest to go after anyone’s religion. When I hear some well known Christian say that gay people are evil, that’s his right to say something that stupid. It doesn’t mean my reaction is to go after Christianity.


What’s the weirdest experience you’ve had with a fan, or the weirdest person you’ve come across? Or even just the weirdest experience in general.
====== I have had some rather obsessive people who have followed me around for quite awhile. People have laid some very intense things on me over the years. I don’t see people as weird, unless they’re all weird. It’s not like I am anyone’s example of normal, well, perhaps to a weird person. I am not all that uptight on how people are supposed to be. I have seen a lot over the years that has loosened me up quite a bit.


With all the constant travelling and having such a strong role as an activist, do you see yourself slowing or settling down at some point? Either way, please give your reasons.
====== I am settled in this chair right now, answering these questions. That’s about as settled as I want to get. I don’t understand a life lived in one spot to too long. It feels like a half attempt. I would rather keep moving and checking things out. I don’t feel like stopping but who knows, that might change, although, I don’t see why it would.


Is there anything or anyone that scares or intimidates you, and if so who/what/why?
====== Dangerous animals, sharks, tigers, etc. Dangerous people. Police scare me sometimes. They have all the power, I have none, they can do what they want to me. I have no recourse. Past that, I am not looking to get killed by someone with a gun trying to rob me or get hit by a bus. I just watch out the best I can.


If you could have dinner with any two people in the world, who would you choose, and why?
====== I would like to talk to president Obama and secretary Clinton about the future of America.


Are there any places or things that are still on your “to do” list, and if so where/what?
====== I want to spend more time in parts of Africa I have not yet been to. I want to get to some of the Central Asian countries that I have yet to visit. More time in Southeast Asia. I would like to see more of Mongolia. I would like to get some books finished and some others read. I am always looking for records on my want list. I have all kinds of to do lists.


When you are in South Africa do you manage to walk around unrecognised and experience a bit of day to day life here?
===== So far, the visits have been mostly about the shows, so there has not been a lot of time to see things. Hopefully, I will be able to see more and more as I make more trips there.


This one from my hot friend, Christy: “It may seem like a silly question, but considering you don’t want to get married nor want to form strong attachments - how’s your sex life? Do you have a fuck buddy in every country? A man has needs after all…”
====== Way to bring the interview down to a frat boy level. Nice. Thanks for the time hemorrhage.


That’s what you want to do on your night off! I am onstage soon. Thanks for reading this. Henry

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