Home | Archive | Itineraries | Events | FAQ | Columns/Links
Advertise | Newsletter | About/Subscribe | Submissions | Art Walk | Books | THE2NDHAND Writers Fund

**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

Back to Archive Index

John H. Matthews

--I was born to rock. Some people are born to be ham radio operators, piano tuners or tobacconists. I was put on Earth to rock your ass.

--I love drugs. I take 'em all the time. I'll do just about anything and I recommend all children follow my example.

--One night we're playing this show in Philly and Burton, our road manager, decides it would be funny if Kyle and I set our shoes on fire during 'Flamer', our encore song. So, like idiots, we go along with this idea and pour lighter fluid all over our shoes and come out to play the song. Man, the last thing you want to do is be wearing lycra stage pants when your shoes are on fire. That was pretty fucking retarded.

--My motto is 'Drink beer, have sex.' That also happens to be the mission statement of the Honolulu Weekly.

--Sammy Hagar says there's only one way to rock. I have personally identified 5,738 different ways to rock. Sammy Hagar's an idiot.

--'Murder One' got a bad rap because it's about killing cops. But let me ask you this -- do you like cops? Don't you wish you could kill one and get away with it?

--I was in a lot of bad bands before starting The Icks. We had all kinds of crazy names -- Snuffy Google Time Machine, Emily Dickenson Army, Spontaneous Dwarf Rats, The Bitter Nothings.... What we should have called ourselves was 'Let's Tune for 45 Minutes'. That's pretty much what we spent our practice sessions doing. That, smoking dope and playing Nintendo.

--You can solve all kinds of problems by asking yourself a simple question: 'What would [Deep Purple guitarist] Ritchie Blackmore do?'

--The excesses of rock stardom are real and they're fucking awesome.

--Have you seen Robert Plant lately? His face looks like it's made out of spoiled cream cheese.

--'Kill Yourself' isn't really about suicide. It's more about suggestion.

--It was a life changing moment [when the ice cream truck ran over his best friend]. I'm standing there with a Dreamsicle and Rodney's lying dead on the pavement and I'm like, 'Fuck, this ain't good.'

--'Gloria.' That's on the rider -- no one coming in contact with us can say the name 'Gloria' or mention Van Morrison to us. There's three hundred other stipulations in our contract, most of which I forget until someone pisses me off by violating one of them.

--Success to me always meant having enough money to do all the drugs I want, have sex at any moment and own a huge mansion in L.A. I think that's the American Dream -- that and lots of media exposure.

--I drink all the time. Everyone I hang out with drinks. My friends and I are always drinking. I don't ever see my friends sober. I probably hate my friends.

--I was on Maury Povich's show one time. He introduced me to this kid who shot his face off after listening to our song 'Kill Yourself.' The kid didn't succeed, obviously, and now he looks like a monster. He's wearing an Icks T-shirt and when I came out, I embraced him. It was a touching moment.

--I don't read shit like U.S. News and World Report. I'm a rock star, not Tom Brokaw. Do you think Tom Brokaw subscribes to High Times?

--Some guy gave me this weird Mexican herb you can buy over the internet. Man, I smoked some of that shit and it was like a team of horses were charging through my head. It messed up my motor functions to the point where I couldn't talk for fifteen minutes. I kept seeing this tree that pulsed white blood. I saw the guy later on and he asked me how I liked it. I said, 'Man, that was fucking terrible. Where can I get some more?'

--The language barrier is a bit of a problem on foreign tours. Lucky for us with foreign chics, we don't have to do much talking to get into their pants.

--My personal philosophy is summed up pretty well on our third album 'Take the Acid.' It's based on Marxist ideology, really. If you have have the will to rock, you will rock and you will rock on.

--Nancy Reagan didn't like us a hell of a lot after we wrote 'Hail to the Chief,' a song that pretty much offers various descriptions of ways to kill her and her husband.

--The death of Curtis [their first drummer] was a set back. It made us pause and examine what we were doing to ourselves, partying like this. We hoped we could continue doing it without dying like he did.

--On stage I'm a chameleon. I'm a shaman and an exorcist. Some days I'm Charles Manson. Other days I'm Vanna White.

--Goals? My goal is to be the first rock band with interplanetary distribution. You know Mars is gonna get colonized one day. I want my CD on the first supply ship over there. That would be tits.

John H. Matthews lives in Chicago. He's had fiction published recently in The Whirligig, Pindeldyboz and Inkburns. See what else he's up to at FamousDreams.com.