…and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation.
Late last week, instead of doing somewhat important things like laundry and smithing jewelry in Skyrim, I read Dave Hill’s new book, Tasteful Nudes. I expected pages full of groupies and alcohol poisoning but what I found instead were several well written and very funny stories from his life.
Dave covers a lot of ground in his book, from touring Japan with his band Valley Lodge or living at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, to performing a comedy show at New Yorks’ Sing-Sing prison. He writes in a comfortable and casual style that gives the book a ‘hey, grab us a couple of beers and I’ll tell you a story’ feel. His essays are often raunchy and occasionally bittersweet but they are always funny. Oh, and don’t skip the epic footnotes. They are hilarious and my favorite part of the book.
Dave was kind enough to take some time out of his very busy schedule (he has book signings on both the East and West coasts this week) and answer a few of my questions:
Kit – You have done comedy shows or music concerts everywhere from Sing-Sing prison in New York to Tokyo Japan. Is there anywhere you haven’t been that you would like to do a show or concert?
Dave – I’ve never done a comedy show in my hometown of Cleveland. I’ve always been too afraid my dad would come and then I would be grounded for making swears or something. But he’s selling the house, so I should be in the clear soon enough. I’d also like to do a show in a British prison. I’m told the guys in British prisons can be real dicks sometimes and I like a challenge. The more I think about it, it would be cool if Judas Priest could do this show with me. It would be a logistical nightmare what with Halford’s motorcycle and all, but it would be totally worth it. I bet K.K. Downing would even come back for that. And if the new guitar player complains at all, whatever- that shit is not my problem. Tell him to go cry about it to Tim “Ripper” Owens or something. I don’t have time for this shit.
Kit – In the book, you have been very candid with events from your life, including some embarrassing and painful ones. If you could go back in time and change anything would you? And if so, what would you change?
Dave – There’s not much I would change other than the fact that I probably wouldn’t have given the meat locker keys to the cook at the homeless shelter I was put in charge of for the night. Then again, at some point or another in life, someone is bound to steal 300 pounds of meat right out from under your nose and sell it on the street for crack money. It’s gonna happen and you can only avoid it for so long, so I guess I just need to let this one go and get on with my life already.
Kit – Would you wear one of the soundtrack shirts (designed to let the wearer play music or sound effects from a speaker in the shirt) and if so, what three or four songs would you have it play?
Dave – I’d install speakers in all of my clothes if I could. As far as the Soundtrack Shirt goes, though, I’d probably just want it to play “Burnin’ for You” by Blue Oyster Cult four times in a row. That song pretty much has everything. And you can practically hear the mustaches from start to finish, especially that “Ahhhhh-ahhhhhh” part. They really nailed it. If Buck Dharma is reading this, please know that you rule so much it’s actually kind of weird.
Kit – If you could only have one guitar for the rest of your life, what guitar would you choose?
Dave – That’s a tough one. I have about twenty at the moment. This is because I am not fucking around. My favorites are my goldtop Les Paul with P-90s, my Gretsch White Falcon, and a Tele-style guitar made by a great company called LSL Instruments. If I could combine those three guitars somehow, that would rule. Rick Kelly from Carmine Street Guitars is building me one of his Bowery Pine Tele-style guitars now. The neck is going to be carved out of wood from the Chelsea Hotel, where I used to live. It should be a pretty sweet axe, so maybe that’ll be the one once it’s done. I just reread everything I just typed though, and realized I sound like an asshole person and am also begging someone to break into my apartment. So let me start over and just say I’d go with a ’59 Les Paul, Jimmy Page’s main axe. Then I’d have an excuse to get one of those dragon suits he used to wear too, which would rule and you can basically ask anyone.
Kit – Getting back to your book, did you ever have a t-shirt printed with “You can take my dignity but you can’t take my shrubbery”?
Dave – Whoa- I never thought of that. I guess I should probably get on that. I promise I’ll split all the money with you. And believe me- there will be a shitload of it.
Kit – Which is best for book writing; coffee or hot chocolate?
Dave – Coffee is definitely better for both book writing and pants shitting. But hot chocolate did make it into the rotation occasionally because there’s a place near my house that rules at that shit. I would usually go there after I was done writing for the day so I could sit in front of the hot chocolate store and think “Wow- I really wrote the fuck out of that book today.” It was a nice feeling.
Kit – Finally, because I -need- to know, what happened to the goggles and lab coat you bought your editor Kathy Huck? Did she hang them in her office?
Dave - I’m not sure. She claims they were destroyed in a fire of some sort, but I call bullshit on that one. Those were pretty sweet goggles, too. I seriously don’t know what her problem is. Chicks, right?
Tasteful Nudes is out today and yes, you all should go buy it. However, if you need more to go on the first chapter of Tasteful Nudes is available to read online at Powell’s Books. You can also buy the hardcover or Kindle edition on Amazon.
Check out more of Dave’s writing on his website Dave Hill’s Internet Explosion where you can also find book signing dates and follow him on twitter @mrdavehill.
The official stuff –
- Hardcover:240 pages
- Publisher:St. Martin’s Press (May 22, 2012)
- ISBN-13: 978-1250002037