A couple of weeks ago I interviewed Dick Valentine from Electric Six for a regular column in Hot Press called “A Quickie With.” I expected him to be a bit “wacky,” but really didn’t expect him to be quite so much of a maniac/bin lid. Still, he was good fun, if a little unhinged. Here’s the reprint…
A Quickie With…
Dick Valentine from Electric Six
Where are you now and what are you doing?
I’m sitting in the passenger seat of our van and I’m in the middle of driving from California to San Francisco.
First record to send a shiver up your spine?
I would have to go for U2’s first record. It was called Pop [author’s note-yes we know Pop wasn’t their first album…].
First gig you ever attended?
I went to see the Doobie Brothers with my mom in 1977. It was an outdoor amphitheatre kinda thing. It was the 70s, my mom was a young mom and I was like five years old and during the intermission they said they were going backstage to roll up a doobie and everyone cheered.
First gig you played?
It was at the Troy High School Talent Show. I was actually playing the drums for my friend-I didn’t even go to that high school. I was just laying down the beats. At that time the Sundays and Echo and the Bunnymen were really big then and we played jangly Rickenbacker pop kinda stuff. He didn’t even have lyrics-he was just doing instrumentals. I was happy playing in a band so I didn’t really question it.
Embarrassing thing you’ve done while drunk?
I haven’t done this in a long time-but during my college days I would get belligerent and pick fights with women. Thankfully that’s all behind me and I now have incredible relationships with women. Now I’m getting old I’m becoming more like the Hugh Hefner type. I’m very nurturing to women now.
Favourite Spinal Tap moment?
There are times when you’re at a venue and you can’t find your way to the stage and so forth, but believe it or believe not our band doesn’t have many of those moments (he says as we drive off the road…). No I’m just kidding [Dick puts on his best serial killer laugh].
Last record you bought, blagged or downloaded?
I haven’t bought a record in 97 years. Maybe if I go and see a friend’s band I’ll maybe buy a record then, but probably not.
What shite jobs have you had in the past?
The worst job I ever had I only kept for a day and half. I was a fish scaler. I worked in the fish freezer and I scaled fish using a scaling machine. They said that if I worked hard enough I’d get to be a driver someday and deliver the fish to the restaurants but then I was told by somebody who worked there for four years that he still didn’t get made a driver so I walked out.
Song you would like to have played at your funeral?
I would like to have ‘Almost Paradise’ by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson [taken from the Footloose soundtrack]. There’s a lyric that goes “We’re knocking on heaven’s door” and I’d like to think that Mike Reno will be escorting me to heaven’s door some day.
Electric Six play the Academy, Dublin on December 5.