Curiouser & Curiouser: Who was your first crush?
Heath: I had sort of a triple-whammy when I was about 11 or 12 years old. First, Julie Newmar as Catwoman made me sorta sit up and realize that, hey, there WAS a difference between boys and girls. Diana Rigg as Emma Peel reinforced that. And Carolyn Jones as Morticia Addams set it in stone. Someone told me once that there’s a definite pattern there, but I, of course, have no idea what they’re talking about.
C&C: What’s the story behind the white cowboy hat? What prompted that purchase and who are you when you wear it?
H: I really like that hat and I wish I had more reasons to wear it; here in Lansing, MI, you can’t really walk around town wearing a cowboy hat. I mean, I suppose you COULD, but you’d be asking for trouble. I bought it because I always kinda wanted one, and I like the way it looks. When I’m wearing it, my inner bad-ass comes out, which makes it useful for writing purposes (yes, I sometimes wear it while sitting in front of my computer typing away. Don’t judge).
C&C: Why a WHITE cowboy hat? Not black, brown, but white? Connotations of good as opposed to evil? You just liked it the best? Can we just do the interview about the hat?
H: You can’t really tell from the picture, but the hat is actually OFF-white, which is more appropriate, I reckon. In the parlance of our gamer geek friends, I am Chaotic Good.
And my hat doesn’t do interviews anymore.
C&C: You worked at Sun Records – tell me pretty much ANYTHING you want about that.
H: I did! I won’t lie to you, it was the best job ever. I’ve already told the story of being the only non-essential personnel in the studio when Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Scotty Moore were there filming something for the BBC—that was probably the highlight—but really, everyday was pretty cool. I got to meet people from all over the world who’d made the journey to Memphis to see the shabby little place where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Howlin’ Wolf, etc, cut those historic tracks. I got to be a know-it-all, sharing bits of information and playing songs for remarkably enthusiastic audiences. It was a great time, once an hour, every day. I loved it.
C&C: What was the worst job you ever had?
H: The polar opposite of working at Sun was this office gig I had for SEVEN LONG YEARS. It nearly killed me. I was in sales first, then customer service, and I sucked hard at both. Every morning I’d lay in bed and consider cutting off my foot and wondering if that would allow me to not go in that day. It was boring and tedious and stressful and I think I aged twenty years for every shift.
C&C: Do you have any tattoos?
H: Yeah, I have one. I’ve had it since I was 17 and almost never think about it anymore. It’s a cow skull, on my left bicep. I was sorta into the “cowpunk” thing when I was a kid. I know tats are a lot more common now, pretty much everyone has them. I guess I have no strong feelings about them at all, as they don’t indicate anything about the person who has them.
C&C: Do you collect anything? If not, did you ever, say as a kid?
H: I guess I do. I like to acquire old issues of Manhunt from the ‘50’s when I can, although I don’t have many. Also, paperbacks from that same era. I used to collect certain comic books and toys, but the thrill of that wore off as I got older. Sometimes when I get really enthusiastic about a particular writer, I feel the compulsion to buy everything by them. But my various collections of things are really meager compared to some folks I know, which makes me realize I’m not a profound collector of anything.
C&C: What’s your favorite holiday and why?
H: Hmm… Halloween, maybe? That probably won’t come as a shock to anyone. I don’t go to Halloween parties or anything, I don’t dress up in costumes (I liked your Han Solo costume, by the way!) but I dig the whole Halloween vibe. Spooky, spooky.
C&C: What do you have in your pockets?
H: Hang on, lemme see.
35 cents. A couple of stray pistachios. A piece of paper that I have written LUCIFER SADFINGER on; I have no idea what that means. Oh, and look, a crumpled dollar bill that must have gone through the wash. Party time!
C&C: Can you make of three scenarios that “Lucifer Sadfinger” could end up on a piece of paper in your pocket??
H: I figure it’s one of three things.
1) I met someone named Lucien Solfigger and just horribly mangled his name.
2) a very lonely guy with a bizarre name gave me his info and asked me to text him, but he forget to give me the number, which would go a long way toward explaining his loneliness.
3) A cult of Depressed Satanic keyboard players have marked me as their next sacrificial victim.
Whichever one it is, I suspect it’s better not to know.