By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photos by Mark Savage (Zoom), Jack Gould (Alvin), and Myles Robinson (Rocker) CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: > FREDDIE BROOKS leads Freddie Brooks & the Dirty Crooks.
> LEE ROCKER is the former Stray Cats bassist and a current solo artist.
> CHRIS GAFFNEY leads Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts.
> MIKE ROUSE (not pictured) is the bassist for the Bleeders and a local promoter.
> BILLY ZOOM is the guitarist for X.> DAVE ALVIN is the former Blasters guitarist and a current solo artist. He's actually from Downey, but we'll claim him anyway.
Which musician cut the worst fart you ever smelled?
ZOOM: Is Cheeseboy a musician? I don't know if he counts as a musician. He's an Orange County celebrity, and he had a band called Cheeseboy. He was the one. He was very proud of himself.
BROOKS: Willie Brinlee. He's a bassist who played with William Clarke. It was onstage—he backed up to the drummer, who was a captive audience, and let one rip. He stood there laughing about it. It was brutal—here I am playing a harmonica, and I couldn't hold my breath.
GAFFNEY:That would be me. You know how enamored you get with your own farts. No, actually it was Billy Bacon. In a van. He went off, and then he went, "Enjoy!" I love him anyway.
ROUSE: Paul Fox of the Bleeders. Road trip to San Francisco. Too much liquor and Indian food. Let me tell you, it doesn't suit him well.
ROCKER: Buddy Blue. At that session we did in San Diego. Bad.
ALVIN: Gil T, the bass player in my first solo band. His actually smoked and steamed.
Who is the most underrated band or artist in OC?
BROOKS: Junior Watson. He's known around the world in kind of a cult sense, but the general public here doesn't know who he is. The guy's a monstrous guitar player, a great singer and a hell of an entertainer.
GAFFNEY: I like that band Supernovice. They fucking kick ass.
ROUSE: The Bleeders, of course.
ROCKER:I don't know if this is close enough to OC, but Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs. I think of them from the Doll Hut thing. I think they're one of the most underrated bands around.
Who's the most overrated?
BROOKS: I can't think of anybody in Orange County who I think is overrated. I feel like just about everybody who's getting anything has earned it.
GAFFNEY:I'd hate to pick on anybody.
ROUSE:The Bleeders, of course.
ROCKER: I don't want to make any enemies here. I'll have to cop out on that one.
ALVIN:Anyone who's sold more than a million records.
Finish this sentence: "Woke up this morning and . . ."
ZOOM: I don't know, I'm usually pretty proud of myself just for waking up.
BROOKS:Scratched my balls.
GAFFNEY:Got myself a beer.
ROUSE:I was still at the frickin' Hootenanny.
ROCKER: Had my coffee and my smoke.
ALVIN:Had to catch a plane.
Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera?
ZOOM: Is this for music or sex? Christina Aguilera, but it's close. She's a couple of years older, isn't she?
BROOKS: Christina Aguilera. She's got a more powerful personality and is a little bit earthier.
GAFFNEY: Britney Spears. Christina lets it all go in the first 10 seconds.
ROUSE: Christina. Man, that's some salsa there. I don't go for that white-bread stuff.
ROCKER: Britney. She's a lot better.
ALVIN: Good question. Uhhhhhhh . . . I refuse to answer that without my lawyer present.
Gore or Bush?
ZOOM:Bush. He's not Gore, and I liked his dad.
BROOKS:Are those my only two choices? Let me put it this way: anybody but Bush. I would bring Fidel Castro in if it would keep Bush out.
GAFFNEY:Bush because he'd be easier to kill.
ROUSE:Oh, man. I don't believe in a two-party system. It would have to be Bush because I'm so anti-Gore.
ROCKER: Gore. I'm a hardcore Democrat.
ALVIN:Gore. Supreme Court appointments are the most important thing.
Who was the last person you punched and why did you do it?
ZOOM:A guy at an X show in Vancouver in the early '80s. He threw a beer on my guitar, and I punched him in the eye. It was good. He spent the rest of the show holding his eye with one hand and flipping me off with the other.
BROOKS: A nightclub owner who shorted my bread. I did it in a back hallway. I can't elaborate.
GAFFNEY:My brother. He was trying to show off that he was a boxer in front of my other brother. He was my bass player at the time, and I sent him to work that night with yellow arms. I don't hit him in the head anymore.
ROUSE:I've thrown a person or two off the stage, but I haven't punched anyone.
ROCKER: The last person I punched was Slim Jim [Phantom]. We got into a drunken brawl one night about 10 years ago. I don't remember why. He probably spilled my pint.
ALVIN:My brother Phil, at a Blasters rehearsal, over a song or something. It happened every time.
If you could wipe all traces of one band's music from the face of the Earth, whose would it be?
BROOKS: It would have to be Led Zeppelin.
GAFFNEY: Puff Daddy, or any of that suburban white rap.
ROUSE:Should I piss everybody off and say the Beatles? You'd love that, wouldn't you? Piss 'em off, Mike! The Beatles.
ROCKER:It's a tough call between Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
ALVIN:Journey. Or any band that ever did a power ballad.
Napster: Pro or con?
ZOOM: Napster? Is that something like a hamster? Is it a rap artist?
BROOKS: Con. I don't know enough about it, and I feel very unprotected in that way. I'm skeptical and suspicious.
GAFFNEY: What'd you say?
ROUSE:Pro. It's a great vehicle for bands to get exposure. Corporations and corporate bands shouldn't be participating in it. I don't believe in major labels and the way the music industry as a whole does business.
ROCKER: Pro. If radio wasn't in such a sorry state and was doing its job, then I'd be against Napster. But at least it's a way to hear some music where the record companies aren't deciding what you hear.
ALVIN: I don't know. I'm computer-illiterate.
Any chance you're one of Screamin' Jay Hawkins' 57 illegitimate children?
ZOOM:I don't think so. I resemble both my parents, so I think I'm safe.
BROOKS:No. I'm the wrong color.
GAFFNEY:No. Wasn't he black?
ROUSE:If you saw the nap in my hair, you might think so.
ROCKER: I wish I was.
ALVIN:Not likely, unfortunately.
If you could have played with anyone in history, who would it have been?
ZOOM:Helen Shapiro. She was a British singer who was famous everywhere around the world except in the U.S.
BROOKS: Muddy Waters. There was Bach, there was Beethoven, there was Mozart, and then there was Muddy Waters.
GAFFNEY: Otis Redding or James Brown—James Brown just for the risk of getting fined.
ROUSE: After watching Scotty Moore [at Hootenanny] the other day, he'd have to be one of them.
ROCKER:Elvis Presley. I wouldn't have been looking forward to those $50 checks at the end of the night in the early days, though.
ALVIN:Blind Lemon Jefferson.
What will the next big trend in OC music be?
ZOOM: It'll be something produced by Billy Zoom and recorded in the new Billy Zoom production facility.
BROOKS: According to your latest article, it might be some kind of soul/ reggae thing.
GAFFNEY: They will rehash the "outlaws" period of country music. That will become hip. I just saw Hank Williams III, and he called me "sir."
ROUSE: I think there's only been one—a bunch of pissed-off youth. So the next one is more pissed-off youth. It's all the same.
ROCKER: It's been a trend all along, but I think the rockabilly scene is just getting better and better. I think that's the next thing to emerge from here.
ALVIN: The next trend will be a combination of norteŮo mixed with ska.
Finish this sentence: "I love music critics because . . ."
ZOOM: Because they aren't drummers.
BROOKS: Because they been bery, bery good to me.
GAFFNEY: They adore me.
ROUSE: I love music critics because Buddy Seigal is one. Other than that . . .
ROCKER: Because most music critics don't even bother listening to the show.
ALVIN:I love music critics because if they're doing their job correctly, they're exposing people to a lot of music they can't hear about anywhere else.