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Friday, December 6, 2013

The John Waters Interview

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 1:14 PM

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Hey guys, I talked with John Waters. I can die now. It's fine. There's nothing left for me. We talked about how awesome Portland is, Baltimore roller derby girls, and his new book, where he hitchhiked across the country. He's doing a one-man Christmas show tonight at the Aladdin. It is most hellaciously sold out, but you might try hanging around the door if you're feeling lucky. I wrote a piece about it—read it here. And here's some other stuff he said:

ON BOOKS AND FREEDOM
—"[I own] probably about 8,500 books. I live in three places, so they’re full everywhere. I’ve always said that’s what 'rich' is, nothing else except you can buy any book you want without looking at the price. And the other thing I call 'rich' is that you never have to be around assholes, you’ve worked so hard you never have to be around jerks. I’m very thankful that I can do both those two things. I’m not around jerks and I can almost buy any book I want. That’s really why I, still, work 10-hour days."

More after the jump.

NO NEW MOVIE, BUT THERE'S A NEW BOOK—"It’s done. It comes out June 3. It’s called Carsick and I’m thrilled by it. It’s the first time I’ve had some fiction too. The first part of the book is me imagining before I left [hitchhiking] about the 15 very best rides that could happen and then I thought up the 15 worst. Then I went and did it for real, which took 21 rides in nine days."

WASN'T HITCHHIKING SCARY?—"No, it was scary to stay home. I have a fear of not flying. It’s a very positive book—the people who picked me up were heroes. The scary part was standing there for 10 hours at a time and no one would pick you up. That was scary, because I thought it was going to take two years. I gave it a month! Not two years! But it turned out fine. But you don’t know that—that’s in hindsight. I remember the days of despair, just standing there."

CHRISTMAS IN BALTIMORE
—"It’s a good city. It’s always a good time to go out here. Baltimore’s getting better and better, because it’s still cheap to live here. Come here—we’ve got a great music scene. We got edge, baby! We got edge. But we always have… in the kinda redneck neighborhoods, they love those kind of Christmas decorations where you blow them up… you know what I mean? They’re inflatable. They’re so ugly because vandals pop them, or worse, if you’re worried about your electricity bill, you unplug them in the day so they’re laying on your lawn, deflated. So ugly. So Diane Arbus. I hate them.
Although some bad-taste decorations can come back and become classics. Like that LA look of a white flocked tree with blue balls. That used to be so hideous, but now I think it’s beautiful, so jazz. I think they look good, and I used to hate them."

THE STATE OF SHOW BIZ
—"I have a movie that I’ve been trying to do for years, but it’s so boring to talk about it because I’ve talked about it forever. I write books now. The movie business that I knew is no longer. I’m not saying I wouldn’t make one, but mercifully, I have many careers and many ways to tell stories. I’m booked for the whole next year. I’m busy. If somebody said make a movie, I don’t even know when I’d do it. I was trying to make a children’s Christmas movie, so that would’ve been perfect, but maybe it’s fitting that my last movie was an NC-17 movie. That’s right where I started. What goes around, comes around."

THE BARS OF BALTIMORE
—"There’s a new one called Beatnik. It’s near the first beatnik bar I actually went to for real. All the girls wore black nylons with seams, interracial couples, and people playing bongos and yelling 'All right!' for no apparent reason. I had on Levi’s with bleach poured on them and sandals laced up to my knees like a fool. My father used to say when I was leaving the house, 'It’s not Halloween, you know?' And he was right."

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