I’m so glad they didn’t collaborate. At one point Ryan said that Beck was going to be on his next album. Even then I didn’t think Ryan was cool enough for that.
I also remembered this quote I thought you’d enjoy from this interview with him:
So no MTV Diary of Beck coming up?
It’s fascinating to me, these performers who do those shows where they follow them around. And performers’ Web sites where they’re writing about what they had for dinner and what the towels were like at the hotel. When I was a kid, I enjoyed not knowing. I wasn’t sure if Devo lived in a plastic pyramid and slept in plastic pods or what. My mind was filled with ideas of what went on. Did they have a spaceship? Did they live in a New Wave bunker? I thought they were some kind of army. Or the Cars. When I was ten, the singer was enigmatic. The glasses on, you didn’t know what was goin’ on. I loved that, though. Now they’d be following him around. And where does it end? “Come on, watch me chop my head off! I’m going to guillotine myself!” Maybe GG Allin was a prophet. He was always saying he was going to kill himself onstage. That’ll be the final act. Those people are going to be annihilating themselves. And then everyone will go home.
I’ve met Beck a few times. Once randomly in Los Feliz in LA. He’s always been really sweet. The first time I met him was at a solo (plus Smokey Hormel) acoustic show in Chicago. He covered John Lennon’s “Love” and killed it. I told him how I enjoyed it and he said he was really nervous covering it. He also commented on how he liked my shirt that said Cool Breeze.
The next time I met him was at a Sea Change show. The Flaming Lips were his opener and backing band. I got there early and some guy comes out and asks “where are my animals at?” I didn’t know what this meant. A few raised their hands and so did I. I guess there was a contest or a fan club thing to determine who would dress up as an animal and dance on stage for The Lips’ set. I wasn’t part of the contest but off I went. I had no idea what was going on. We go back to this dressing room and there are a ton of different animal costumes. Think Disneyworld costumes. He (who I later found out was The Lips’ tour manager) said “pick out which animal you want to be.” I chose the goldfish because the idea of a goldfish having legs made me laugh. We waited backstage while Beck had a salad. He was pretty chatty. He asked me why I chose the goldfish and I asked him “have you ever seen a goldfish with legs?” He laughed. So the show is about to start and our only directions were “don’t stand in front of the Flaming Lips.” It was chaos. We all went crazy. We all had giant flashlights and went into the crowd. It was the first and last time I have ever been humped by a bunny and horse.
After their set we had to get undressed and go to our seats. I felt awful because I was so fucking sweaty and those costumes didn’t smell well at all.
I vaguely remember that interview! I love it. Around that time he was Interviewed and mentioned not having a “pants valet”. That phrase has stuck with me.
I should also mention that when I met him that first time I mentioned how I passed up seeing Beth Orton (another favorite of mine) to see him. Their shows were the same night. He asked me, “what were you thinking? She’s the coolest.”
Yeah, man she’s all over the liner notes for Midnite Vultures, I pored over em a million times. That goldfish story is so fucking epic. You’ve really lived. Goddamn legend.
well this was a fun back and forth to read…a journey of two fan boys geeking out <3
A friend of mine years ago turned me on to Beck after I mentioned how much I liked his work with Emmylou on the Return of the Grievous Angel Gram Parsons tribute album – I had never heard of him before. He loaned me One Foot In The Grave and I loved it. Anyone who can channel Captain Beefheart has my respect.
I’m having trouble actually believing that story, or some of it anyway. Particularly this part:
It was the first and last time I have ever been humped by a bunny and horse.
Agreed. Either that, or he’s not really from Indiana.
Big surprise he’s the only one talking.
One Foot In The Grave is such a great album. Even way back then Beck knew that being able to release smaller albums on smaller labels was going to allow him to create whatever he wanted and not worry about having an album that was big enough to warrant a huge label push. Originally, Mutations was supposed to release on Bong Load records until Geffen heard it and decided they wanted it and reneged on their previous agreement. Beck would end up suing Geffen over this.