A masterpiece worthy of being posted here - Vincent Gallo interviewing Vincent Gallo. If you don't know it already, read it - if you DO know it, read it again because it's awesome.
Updated Grand Royal Interview
Grand Royal magazine had asked me to interview Vincent Gallo ten months ago. Of course I said yes. As a matter of fact, I think I shit my pants, I was so excited. Imagine, little old me, the great Vincent Gallo, getting to interview him, oh my God, the great Vincent Gallo. However, tracking down the elusive, mysterious, handsome, workaholic superstar was not that easy. Neither one of us would make time for the other. We're both so damn busy. Chicks and stuff, you know. And revenge.
For the lost and out of touch who don't know Vincent Gallo: Abel Ferrara, his director on the movie, The Funeral, describes Vincent Gallo as, "the best actor I've ever worked with. He makes amateur directors like me look good. I wish I wasn't smoking so much crack during the filming of The Funeral, that way I could have come out of my filthy trailer now and then to watch some scenes being filmed. But I heard Vincent was great in my movie. After rehab I hope to be able to see all my films."
Annina Nosei, his art dealer during the '80s (she also represented Jean-Michel Basquiat, the over-rated Barbara Kruger and David "The Tribeca Gimp" Salle), when asked about Vincent had this to say: "He was my favorite artist I've ever shown. All his work sold instantly. I'm sorry I'm such a penny-pinching wacko because I couldn't help myself from cheating him out of penny after penny, tons of pennies I cheated him out of. Plus, I prevented him from showing in other good galleries so I wouldn't lose a penny. And all the years I represented him, I behaved like a bitter, resentful, love-scorned, sexually depraved ex-girlfriend, all because he made tremendous love to me. Once. I never really understood why he left the gallery and stopped painting."
Vincent Gallo was quoted as saying, "I stopped painting in 1990 at the peak of my success just to deny people my beautiful paintings. And I did it out of spite."
I spoke to Michael Holman, one of the creators of the TV show Graffiti Rock and co-manager of the New York City Breakers, about Vincent. He had this to say: "I'm just an upper middle class mulatto military brat. Vincent is the real thing. Vincent was always way way hipper than me. I relied on him for any of my cool. He was way down with the hip-hop scene. He was the first white boy homeboy in the world. He was a very creative force behind most of early hip-hop. He danced fresh. He dressed fresh. And he made it with the homegirls funky fresh. He was the Almighty Prince Vince. I was merely a beige-colored figurehead."
Kenny Roberts, Formula 1 motorcycle racing champion of the '70s and '80s watched Vincent a lot at the race tracks during the '80s when Vincent raced Formula 2 for Yamaha. Roberts was once quoted as saying, "That Italian kid races fast and smooth. He could be a champ if he wanted to."
DJ Spooky, New York DJ extraordinaire, never DJs without a copy of the Bohack LP (Bohack was one of Gallo's legendary bands during the '80s). Spooky has said that Gallo's music says it all. Spooky went on to say, "Vincent was actually a friend of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Jean would have hated me. Good thing he's dead so I can pretend to be him. And nobody knows the difference."
Richard Avedon, who photographed Vincent for the prestigious Calvin Klein CK be ads and revolutionary commercials, has said, "My life was no fun. I was photographing loser wannabes like that creep Kenny Jossic, you know, the poseur with the K tattooed on his chest, the guy who sharpens ginsu knives for a living. Then I got to work with Vincent Gallo and I remembered my glory days. I'm back. Eat your heart out, David Sims."
Guy Oseary, Madonna's houseboy and part time A&R man, had this to say about Vincent's music in a heavy Sephardic accent: "I don't know anything about music, I know most about being a jew. Somehow that's worked for me in the music business. People have told me for many years that I should hear Vincent's beautiful music. The truth is, many years ago, Madonna was screaming at me real loud one day I think it was because I spoke during one of her long stories and she screamed so loud that I've been deaf for eleven years. But in the crowds I hang out in, no one really notices. I wonder what Alanis Morissette sounds like."
Vincent Gallo wanted to meet at his favorite lunch spot, Petrossian, to do the interview. Funny, it's my favorite lunch spot, too. We got there at exactly the same time. I watched him walking in and it was like they say, you know, he kind of glowed. Like a ray of light was around him. A kind of Jesus. He was wearing a light pink leather suit that had airbrushed flames all over, and engraved into the leather were flowers, hearts and bunnies. He made it himself. God, he does it all. He also made his patent leather hat which was frayed into the shape of Warren Beatty's hair in the movie Shampoo. And a pair of transparent Adidas that Mr. Adidas made for him in 1981. He was wearing solid gold socks underneath.
As he waked through the restaurant every chick and queer's head turned (seems like every man becomes queer around Vincent). Our waitress, sweating, gave Vincent a piece of paper with her number on it before she gave us our menus. He just blushed (he's so sweet!). We both ordered the beluga and blinis. Neither one of us drinks alcohol, so we shared a bottle of water. I later discovered neither one of us has ever taken any drugs. He's a natural.
HIM: Thank you. That's really nice of you to say. I never really know what to say when people tell me that. And by the way, I'm not gay either. Never have been. Never will be. But I was just going to say the same thing to you.
ME: Alright, so, you've had success acting in 17 movies, including the European blockbuster Arizona Dream; the painfully sweet and charming Palookaville, which you stole; The Funeral, which we all would have liked to see more of you in; House of the Spirits in which you rose above an all-star cast; and the upcoming films Truth or Consequences, N.M., which was hardly directed by Kiefer Sutherland; and Roland Joffe's new film Goodbye Lover, with the beautiful and kinky Patricia Arquette. Now, you are about to direct your own film, Buffalo '66 which you wrote and will star in. You headed the legendary band Gray with Jean-Michel Basquiat, and have done two solo albums since then. You are now recording an LP for Warp Records which is going to be called When, which won't be finished and released until September of 2001. You've had 15 one-man shows of your paintings. You had your own clothing line, which was very conceptual, you sort of transformed found clothing into new clothing. Although I have a hunch, years from now, there will be a failed movie actress named Tara Subkoff, and a friend, boy, I can never remember his name, who will rip off all your clothing ideas and start their own company and call it Imitation of Christ. I guess maybe because you look so much like Jesus Christ. I guess maybe they should be more clear and just call it Imitation of Vincent Gallo. You won 88 trophies racing motorcycles. You have the most important collection of vintage HiFi gear in the US, and you write stunning articles for many HiFi-related magazines. You collect guitars and recording equipment. You do plumbing, electric and plaster work. You cook and clean like a Sicilian immigrant. You co-managed the New York City Breakers and helped create and produce the famed Graffiti Rock TV show. You are a supermodel. And you've supermodeled for Calvin Klein, Yoji Yamamoto and Anna Sui all over the world. You satisfied 36 girls at a Motel 6 in Texas in four hours. Legend has it that the maid keeps three dozen rubbers in a shrine in Mexico. You can fix or repair TVs and VCRs. You still maintain a 90 mph fastballl even though you must be well into your twenties. Hey Vincent, what the hell don't you do?
HIM: I don't trust or love anyone.
HIM: Because people are all creepy. Creepy creepy creeps. Creeping around. Creeping here and creeping there. Creeping everywhere. Crippity crappity creepies.
ME: Who do you think are the creepiest?
HIM: I'm glad you asked. Well, there's that rat bastard, Tracy Falco, the backstabber from Ted Demme's company; that twisted phony Rene Ricard; Kate Miller that lesbo monster; Kelly Lynch that bullshit bad actress, she's the queen member of the lucky club; Tim Roth, that filthy no-talent mini dwarf Brit; Bill and Hillary Clinton and their ugly orphan-like daughter Chelsea; Greta Seacat and her poisoned mind "acting coach," my ass; Susan Bertram, that Judas piece of crap, listen everybody, she's the worst wardrobe person in the world, don't hire her for your film; Mark Romanek, that dark, anal photo plagiarist and his useless penis, he's a great example of a world gone wrong; Cheryl "Dumpy" Dunn and her pigeon dung photographs, wow is she creepy; Phil Goldfarb that AlAnon basketcase, worst producer who ever lived; Jennifer "Leave me alone" Levy; Dewey's friend, Analisa "The character assassin" Tessin; Vicky Icky she was so sticky Galvez Bici; that lumpy-assed Alba Clemente; Paul "I can't direct but boy, can I brown nose my way to the top" Anderson and his fermented, mulatto cannabis-soaked girlfriend Fiona Apple who coulda been shoulda been; Kelly Lynch's bitch-whipped husband Mitch; Nam-Anh Duong; John Kennedy Jr. that philandering cadaver; my Ex-Mother-in-law; Tammy "Sick Sick Sick and Ugly Ugly Ugly" Rosen, that jerk; Todd "you wish you had my rod" Feldman, that short Jew bastard and his polluted and dishonest cousin Eileen Feldman, it's a miracle anyone can even make a movie with assholes like this in Hollywood; Davis "Boy Does a Herpes Sore Smell" LaChapellle; everyone at Lions Gate films, is that the best Canada has to offer, a bunch of lowlifes like that?; Jefferson "What a" Hack from Dazed and Confused magazine are they still in business? Cause I heard all he does now is fetch cocaine for Kate Moss; Dale "H like in Homo, I like in In-his-ass, and V like in Virus" Peck I dare anyone to stay awake through one of his novels. That's some creepy losers right there, huh? Huh? And what about the actress Zoey "Go Ahead and Blow Me" Deschanel, you fuckin' lying whore, I'll get you; from Universal Home DVD Releases, Colleen Benn(d her over and fuck her fat asshole); Suzanne "Pockface" Nichols and her pockmarked nipples; Michael "Musty" Musto (faggot); Andrew "Drew a picture of his penis on a matchbook actual size" Richardson and his syphillytic boyfriend Bob Racine [hairstylist, look it up]; And from Connecticut without Etiquette, Chloe Sevigny, who when she's not drunk and posing in movies is busy out spreading Harmony Korine's herpes. Oh yeah, and my mother. Mamma Creepy Corleone. And my father, the Godfather of Creepy.
ME: Wow. That's amazing. I agree with you about all of them. Especially your mother. Boy, people are creepy, huh? Though, chicks after you date them are the creepiest. Anyway, are there any dead or alive folks that you like at all?
HIM: I'm glad you asked. Well, my beautiful white dog is number one. And I've always loved Richard Nixon. And the wonderful and classy hero Ronald Reagan and his beautiful wife Nancy. The underrated genius Governor from New York State George Pataki, Rush "Howard Stern could only dream of being as good as you" Limbaugh, Robert Ryman, Cy Twombly, Pier Paolo Passolini, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulce, Robert Bresson, and Ozu. I will always love Chris Squire, the bass player from Yes, and John Wayne, Charlton Heston, and Charles Bronson. He's good Charles Bronson, real good. My beautiful white dog, my former friend Johnny Ramone and his gold-digging wife Linda, you gotta lover her though. She can't help it. My ex-girlfriend Vicki Clay has had moments of kindness too, but those moments come and go. The sex bunny PJ Harvey. My friends Cat Doran, Anna Sui, Mark Lyons, Layla Nabulsi, my beautiful white dog, I like the filmmaker Gaspar Noe, and the photographer Corin Day, and the always pretty Rosemary Ferguson. I think Jaquetta Wheeler is very pretty… My grandma was nice to me once. And the only girl I ever loved, who I haven't seen since I was eleven years old, Angela Mirasci from Pittston, PA. If anybody knows her, tell her I still love her. Though, when I was twelve, I met a girl named Otta Marie Monaco at a resort called Villa Roma, I would like to see her again, too. Since then though, it's been only regrets. Especially the last one, Bethany. Boy I wish I never met her. I like Truman Capote. The waiters at the Chinese restaurant in New York, Sun Lok Kee, have always been nice to me. Joanne Cologna tries her best to be a friend. Seth Goldfarb has never let me down.
ME: I heard your father beat the shit out of you every day of your childhood. That he said you were nothing but a bum. And that you would always be a bum. That you were grounded once for a year when he found out you raised the heater thermostat from 38° to 41° one cold winter day during your worst flu and bout of strep throat. That your father broke your nose once because you broke your ankle playing football and the doctor bill was $55. That your mother was dishonest, cold-hearted and a thief. That she idolized your brother and hated you. That she shaved your head of its beautiful long hair the night before your first day of high school and ruined your life.
HIM: I've totally forgiven my parents for all of that. I have no more resentments or angers. I understand now that they did the best they could. That they're God's children.
ME: Did you see any good movies this year?
HIM: The just-released Rolling Stones film, Rock-n-roll Circus, Paradise Lost and especially the PBS documentaryTriumph of the Nerds. Those were all brilliant.
ME: What were the worst ones you remember?
HIM: Swingers, the L.A. Jewish Mean Streets. Paul Thomas Anderson's Sydney, starring Harvey Weinstein's fellater Gwyneth Paltrow. I know she's gonna blow her way to an Oscar one day. Any French film. Gummo -- when I think of all the great films that barely get released, to think of this midget, rich Jew from Nashville coming to New York City pretending he's Jean-Luc Goddard, and getting to make that piece of crap -- wow. You young kids are lost. You don't have anything better to do with your time? Why don't you clean your apartments, or at least your bongs. Bastard Out of Carolina -- Angelica Huston directing, need I say more. And the dreadful thriftshop ad I Shot Andy Warhol, why would anybody put Lili Taylor in a movie? She is so ugly. Ugly is ugly ok, it's not interesting. It's ugly, OK? She ugly. Ugly ugly ugly. I don't like her. Plus she's an asshole. Nothing worse than an ugly asshole, shouldn't ugly people at least be nice? It's bad enough most good looking people are assholes. Anyway, just seeing a movie poster with Skeet Ulrich on it is more than enough to make me pass gas. In a perfect world, Skeet Ulrich would be stopped by the doorman.
ME: Wow, you know your films. Are there any actors you'd like to work with?
ME: Any actresses?
HIM: Well, I do like girls, so let me think. I just saw some scenes from the unfinished Lolita, and the girl in it, Dominique Swain, is brilliant. She blows that asshole Jeremy Irons off the screen. And I think the little girl Kirsten Dunst will be really good. She's already good now. If they were still young, I'd like to do kissing scenes with Tuesday Weld, Sandy Denis, Kitty Lynn, Deborah Winters, Glynnis O'Connor, Nicoletta Machiavelli, and Elizabeth Montgomery. Lee Remick, she was cute. I guess I only like whiteys. Yeah, whiteys. Although, remember that TV Show "Julia" with the black lady in it? She was cute. Nah, forget it. I couldn't do it.
ME: I know you have 10,000 albums, but are there any new bands you like?
HIM: I like Cat Power, especially the song Mr. Gallo. I would like any band that did a song about me. Even though that good looking Cat Power chick, Chan Marshall, wrote some nasty words. What could she do? She loved me. I would've done the same thing if I loved me. Anyway, that chick's a superstar. I should've stayed with her. PJ Harvey. The new Aphex Twin record is good. I still sort of like listening to the same 20 records that I've been listening to for years.
ME: Like which ones?
HIM: Charles Mingus Plays Piano, This is Tal Farlow on Verve, the Yes album, Tales from Topographic Oceans, all the Stooges albums, stuff like that.
ME: You have good taste.
HIM: Thanks, handsome.
ME: Anything in life you're looking forward to?
HIM: I just placed an order for a miniature donkey. I should be getting her in about two months.
ME: A miniature donkey? What's that?
HIM: A very, very small donkey, dummy.
HIM: What do they eat?
HIM: The same things big donkeys eat, only a lot less.
ME: What are you going to call her?
HIM: Daisy. I'm going to build myself a sombrero and walk her around the city. [Our waitress comes over and brings the check. Vincent swipes it out of my hand and lays down some cash. He's such a guy that way. We're talking a hell of a tip, too. As we were getting up to leave I asked him one more question.]
ME: Hey Vincent, are you happy or sad?
HIM: I'm the happiest the saddest guy in the world can be.
ME: Strange. I feel exactly the same way.
[We shake hands and say goodbye, knowing we'll see each other again and again and again. Me and him. Him and me.] You can email Vincent Gallo or Vincent Gallo at firstname.lastname@example.org