12 long months of hard work, personal tragedy, gallons of fine wine- and then a bloke knocking on the leading man’s front door saying that God had sent him…
What did 1997 mean to you?
“It was a year of experiments for me. And a year of catching my breath, from a career standpoint.”
Album of the year?
“There’s not too many things that I loved, but I liked The Wallflowers” record (“Bringing Down the Horse”). In America it’s done three or four million- it’s really, really big.
Film of the year?
“ ‘The Full Monty’ was one of the best things I’ve seen this year. I laughed so hard I cried. I had to walk out the back door through the fire exit, I was so embarrassed because I’d cried so much. It was received well in New Jersey.”
Person of the year?
“There’s too many to pick one.”
Wanker of the year?
I don’t have enough brain cells left to figure that out.”
What were you drinking this year?
“Wine, wine, wine, wine, wine, wine. And vodka if I was in a very good mood.”
Best joke you heard this year?
“None that you could print.”
Book of the year?
“I’m reading something good now called ‘The Informers’ by Bret Easton Ellis, who wrote ‘American Psycho’.”
Where were you when Princess Diana died?
“I was in London at the Hilton airport hotel. Woke up that morning and saw it on the news. That was a shock.”
Where were you for the Kerrang! Awards?
“I was on vacation, but Phill Alexander gave me a K! Award when I was in London.”
Who was the sexiest person you met this year?
”There was this girl at the airport, I was minding my own business. That’s another story. Come over to my house and I’ll tell you some time.”
Where did you go on holiday this year?
“I took my family to Nice bit it was weird. My wife got hit by a car. We didn’t expect to be in the back of an ambulance in France. And the paparazzi were scum. But overall it ended up being a good vacation, even though those two things stand out right now. When my wife got hit by the car it was in Elton John’s driveway, no less! And the driver was Elton’s bodyguard. He truly sent her to the hospital. It’s funny now because she’s okay, but he floored her. He’s a big guy who got in a little car, must had his knees up to his chest, he hit the gas and just took her out. It cut her to shreds. Elton’s my interior designer. He took us shopping. We were buying furniture. Expensive furniture. Expensive enough that I have to tour next year!”
Personal highlights of the year?
“I had some fun playing the shows I did. I enjoyed the Wembley thing (the Carlsberg show with Rod Stewart, Seal, etc), even though I didn’t think I would. From a career standpoint I guess those two things stand out. Personally, everything else is in a period of transition. Nothing really stands out.”
Personal lowpoint of the year?
“Watching my wife getting hit by a car was pretty bad. That rated right up there. And the death of Gianni Versace was a tough thing, because he really was a personal friend of mine. He was more than an acquaintance. That was a pretty rotten thing. We lost some family members, too. It was a tough year for death. The paparazzi thing was bad, too. The one thing that I ask those guys is not to photograph my kids. My kids’ pictures have never been published, simply for their safety. And even here in England, where the paparazzi can be really tough guys, I gotta say that they’ve been really respectful of that one thing. With the exceptions of Italians, of all people, I’ve been really lucky. My attitude is, when I’m out there working it’s part of the job, but when I’m with the kids, no. I saw Bjork punch that TV chick last year. Good for her. These people get right in your face with a video camera and try to get you to have a fight.”
Best band you’ve seen this year?
“I saw The Wallflowers play a couple of times. Those were probably the best show I’ve seen, especially since I haven’t seen too many.”
Best song you wrote this year?
“I haven’t written anything since I made ‘Destination Anywhere’. I think when you write a record, you get so close to it that if I were to start writing it would sound like this last record: ‘destination Anywhere Part B’. When I finally walk away from that record and stop promoting it, then I can clear my head and start anew. To tell you the truth, the couple of times I have sat down to write I’ve stopped because I realized where it was doing. That’s why I was talking to a couple of the guys in the band last week. I was hoping to get together in a room in January and start banging some stuff out.”
Weirdest fan experience of 1997?
“There’s plenty of that. You get the odd strange one. I remember this guy coming to my house. The police had warned me about him. My town is a very small teeny excuse for a town, it’s more like a village- 17 cops on the whole force. Nothing ever happens there. So this guy is looking for me and he comes to the house and bangs on the door and he had this greasy bag in his hand. I opened the door not even thinking that someone’s there who’s not supposed to be. He said, ‘Jesus send me’. I said, ‘tell him I’m just heading out the door to California and you should leave now.’ That’s a pretty good one.”
Did you keep your New Year resolutions?
“I don’t bother because I know I’ll break ‘em. So they don’t usually get made.”
What’s the most expensive thing you bought this year?
“My house. And everything around that house. So I will be touring soon. I have to feed the monster!”
Marilyn Manson- good or shit?
“I like them. He looks like some of the girls we used to do in ’86, ’87!”
Sum up 1997 in five words…
“The year of great transition.
‘Destination anywhere’, that’s what it was for me.”
Where are you spending Christmas?
“On a ski slope in Idaho, I hope. I’ve never been there before. I’ve taken up skiing in the last couple of years. For a guy who has no hobbies and no life, I’m digging the shit out of it! I love it. I was on the way over to London to shoot ‘The Leading Man’ and they said, ‘You can’t skiing!’, and I said, ‘Yeah, right!’. And that was the first year that I went. I went on the little hill, not knowing any better. We were taking our first lesson and Obie, my friend and engineer, says to me, ‘Will you just look who’s next to us?’, and it was all six year olds!”
What do you want for Christmas?
“I just hope my kids are nice to me at Christmas!”
What would you give a Kerrang! reader for Christmas?
“A subscription to Kerrang!, the only rock and roll magazine that writes anything legitimate about everybody and sticks by the people that have stuck by them.”
Who will you be kissing under the mistletoe?
“Aunt Bunny with the moustache, I’m sure! All those aunts and uncles and cousins and nephews and nieces. That’s why I say with any luck I’ll be on the ski- slope instead!”
What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?
“I’ll be out there in Idaho. There’s a bunch of cool people out there: It should be good.”