What was your coolest Christmas gift, ever?
I know something that wasn’t cool that I got. I always wanted record albums when I was a little kid, and my grandmother gave me a record by a group called Legs Diamond. I remember being humiliated when I opened it up – it was this bad, pre-glam, really rotten L.A. bar band, and it was like “Why would you think I would like this?” So I got the receipt and traded it for a Black Sabbath record. But as far as good gifts? I think maybe my first acoustic guitar that I got for Christmas, because I really had to argue for it with my parents. I wanted an electric guitar, but my dad said, “You’ll just make a bunch of noise and then get bored!” But I was determined to prove him wrong, so he compromised and gave me an acoustic guitar, which was really hard to play. But it was great, because Steve got a bass that year, and that’s basically when we started writing songs.
And not one of those banana-seat Huffy-type bikes, like you rode in that David Cassidy film “Spirit of ‘76”?
Everyone, of course, wanted Schwinn. Huffies were the cheap bikes – in L.A. you would be embarrassed to have a Huffy. But actually my favorite bicycle I ever owned was a Huffy – I bought it at a garage sale for $10, and it was a full-size woman’s bike, with no crossbar, like one of those beach cruisers. It was so light and 20 times more fun to ride than those high-end Schwinns.
Will your families be joining you in San Francisco?
Well, the Go Go’s are playing a mini-tour, so Charlotte won’t be there. But my daughter Astrid might be with me – she sometimes performs with us. She’s 18, we’ve already done a couple of recordings and she’s got a great voice. She just played with us last night, and I think she’s ready to go again!
– Tom Lanham
IF YOU GO
The Melvins, Redd Kross and Frightwig
Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday
Contact: (415) 885-0750 ;www.slimspresents.com