"That’s what I wanna do, I wanna spread laughter like a virus"


Interview with John Trubee on 90.1 FM KZSU Stanford, 6/23/04
by Your Imaginary Friend

(To hear audio (MP3) version of this interview click here)

On June 23, 2004 I interviewed John Trubee, founder of the band The Ugly Janitors ofAmerica live via telephone on my radio show “Brownian Motion”. Trubee has a long history of bizarre musical antics and is a legendary prankster, gaining notoriety in the early 80’s through his disturbing prank phone calls and uncomfortable near-prog outsider song structures. Undoubtedly, Trubee’s most famous prank is his penning of the song-poem “A Blind Man’s Penis”, which was recorded by a straight-faced song-poem factory and is widely considered to exemplify the fortuitous brilliance of the entire song-poem industry. Trubee had just clocked-out of his day job and phoned me from their break room when I spoke with him. For a reputed antisocial outsider, Trubee proved to have no loss for words and an overflowing willingness to share his thoughts and stories, ultimately shattering his undeserved reputation and instead proving to be kind, generous, and a lover of the human spirit. The following is a transcript of my conversation with John Trubee.


Your Imaginary Friend: Have you ever shaved the back of your neck?

John Trubee: No absolutely not and I can give you the reason why. Because any undue attention made to personal appearance is unseemly for a man to do. I come from the old school where men should be brutal monsters and should just define themselves by their actions in the world rather than by how they look or their grooming or their appearance. I think that’s silly. A man should define himself by what he actually accomplishes in the world not by how pretty he is or what clothes he wears or any of the surface attributes of his personage.

YIF: Great. Speaking of scary monsters and brutal brutality. What’s your worst experience with a cop? And do you road-rage? Describe it.

JT: Actually what would be even better than my experience with a cop is my experience with Kim Fowley. That was one of my most unpleasant experiences. So can we trade? Can we talk about Kim Fowley?

YIF: Kim Fowley is the cop.

JT: Okay, are you familiar with Kim Fowley?

YIF: I am, our listeners might not be, so you might wanna, set the stage so to speak.

Kim Fowley

JT: Kim Fowley needs a whole movie or a book about him. He's this renegade record producer music business weirdo in Hollywood. He's been around for years. He has a limited amount of musical talent. He's a great hustler; he hustles constantly. He's famous for being very promiscuous and preying on young women in Hollywood that are looking for fame and stardom. But he has a knack for saying outrageous and actually insightful, truthful things as mad as he appears to be. The story’s a bit involved and I'll try to keep it short. Anyhow, when I was first in LA in the early 80's I was playing in Zoogz Rift's band and we were playing around Hollywood and I'd go out and give flyers. I used to go out on Sunset Blvd and give flyers to the hookers even though it wouldn’t do us any good. I used to send the flyers to Kim Fowley knowing that he was a hotshot in LA and well known in the music business and so forth. And one time we were playing at the Troubador so I wrote this really sort of obnoxious note. Again, no potty mouth on the air so I can’t go into detail about what I wrote in the note but it had something to do with animals and all sorts of weird stuff. Kim Fowley is very aristocratic, he's one of these people that has a huge ego, a megalomaniac, he

speaks about himself in the third world, in fact that’s a common attribute of big celebrities, politicians that think too much of themselves: they speak of themselves in the third person as if "well John Trubee said this on KZ, uh, SU" and "John Trubee said that", you know like that. You know what I'm talking about?

YIF: Uhh, oh, yeah.

JT: Okay. So Kim Fowley talks of himself in the third person. Anyhow I wrote this outrageous letter to him as well as sending him some of my prank phone call tapes so he sort of knew who I was. He saves everything and is very meticulous about knowing what’s going on. Anyhow when my first album came out in 1984 I had no idea how to promote an album. I was happy to have a bunch of promo albums and I was driving around Hollywood on my day off on Saturday just taking it in to record stores and giving it out to people, it was like having a baby and handing out cigars, that’s how exciting it was to me. And I'm driving down Sunset Blvd and I see Kim Fowley crossing the street at Fairfax avenue so I...

YIF: Ran him down.

JT: Yeah yeah, so I got out of my car and he's talking to some guy at a gas station and I

Kim Fowley

walk up to him and give him one of my albums. Its called "The Communists are Coming to Kill Us" and he takes one look at it and hands it back to me and he says "I don't want it" and he looked at me and says "I know who you are you've been making some prank phone calls to me haven’t you?" And I hadn’t made any prank phone calls to him but he was familiar with what I had been known for, doing prank phone calls and stuff like that. And he started saying "You've been following me around". Now keep in mind Kim Fowley is very tall and he dresses and looks a little bit like Herman Munster. You know, tall guy with a turtle neck sweater and a sport coat. And he's scary looking. And he says "You're doing a John Hinkley on me aren't you?" you know, John Hinkley the guy who shot Reagan. "You’re doing a John Hinkley on me, what are you doing in this neighborhood?" And he starts doing these Kung Fu actions toward me, and it was a little bit intimidating and I thought he was actually going to try and deck me. Later through a common friend I found out everything was cool and he wasn’t going to get after me. But he was actually very threatening and it was a little intimidating for a young music biz person in Hollywood at the time. It was pretty strange.

YIF: Yuck! Sorry to hear about that. But those egos, man. Oh he gets a prank phone call so its gotta be you.

JT: Yep.

YIF: Speaking of which, lets talk about those prank phone calls that you do. They are pretty famous, at least in my sphere, and um, you know, wha', um, WHY?

JT: In what form do you hear them?

YIF: I got the cds you mailed to the radio station and I've been listening to those. I'll just tell you, they're uncomfortable for me to listen to.

JT: A lot of people have that same reaction. Why? Why are they uncomfortable for you?

YIF: Ugh, I guess cause I put myself in both your and the person you called's situation, and I just wonder how would I feel. I'm not saying its bad, believe me.

JT: No but I would agree they are bad, it isn’t right, it violates social taboos. We work in a society where we have a social contract where we trust that what we say to another person is truthful so calling up a stranger on the phone and playing out a BS to them violates a

On a cellular level your body doesn’t really care that some of the stuff you laugh about is not socially acceptable, but the cells and inner structure of your body just know that it feels good to laugh and that it boosts the immune system

social contract. Best way I can explain the prank phones is that it was a form of self-amusement as a teenager. I don’t do them anymore, we have caller ID now as well as I am a little more mature and sedate and I have other forms of amusement. But I made tons of those tapes back in the 70's as a teenager and I've subsequently duped them and they've been on albums and are available for download on the internet at amusic.com. Best way I can defend them is they were a form of recreation as teenager, I think it was about the most extreme form of rebellion I had. I was very repressed, my parents were very strict. I would always adhere to the rules. This was my one little form of rebellion. Unfortunately I didn’t get any girls in high school pregnant, I didn’t experiment with drugs or anything like that. So this was my silly form of rebellion at the time. Your reaction of being uncomfortable while listening to them is not an uncommon reaction, other people have expressed the same thing. You’ve violated the social contract and you’re waiting for the person to be sucker punched with my stupid comment to them when they’re least expecting it. I can't really defend the prank phone calls, they're a form of entertainment. Other people find them amusing. The main positive aspect of the recording now is that people now find it very intimidating to make prank phone calls with star 69 and caller ID, so the only way to experience them now is to listen to the recordings made before those things existed. And also you've heard that information that laughter helps to bolster

your immune system. Well many people laugh as a result of these silly recordings that I made many years ago. So if I could bolster peoples immune systems to help ward off cancer or any other diseases that they might get, then that’s my positive contribution to society. And I think on a cellular level, below the level of being a socialized human being, on a cellular level your body doesn’t really care that some of the stuff you laugh about is not socially acceptable, but the cells and inner structure of your body just know that it feels good to laugh and that it boosts the immune system. So even though some of the things we laugh about may not be socially acceptable I think its really important to laugh nonetheless even at things that are considered "dark humor" or "black humor" or socially taboo. Its important to laugh; its essential to life and I think humor is one of the highest values I have, probably right below freedom and then health. Its very important to have freedom and then health and then maybe humor and music is somewhere there too.

YIF: I couldn’t agree with you more. Sometimes I think people without a sense of humor are robots or something. I feel real sorry for them. I must say, I must thank you for doing the prank phone calls as a teenager instead of shooting up the high school with an AK47 or something.

JT: Right, and in fact I think that’s the reason people do shoot up high schools and things like that because they lack a sense of humor. Perhaps the reason people do outrageous things or do things that cause other people harm is, first of all they lack a sense of humor to put themselves in perspective and look at how tiny they are in context of the whole universe. When you realize how tiny you are you don’t want to blow it by destroying yourself or destroying others or putting yourself in jail for the rest of your life because what precious little time you have is very small compared to the rest of the universe, so you want to use it productively in a joyful manner rather than being behind bars or ending it prematurely. And that goes for people sometimes that do away with themselves. They’re not looking at things in the greater perspective and they're lacking a sense of humor.

YIF: Absolutely. Laughter and having a sense of humor. Its so cliché to say that but its so true: you gotta have a sense of humor and laugh at stuff. And I wanna say that I was a teenager before star 69 and all that stuff too, and the prank phone call- I did a few myself. I wasn’t all that good at it. But I would look forward to getting them. A week wouldn’t go by where the family wouldn’t get, even just like a "you got Prince Albert in a can? You better let him out", and you just always got 'em and you'd hang up and go "Oh wow, that was a pretty good one". But people just don’t have a sense of humor, now they’re like "Oh I'm gonna call the cops; better call the cops".

JT: We live in a time that is very humorless. Its sorta depressing because I was a kid in the 60's and the 70's. People were more laid back and a little more relaxed and now its almost as if were living in the 50's where nobody has a sense of humor and there’s road rage and people want to do harm to each other and they all have a chip on their shoulder. It would take a sociologist to explain why, but all I know is there’s a general lack of sense of humor. Another thing is that back in the 60's and 70's sex was something that was regarded as playful and fun and desirable. Am I wrong or am I right about that?

YIF: Oh absolutely.

JT: Nowadays, based on what I read in the newspapers and media, sex is something that’s demonized, its scary and that causes AIDS or leads to teenage pregnancy and there’s all this negativity and Dr. Laura Rules associated with sex and now its something dreadful and horrible while several decades ago sex was something that was cool and exciting and fun and was something that you wanted. You wanted to lose your virginity. Sex is the way its always been, its just that human attitudes, sociological behaviors change over time and its very strange to watch these things over a period time change and how there’s a sense of mass hysteria or madness based on what people popularly believe or how they view things just based on how they observe other people doing things. I think sex is still desirable, its still cool and its exciting and no amount of the risk of AIDS or Dr Laura's Rules or all the swill in the media about negativity associated with it will ever change it. Its just terrible that so many people buy into that.

YIF: Yeah, you got all these people teaching abstinence.

Its much much more exciting to make music on your own than to pay attention to what other people are recording. Its the difference between watching the porno movie or making love yourself

JT: Talking about pranks, here would be a funny prank: You know that most guys want to engage in carnal behavior. I'm going to avoid the potty mouth so I'll use the euphemism and call it carnal behavior. I think its funny to go to high schools and preach not to do what people naturally want to do. Also I think its very humorless in fact its regarded as pathetic for a guy to go on later in life and still be a virgin. Its something that you’re supposed to be ashamed of- something’s wrong with you somehow, right? As a great prank (to take the Dr. Laura stuff to the Nth degree, this is something I want to do really good, as a prank) when I'm 85 years old and look really wretched I'd go around to high schools in my retirement and make a bunch of abstinence pamphlets and go to high schools and give free lectures about how this is something to be lauded and to brag that I'm still a virgin at 85 years old. That would scare the hell out of all those teenaged boys and they'd go the opposite direction and it would make a mockery of all this obnoxious anti-sex attitude we have from all corners.

YIF: You would hope so, but the cynic in me makes me think that you would be an example to them and they would actually believe it.

(The conversation waxes philosophical about Catholic priests, blood, death, and prep schools, and his escaping LA for the beauty of Santa Rosa, and the fame and non-fortune that penning the worlds most popular song-poem, “A Blind Man’s Penis”, has brought him)

YIF: So I got the song cue'd up. Maybe you can set it up for us. It had a different name to begin with right?

JT: It was originally called "Peace and Love". I'll just preface it. In 1976 I was at home in Princeton New Jersey and I was reading the back pages of the Midnight Globe which is a magazine sorta like the National Enquirer. In the back pages there was a little classified

music add that said "send your lyrics to Nashville and make 20,000 dollars royalties". Even when I was 19 years old I realized that was a scam and it was just some sort of ridiculous come-on. So as a joke I sat down on my dead grandfathers typewriter and I typed out the most obnoxious obscene idiotic lyrics I could think of off the top of my head and talked about Stevie Wonder's private parts as well as stream of consciousness weird stuff. Sent it to Nashville. I thought they'd send me a letter back telling me that I was crazy, really that’s really what I wanted originally. But they sent me a letter back saying “We would like to record this, please remit 79 dollars 95 cents and we will record it for you”. So the song is what you're going to play now.

YIF: Okay here we go. But its been changed to "A Blind Mans Penis" from "Stevie Wonder’s Penis" cause I guess they didn’t want to get sued, right?

JT: I don’t know if they could sue for something like that. Because celebrities, uh, I think that Ramsey Kearny who did the song poem was just intimidated but didn’t know his legal information about that but I'm sure you can use a celebrities name in a satirical form like that and not get sued. But Ramsey Kearny was just ignorant of the law.

A Blind Man's Penis (Peace and Love)

Written by John Trubee
Performed by Ramsey Kearny

I got high last night on LSD
My mind was beautiful, and I was free
Warts loved my nipples because they are pink
Vomit on me, baby
Yeah Yeah Yeah

A Blind Man's penis is erect because he's blind
It's erect because he's blind, it's erect because he's blind
A Blind Man's Penis is erect because he's blind
It's erect because he is blind
Let's make love under the stars and watch for UFOs
And if little baby Martians come out of the UFOs
You can fuck them
Yeah Yeah Yeah.
The zebra spilled its plastinia on bemis
And the gelatin fingers oozed electric marbles
Ramona's titties died in hell
And the Nazis want to kill everyone.
A Blind Man's penis is erect because he's blind


YIF: There you got it folks: "A Blind Man's Penis". I took that off of "The American Song Poem Anthology" out on Bar None records which is an amazing collection of song poems... So not expecting to even hear back from them and they sent you the record. You must've pretty much, for want of a better word, crapped a brick.

JT: Yeah, I was delighted when I first received it. They sent me a little acetate which is like a little vinyl test pressing as well as a reel-to-reel tape. And I remember I was so excited when I first heard it. It was a little 3 inch reel-to-reel tape on mylar which I still have in my archive somewhere. And I was so excited that I got one of my brothers, Jay, to come in and listen to it and I remember when I was playing it to him he started laughing. And that's what delighted me more than anything else, that I had made something that could make

somebody laugh, its in permanent form which means I can make duplications of it and essentially get the whole world laughing, you know, that song, "I started the joke that got the whole world laughing" or whatever it was like that. That's what I wanna do, I wanna spread laughter like a virus.

YIF: Thank you! Thank you very very much for doing that. But if you back up a bit, I was reading some literature about you and it turns out you went to Berklee School of music which is usually associated with sorta humorless impressarios. But all of the sudden something clicked cuz when I listen to your other music, not the Blind Man's Penis and all, certain names come to mind and one is Frank Zappa. And that man definately knew what we're talking about here, having a sense of humor. Can you comment on what you learned at Berklee and what you do musically in seriousness, and your comments on Zappa or whatever.

JT: Sure. When it got time to go to college I was in a depressed state of mind because I looked at all the occupations in the world and they all looked grim and awful. I mean sitting in an office shuffling paper, being some business honcho, and all the political stuff that goes on in jobs and the only thing that really fascinated me was stuff in the creative arts, music, or film. I decided against film cuz generally when you're making a movie you have to go begging people for money, and it irks my pride to have to beg to anyone for anything. Also with a film generally you have to assemble a crew of people. I'm generally very antisocial, not antisocial, a-social. I like to spend a lot of time alone. So if you're a composer or songwriter you can spend a lot of time alone just writing music or practicing guitar,

assembling music on your own. So I chose the path of going to music college. Went to Berklee, a very demanding school, its very intense, in Boston. You're essentially slotted into one subject/various forms of music for four years. A lot of people drop out. A lot of musician's don't have the money to keep on going there. I was lucky that my parents could pay to send me there, so I sorta lucked out that way, and I just pursued it and learned all this music related stuff. A lot of the musicians going there are very heavyweight, they're very serious and they would argue all the time in the halls about bebop and this player is better than Stan Getz is better than Grover Washington Jr. and you know, stuff like that, ridiculous stuff. I was just there to learn the music stuff. Zappa: I listened to a lot of Zappa's music when I was growing up as a teenager in the 70's. I really admire his music, he did a lot of great music. He did a lot of music that's not so great. I loved Hot Rats, Uncle Meat, Weasles Ripped My Flesh. I can't stand stuff like Joe's Garage or Thing Fish or the Man From Utopia. I would call upon my interest in his music; I enjoy his music. I don't like all of his music and I think any Zappa fan who unabashedly admires anything that Zappa's done and can see no wrong in the man, I think that they should be required to listen repeatedly to the album Thing Fish over and over for a period of about 3 days and then watch the movie Uncle Meat, and see that for a period of three days and then see what they say about Mr. Zappa's talent. Mr. Zappa had great talent but he was also very self-indulgent. He could be sort of an abusive control freak. That's how geniuses operate sometimes, its not very pretty. I think

its more important to pay attention to his music than to idolize him as a person, what is more important is what he left behind. But it really doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks about who he is as a person. He left behind a lot of really great music which I enjoy listening to.

YIF: Hallelujah. You heard it here first folks: not idolizing the person but listening to their music.

JT: That’s what defines what he did. He created all this beautiful music. That’s essentially the meaning and value of all his life is all this wonderful music. But in order to do it he had to be a strict bandleader. He wasn’t always the nicest person, from all the reports that I’ve heard. That’s okay, I don’t know him personally, its nothing to do with me. I'm just glad he left behind all this great music. What happened is at a certain point in my life, I used to collect more records, albums than I do now, also I was working day jobs and I only had so much time and resources so I said, well, "Do I want to listen to other people's music or do I prefer to make my own?” Its much much more exciting to make music on your own than to pay attention to what other people are recording. Its the difference between watching the porno movie or making love yourself. Its much preferable to make love yourself rather than just watching a porno movie. So that’s why I prefer to make music myself, its much more fun to make it rather than to just listen to it. Most people just listen to music, I happen to make it. Its much more fun I can tell you.

YIF: That brings up the subject: Are you playing out these days?

JT: We played recently at Kimo's and we’re looking for other bookings, in fact if anybody has a frat party, or places they want The Ugly Janitors of America to play we're actually looking for bookings right now.

YIF: I think they shut Animal House down.

JT: The main thing I'm doing right now is I wrote a quasi-opera called "Hawaiian Tan Ratface" which we performed back in February at Studio Z in San Francisco. So I'm looking to record a few of those songs from that thing. I have seed money for a recording budget again. I'm a working stiff so I gotta save from my paycheck. Sometime in the next couple of months we're recording that but in the meantime again I am looking for bookings and if anyone is curious in booking a marvelous amazing band, The Ugly Janitors of America, my email is crawlingwageslave@juno.com or my PO Box 4921 Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

YIF: So you have a full band? Would you like to come down and play live on KZSU?

JT: Oh absolutely, without a doubt. What nights do you usually do that?

YIF: We always do that Wednesday nights, at 9 pm. Live local bands.

JT: I think that can be arranged.

YIF: We will definitely arrange something like that for sure. Cool. I've been taking up a lot of your time, but I do have one more question...

JT: Take your time, its fine, I'm off work now.

YIF: Speaking of work, and all the stuff we've been talking about too: One of my favorite bumper stickers is "Real Musicians Have Day Jobs".

JT: (laughs) Well its probably true. What, do you want me to comment on that?

YIF: Actually I have a question. My girlfriend wondered what you do for a day job, and I said "That’s the last thing I'm gonna ask him".

JT: No, that’s okay. I'm ashamed to talk about my day job but out of consideration for your girlfriend and if this will help your dealings with her a little bit, not that that you have bad dealings, but if it will make your girlfriend happy then I want to do that because you are making me happy by talking, so its a circle of happiness here. I work in a call center where we sell home warrantee coverage. It’s not the greatest job in the world but its not the worst job in the world. The reason I'm here is because its the least painful job I’ve ever had cuz I’ve been in jobs where I had people screaming at me, working minimum wage jobs where I could barely afford to live. I had periods of unemployment; crawl through the gutter. So I know all that stuff. So its a nice safe job, where there’s not a lot of office politics nonsense. It's very important to me. I'm making okay money, not much, but enough to live decently, fund some of my projects. Ironically enough, as a guy that’s known as a prank phone caller I make my living doing phone calls.

YIF: I was gonna say, so you’re in a call center. That’s beautiful. Do you ever get the desire to, I dunno, tell them you're Tom Brokaw or something like that?

JT: No not really, the calls are actually coming in to the center. Not going out.

YIF: Ah. Oh yeah, I wanted to ask you: You know on some of those calls where the voice just all of the sudden starts echoing? You were doing that live, while on the phone with them, right? Its not a studio effect.

JT: Oh yeah. Why not put on the call where it says "polychromates in the magnesium bonding material", that’s the one that has the echoing on it. I'll point out to your listeners that the echo that you’re hearing in this prank phone call was heard by both parties and it was through an echo unit directly into the telephone. I'll describe the mechanics more, but the woman on the other end of the phone can actually hear the echoing and the weirdness on the other end of the phone. Go ahead and play it.

(prank phone call plays)

This was in the "old" days when you had telephone receivers where you could actually

unscrew the mouthpiece. And so what I did was I actually unscrewed the mouthpiece of the telephone, the part that you speak into, there’s these two little metal connections. I would hook them onto the positive and negative wires going down to an alligator clip that would connect into the phono line that was connected into the output of an echo unit. It was a really crappy tape echo unit that I used for guitar, a univox echo unit, really cheap and awful. Into the echo unit I was speaking into a microphone, I had the microphone going into the echo unit and the output of the unit going directly into the telephone with alligator clips and I had a switch where I could turn on and off the echo unit at will. What’s interesting about the audio connection is you could process your voice through anything: echo, reverb, phase, flange, play synthesizers through it, play any audio source, records turntables, and occasionally we'd put a whole mixer into the telephone where we'd have sound effects records like a lady screaming or a baby crying, all sorts of ridiculous scenarios you could pull with that in the days before caller ID and star 69.

YIF: Nice. That’s great, just take the phone apart and have at it.

JT: Now do you have time to play any other songs, like a piece by any chance?

YIF: Well actually I was gonna leave off with track number 20, "Punch Me Again You Drunken Idiot". I like that. That’s the one with a lot of burps and stuff, tape loops.

JT: Oh yeah, okay. The inspiration for that by the way was I was doing a poetry rant at a place that used to be called Boomerang out on Haight street. I was doing a poetry thing and I had blood covered all over me and I was hitting a baby doll with an adult marital aid. Some guy in the audience, some drunk and rowdy on a Friday night, didn’t like what I was doing and started screaming at me from the audience and came on stage and started punching me on stage and attacked me physically. I had this fake blood on my t-shirt and I was hitting the baby doll with the marital aid and he was somehow disturbed by that, and as a result (he was drunk at the time and) he started hitting people, hitting girls in the audience. Eventually we called the San Francisco police department and they ejected him and he probably got off scott free.

YIF: When was that?

JT: I think that was '95.

YIF: Hey, so lets play it, can we play it?

JT: Before I go can I say one last thing? I just wanna leave my contact information if you want a free cd of prank phone calls and/or original music by the Ugly Janitors of America. Also if you have any other questions for me I'd be very happy to answer them. Also I'm actively trying to book the Ugly Janitors of America into clubs, bars, parties, bar mitzvahs, frat boy parties, anything where a live band would be tolerated or useful, The Ugly Janitors of America, the most beautiful rock band in the history of the entire universe. Also another offer that I am making is if there are any Stanford co-eds or any other co-eds from any other colleges or universities or academic institutions in the greater by area who are interested in a free tour of the wine country up in Sonoma county just contact me and I’d be very happy to provide a free tour of the wine country with tours of the wineries and free dinners and stuff like that. And my contact information is PO Box 4921 Santa Rosa, CA 95401

YIF: four zero TWO!

JT: 402, I'm sorry, you got me so excited. 95402...

YIF: You could only think of a vertical, straight up and down number...

JT: Or you can email me at crawlingwageslave@juno.com. Very good, anything else that I can answer for you?

YIF: Actually I do have a couple other questions, just real quick.

JT: There’s not hurry, I'm off work. This is the most important and fun thing I've done in ages.

YIF: This is a really stupid question.

JT: Don’t preface it that way, there are no stupid questions.

YIF: Yeah there are. Okay, what do you feel is mankind's most redeeming quality?

JT: Humor and music and joy and self-replication through the act of carnal, uh, carnal fusing (laughing).

YIF: Actually, I should point out there's an idea, its called "sex positive" and there are kids, young people today who are learning how to be sex positive which is the polar opposite of this abstinence stuff that we were just talking about. These people promote safe sex, having fun, promote going to places like Good Vibrations and spending your paycheck there.

JT: By the way, besides all my yakking, I'm not obsessed with sex. I'm more obsessed with music actually. If you gave me a choice between the two I would choose music. Music is the greatest high and its most fun and when you consider the pay off and what you have to go through to get either its much much more fun.

YIF: Well you're talking to a college radio dj that, I get paid a lot of money to do this, let me tell you. Ha! My other question, the one I have written below the last one is: What do you feel is the best excuse for the total nuclear annihilation of the human race?

JT: Uh...that they don't treat me the way that I want to be treated (laughs). I've been disappointed by human beings more than once and again we need humor to keep us from going on a rampage, even annihilating all of humanity. One of my good friends Zoogz Rift, bandleader, is a famous misanthrope. It takes too much energy to hate people and hate mankind, so if you have problems with it, with them, be a hermit and sorta stay away and do your own thing.

YIF: And don't build little mail bombs like Ted Kaczynski did.

JT: That’s not necessary, get yourself put in jail. Life is too short there's too many fun things to do rather than sitting in a jail cell. I don’t think anything’s worth that price. Again, freedom is my highest value, I wouldn't give it up for anything.

YIF: Words to live by. Thanks a lot John Trubee.

JT: Thank you Bill, it was a pleasure.

“Brownian Motion” can be heard every Wednesday night from 6-9pm at 90.1 FM in the greater San Francisco Bay Area or on the internet worldwide on KZSU Stanford. Be sure to tune in May 18th, 2005 when Your Imaginary Friend will spotlight 3 hours of “Outsider Music”, song-poems, and otherwise bizarre recorded gems.


For more info on John Trubee check out this site or this site.



Creative Commons License
Creative Commons License.