Drinks with Tony – Richard Hell

(Originally aired on Pirate Cat Radio, 87.9FM, San Francisco)


Drinks with Tony – Richard Hell (35 minutes)

I met Richard Hell at The Argus, a neighborhood bar in Bernal Heights. He thought he was coming to a recording studio, not a bar and didn’t link that Drinks with Tony was often taped at bars or cafes. So he was mad at me. One of my heroes, actually a legend, started drilling me with questions: Who are you? What’s this for? Who set this up?

While still grappling the concept that I’m sitting with Richard Hell in an empty bar I also had to keep him there. So I explained the show. Who have you interviewed? he asked. Earlier that month I interviewed Todd Solondz and Wim Wenders, so I told him that. His mind was instantly eased and he asked me how those interviews went and what the directors were like.

I actually learned a lot from this interview about art and life. Every interview from the beginning of Drinks with Tony was mainly just me wanting to learn how to write, how to live, what makes my heroes tick and just the miracle of getting published or doing what a person wanted. It was foreign to me beyond working in radio at the time.

After the interview Richard didn’t want to take a cab back because it cost him $15, but he didn’t have cash, so I gave him $1.50 and waited with him at the bus stop to make sure he got on the right one that would take him back to his hotel.

Passengers of MUNI, look around you, you might have a seat near a legend.