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Name: Adam Bernard
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About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Mickey Avalon’s Long Strange Trip
Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The other day I turned on my TV and saw an ad for Boost Mobile that starred Jermaine Dupri, Young Jeezy and one of my personal favorite artists, Mickey Avalon. This made me think back to a conversation I had with Mickey earlier in the year. Part of that interview went into an article I wrote for Foam covering the music scenes of five major US cities. The rest of it, an interesting look into the life and work of one of music’s most unique individuals, I’m sharing with you today…

It’s a rainy afternoon in San Francisco and Mickey Avalon is peering out his hotel window. “They’re thick nice hoes in San Fran,” he says with a laugh. “It’s a little colder so they got hips. And the women are hungry. They’re vicious, aggressive. The San Francisco girls will eat you up in a good way.” If anyone is fit to talk about the subject of women it’s Mickey, a man who’s hustled his way into the hearts, and more importantly for him, homes, of many a female. Sitting down with him I found out about his life, the inspiration behind some of the graphic imagery on his self-titled debut album, and how he balances being an emcee who rhymes about some very extreme subject matter with the job of being a father.

Adam Bernard: The imagery on your self-titled debut album ranges from overtly silly to extremely graphic. What inspired you to go to such extremes?
Mickey Avalon: I really just wanted to draw the blinds on some cheap motel off of Hollywood Boulevard and show all of the things that you’re going to see. You’re gonna see like a 60 year old drag queen with lipstick smeared all over his face, a Jesus freak and a homeless family that’s just trying to get by. These things are serious and funny all at the same time. That’s just the way my world is, it is very drastic and extreme. And all those things that are so far fetched and so different are very similar. Even in “Friends and Lovers” the line “the filthy rich to the dirt dirt poor / are all the same when they can’t take no more,” you get to that lowest common denominator where humanity itself is completely objectified. So to me it’s all the same, it’s all the same story and it’s all the same characters just in different costumes playing different roles. You listen to the record and it’s not very funny, and then it’s like well its dark but it is very funny. It’s kind of that dichotomy.

Adam Bernard: What are some of the events from your life that have helped shape your worldview? Was there ever a happening where you were like “damn, this changed me?”
Mickey Avalon: There’s been a lot of things that, when they happened, I thought were going to change me a lot more than they did. For example I was in the room when my father breathed his last breath and I could feel the air coming out of the room and within a year I was in the room when my daughter was born and she came out and gave out a big war cry, like a big scream and those are all really intense things that meant a lot to me but I can’t say that I woke up the next day and was any better or worse for them. I thought I would be. I was so young and naïve that I thought when my daughter popped out of my ex-wife I was going to be magically baptized and transformed into some perfect person.

Adam Bernard: OK, wait a minute, how on earth do you handle all of those good looking females that are crowding around you every night when you have to be a dad?
Mickey Avalon: Well those two things actually don’t get in the way. My daughter is pretty hip, as hip as a ten year old can be, to the male – female thing. If I’ve been hanging out with a chick for a little while I’ll introduce her, but chicks don’t meet my daughter for the first few months and I’m rarely with someone that long. I’m out of town a lot but when I’m with her it’s one on one. And with her I really play up the difference between me as a person and Mickey Avalon as an entertainer and to her it’s all theatrics.

Adam Bernard: You have a very interesting tattoo that says “Thank You” right above your groin. Other than the obvious, which you’ve stated before is readable gratitude for oral sex, what inspired the tat?
Mickey Avalon: Other than the obvious, really, honestly I felt like I was on a good streak. I had always, unfortunately, kind of had to hustle and manipulate people for places to stay and I’m not talking about the hustling times, I mean just as far as chicks. I’ve needed places to stay and I’ve had to be with some ugly girls This time I had a lot of good places that I was staying at and they were all beautiful girls. I had just gotten back to California and I was on a lucky streak and I just was feeling gratitude and I thought it was kind of funny.

Adam Bernard: The lucky streak was good, but you also had the hustling, sort of not so lucky, streak.
Mickey Avalon: The not so lucky was before. The lucky streak was when I still hadn’t necessarily gotten on my own two feet but at least I was able to hustle pretty girls and just be their little puppy rather than having to hustle creeps. I guess I was just happy. I felt like there had always been some sort of prostitution just to get by and that felt like I had the best I had yet.

Adam Bernard: How long was the really bad time? Six months? A year?
Mickey Avalon: I would say probably about a year. And even those things, I’ve done compromising things and I really don’t care, people can let their imaginations go as far as they want but it really wasn’t what you would think, I’ve never been fucked in the ass or sucked anybody’s dick or anything like that.

Adam Bernard: Actually I figured you hadn’t because earlier you said there hasn't been an event that's really changed your life and that would have been life changing.
Mickey Avalon: Yeah, you know I’ve done things I didn’t want to do and honestly then, and not to just blame everything on drugs because that’s a cop out, too, but it’s kind of like you’re really just thinking about when you get home. I mean I’ve got my ass kicked to where I’m just getting kicked in the face with steel-toes and you’re really just like, you almost don’t feel it because you almost see a stopwatch in your head and you’re like alright I’m going to be home in fifteen minutes, it’s all gonna be over, I’m gonna be nodding off with a cigarette. Now I almost feel like it never happened. As far as other things that look a lot worse on paper, you see the word homeless, for example. Yeah I didn’t have a place to live for a long time, I lived in hospitals and halfway houses and stuff but a lot of those homeless times could have been me sleeping on a couch in a house in the Hollywood Hills. Believe me, the biggest gift I’ve gotten out of all of this is to have a place to hang my hat. I can look people in the eye. I pay for my own meals. I can take my friends out. So when you hear those things it sounds real corny but it really is nice. I have a one bedroom apartment right now that’s not as nice as a lot of the places I’ve stayed in, and I don’t own it, but I pay the rent every month and it’s mine. And all my child support’s paid off and it’s way more than I’d legally have to pay. Shit like that makes this worthwhile.

Related Links

Website: mickeyavalon.com
MySpace: myspace.com/mickeyavalon
MySpace: myspace.com/dyslexicspeedreaders

Labels:

posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:51 AM  
2 Comments:
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger Lady Chavez and Fluffgirl said…

    great interview!

     
  • At 10:03 AM, Blogger Hex said…

    Mickey Avalon is one of the most intruiging new artists I discovered this year. I dig the style of his music, and can't help but laugh at the songs -- but you wonder what the future holds for his songwriting, especially considering the fact that he seems to draw from his life experiences for source material.

    Now that his life is changing (for the better), I'm interested to see where his lyrics go from here, and if he still appeals to me in the same way that he did when I first heard him.

     
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