YOU'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT YOUR NEWFOUND FETISH OF ASIAN FOOT-RELATED PORNOGRAPHY. Yeah, I don't talk about that with my friends or my wife. It's something I discovered on the internet, and all of a sudden, I'm talking about it on stage. For me, I want the audience to be as embarrassed as I am and then work through it with them, so at the end of it, it doesn't embarrass us. It's like a real narrative. It's conflict and resolution. And based on a premise that's going to make people feel squeamish. I don't aim for squeamish. It's just that if I'm uncomfortable talking about something, it's a great place for me to start out creatively. The opposite of that is, "Here's something that'll make the audience uncomfortable, and I'm going to ram it down their throats and make them squirm, and that'll make me seem edgy." That's totally different. There's no vulnerability in that, because it means you're already comfortable talking about it.
IT SEEMS THE STRUGGLE YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR CAREER IS BETWEEN HAVING COMMERCIAL SUCCESS AND BEING CONSTRICTED BY THE THINGS THAT COME WITH COMMERCIAL SUCCESS. Well, it’s hard when you’ve spent twenty years fighting against that and ending up having act or career that is completely custom-made for yourself. Then, suddenly, you have focus groups and network notes, and even if the focus groups and the network notes weren’t bad, the fact that you were open to them and you were controlled by them, would be enough to make you feel like you weren’t being yourself anymore.
If the book is about my problem with authority, I think that success can be an authority. Every band, when they get famous, they have a point where they can say,
“All right, they loved our first album, but we’re actually thinking of going in this direction,” but if you go in that direction, you’re going to lose a lot of people. So, now you’re in a position where you have to become the Eagles and put the same album out again and again for fifty years, because you can. Or you can be Bob Dylan and reinvent yourself constantly. I think you can do both but you are going to sacrifice a much bigger success that you could have had. But, that’s never bothered me. I’m very happy with where I am.
Greg Fitzsimmons headlines at the Wilbur Theatre this Saturday, January 29.