Publication: The Stranger
Date published:
Language: English
PMID: 59135
Journal code: STRR



In the course of one week, Seattle has three music icons rolling through town. Between the three of them, more than 200 million albums have been sold: Tori Amos, the piano-tickling pioneer; Axl Rose, LA rock legend/ anal-retentive madman, and his Guns N' Roses band (that features none of the other original members); and Prince, the Mozart of funk, the Minnesota native who recorded Purple Rain, which is possibly the finest gathering of sounds a human being has ever offered up to the ears of the universe.

Due to scheduling snafus, Tori, Axl, and Prince were all unavailable for interviews, so I took their questions and gave them to the Young Evils singer-songwriter and KEXP DJ Troy Nelson. Nelson is a wily, multifaceted music man who understands the premise of hook-based songwriting. To know him is to laugh out loud. He's a natural punch-line commander who constantly creates. He says things like "Thinking about naming my penis 'Murf' so I can call it Papa's Murf" and "Just got hit in the eye with an avocado and got guacoma" and "Dipping your celery in peanut butter is like jogging to your coke dealer."

Tori Amos

Your album insert for Boys for Pele included a picture of you breastfeeding a piglet. What made you want to breastfeed a piglet and take a picture of it?

My art resonates with the earth's vibrations. You are a weak man and will never understand.

Axl Rose

Appetite for Destruction is one of the greatest rock records of all time. "Take me down to the Paradise City, where the grass is green and the girls are pretty." Is the grass still green?

If we're talking about the pubic hair of a leprechaun, then fuck yeah. I have to admit it's sort of darkened a bit over the years. There's now a brownish hue to it. I spent all last summer trying to braid the grass into cornrows.

Why did it take 17 years for you to finish your last album, Chinese Democracy?

Well, because fuck you, that's why. This country has become so softand complacent over the last few years, it's become more of a "cunt-ry" around here. I have more pull than a Russian masturbating champion, so I do as I please. Still not giving a fuck in 2013, and you can take that one to heart. Also, perfection takes a long motherfuckin' time, man. I actually started writing Appetite when I was 2 fucking years old on a Fisher-Price xylophone. The song "Rocket Queen" is about this babysitter I banged when I was 8.

How can you still call it Guns N' Roses when none of the other guys from Guns N' Roses are in the band anymore?

I own the name, simple as that. I hated kicking everyone out of the band, but there were some rules that were being fucking broken. I had to let go of Slash because he wouldn't wear an empty KFC bucket on his head. It was a simple request. I said, "Dude, it's just like the fuckin' hat you wear now only, you know, a KFC bucket." He freaked out, so I fired him.

Do you and Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil still want to fight each other?

You mean that chipmunk-sounding motherfucker? I made out with his bitch at the Viper Room in '89, and he never got over it. He doesn't know it, but his current wife-you know, the one who just got the new expensive tits? Well, I have her old tits stuffed and mounted in my game room at home. My favorite pool stick fits right between the cleavage perfectly.


Are you God?

Well, my dear Trenton, we are all God in our own unique ways. Some people are good at teaching. Some people are good at helping and healing. And some people, like myself, are good at playing 142 different instruments at the same time while dousing themselves with baby oil and reciting the entire Old Testament in Arabic. So the short answer is yes.

Were you God when you wrote the song "Darling Nikki"? Did you really meet her in a hotel lobby while she was masturbating with a magazine?

I encompass many spiritual forms when writing. When I wrote "Darling Nikki," I channeled the spirit of Nikki Clementine, who was a hairdresser in the 1930s. She was killed by her lover, who thought she was cheating on him with his brother. The sad part of the story is that the only brother he ever had died at birth. That made him feel like she was a ghost-baby fucker. When I wrote "Little Red Corvette," I channeled the spirit of a wild elephant that was put down by a tribe that viewed the elephant as a sign of the apocalypse.

Do you still play with your guitar that jizzes?

Yes. It's harder for me to jizz these days, because I am 80.

When you changed your name to a symbol and became "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince," did you ever think about changing your name to "Ron Howard"?

I had been thinking about changing my name to The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. My manager said it was too much of a mouthful, and I said, "That's what she said." Ha-ha, I'm so glad The Office made that joke funny again; it's always been a favorite of mine.

Tori Amos plays Wed Dec 14 at Paramount Theatre, Guns N' Roses play Fri Dec 16 at KeyArena, and Prince plays Mon Dec 19 at the Tacoma Dome.

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