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Johnny Thunders
Interview













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MELODY MAKER, September 1, 1984
 
 
SHRINK
RAP

The column that straps today's pop wallahs to a couch and puts them under scrutiny by the MM quack. This week:
JOHNNY THUNDERS
















LONDON
Terrible food. They don't seem to take enough time preparing it. You have to put love into food to make it taste good.
 
BASEBALL
Something that had a lot to do with my life to make me how I am physically. I was good a it; very good. I could have been real good. I could have been the best.
 
MONEY
Something that can be replaced.
 
SEX
Something that can't be replaced.
 
DRUGS
Drugs are something that if used the right way can be the most beautiful thing in the world, and if you use them in the wrong way, they can really fuck you up. Drugs don't hurt people. People hurt themselves. It takes a lot of time to learn that. It took me 10 years.
 
ROCK N'ROLL
Is an attitude. It's an attitude that a person has when on stage. If they have it, they have it. If they don't, they won't. The right attitude is not caring... go up there and do whatever feels good.
 
STREETS
A place to grow up. After I left home, I was on the streets in New York, and they taught me so much. To survive in New York, you have to have a street attitude... walk one way, you get ripped off. Walk a different way, you don't get ripped off.
 
RONALD REGAN
What I like about him is what he said on a radio broadcast the other day... "We're gonna outlaw Russia forever and start pushing the buttons". 
 
RUSSIA
I played there two months ago. Russia is very behind the times in everything, the way they look, the way they dress, the way they act. They really wanna learn, the kids, and it's so terrible. I met these guys, the biggest band in Russia. They played to 15,000 people and they sold two million records. And they got 100 dollars a gig and 200 dollars for recording their record - that's all. 
 
PARENTS
They're great if you can live with them. I lived with my mother till I was 15 and I grew out of it because of our different outlooks on life.
 
MEN WITH MAKE-UP
Women with make-up - what's the difference?
 
ENGLISH BANDS
There used to be lot of good ones, but the only new band I like is culture Club.
 
RELIGION
It's something that you shouldn't get totally wrapped up in. It can get pretty boring if that becomes the only thing in your life. I was gonna become an altar boy when I was about eight. It was something my mother wanted me to do, and I never wanted to.
 
GOOD MANNERS
They're alright for some people. I try not to use them except sometimes when I'm escorting a lady.
 
THE PRESS
It's okay if you don't read it.
 
CHILDREN
Children are beautiful, I think. They can teach you more about yourself than anything. I have three children. They've taught me how to treat other people, how to care about other people and why you should care. Everybody is a person, you know. You should treat people the way you want to be treated.
 
BACKGROUND
If you forget where you come from, you're in a lot of trouble. Everybody should remember where they came from... I come from Queens. New York is home. My only home. It's the only place I ever go back to.
 
COVENTRY CITY FOOTBALL CLUB
I don't know what they are.
 
SYNTHESIZERS AND DRUM MACHINES
They're boring. Just boring. With a capital B. Drum machines go along with synthesizers. They're very artificial. They don't feel real to me. My mother could make a record with a synthesizer, probably.
 
SELF-IMPROVEMENT
Something everybody should work at. I've been working at it very hard lately. Very hard. Just trying to be a better person, treat people better and treat myself better. There was a time when I didn't like myself so much...
 
AGE
I think age is great, especially when you don't get old.
 
DRINK
I feel terrible the next day when I wake up. But when I look at my girlfriend, I feel good.
 
PUNK ROCK
I never really liked punk rock so much. I liked the Sex Pistols. I think they were a good band. I don't like anything else from thet era. I don't really listen to music.
 
MALCOLM Mc LAREN
He's a guy who's seen a lot of things and used them all to his advantage.
 
LAW AND ORDER
Something for everybody else. Law and order has affected me. I've been arrested a few times for different things. I think some laws should be there and some shouldn't. When people hurt other people they should be put away. Crime is hurting another person and stealing something.
 
TELEVISION
I enjoy watching the news and movies. "Mean Streets" and "Scarface" are my favourite movies.
 
HEROES
They're great to have. My hero was Micky Mantle, the baseball player. I was about 12. I've had other heroes, but not like him. I guess it's pretty nice if I'm other people's hero.
 
THE OLYMPICS
I'm sorry that the Russians and the East Germans weren't there. I got tired seeing Americans taking all the honours.
 
NOTORIETY
It helps. It can complicate your life - if your reputation gets involved in your personal life, it can get pretty boring - but it's good to have it.
 
DEATH
I'm not afraid of it. It's inevitable and it happens to everyone.