As anyone who's watched The Osbournes can attest, rock 'n' roll and parenting make cuckoo bedfellows indeed. Yet when I learned last year that Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti was becoming a dad, I grinned. It was Eddie who taught me how to play poker many years ago, and I imagined he'd bring the same enthusiasm to escorting the little nipper to his or her first rock show or strip club. So to flog the quartet's new Must've Been Live, an 18-track set of country favorites on the band's own Mid-Fi Recordings label, I rang up Eddie to quiz him on the joys of bringing up young Edward Carlyle Daly IV.
Two Ears: You made your boy a "fourth." Did you ever resent being a "third"?
Eddie Spaghetti: I did. And I said I would never, ever do that to my kid. But then I got a little bit older and learned more about my grandfather, who I was named after, and he's got kind of a cool story. I meet a lot of "thirds," but I hardly meet any "fourths." Maybe there'll be a "fifth," but I'm not going to put anything like that on him. He can name his kid Vaseline, for all I care.
What kind of music does Edward IV like?
When he was little—and this is not a joke—when he was crying, if we put on Zeke or the Supersuckers or Motorhead, something that sonically doesn't give you a break, that would soothe him to no end. I think it's because my wife came to so many rock shows when she was pregnant. But now it's all over the map. He likes basically any music that he hears, just stops in his tracks and starts bouncing up and down.
Did your father influence your taste in music?
Not much. It was more my mom. I would raid her record collection. In the late '70s, she was into new wave, Blondie and Devo, stuff that I wound up liking a lot. The Knack, "My Sharona," was the song that made me want to be a rocker. And then, when I was a dopey teenager and I got into all that cheesy '80s heavy metal, she was right there with me. She was totally metal: "What did Ozzy do last night?"
So how did you wind up playing country music? Is this just a desperate bid for commercial success?
I wish it was that plotted out. When we were growing up in Arizona, we were pretty anti-country, because it was the music of the people who'd pull up alongside of me as I'm driving down the road, thinking I'm a girl because I had long hair, and then spit on my car when they see that I'm a guy. I was always attracted to really simple, honest music, like punk rock. And then I started learning a couple of country songs and seeing how similar they were. The themes were the same, "oh, woe is me," basically. But I'm at a loss as to explain why the Supersuckers have gone so deep into country music.
One of the songs on the new disc is "Non-Addictive Marijuana." Given your reputation, are you dreading the inevitable talk about drugs?
No, because [my wife and I] both have a pretty positive attitude about drugs, which could be problematic. Just be honest, and say, "You've got to get your shit together and keep it together," and then, "Whatever you want to do, just run it by us if you could." Not that he will, but it'd be nice if he did. Knowing that they exist, and they're going to be a subject, is going to help. And let him know that we've been down that road, and that we've had positive and negative experiences with drugs. But I would be quick to point out many of my friends who wound up having to go up to a meeting every other day for the rest of their life, or dead, as an example of what to look out for.
Willie Nelson's daughter, Amy, sings "Hungover Together" with you on Must've Been Live. How would you feel if young Edward IV announced his intentions to go into showbiz?
I expect nothing less.
Even if it was the ballet?
Especially if it was the ballet. Or if he was joining the band at school and said, "Dad, I'm playing the flute," I would be very supportive. We had this battle with our Arizona relatives a couple weekends ago. We kept saying, "Well, you know, he might be gay." And they said, "No, no!" What would be wrong with that? You'd love him less? I think it'd be a great addition to the family.
The Supersuckers play with Jesse Dayton at the Tractor on Sun., April 7. See music calendar for more information.