Dave Lefkow is the kind of businessman who knows what he wants. It's bacon. He wants bacon. He's the "D" in J&D Foods, a company that makes Bacon Salt, Baconnaise, bacon popcorn, bacon-flavored envelopes, and other bacon-flavored goods--all kosher and vegetarian (if at least in letter of the law).
Lefkow will speak at the "Why Bacon? Why Cupcakes? Why Now?" panel at Bumbershoot on Monday at 2 p.m. at the Words & Ideas Stage with Jennifer Shea of Trophy Cupcakes, where the two will basically justify their jobs. Here, Lefkow shares his feelings on Led Zeppelin, Tron Carter, the University of Iowa fight song and Bacon Salt's own theme music.
Reverb Questionnaire is a list of (mostly) static questions we pose to folks outside the music industry. The questions are all answered via e-mail.
What music have you been listening to today? Did you like it?
When I'm at work, I go mellow/eclectic - Ray LaMontagne, Adele, Jose Gonzalez, a band out of Florida called Mofro that I guess split up, Death Cab for Cutie and TV on the Radio. It's good background music and never gets so loud that someone I'm talking with on the phone says "what the hell is that?"
What's your preferred method for listening to music (iPod, car, home stereo, etc.)?
Pandora over either my computer or new iPhone (when it's not dropping every other call - Mr. Jobs, please fix this).
When was the last time you heard "Stairway to Heaven"? Did you turn it off?
You will never hear me say a bad word about Led Zeppelin. I don't care if they stole all their songs or sold their souls to the devil - they are still the best band that is barely alive.
Do you play an instrument?
An acoustic guitar, and badly.
Do you still listen to anything you were listening to in high school?
I went to high school in the late 80's, but was a conscientious objector to any of the "music" that came out during that time period. As a frame of reference, Huey Lewis was really cool then. Instead, I listened to the Beatles, Zeppelin, Hendrix with an occasional Fat Boys or Eric B. and Rakim tune mixed in. The Fat Boys actually endorse our Bacon Salt, Baconnaise and BaconPOP products now. At least one of them is no longer fat from what I understand.
What was the first band/artist you saw in concert? Would you see them again?
The Who, and yes I would definitely see them again if they ever rose out of their wheelchairs to play another show.
What was the last band/artist you saw in concert? Worth your time?
I met some friends in Fremont to see Tron Carter this weekend. Not usually my style of music, but they played well and I really did like that they named their band after the homeless crackhead on the Dave Chappelle show. That takes guts.
When you sing karaoke, what's your go-to number?
Biz Markie, "Just a Friend." I kill with that.
How do you feel about ABBA?
I like the Swedes - they make good cars and have outrageous accents. I can't say I'm a fan of ABBA's music though.
What is the last song you want to hear before you die?
The Iowa Hawkeyes fight song, the student version of which starts with "In heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here."
On second thought, that makes heaven sound horrible. So let's make my exit music a live performance of the Bacon Salt Theme Song that the J&D's intern made up last year - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1_CCwXNpE4 - the giant bacon costume would make me laugh and the kid (Brian Detlefs) has a great voice.
Please share a favorite musical moment/story from your past.
I'm a big fan of the Seattle bands Brad and Satchel. On one of my earliest dates with my wife, Christin, who was also a big fan of their music, we went to the Crocodile Café. I saw Shawn Smith, the lead singer, walking around. So I went up to him when my wife was in the bathroom and told him to pretend he knew me so I could impress this girl I was on a date with. He played along nicely, but I eventually had to cop to the fact that I had never met him before in my life because, as she pointed out, I probably would have said something about knowing him during one of the 8 million times we listened to them before. That's when I knew that she was much smarter than I was, and the rest (beach wedding, two great kids and a crazy business we started with Justin Esch to make everything taste like bacon) is history.
Last question: Have you ever had a bad bacon experience? Where does bacon not belong?
The only thing close to a bad bacon experience I've had wasn't really bacon's fault. When we were coming up with the recipe for Baconnaise, I ate an unhealthy breakfast of bacon and mayonnaise in pursuit of just the right taste - for 6 months! I gained 10 lbs, 2 pant sizes, and probably took 3-4 years off my life. But the good news is that Baconnaise is less calories and fat than regular mayo, and is also vegetarian.
Bacon does not belong on a belly tattoo, as demonstrated here (someone who came by our booth at BaconFest in Portland): http://www.facebook.com/JDsFoods?v=photos&ref=ts#!/photo.php?pid=5227233&id=129955176234&ref=fbx_album