3.08.21 Drawn that way: Four times I got musicians to create self-portraits in my notebook

I don’t think I do that many “fun” posts here, so I’m going to change that at least once.

In the 1990s I did a lot of music journalism; it was my “in” to getting bylines. I long ago segued into TV and film articles, but for a brief period I had this idea that I would amass a book’s worth of self-portraits by my interview subjects … and I actually got a few before it petered out.

The main reasons I don’t have more are:

1. Most of my interviews were on the phone
2. Press reps were hovering about
3. I was kind of chicken.

But I have the receipts that four times, none of that stopped me.

Exhibit 1: Catherine Wheel

Could seem menacing in videos, but in fact were very nice guys. I gotta admire the one who just went full stick figure on me:

Exhibit 2: Menswear

Does anyone remember Menswear? I loved one of their songs. We walked around town, not sure what town, but did a little shopping, bought some novelty items.

And then I got these quite well done drawings.

Exhibit 3: Matthew Sweet

Seriously, a talented guy whose music I adored.

We return to the stick figure for his, but with a bit of an outfit. And a hat! And a guitar! And a false start! Sadly, I have zero recollection of meeting him ever.

Exhibit 4: Roland Orzabal of Tears for Fears

Having already met Curt Smith (the other half of the band) and had an incredible afternoon in the Boston sunshine that ultimately involved martinis at the Hard Rock Cafe, I’d looked forward to meeting Roland some years later. But he was very buttoned up, very controlled by his press rep, and I got maybe 20 minutes with him to chat in a New York City hotel room. It was a sterile discussion, but I did end up with this magnificent drawing.

Credit to the guy who takes up most of the page.

Man, I wish I had more of these!