|Sid and his er... cufflinks|
Sid Pink. The man that many love to hate. Really. People HATE this guy. Now, I've always had a special place in my heart for the guy no one could stand (starting with my first boyfriend in kindergarten), so of course, I was intrigued. I was building my way up to ask him for an interview, but strangely, he beat me to the punch in his public statement that I had very rudely overlooked his greatness, and he demanded that I interview him. He is a man of very few commonly accepted virtues; patience not being one of them. Being the great enabler of bad behavior that I am, I agreed to do an interview.
I did the interview in July. This is October. I endured two months of emails, public taunts, and text messages on my phone, until finally, this damned interview is UP. Here it is, for all of the world to see. Just for you, Mr. Pink.
Let's start with what you do. I have a long laundry list of things that you do. Let's start with the most popular thing du jour: your pirate radio show [www.kbfr.org, Thursdays, 3-6PM, MST].
Is that popular?
Well yeah, what with that interview in THRILL Magazine in Boulder..
How did you get in involved with [the radio show]?
It started out that my alter-ego was making a documentary about pirate radio. So someone contacted him to fund the documentary about that station. So he started making this documentary and he became intrigued.
How long ago was that?
Thirteen months ago. And then he's been working on the documentary slowly. But then the radio station said, "You know what, you should have a show!" and he said, "No, but I know someone who would," and he asked me if I would do it because I am a little bit more out front than he is. It doesn't make all that much sense for pirate radio though, because it's supposed to be secret. So, I am one of maybe two people that would be easy to find out.
What kind of legal ramifications are there if you get caught?
They've been busted four times already..
Isn't it like ten grand a pop?
If you get prosecuted. They've never been fined. They've just been shut down. The total real legal ramifications could be up to a hundred grand and a year in jail.
How do you feel about that?
I feel fine because of the way that they run the station, there's really a tiny, minute chance of anyone actually getting hung up. It doesn't bother me, but it does bother some of them that I am also a "public celebrity."
And that it brings more attention to them and possible...
Yeah, and I don't think they like the fact that I can be traced to a real person.
So why do you want to do a pirate radio show?
Well, you've obviously never heard me. Because I'm GREAT. I have a great radio voice... Well, because it's important to have as many outlets as you can.
Well, what do you want to accomplish with the show?
It's not really this launch pad for like political... I don't think I am going to change the world...
It's not really political, so then is it just about your taste in music..
Yeah, it's my taste in music; my taste in humor. I recently took a partner in the show, called Arkady, and it's ok to get people to think. While I'm entertaining people, I'd like to get them to think.
So, you would say first and foremost, you're an entertainer.
Oh yeah. Well, first and foremost, I'm a celebrity, and then I'm an entertainer.
Right. Ok, pirate radio: check. Then you do lots of MCing events, etc.
Like what kind of events?
Well, the whole thing started in ahh...whatever year the Columbine thing happened...'98? Well, the whole thing started because our friends in the band, Seraphim Shock said that they wanted our production company to do something as an opener for one of their concerts. They didn't want another band. So, at the time, we developed this game show called, "Think Pink," and it was this mature themed trivia game show but then it had stunts and gore and it had these three big characters: the host was Sid Pink and there was Portia Needlewax who was my alter-ego's best friend's alter-ego and he was this great big guy in drag with a wig, and we had The Professor who was this very gay, sort-of swishy guy in a smoking jacket or a robe and a turbin. The three of us would have a game show and would take real contestants from the audience and we would give stuff away. So, that was the first time we ever did anything, and we ended up doing maybe six or seven of the game shows. But it became prohibitively expensive. It was totally fun to do, but it wasn't cost effective. So, people would call us to do the game show, but it got really hard to get the team motivated. Then people were like, "If you won't do that, then how about just Sid Pink doing a scaled down version?" That was maybe three years ago. So then I started doing MCing using my "abrasive, lovable" persona. I would make crowds hate me enough that whoever came next would be a relief.
How does it feel to put yourself in a position to be hated?
Well, I think it's knowing that people have this envy of someone who is a celebrity. You can't really expect anything other than to be hated. If I was so hated, I wouldn't keep getting booked. It's like the "love to hate" sort of thing.
What other kind of events do you do?
They're usually associated with music. For a while, I had an every week Kareoke night called, "Sid Pink's Throat Loads." Then I've done like two or three film festival things, I did the Modern Drunkard convention in Las Vegas.
How was that? Any good stories?
It was great. It was all drunks.
How did you get involved with that?
It was a great story, I thought. Love the magazine, always read it. It's unbelievably well written, well designed, expertly resourced. It keeps getting better. And ah...I do a lot of burlesque shows. My alter-ego produced like the first five burlesque shows in Denver.
Burlesque As It Was. And so I got to know all of those kids and then there was a schizm, much like the ah..well, you've heard of the two Popes, I am sure.
It was a pretty famous time in the Renai-asance age. So there was the Pope in Rome, but another person claimed to be the Pope and had a large following; in Avignon, France. There was a big schizm in the diocese about which Pope was the real Pope. So, they had a schizm with the burlesque troupe and they broke into two groups and then they had a third group. So, anyway, I had heard that one of the burlesque troupes, the Ooh La La troupe, was playing at the Modern Drunkard convention, and a couple of other bands that I had worked with and I was like, that sounds like fun and someone said, "Hey you should go." So I was really just looking on their website to see like when it was, because I was just going to go as a fan..
As a drunkard?
Yeah. But I am much more known as a pill person. But who doesn't like booze, really? So, I looked at their website and I looked at their itinerary and I saw that they were giving demonstrations, drinking contests, the history of booze and there was a cutsie little link at the bottom that said, "Did we forget something? Email Us!" I had met different members of the Drunkard staff over time, but none of them ever remembered, because they were drunk. So I knew that they kind of knew me, but I wasn't banking on it. So I just wrote them and I was like, "How the fuck can you have a Modern Drunkard convention in Las Vegas and not even ASK me to MC it?" I mean, it's insane, because I AM famous. If there's one even EVER, besides a Goth-Babe convention, then, this is it. And I pretty much expected it to be ignored, but I knew I was right. Then, like thirty minutes later I checked my email for something else, I was probably hoping that Magicyclops had emailed me, but anyway, they had written back and were like, "My God, you're right!"
You've mentioned something about produciing?
Yeah, well, my alter-ego does a lot of that. He owns a production company.
What production company?
Grim Productions. That was all television development, marketing, commercials. But then, Sid Pink as a producer, he does little shows like the game show or talk shows. One year we (myself and Portia and the Professor) hosted the Westword Music Awards.
I read about that.
Yeah, they hated all of our gags and they said, well at least you can get a drink if you mention this word and you can get a drink. But when we were went up and told them the secret word, they were like, "sorry."
The write-up didn't seem so negative. Maybe a little bit, but it seemed like it was ultimately fun for everyone.
It probably was. Two different guys from bands tried to fight me.
Yeah, and another guy gave me a wet-willie, and I didn't enjoy that so much. But Portia was there and she wouldn't let anything happen to me.
Have you ever gotten into any fights because of what you do?
No. I would never let that happen. Normally, I will either really let someone have it, like if someone says, "You're an asshole," and I'll be like "No, I'm not, but I am now." So...I've been close like fifty times, but I know that I would probably lose. Plus, I wouldn't want to hurt my clothes. Normally, someone steps in on my behalf or I leave.
Is that stressful for you?
No. it's part of being a celebrity.
Speaking of your clothes, tell me about your look and where you shop.
Well, my look is like the typical game-show host, MC, celebrity wardrobe. It has to get peoples' attention and I have to feel good about it. Where do I shop...I shop at thrift stores, I get a lot of my shoes in London, and then a really good place to shop, is called Harold Pener, Man of
Fashion. I find there's a lot more bold stuff there...playa' wear.
Do you ever feel like you want to get out of Denver and get to a place that can appreciate your style more?
Oh yeah, I despise Denver.
Where would you go?
I would go to San Francisco.
How old are you?
That's not a nice question, how much do you weigh?
Oh. I'm ahhh 29.
What's your favorite word?
My favorite word?
This is a first for me, I've never done a favorite question, but since you're such a wordsmith..
My favorite word...I couldn't pick just one...
OK, today, what's your favorite word?
You share your name with the writer/producer of Angry Red Planet...
Yes, may he rest in peace. Well, it's kind of uncanny because when crafting the persona, originally, my alter-ego was not consciously aware of the other Sid Pink. What he was trying to do was think of something that would go with Think Pink the game show...extroverted, flamboyant, abrasive, flashy, Vegas, American sleazeball meets Oscar Wilde sort of thing. He wanted something punchy and sounded sort of sleazy and was memorable, so he decided Sid Pink. I went with that name for probably almost two years before someone mentioned to me about [the other Sid Pink] and by then it was too late to change.
In your ideal world, what would you be doing what would you like to happen?
We had developed Think Pink as a television show. There was a company in the UK that was interested in Think Pink as a tv show. For Sid Pink that, would be ideal. The Think Pink tv game show is the same as the show, and then you have three contestants, and the whole set is on a big flatbed truck and we would go through towns. We would send a crew ahead who would scout out contestants and they would line up along the route the truck would take. And we would drive through the town and do the show, and then every round the low-scoring contestant gets killed, and then you have to pick someone else up along the route. So there's incentive for people to show up, because at least twice during the show, someone's going to get killed; probably by ninjas attacking or a bear or just get shot...
So, some people have been seriously considering this show?
Mmm-hmmm. But that was years ago.
So, your ultimate ideal would be to have this on television...
Yeah. I don't know how we would handle the licensing of the violence, because that was one of the problems.
And then we trailed off, talking of travel, movies, and more travel. Then Rocky and Amber (the cufflinks) showed up and I had probably one of my favorite photos shoots. Got sauced on bourbon, watched Sid take pills, did a little dancing, and called it a night. He's not really as bad as he seems. Mostly. Oh, and thanks for that book*, Sid, my punctuation has never been better.
Sid Pink also wrote for Go-Go Magazine & currently writes for Buzz Magazine.
Listen to his radio show, Thursdays, 3-6PM, MST online at www.kbfr.org
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. Good, good book for puntuation nerds.