Greg Cartwright: He can write them, play them, sing them.
Who are you wearing?
Who am I wearing? Hmm…I have a t-shirt from The Earl. You mean like brands? Oh. J. Crew, because it’s my mother in law’s favorite thing and she always buys me clothes on Christmas, so that’s all I’m wearing because I don’t buy clothes. Every year before Christmas I have to go through a J. Crew catalog and tell her what I want. It’s always just pants and shirts so this is what I get.
What’s the best band name you have that you’ve never used?
For a hot second, the Oblivians were trying out different names. I think we did one show as the Gentlemen Of Leisure, and then for a minute, we were PP And The Nail Drivers, which stand for Pontius Pilate And The Nail Drivers, which was shortened to PP. It’s biblical and dirty.
What record have you been looking for and haven’t been able to find?
There is a Del Shannon record that only came out in Asia called “Early in The Morning”. It’s a 45, and it’s kind of a late Del Shannon thing, like ‘70 or '71. It’s kind of country-ish sounding, like Gene Clark. And somebody made me a dub of it and I’ve been looking for it but because it came out in such a limited territory, it’s been kind of hard to track down. When I do find out, it s gonna be 10 cents.
What is the best sound?
Is this where I go, “The Reigning Sound?” The best sound is the sound you can dance to.
How much guitar is too much guitar?
I don’t know…listener discretion.
What’s the best thing about Hoboken?
Elysian Field. It’s a little park over here [by Maxwell’s], kind of behind the club. I think that is where they had the very first organized game of baseball.
Are you a bad man?
No….I talk a good game. I’m a pushover.
Roulette, craps or blackjack?
I don’t gamble with money. I don’t play any games of chance.
Coolest person to come out of Memphis?
I don’t know, that’s hard. There are many cool people. Maybe Charlie Feathers.
Best BBQ in Memphis?
Did Elvis ruin Carl Perkins or save him?
Carl Perkins ruined Carl Perkins. With alcohol. It’s kind of sad what happened to Carl because he was the most talented guys of all the Sun guys. He could write them, play them, sing them. He had the whole fucking package. But he drank a lot, and I think one time after drinking he put his hand in a fan. He battled for a long time with alcohol. I don’t think you can blame anybody else for your own ruin. But he wasn’t completely ruined. He played some cool stuff until the end. He was still great. I think he didn’t have the look to be the star because he wasn’t a pretty boy. He had a bad toupee but he rocked like a motherfucker. If you ever see early footage from him, there was that country show, there was early Johnny Cash on it, Collins Kids. I forget the name of the show. But there’s some footage of Carl Perkins and he didn’t have any hair. But he was the real deal.
What’s a good parting gift?
Travel size containers of alcohol?
Would you prefer to play with Gene Clark or Carl Perkins?
I think I’d rather play with Gene. Because Gene is an ensemble kind of guy. And Carl was self-contained. I feel like if I played with Carl Perkins, I’d be watching Carl Perkins the whole time. I would be afraid to play anything.
45 or 33?
In a bar 45, at home 33. Practicality.
What is your message for the kids?
Stay in school. Crack is whack.
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Many thanks to Karen from Dear Hearts for helping us with the interview.