rob tannenbaum

McCartney refers to ‘We Can Work It Out’ as “a girlfriend song,” and like ‘Help!,’ the lyrics acknowledged that not everything in a Beatle’s life was perfect. According to lore, he wrote it about a fight he had had with girlfriend Jane Asher. “I don’t remember the circumstances, but I’m clearly saying, ‘Try and see it my way, because I’m obviously right.’ It may be arrogant, but it’s what every man wants to say to every girl. ‘Please think of this from my point of view. It might make things easier. It’d certainly make it easier for me.’”
—  Paul McCartney, interview w/ Rob Tannenbaum for Billboard. (November 21st, 2015)

Here’s one interview that I think about a lot. I don’t understand it. It’s cagey as fuck. And it haunts my dreams.


Deluxe Interview Gillian Anderson with Rob Tannenbaum
September 1998




GA: I’ve been drinking rice-milk lattes, but since I’ve been back in LA, and with the recent, uh, events in my life, I’ve been upping the dairy quotient.

RB: What recent, uh, events?

GA: Oh, just slightly more, um, stressed. Slightly more, um, reasons to make me not wanna go without things that give me comfort.

RB: You’re dropping hints. So, Gillian, what’s new in your personal life?

GA: Oh, lots. Ever-changing, confusing stuff. (Puts her head down on the table) It’s just very difficult, because there’s something on my brain and I’m having a really hard time not talking about it, but I’m NOT GONNA talk about it, because this is not the place to talk about it. So, yeah. (Sighs) I’m in a very bizarre mood today. I’ve feeling very immature.

RB: When you’ve read articles about the show, have you learned things about how Duchovny feels about you?

GA: I have, but I’m pretty intuitive about that stuff, anyway. I’m highly attuned to… well, to too much. Once I was surprised by something he said. He gave a description of our relationship that was particularly cold, and I was quoted in the article as saying that.

RB: If you could have more of one quality that he has in abundance, what would it be?

GA: That level of intelligence. I wish I had more facts in my head. When I was in school, I didn’t really pay much attention. That’s the one thing in my life I regret: daydreaming. I needed to do it; it was a survival mechanism for me.

RB: You talk a lot about how difficult school was for you.

GA: I get into these philosophical discussions with interviewers, because the majority of my life isn’t appropriate to talk about in a magazine. Especially the interesting stuff. I also just had an unfortunate situation, where I put a great deal of trust in somebody and I’m regretting that. So I’m probably more vague today than I would’ve been a week ago.

RB: Lucky me. Now in turn, what do you have in abundance that you would want to give to David?

GA: I know what the answer is, but that leads to a tricky…How to put it? Oh, fuck…Patience. That’s about as good as I can do without…

RB: Without what?

GA: Making him angry. (Big laugh) Without saying something I might regret.

RB: You’re cagey.

GA: Fuck, yes. These interviews are tricky, you have to be really careful. I can’t talk abut details of the movie; it’s not appropriate for me to talk about my divorce or recent relationships; and there’s not really much about my adolescence or early adulthood that I feel comfortable talking about.

RB: So, if you hurt David’s feelings, then you apologise. Big deal.

GA: Yes, but if there’s something that I have trouble with - about his behaviour, let’s say - it’s something I need to deal with between the two of us, not expressed through the press.

RB: So you have had a chat about, let’s say, your difficulty with his impatience?

GA: No, I haven’t. But I’m getting closer.

RB: Describe a bad date you’ve been on.

GA: I haven’t really been on very many dates. Bad date, bad date, bad date…I’m losing my train of thought.

RB:Because you’re thinking of that thing you won’t talk about. (She turns bright red) Was it a bad date?

GA: (Ignoring me) When I was younger, if I went on one date and it seemed to work in any aspect, we were a couple. So there were some week-long, two-week-long relationships that didn’t turn out so good. I’ve never been on a blind date. (Laughs suddenly) Well, I guess I kind of have.

RB: OK, so you’re dropping clues. I’m starting to suspect that you went on a blind date in New York last weekend, and it didn’t go well.

GA: (Changing the subject) I went on one date with an older man I met through some friends. He took me to see some pianist playing Rogers and Hammerstein. I did not connect with it at all, and he was very moved by the performance. I wonder what he must have made of me. He was probably about six foot three and weighed over 200 pounds and had a moustache (laughs); very conservative. I was still in the phase of thrift-store clothing and teased hair. But teased up like the Cure, not like Debbie Reynolds.

RB: Have you ever slapped a man?

GA: I have wanted to, but instead I kicked a hole in the wall. That was the only time that I was ever able to express my anger outward instead of inward. He had participated in what ended up being the last straw (laughs), inappropriate and cruel berating about particular subjects. Fortunately I had a hiking boot on, because it just swept over me, and for the first time in my life, I had no control, and I would’ve kicked in a wall regardless of what shoes I was wearing.

RB: So, tell me about the bad blind date in New York. C'mon, we’ve known each other for a while now. We’re friends, aren’t we, Gillian?

GA:( Laughs) But I’m not friends with the subscribers to the magazine. I don’t want to tell them about my boring, vague life.

RB: Can we agree, though, that you don’t have a boring, vague life?

GA: Yes. I know that I’m not boring. I am far from boring. I enjoy living life, I take a lot of risks, and I pay the consequences (big laugh).

RB: You say you don’t want to talk about it, but you really are dropping some tantalizing hints.

GA: You know what? I’m dying to talk about it, because it’s tragic in a sense, and bizarre and confusing, and it’s very hard for me not to allude to it. And I could get myself into some serious trouble, because I could be convinced to talk about it.

RB: Really?

GA: No, actually, not. I mean, it’s best for all concerned if I don’t.