Maybe I was star-struck, maybe I was lost or maybe I simply realized that I had no idea what to ask. All I knew was that my interview with Deerhoof, who performed Saturday night in Goodrich, was doomed – and I hadn’t even introduced myself yet. I stood slack-jawed, facing the band, trying to recollect the questions that I thought I’d rehearsed beforehand. Suddenly, at the foot of an enormous mountain of potential humiliation, I glimpsed a flicker of inspiration on the horizon: the April 16 issue of Time. Opening the publication to the “10 Questions” feature, I saw that everything I needed to ask was written out for me! Ten well-conceived questions from readers around the nation. It was perfect. Well – kind of. The interview in this month’s publication was done with Michael J. Fox, so sure, the 10 questions were not exactly on-topic, but it was worth a shot. There was only one way my plan would fail, and according to www.parkinsons.org, those odds were 1-in-300 in my favor.
Hi. Hey. Yeah, can I interview you? Oh, right. I’m Liza. Heeeyyy. Yeah.
Ed Rodriguez: You’re from the College paper? Cool.
Oh. No. I don’t write for the paper. They just asked me to – I’ve never interviewed anyone before though, so I’m not sure why – I’m from San Francisco.
Greg Saunier: Oooh. So they sent a local to help translate – But we’re not from San Francisco.
Ed: We’re fake.
Greg: Not fake. Nouveau.
John Dieterich: Hah. Well, we’re certainly not Nouveau Riche. We’re “Old Poverty.”
Satomi: What was the question?
Ed: She hasn’t asked one yet.
Right, yeah, okay. So again, I’ve never done an interview, so I needed a little help. This is Time – the interview with Michael J. Fox? I’m going to read you some of these questions and just answer them as best you can – just in whatever way it loosely applies to your lives. Okay? Great. How do you keep your optimism in the face of difficult circumstances?
Ed: I don’t think we have any difficult circumstances. I mean we don’t have Parkinson’s or anything. Well, I guess it’s all relative.
How has your diagnosis affected your beliefs about life, death and spirituality?
Ed: You know. Every time I go to my mom’s house, I get into a new TV show. Last time I started to watch that doctor show with the Vicodin guy: House. Right? So you start watching and it’s this obscure s—- – like some ancient killer that only resurfaces if you eat a pickle under the wrong heat on the exact wrong latitude of the earth. I mean something you did that you thought was normal and then, BAM, you’ve got a terminal illness. Like I’m just eating this cheese now, but tomorrow I could be dead. I got super paranoid so I wouldn’t touch anything or do anything I thought would kill me.
John: Like on WebMD how people just find crazy diseases and then immediately think they’ve got it. It’s a hypochondriac’s guide to the world.
Ed: Yeah, well this show turned me into one of those. Luckily my mom’s a tough lady and she kicked me out for hanging around her couch too much. So, yeah. What was it? My belief about life? I don’t know. Maybe just don’t go on to WebMD and don’t harass your mom. Also, TV isn’t real life.
John: Those are good philosophies, Ed – Fans diagnose us all the time. But it’s usually nice and not apocalyptic. There are some crazies though who make you question s—- –
How do you think your advocacy has helped change the public view of stem-cell research?
Ed: Well, when we drive by Livermoore where they do all that work on stem-cells, I’ll sort of tip my hat. The public’s seen me do that I’ll bet, or they catch me picking my nose.
Do you think that research will find a cure for Parkinson’s during your lifetime?
Greg: Well, I’ve thought about that a lot because my grandmother was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Greg: Yeah, she’s doing fine, but you always think about a miracle cure …
[I guess he was not joking?!]
Greg: But I don’t know if “cure” is the right word, you know? Oliver Sachs has that book Musicophilia that talks about music as a sort of cure. But it’s not permanent, or a medical revolution or anything. It’s just about how there can be instant relief in music – He says that we are a “musical species.” I like that. I’m not going to say that our sound is particularly soothing or healing, but it resonates. There are people who are elevated by it, you know, and maybe even physically –