Kot and DeRogatis Fill Out the Rock Geek Questionnaire

CHICAGOMAG.COM EXCLUSIVE: The hosts of Sound Opinions tell us how many iPods they own, their favorite Chicago band no one knows about, how many times they’ve seen Spinal Tap, and more

Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune

Age/band at first concert?
13 years old, Grand Funk Railroad at the Syracuse War Memorial

How many times have you seen Spinal Tap?
I watch the full-length movie about once every few years, but stream select scenes all the time. Stonehenge is the best.

How much space in your home is allotted to your music collection?
Half my basement

Have you ever named a child or pet after a rock and roll star?
No. Children and pets deserve better

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What was the name of AC/DC’s lead singer before Bon Scott?
As far as I’m concerned, there is only one AC/DC singer, all due respect to Brian Johnson and some guy named Dale.

Someone stands in front of you at a concert when you’re sitting in paid seats. Is it fine, or do you ask him to sit down?
Just because they paid for a seat doesn’t mean they have to sit in it.

How many sets of headphones do you own?
One

How many iPods?
None, but family has three, and lost at least that many more.

What artist do you get shit for loving?
Bad Company, Grand Funk, Jesus Jones, Lady Gaga, Neil Diamond …

Do you have any actual instruments in your garage?
No instrument should hang out in a garage during a Chicago winter. I have an upright piano in my living room.

Billy Corgan is . . .”
very pale

Who is currently the best Chicago band no one knows about?
The Cathy Santonies

Do your dreams ever have soundtracks? If so, what are they?
No, but I once had a dream where Bjorn and Benny of ABBA were giving me a guided tour of Stockholm.

Would you rather go deaf or lose your hands?
 Trick question

My wife hates music. Would you marry someone who hated music?
A person who hates music? All music? I’d like to meet that person out of curiosity, but I wouldn’t want to marry them.

Who said, “I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.”
Miles Davis. He’d be so much fun at listening parties.

What concert shirt from your youth was the hardest to throw out?
Ramones T-shirt from Rocket to Russia tour

British punk or California Hardcore. Only one can continue to exist as music and in people’s memory and you decide. Which?
British punk, plus Dead Kennedys

What is one artist on which Jim is totally off in his judgment?
Just one? Let’s start with Gang of Four

What was the name of the record label founded by Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson?
K

Do you have a radio in your bathroom?
No. Sometimes silence is good.

What song was playing the first time you got laid? If you don’t remember, what do you wish it was?
That’s between me and Billie Holiday

Finish this lyric: “All the power’s in the hands/Of the people rich enough to buy it . . .”
“While we walk the streets too chicken to even try it” – I think?

Which rock star was so big he/she pierced your hardened journalistic shell when you met him/her and left you starstruck? How dumb did you act?
I was interviewing Lou Reed for the first time and couldn’t get my tape recorder to work. But Reed took pity on me and the interview actually went pretty well. Never did fix the recorder, though.

What ultimately happened to your cassettes?
Still listen to old mix tapes. They all sound like Guided By Voices records.

When was the last time you got into a mosh pit?
The last time I lost a contact lens – covering the Rage Against the Machine reunion at Coachella in 2007. Lesson learned.

Approximately how many records – actual vinyl - do you personally own, and how are they organized?
About 5,000. Alphabetically by artist, with 12-inch singles and jazz filed separately.

How many songs from Exile on Main Street can you name?
Rocks Off, Tumbling Dice, Ventilator Blues, Turd on the Run, All Down the Line, Shine a Light, Sweet Virginia, Just Want to See His Face, Rip This Joint, Shake Your Hips … and eight more.

 

Jim DeRogatis, Columbia College, Vocalo.org

Age/band at first concert?
Jethro Tull with prog-rockers U.K. opening at Madison Square Garden, 1978.

How many times have you seen Spinal Tap?
Too many to count. More than a dozen, for sure.

How much space in your home is allotted to your music collection?
Given that I have moved far too many times over the last decade, in the great Chicago tradition, less than you’d think. I have a couple of yards worth of stacked LPs and 45s, a couple of big storage boxes of cassettes, and a giant retail-type CD credenza packed to the gills, which is saying something, since I get rid of all jewel cases and just keep the discs in plastic slip covers. But I’m not nearly as anal about keeping everything as Kot is (he has like 17 Gordon Lightfoot CDs alone!), and I would love to go digital with about 85 percent of what I still do have.

Have you ever named a child or pet after a rock and roll star?
Does “Melody” count? Probably not. So no.

What was the name of AC/DC’s lead singer before Bon Scott?
Jeff Ruby. Or the guy that Google and Wikipedia name, I forget which.

Someone stands in front of you at a concert when you’re sitting in paid seats. Is it fine, or do you ask him to sit down?
A trick question, since critics almost never have to pay for seats.

How many sets of headphones do you own?
Six. Maybe seven. Or ten if you count ear buds.

How many iPods?
None. I would spend too much time loading the things up.

What artist do you get shit for loving?
Fergie/the Black Eyed Peas.

Do you have any actual instruments in your garage?
Four drum sets, a Moog theremin, a Farfisa organ, a lot of percussion instruments, some old analog synthesizers…

Billy Corgan is . . .”
So very, very pathetic these days, and not in the way he thinks.

Who is currently the best Chicago band no one knows about?
The Cathy Santonies

Do your dreams ever have soundtracks? If so, what are they?
I rarely remember my dreams, except for the ones I’m not going to tell you about.

Would you rather go deaf or lose your hands?
Neither.

My wife hates music. Would you marry someone who hated music?
All music? No. Bad music? Certainly!

Who said, “I’ll play it first and tell you what it is later.”
Jeff Ruby.

What concert shirt from your youth was the hardest to throw out?
Pink Floyd, from “The Wall” concert I saw at Nassau Coliseum.

British punk or California Hardcore. Only one can continue to exist as music and in people’s memory and you decide. Which?
The Brits.

What is one artist on which Greg is totally off in his judgment?
Bruce Springsteen.

What was the name of the record label founded by Beat Happening’s Calvin Johnson?
Ruby Records.

Do you have a radio in your bathroom?
One in each bathroom.

What song was playing the first time you got laid? If you don’t remember, what do you wish it was?
I am still waiting to choose the perfect soundtrack. Maybe someday…

Finish this lyric: “All the power’s in the hands/Of the people rich enough to buy it . . .”
This is just too easy with Google, you know.

Which rock star was so big he/she pierced your hardened journalistic shell when you met him/her and left you starstruck? How dumb did you act?
Lou Reed. But I was young, and he was incredibly mean and… well, Lou Reed-like.

What ultimately happened to your cassettes?
See above re: storage boxes.

When was the last time you got into a mosh pit?
Tomorrow night.

Approximately how many records – actual vinyl - do you personally own, and how are they organized?
Less than a thousand at this point; I’ve bid many farewell. And alphabetically, of course, with no genre distinctions.

How many songs from Exile on Main Street can you name?
All of them, when the LP is in my hands. Half of them, when it isn’t.

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