View Full Version : JAM! Interview with the Legendary Chris Gaines

05-20-2002, 01:20 AM
Sunday, September 26, 1999

The dark guy's darker secret
Edmonton Star Rock Writer Writer
EDITOR'S NOTE: Continuing our exploration of Garth Brooks's alternate reality, what could be more appropriate than pretend rock writer Chris Zoz's (somebody whose real name is Fish) imaginary interview with the fictional Chris Gaines. Man, this is gettin' weird.

What random twists and turns does reality go through? What on one day is considered science is dismissed as superstition the next. Imagine, then, a world in which Chris Gaines is not only a real person, but the rock superstar his press releases state he is.

Twisted currents, ripples in reality, would follow. Trudeau might still be prime minister, for example, while flying cars dot the blue sky. The paper you're holding might be called The Edmonton Star. And our rock writer, in this sideways world, might be a guy named Chris Zoz, who bears a passing resemblance to the roots writer in another world. Fasten your seatbelts.

The big suite downtown is lit only by candles on the 15th floor of Hotel McDonald's. An unmistakable waft of uneaten cheeseburgers and nag champra incense rushes out the open double doors, and hangs there as they click shut again, forcing the flames flickering into a spastic dance. True, there's the hint of illumination coming through the thick hotel curtains, but someone has closed them as tightly as the laws of physics permit.

That someone, of course, is Chris Gaines, the legend.

And the strangest thing is happening: I'm here, talking him in an Edmonton Star exclusive. See, Gaines talks to no one.

"You're not a reporter, are you?" comes a weak voice from against the curtains, a silhouette suddenly jumping out in my vision. "I can't stand the media."

His confusion is called for, as is his disdain. I'm dressed as a bellhop, pushing a cart full of Happy Meals, bribed away from the guy in the elevator. Gaines's fear of the press is legendary, ever since Crush lead singer Tommy Levitz flew his Cessna into a mountain in 1986 amid rumours of cross-dressing and nasal ingestion of ketamine, a horse tranquilizer with severe hallucinatory effects. Gaines was cleared of most of the stigma, but it wasn't until three years later that he released his solo album Straight Jacket. And I don't need to tell you anything after that. This man re-defined rock and roll, taking the rock-to-roots-to-electronic path bands like U2 (remember them?) were experimenting with and driving them underground with his sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet, syrupy, sugar-coated white soul.

"I really like the view from here," Gaines announces, sounding a little like Marlon Brando's Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, suddenly pushing through the drapes. His hair is hanging down in his eyes and the soul patch under his lip is so perfect it almost looks air-brushed on. It's the "soulliest'' thing I've ever seen. The New Prince stands before me, dressed in black, made blacker still by the glaring sun behind him. But something is wrong here. Like Dorothy's Wizard, Gaines casts an untrue shadow. "What's with the freakin' cowboy hat?" I ask him. Not only that, he seems to be wearing cowboy boots, as well. Country music, something long forgotten except by librarians and rambling barflies, fodder for opening jokes on Late Night With Gary Coleman, is hardly chic. This is 1999, man.

"I knew you were a reporter," he grimaces, picking up the red phone. I only have a few minutes now.

"Look, come on," I beg. "You're the most popular rock star since Elvis. I'm sorry to disrupt your privacy, but the people want to know: What is Chris Gaines going to do next?"

He looks at me and visibly sags, landing ass-first on a pile of gold records he had lain across his king-size bed. "Well, you bastards are going to find out anyway, so I'll tell you. But you have to leave as soon as I do, all right?"

He is less diminutive and his eyes reflect an earlier sparkle, that of the candles in the dark room. "I'm reinventing myself. I'm tired of all this glamour and hounding bull----. I'm going to change my name, become a country singer. That way, everyone will forget about me, leave me alone."

I look at him, trying to hide the pity. I ask him what his new name, this forgettable name, will be as security pulls violently at my arm.

"Garth Brooks," he smiles.

02-20-2005, 07:25 AM
Hey Dale! :) I'm up late, doing laundry, pokin' around here at PG, lookin' for new stuff to read, and I came across this... sorry I'm a few years late ;), but THANKS for posting it, I thought it was kinda cute! Having a hard time telling if I should be amused or ticked off... for now I just thought it was cute! Hadn't listened to any 'Chris' in a while, until a few days ago, but I only caught a song or two before I had to move on to doing something else... it was just enough to remind me of how much I LOVED that album when it first came out... and how much I wish Garth could/would finish what he started... hope it's not ALWAYS something that we just wish for!

Take care and thanks again...
DeeDee :)

02-20-2005, 02:50 PM
thanks for sharing thisdale..it's pretty cool stuff :)

God and peace,
Vanessa :)