Interview w/ Chris Funk • Musician “The Decemberists”

SM: Please recommend a phrase to speak aloud before going down with a sinking ship.

CF: How about a speech? “Have struck an iceberg. We are badly damaged! Crew, as we near our watery graves, I must declare you have been all over the world, and it is not too much to say that you have destroyed and driven for protection under neutral flags one-half of the enemy’s commerce, which, at the beginning of the war, covered every sea. This is an achievement of which you may well be proud, and a grateful country will not be unmindful of it. The name of your ship has become a household word wherever civilization extends. Shall the name be tarnished by defeat? The thing is impossible! Remember that you are in the Atlantic Ocean, the theater of so much of the Naval glory of our race, and that the eyes of the world are at this moment upon you. The flag that floats over you is that of a young republic who bids defiance to her enemies whenever and wherever found. Show the world that you know how to uphold it! However I regret to admit that the waters that near our feet are entirely my fault.

SM: Where was the last place you were really surprised to find yourself at?

CF: Answer: Tales of Robin Hood in Nottingham, England. Said to be by the locals “the UK’s greatest medieval adventure, historical tourist attraction, and grand medieval banqueting hall”. Amazing theme ride – skip the actual castle in Nottingham and get to the real after party with Maid Marion et al in the bar above the gift shop.

SM: Please recommend some components we could put together to turn ghosts back into men.

CF: As far as I know, ghosts can never be turned into men, however at 100,000 points one may be awarded an “extra man”, unless you are playing Ms.Pac-Man in which case you are awarded an “extra woman”. Though, come to think of it, the later of the aforementioned yellow disk “person” is not so gender specific considering the games calls the heroine “Ms.” and “Man” in her/his same title. Strange. Ghosts I have seen re-form after being eaten and do so in that box in the center of the game. I don’t know how they do it, but I suppose the answer to your question is inside that box, and I’m willing to wager if Pac-Men or Pac-Women or “Pac-Its” was allowed to come and go as they pleased in that box that they could become ghosts and Pac-people as they pleased.

SM: When was the last time you took a good long look at your shoes?

CF: 2 weeks ago driving from Paris to Santander, Spain. Shoes: Palladium-brand-army-like-boots, night after show in Paris, me hung over and cold in our small touring van and “them” covered in Donner Kebab yogurt sauce and dog excrement from walking about in the Pigalle at 2 a.m.. Oh beautiful Paris, beautiful touring.

SM: In the middle of the interview, an anecdote is requested.

CF: When I was 10 my parents took me to see Liberace perform in Gary, IN. In the concert hall lobby at the merchandise table fans could purchase an “oil print” of The Queen himself and have it autographed in person. Of course I had to have one to show all the kids who were listening to Pat Benatar or Men at Work back at school, “Then I would really fit in!”, I suppose.
After his show stopping performance, we were led by his body guards and 30 other audience members back stage where we waited in line for 2 hours. Upon meeting The Elton John of Easy Listening, my mother blurts, “This is MY SON Chris, and he PLAYS THE PIANO and wants to play JUST LIKE YOU!”.
Before I knew it, I’m lead onto a dark stage by my mother, father, Liberace and his bodyguards where a cubic zarconion jeweled piano awaits my performance of the worst rendition (by memory mind you) of Moonlight Sonata from yours truly.
Sorry, that wasn’t so short, perhaps I should have told you my “meeting Evil Knievel” story?

SM: What song would you play for the devil at a party in hell?

CF: Liberace’s interpretation of “Beer Barrel Polka”, from his album, respectfully titled, “Songs My Mother Taught Me”. A classic that would insure me a ticket back to the living.

SM: If you had to be buried with a photograph, what image would you choose to carry to the grave?

CF: Photo of the Donner Kebab I ate in the former East Berlin; amazing yogurt sauce, perfect foccia like grilled bread, and “salad” topping which resembled sour kraut but tasted like onion rings. Simply amazing.

SM: What was the last circumstance you found yourself in that left you with a sense of mystery?

CF: Waking up in London hotel room with clothes on, still drunk, covered in Donner Kebab yogurt and chile sauce.

SM: If you were to paint a roomful of your great grandson’s enemies, what would you make sure to include in the portrait?

CF: The helpful staff of Contintal Airlines at George Bush International Airport Houston, TX. They are a loathsome lot who will never touch my children’s’ children!

SM: Please compose a brief poem or haiku on the subject of your choosing.

Continental Air
do us all a favor and
go out of business