One of my secret little side jobs that I’ve had for about 8 years or more, is transcribing interviews. While I seem to focus mostly on music, I’ve done it for fashion and design related projects too. Journalists and publishers find me, and I tackle this tedious aspect for them.
I was doing it for several writers at the LA Weekly, but my main squeeze was Brendan Mullen for both his oral history books (The Germs, Jane’s Addiction) and various articles. I tell you, working for Brendan made me a seasoned pro and very fast; you try transcribing interviews conducted by a Scotsman, using a cassette recorder, outside, with helicopters and garbage trucks going by! As hard as this could all be, I was so fortunate to hear interviews and interesting stories from everyone involved in the L.A. punk scene during the 80s. You could never say I was bored with any assignment, really.
The last project I had been working on for Brendan has finally come out! The Red Hot Chili Peppers book was incredibly interesting to hear, it was rounds of interviews. Friends, parents, producers, former dealers, and so on. Even if you never were crazy about the band, it is still an amazing story.
Brendan called me while I was in Boston on vacation asking for more help on another round of tapes he was sending me. He died of a stroke days later. The book was finished off by his partner Kateri, and this was not an easy undertaking. The thing I will miss the most is our phone conversations. They would go on for hours (which was typical for anyone talking to him) because we had similar ideas about so many things; I think I was one of the few women he knew who could gab as much as he could! There were times when he would visit my husband and I at our apartment in Hollywood, or we’d be at a party, and we’d blab on and on about music and politics for ages in a corner somewhere. I wish I had met him sooner than I did. He was a fixture in Los Angeles and always a character…