John Waters could do anything, ANYTHING, and we’d freak out about it. Collectively, as an office, we’ve contacted him about 4,231 times about writing something for us, or just, you know, agreeing to be our friend. He’s always been too busy to give us the kind of attention we need and crave, until now.
In our obsessive internet searches about who knows what, we came across a listing for a show that John has coming up at City Winery in NYC on June 22nd (with another one on the 23rd). While begging for free tickets, we were offered a fifteen-minute phone interview with the king of filth, which ended up being a twenty-five-minute life orgasm. An actual orgasm, of life.
VICE: So the last bit of news we heard about you was the thing about you being picked up by that band Here We Go Magic while hitchhiking.
John Waters: Well see, I’m not gonna talk about that because that’s all gonna be in my book. I’m working on it every day so I really don’t wanna go into it that much.
Understood. Well without getting too much into book stuff, was it hard getting picked up by people? Like in general? Because even if people didn’t recognize you as John Waters, you kinda look like a perv.
Yeah. It was very hard. And some people knew who I was, some didn’t. Some people didn’t know till I got in the car. It was all varied. I mean, no one would think it WAS me. Why would they think I was just standing there?
Do you have any sort of specific travelling outfit?
Well I don’t wear hideous things like tracksuits or shorts. I’m always shocked by what people people wear at the airport. The only thing that really makes me mad though when I’m flying is people who crack gum right in my ear. Then I’ll say something.
Or people who fart. I always sit next to the farters.
But how can you even hear a fart on an airplane?
I mean, you don’t. You’re just in it all of a sudden.
Oh, like an SBD. Well I haven’t had too many problems with farters. But I used to smoke so many cigarettes that my sense of smell is permanently damaged. I’m always amazed when people get on the plane almost nude. And they’re never the cute ones. I just try to look ahead. I always have a book. I’m not trying to get into any fashion fights on the airplane. Plus people are so touchy these days, you can’t get into any kind of fights! You can’t even talk!
So a long time ago I wrote you this insane letter, care of Atomic Books, and I’m sure you’ve gotten many similar, but I’d be so embarrassed of it now.
Did I answer it?
No, of course not.
Well it’s not too late. I may still. I have them all, I don’t throw any out. I read them all, but to be honest I answer about one percent. Fred Armisen, you know him, right, from SNL? He wrote to me once as a kid and said “why is it that you can say the things you say and get famous, while I end up at the school psychiatrist?” I wrote back and said, “You’ll get there.” And now he’s a great success. If you want people to answer a letter, you gotta include postage so it’s easy and they can just throw it in the mail, and don’t make it too long, and don’t send scripts. If I open an envelope and it’s a script, I put it right back in. Plus my lawyer says, “don’t read those! People will sue and say you stole their ideas!” What did you say in your letter that you’re so embarrassed about?
Worth the read. Good man that Mr. Waters.