Monday, July 28, 2008


I love the Prada Butterfly sunglasses! The soft, sinuous curves create a dreamy look. Accentuated by shaded lenses in purple and pink combined with black, white, or lilac frames. A tortoise shell version with warmer hues is also available. Celebs including Gwen Stefani, Brooke Shields, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie (photo) have already been spotted wearing them...

Avilable at Prada stores. Retail price: HK$2,300

Fendi Sample Sale

Up to 90% off
Date: July 30 - 31, 2008 (Wed-Thurs)
Time: 10h00 – 19h00 (Exclude 13h00 – 14h00)
Address: FENDI office
16/F, Dorset House, Quarry Bay, HK

By invitation only!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Giles Play

Brit designer Giles Deacon is dabbling in jewellery design. He teamed up with Evoke to create three ranges of pendants, bracelets, rings and earrings for them. Inspired by black and white, the solar planet system and skulls, the range includes Swarovski crystals. The playful collection will hit stores in September.

Through Theyskens’ Eyes

Could Olivier Theyskens be the next Lagerfeld? Not only has he turned the house of Nina Ricci into one of the most progressive brands on the fashion map, but he has also shot the lookbook for its resort collection. It looks as if Theyskens is embarking on a photography career. Watch out Karl!

Coach Class

Here's the interview I recently did with Coach designer Reed Krakoff

Meet the mastermind behind American luxury brand Coach

“The number one most attractive thing is people that are comfortable,” Reed Krakoff says. “Confidence!” Krakoff has plenty of that. He is not only president, designer and executive creative director of growing accessory powerhouse Coach. He encompasses it all. He is Coach.

He does everything from marketing, designing accessories and boutiques (Coach just opened its flagship store in Central) to shooting photos for their ad campaigns. But Krakoff doesn’t feel pressured, even though he’s constantly forced to produce new marketing gimmicks. Instead of drama and flamboyance, he chooses a structured and well-organized way of brand building, focusing on clean, but innovative products.

The genius is known to have a laid-back, almost Zen kind of approach to overseeing the brand. Yet his management skills have catapulted Coach into a very lucrative niche in the market, being the only American luxury accessories brand. “The pressure comes from you,” says Krakoff confidently. “I tell you what, the pressure happens when you don’t feel in control of what you are doing. I think when you’re calm, you are in control. I always think when people aren’t calm, they feel like they’re going to fail. I know what I want. I’m not stressed about it. I’m able to accomplish what I want, so I can be relaxed about it. I think at the end of the day, I know that I have to be the one to fix it. So being upset about it isn’t helping. Blaming someone and saying ‘You did a bad job. I ask you to work on this black shoe', I don’t get any points for that.”

Even though he’s in charge of design, Krakoff doesn’t really see himself as part of the fashion world. To him it’s a design challenge, a process. “It’s like a problem,” he says. “I see it as problem solving. Everything challenges me. Every store has to be better than the last store, every campaign…..” He seems so relaxed saying that, one might wonder if the word “stress” actually exists in his dictionary. Things flow so naturally for him. “Well, it’s all internal,” he admits. “Otherwise we’re not going to be successful. It’s in our Coach culture, we all challenge ourselves. As soon as we finish something, we think about what we could do differently. We don’t spend a lot of time ‘Oh this is great. We do a great job’. It’s more about ‘What can we do better?’ The key is to enjoy the “doing” part, and that’s the one thing I learnt, because at the end there’s no there there. I’ve heard Ralph Lauren say that. Calvin Klein has said that. We have to enjoy the “doing” part. The process part is as enjoyable as the “getting” part, opening a big store, being successful…..”

Krakoff has gained 13 years of experience at Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren previously to joining Coach in 1996. The brand has never been the same since. He took the classic elements, the good craftsmanship and the great quality and reinvented the entire label. He spiced it up with new categories such as shoes, eyewear, jewellery, watches, knitwear and fragrance. But the main key to his ongoing success is that he pushes the brand to evolve constantly.

“My philosophy is always changing, but it always has to feel like Coach,” he says. “So it always has to be changing. It has to make sense. It has to be believable. But at the same time it can’t be static. Otherwise people get bored. I say a lot that it has to be common sense. You go to a store and you put on a pair of shoes. You go back a second time, and you don’t find anything you like. You probably don’t go back a third time. So I always want to make sure there’s something different and new.” To keep customers on their toes, Krakoff teamed up with Phillip Lim, and designed a trench coat together for this autumn. For spring he worked with hat designer Eugenia Kim to do an entire collection of hats, which transformed the store into a little hat boutique. But he doesn’t like to say it out loud, since the brand has been doing collaborations for the last ten years, and now it just seems as if they are trying to hop on the bandwagon and do what everyone else does, collaborations.

“I think it’s good though, to see how other people from different creative worlds think about design,” he says, trying to justify his latest projects. “That’s always very interesting to see a different perspective. For next spring we’re already working on something that will be different again. The idea is to always surprise people. Always keep people interested.”

Wealth is of The Heart and Mind, not of The Pocket

I realized that I never posted this interview I did with Pharrell a while back....that reminds me, he's getting his tats removed..... anyway....

Dynamic Duo Pharrell Williams and Nigo take us on a journey through Disneyland

I’m on On Lan Street (Hong Kong), meeting the founders of the clothing label, Billionaires Boys Club (BBC), and the sneaker brand, Ice Cream. One half of the dynamic duo is production genius and icon Pharrell Williams, who no longer needs an introduction. For the less clued-up, Pharrell made himself a name as the lead singer of his band, Nerd, and as producer with The Neptunes (which includes partner Chad Hugo), creating one hit after another for musicians such as Timberlake, Snoop, Usher, Diddy, Britney, Kelis, Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Jay Z to name but a few. The list is endless. Pharrell dominates the global music scene, and today he has his own radio hits. He’s getting the same attention as his friend Snoop, if not more. But music isn’t the only metier he feels comfortable in, as fashion and music are starting to merge.

The other half of the brilliant combo is Japanese fashion icon and A Bathing Ape founder and designer Nigo. Nigo seems to be less outgoing and more reserved than Pharrell, but nonetheless he has a great following in Japan, where he is worshipped like a rock star, and his fame in the States is growing rapidly thanks to his buddy Pharrell. Nigo has his fingers in many pies. Apart from supervising his numerous divisions of A Bathing Ape, including Bape Play (the toy division), Bape Cuts (the hair salon), Baby Milo (the children’s clothing line), Bape Galley (the art gallery), Bape Café (the restaurant), Bape TV (the TV program) and Ape Sounds (the record label), Nigo is also in charge of the design for BBC and Ice Cream.

The interview is taking place inside the new BBC and Ice Cream store, which looks like a rocket on the outside and resembles outer space on the inside, featuring a Milky Way ceiling with stars and a floor resembling the surface of the moon. I literally find myself in the tip of the rocket at the very top of the store, waiting for Pharrell and Nigo to arrive.

Eventually Pharrell and Nigo show up. They arrive with their entire entourage in tow, including producers from Star Trak (Pharrell’s record label), PAs, translaters and so on. They all come to gaze at the new store and to catch a glimpse of Pharrell’s and Nigo’s world. But Skateboard P (he owns a skateboard team) and Nigo both seem very low-key, dressed in casual jeans and sweaters, none of the bling that we are so used to from all the Hip Hop video clips, except maybe for Pharrell’s chunky ring, which he flaunts on his right hand. The gathering reminds me of a bunch of friends hanging out at someone’s apartment. Everybody just seems so comfortable with each other, unlike the usual business environment you experience with other brands. After everybody has shown their enthusiasm, expressed their admiration for the boutique and asked for directions to the nearest Hermès store, the crowd trickles out. I’ve waited the last six years to meet the genius, heck what are another two minutes? Finally the swarm leaves, and I can start the interview.

Pharrell and Nigo know of each other through Jacob the Jeweller. Nigo was a great fan of Pharrells and used to get them same jewellery made. They eventually met up in Tokyo, when Nigo arranged a session with him in his studio. “Nigo was super open when I met him,” says Pharrell. “He was very complimentary and expressed much admiration for my work. It was different for me though when I walked into his studio. I didn’t think anything of it, and then they told me exactly who he was and what he does. I realised that I had seen his brand here and there. In the US only the coolest of the coolest of the coolest people knew about it, but nobody could get it. So when he took me downstairs to his showroom and he showed me all his samples, he said ‘Whatever you want, you can have it’. He just did that again the other day. He’s just very generous, and I know that when I took those shoes back to the States, that I was going to impress everyone.”

The adoration and respect for each other’s work is limitless and probably also the driving force behind BBC, Ice Cream and other previous projects such as the Louis Vuitton collaboration for a range of sunglasses. The two creative heads almost seem like long lost brothers, sharing a love for science fiction. Their shop is like Disneyland for grown-ups, who haven’t lost touch with their inner child. Much like Pharrell himself, whose childlike charming innocence and artistic mind, reminds one of a young boy. Paired with the ambition and initiative to visualise, manifest and transform his dreams into reality, he is a true genius. “We both love the experience when you walk into something like a Disney World,” says Pharrell. “When you walk into an Ape store, you walk into his idea of how he wants his clothes and sneakers represented. BBC follows that same mentality. When you walk in here, we want you to feel the way we feel, when we are creating it. This is kind of how Nigo and I met, but to me, that still feels new. Nigo is my friend, in fact our whole team…we’re all friends.” What Pharrell refers to as the team, is a bunch of highly creative talented people, having a great time, sharing their ideas and letting others be a part of their world and vision.

The two brands consist of T-shirts, polos, denims, suits, shirts, hats and sneakers and are produced in limited quantities. They are well-known for their bright colours and most of all for the BBC symbol, the iconic astronaut logo. Instead of sporting a crocodile on your polo, you can now have something much cooler and trendier. BBC connects the worlds of wealth and the alternative anti-money culture with slogans, such as “Wealth is of the heart and mind, not the pocket.” BBC and Ice cream are high-end luxury sports brands for the sophisticated yet young at heart. The clientele is largely male, attracting guys, who are looking for something unique, something cool and somewhat underground, guys who like mixing with the creative crowd, like Pharrell and Nigo, The Billionaire Boys.

“I had an opportunity to do sneakers with Reebok,” says Pharrell. “But I really wanted to do the astronaut as an icon together with Ice Cream. I talked to a couple of people about it before and they all thought I was crazy because I wanted to do two brands at the same time. But Nigo just kind of got it. I wanted to borrow one of his visual artists to draw my ideas and get it done professionally, and he said ‘I will do more than that. I’ll help you.’ I couldn’t believe it, and I still feel that way to today. We always have something new happening. The brand is growing, and there is much respect and admiration for it around the world. You begin with a model, and you come to see it, and it actually manifests, and it comes to be this cool boutique palace. It’s what we visualised. I think that’s what we share.”

Pharrell humbly apologises to Nigo for taking so much time to answer the question and drawing the attention away from him. But once Pharrell starts elaborating about something he feels passionate about, things can take a while. It’s as if everything around him stands still and everybody listens and get’s sucked into his idea, teleported into his world, Pharrell’s Disneyland. His vision is so clear, so pure. It’s heaven.

“I was a real fan of Pharell’s music even before we met,” says Nigo. “I wanted to get to know this guy who was making music and who had an individual style. I thought he was really cool and an interesting character. So when we met, Pharrell originally just asked for advice on his brand. But I suggested to do things properly.” “Isn’t it amazing?” Pharrell throws into the room, revealing once more, how much he treasures Nigo’s talent. “He’s a genius!” Their connection and understanding for each other seems so strong and almost sacred, it makes me wonder how they communicate, as Nigo’s answers are translated from Japanese into English. Pharrell quickly admits that he hasn’t picked up any Japanese so far. “I’m embarrassed,” he says. “It’s crazy, because he perfectly understands English, he just doesn’t speak English with other people. I feel so privileged, as we actually have conversations. It’s pretty cool.”

Pharrell’s NASA obsession and his fascination with outer space and Star Trek are well documented. Wherever he goes, his legion of geek-boy fans make the Vulcan “live long and prosper” salute sign to him. His love for stars is reflected in his lyrics, brands and in every detail of the Hong Kong store. So what exactly is this attraction all about? “There are two things,” he points out. “The unknown and the mystery, but the stars are just beautiful.” He gets that look in his eyes, where he seems as if he just took off on a journey ….drifting out into space. His words carry you away with him and you follow. “They shine without prejudice. No intelligent mind could argue the beauty of the stars and the whole celestial existence. No one can really argue how beautiful it is. I was just looking at the National Geographic in my room, and they showed new pictures from outer space. So sick! There are just storms and storms of galaxies. So great!” Pharrell’s nerdy and somewhat romantic side is nothing like I expected. He has so many different personalities, the ghetto player, the studio geek….who is the true Pharrell when he isn’t busy frontin’? “The student,” he responds. “I love to learn, and I like to be amongst greatness. I’d much rather watch National Geographic, the Discovery or the Science channel, than hang out at some nice party. But it took me basically 17 years to learn that, I’m 34 now. I’d much rather be around genius people I can learn things from… all the way around, 360 degrees….not only how to polish what I know, such as creating. But it’s about realising how important research is for your development as an individual and not just for what it is that you do. But I’m a student, a student to life.”

Pharrell loves the mystery, never revealing too much about his plans. He tries to keep things under the radar until they actually happen, such as the store opening in New York. “I’m really excited about this though,” says Pharrell, directing the conversation back to the store in Hong Kong. “Nigo’s probably tired of me saying this, but I feel really blessed. I know that I’m blessed, and I’m so fortunate to be around such a strong team of creative minds. Never in a million years I would have imagined this. “I don’t try to take credit. There are tons and tons of things that I think I could take credit for, fashion and music wise…. but I don’t do that. I make a practice out of it, because I feel credit should be given and not taken, and I live by that.”
Pharrell mentions how some of the interviews often portray him in the wrong kind of light, making him sound more self-important than he really is. “I’m not into that,” he says. “I’d rather say nothing. My ego says nothing. Nigo walks in and his aura, his fashion, his music and his taste in everything that he does speaks for him. I’d much rather be like that. I’d much rather have my skills and my gifts from God to perceive me. Less ego and more creativity.” Pharrell’s philosophical thoughts and statements aren’t something he just makes up on the spur of the moment. His clothes have a deeper message and meaning. “Fashion is a direct connection from you,” he says. “We try to make things that match people’s emotions. I think if more people would dress how they feel. The world would be a better place. But instead we have to fit in trends, we have to fit into a certain size and value is placed upon it. All women say they have to be a size…whatever the hell it is. You look your best when you dress in what makes you feel comfortable. So that’s what we try to do. We try to give people clothes that match their emotions.”

Maybe Pharrell’s gift from God is to make this world a better place, something like a heaven on earth. To no surprise, when asked about one thing he would wish for, he answers “To live in heaven. There you have everything you could ever want.” He has that dreamy look in his eyes again, and he gets quiet. He gathers his thoughts and continues. “I believe heaven is a place where it’s just a frequency, where all spirits go. It’s not quite physical in terms of the body, there is not much room for anything less than elation. That’s my assumption, if I had to take a scientific guess on spirituality. Other than that I don’t know….. heaven is inside of a girl." The translater next to me starts to chuckle, and I snap out of my reverie. Pharrell smiles and continues “….no pun intended.”

Tod's for the Olympics

I've thought about featuring more products on my page. After all people want to buy stuff right? So this is a good way to start......

Everybody's in an Olympic euphoria and the brands are not far behind. Luxury accessory label Tod’s is making a tribute to China, launching the special edition Pashmy bag. It will be sold in only two selected Tod’s boutiques in China, in Beijing and Shanghai, starting from August 8th, 2008 (opening day of the Olympic Games). Apparently beauties such as Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Cameron Diaz and Halle Barry are already in love with the cute bag. Book your next flight or get your ass on Ebay!

Armani dresses the Bat

Does it get any better than this?! James Bond wears Brioni, Tom Ford, Omega.....and what about Batman? Well, a designer came to Bruce Wayne's rescue.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


If Pharrell can do it, then so can Kanye. The rapper with the famous “Stronger” glasses is collaborating with Louis Vuitton on a range of men’s shoes. But no, I doesn’t stop there. Louis Vuitton is on a roll. The luxury label also announced a partnership with the ultimate fashion rebel, Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garçons. They will open a joint Tokyo store in September, a three-month space where shoppers can order six one-off bags in LV monogram pattern, designed by the Japanese designer. Some might consider this an innovative cooperation, while others believe that they are sleeping with the enemy. But either way, there’s a great similarity between this collaboration and Yohji’s bag for Hermès…

Raid Chloe Sevigny's Wardrobe

Chloë Sevigny’s flip book is finally here! The young fashion icon and actress has designed a collection with US label Opening Ceremony. The book contains the collection, mixing and matching outfits, bodies and illustrations with endless combinations. Mark Borthwick shot Sevigny, who models each ensemble. The book was released last month and can be ordered on

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More pics of John Mayer

Here are some more pics of John Mayer. 

John Mayer is Bigger Than His Body

Finally I have time to upload it. For all of you who have been waiting for the John Mayer interview, here goes....

Singer and guitarist John Mayer claims that people will always get the truth out of him. He speaks about fame, obsession, blogging and talking too much.

John Mayer is a contradiction. Behind that sensitive and seemingly timid Wonderland boy lie a fierce tongue, a bold nature and a sarcastic sense of humour – a stark contrast to what you would expect from a guy who writes and plays “watered-down music,” as his critics call it. No wonder he once told a gullible bunch of teenage fans that his songs are ghostwritten by Richard Marx. He loves to fool and provoke his audience, hence his passion for doing stand-up comedy. Once John Mayer starts talking, he won’t stop. On stage or off, either way his big mouth gets him into trouble.

Then there are the upsides to his skyrocketing career. Rolling Stone magazine named him one of “The New Guitar Gods” and dubbed him Slowhand Jr. He has several Grammys under his belt, and has collaborated with blues legends such as B.B. King and Eric Clapton as well as Alicia Keys and Kanye West. And he has dated several Hollywood beauties over the past few years, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jessica Simpson, Minka Kelly (daughter of former Aerosmith Guitarist Rick Dufay) and now Jennifer Aniston.

Mayer’s creative outlets include design (he wants to design an Air Max) and writing – he penned a column for Esquire called “Music Lessons with John Mayer,” and the heartfelt lyrics in his songs show that here’s a voice that needs to be heard. He’s an avid blogger, maintaining four blogs, mainly to rectify perceived distortions of his image by the tabloids. Earlier this year he told Best Life magazine that he suffers from panic attacks and carries an anti-anxiety drug with him at all times. Far too often he’s busy mimicking or mocking someone (including himself). Nonetheless his heart is in the right place. He is actively involved in philanthropic activities through his fund “Back to You,” an organisation that addresses environmental issues as well as education and health care.

A stern woman greets me in the lobby of the Landmark Mandarin. She tells me that I only have 20 minutes and that this is an exclusive interview. In other words, I should be grateful and better not upset the star by asking the wrong questions. After all, he’s the new guitar god. I nod in agreement and follow her to his room, where I find myself in a surreal episode of Entourage, complete with camp followers. There he is lounging on a couch, surrounded by two of his friends (I never quite managed to figure out their names, or how they are linked to him work-wise). It’s his first time in Hong Kong, and it’s rainy season. “We’ve been laying low,” he says. “The weather outside isn’t exactly made for getting up and heading out. But I’ve just been relaxing . . . which is good.” Yep, just another lazy day in the life of guitar god John Mayer.

You’re here to unveil the new flagship store for Coach. What is your relationship with the New York brand?

I was approached and asked to play at the opening for their Hong Kong flagship store. It’s those moments that I really like. I think there’s a place for bringing music where there’s sort of a musical quality to something. I don’t know if I’ve ever played for the unveiling of a store. But there’s a musical quality to it. Music and fashion. So I was happy to do it.

Rolling Stone magazine calls you the new guitar god. How do you live up to that?

You don’t live up to it. You just live up to your own standards and do the best that you can do. Take whatever compliment there is, and there’s certainly a compliment within reading that. But if you keep it too long, it doesn’t serve you anymore. You start living by it, trying to live up to it. So I gave myself a couple of days of going ‘Wow, this is pretty cool. This is kind of what I’ve always wanted’, and then put it somewhere in the back of my mind. I think if you keep it in the front of your mind too much, you start to . . . there’s too much to live up to. I know exactly what it is that would make me a better guitar player this year. So there’s enough for me to work on.

What would that be?

Playing less and meaning more, you know. So there is just enough for me to work on this year, that I don’t feel as if all I need to do is sit back and take a compliment.

What is more important? Singing or playing guitar?

Both! Oh, songwriting is so difficult because they’re both so important. You could have a great guitar part, but if you don’t have the right music, the right words over it, you don’t know what you have.

You once mentioned that you wanted to quit music and focus on design instead. (This happened after former Sony head, Don Ienner, disliked his album Continuum. Mayer admitted that he cried that day.)

I still want to. [Laughs.] Yeah, the thing about having a lot of different pursuits, which I would say that I have, is that it gives you incredible confidence in the face of pressure. When things get tough, you know that you could always do something else. Yeah, I’ve had moments where it was just impossible for me to do stuff. But I reserve the right to do that every once in a while, you need to. If you’re in a relationship, you need to say, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore.’ Go for a drive, then come back and say, ‘Actually I do want to do this.’

Everybody is curious about your relationship status. (He is currently romantically linked to Jennifer Aniston)

(His entourage jumps up and tries to stop him from answering.) No no no, this is totally fine. Ehm, I’m in a place now where I don’t hide anything. There is a difference between hiding something and choosing not to talk about it at a certain time. I’m choosing not to talk about it at the moment. But that’s not hiding anything, because I still want to live my life as openly as anyone else would. It’s just finding the right moment to talk about it, as you would and everybody else would.

Ok, let’s talk about your other passions. You are said to have a few obsessions, such as watches, tattoos, sneakers . . . ?

I have a lot of obsessions. I don’t have an obsession with tattoos, I have an obsession with watches. Although I don’t really know what the word obsession means any more. Obsession is a sick sociopathic sort of thing. I think what obsession has come to mean is a great interest in [something]. So yeah, I have a great interest in many things. I think that’s one of the best things to have as a person. As a man, as many pursuits you can possibly have . . . that’s the James Bond in me. I would like to be able to crack a safe and tell you what kind of diamonds are in it.

What inspires you to write and sing?

The need to be understood. The need to explain. As soon as I have an emotion that’s new, the only way to make peace with it is to get it out. So I’m just a born expressionist.

That’s also why you manage four blogs?

Yep. I resigned myself to just understanding that I have a high level of communication that I need to take. But I think that’s a lot of people you know. There’s a lot of people who blog. I’m just trying to keep a connection with my fans, in a sense that there are a lot of other messages now competing with the original message, which was that I’m here because I play music and I want to entertain people just through music. When the other messages, like magazine covers or stuff come up, I need to blog, because I need people to still hear my voice. Because what those other things do is, they sort of take your voice away.

Do you do meet and greets?

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting, you don’t get a chance to really talk to people at a meet and greet. But I suppose I’d rather meet two people for 15 minutes, than 30 people for five seconds, because that could really be a moment where you could say ‘What do you think? How am I doing? What would you like to see more of?’

What do you think of bands putting their albums up online?

That’s the new world. Part of being an entertainer is entertaining people the way they request to be entertained. I think across the board, throughout time. The entertainers who continue to have a career throughout generations are entertainers who are able to adapt to the way that listeners wish to be entertained. The Rolling Stones are still the Rolling Stones because they now have question and answer on Youtube. The people who get left behind are the people who kind of put their shovel in the ground and say ‘No, this is the way that I want it to be.’ But that’s just about the most brutal thing you can do, because it’s going to keep rolling, and you just kind of have to stay one step ahead. But then on the other hand, you also have to have good music. So it’s interesting. You can’t go too far into talking about the system without asking ‘What is the actual thing that you’re trying to get out there.’ I’ve never heard an excellent pop song not become a hit pop song. I live with that every day. I put songs on the radio that I knew weren’t pop hits, but I just wanted people to hear, and guess what, that’s exactly what happens. They don’t become pop hits and sometimes people hear them and they go away. So that’s the thing about art. It doesn’t lie. Artists can lie, but art doesn’t lie.

Tell me about your fund, Back To You. What are your latest projects?

The way it came about was when I realised that if I write my name on a piece of paper . . . you know, I sign guitars for friends’ auctions for their schools, and all I do is like this, tshshshshshshsh (he shows me by pretending to write on a napkin), and two weeks later I get a phone call, saying ‘That went for $20,000.’ So it’s a way of taking that incredibly almost unfair sort of economy to be able to do this, tshshshshshshshs, and have it mean more to somebody than it meant to me, because all I do is move my hand. Taking that as much as possible and making good come of that. So what we do is we give back with things that matter . . . to me. Music in the schools. I would like to do something with Nikon and Canon to get cameras in the schools. Everybody owns a camera but nobody knows how to use it. Nobody knows how to use it! They’ll be like this (he does his squeaky voice impression) ‘How many megapixels does it have?’ You know what that means? That means that there will be more pixels of your crappy pictures! You know what I mean? So it’s just a matter of, number one, culturising young kids, and number two, a lot of it are health issues too. It’s sort of a health thing, a music thing and an art thing, keeping people alive and keeping the spirit alive at the same time. I kind of say that the best way to explain this is that they are noncontroversial thoughts. I wouldn’t ever want to pay for a pair of tickets and find out that the money went to something political.

You went from teen geek to guitar god. How do you deal with your fame?

That’s a good question. I was talking about this just the other day. How do you deal with this? Well, you lose something . . . forever. You lose a certain sense of self, gone, forever. There’s a certain part of myself that I will never get back. And in its place you have to rebuild a new self. You have to rebuild sort of on the fly . . . like a replica. That’s difficult you know. It takes a lot of work. It’s a little less natural than who you were before. You have to really consciously take the best parts of yourself, the parts of who you really want to be, and build them back into this new life, this life of having no secrets, this life of having a name, not just on your driver’s licence, but on other people’s minds or on a t-shirt. So you come to understand yourself better. Sometimes there’s a luxury in not understanding yourself.

Why do you have to give up a part? Why can’t you hold on to that self?

Because you can’t! My self-image is everybody’s image of me. My original self-image is gone, because I don’t have that anymore. So in its place I’m learning to have a self, in a world where everyone also has your self. So it’s interesting. Different people do it in different ways. So I try my best to stay as natural as I could stay in this environment. I’m never going to be like I was before, ever. But then you could say the same thing about anybody. You’re never going to be 19 again. It’s just a very dramatic way to grow up. But you get right into parties. I’ll tell you what, I haven’t stood in a line since I was 23 years old! What’s a line?! You know what I mean? So that’s kinda cool, I guess . . . traded my entire inner self to be able to get past the velvet rope. Deal! [Smiles.]

You used to write a column for Esquire a while back. Would you be interested in doing something similar again today, perhaps for our Asian audience?

There’s a lot of work. You turn in your publication and within five days you would have to turn in your next column. I just didn’t like being tied to it. That’s actually the reason why I started blogging. It’s so instant. The world moves so fast, and by the time a month passes and the thing comes out, you might not be talking about some of the people there. I will tell you something. I’m rich and I’m happy. Rich and happy makes you lazy as shit. I had to get dragged out of bed to go on this tour. So I’m really laaaazy, laaaazy. You’ll always get the honest truth out of me, I promise you. But I really like to be lazy . . . for a minute.

What’s your story with stand-up comedy? Why do you like it?

Well, it originated in 1972. Most people don’t know that. Ehm . . . no [chuckles] . . . it challenges other people as much as it challenges me. It’s a huge challenge to me, and I find that it’s actually a bigger challenge to other people to have to make peace with what it is that I’m doing. Here’s the thing. If I told you that I did spoken word, like . . . Down from the sky, black, ecstasy, perfect, sweet, bare, comes to my mind (he performs in a rap sort of style). If I went on stage and read poetry like that, you would go like this (he claps his hands): ‘I gotcha. I like you. That makes sense.’ When I say I want go on stage and do stand-up, it’s really not that different from spoken word. It’s just that nobody has really done it, and nobody really should, to be honest with you. But it’s really just for me. I feel like standing up for the ability to express myself and not charge for it. The minute you start charging money for it, you better be good!

People beg you not to do stand-up, because your mouth gets you into trouble every time.

It’s difficult to do! Even if I wasn’t who I was, you’re still unfunny when you start out. But you just have to figure it out. But for me, I had it twice as hard. I can’t rely on the licence to be able to say anything that’s not true. The minute I say girlfriend, all of a sudden people go, ‘Well, who? Who are you talking about?’ So everybody knows it’s difficult. If there wouldn’t be so many spies in the world, ready to dissect every single thing I say, I would probably spend more time trying to get to a point where I can really . . . actually it’s like karaoke! It would be like an actor or an office guy saying, ‘Every Friday night I like to get a little drink in me and go out and sing “Don’t stop believing.” ’ I like to get a little drink in me once in a while, get on stage and say ‘Take a really big dump on a date.’. I dunno. That’s just an example of what you would get.

If there was to be a movie about your life after you passed away, who would you want to play your character?

That’s a trick question. Number one, I could never die. Number two, it would be animated, because to get that perspective of my life, you can’t put cameras there. Panavision hasn’t built the contraption that would be able to angle cameras, to show the pure drama of my life. You can only really do it in a computer. So it would be sort of like a Final Fantasy, other-world, rotating 360 degrees bullet-time . . . and that’s just me masturbating. I haven’t even left the house, and already, it’s just windows breaking, slow motion, spinning around, me signing on with my password, checking out the new galleries. Who would get to play me? Jake Gyllenhaal. He’s got something. He could really draw out that sort of ambiguous sexuality in me. You know what I mean?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Give me Givenchy

Check out the latest Givenchy campaign. Nice pics!