Who would have thought? Hey, I lived after interviewing Nick Cave (something a drunken British music press veteran confessed to me he'd never do again, perish the thought) but even I was standing at the back of the deliciously-stocked and intelligently staffed Sonic Boom Records up on Capitol Hill last Sunday. I was afraid Henry Owings, a man with a reputation for career-destroying quips and lavish mockery for unthinking rock types of all art and business stripes, would unfurl some of his famous Chunket Magazine venom in my direction.
But no, Owings was more than a perfect gentleman, standing near SB owner Jason Hughes surrounded by luscious racks of rare and cool vinyl, reading off some of the more rabid "outtakes" left out of the "Rock Bible." If you missed the preview a few days ago, let's just say this tight little volume makes the perfect blasphemous rock book gift this season, because its format is not only a hellbound hoot but the contents are so howlingly cruel.
To Owings' credit, those edited-out parts didn't seem that much worse than the humor that actually was published. Some of it got pretty nasty, but the store had a good showing of people who know Henry's goods. He was particularly gracious to us with the Q&A segment, talking about publishing a magazine (Chunklet's new one isn't necessarily the last issue, despite the cover's joke, but it's harder than ever due to distribution being even worse these days), fielding questions about his enormous wooly black dogs, calming us down from terror if we should ever meet his wicked partner Brian Teasley (not as bad as he seems, from the Buckshot Boys shit-on-stupid-bands DVD rant he made with Henry). Teasley, the ex-drummer of Man or Astroman? and current drummer in some other bands, is a perfect match for Henry when they go to All Tomorrow's Parties and scare the indie kids.
Henry did sign books afterwards, and though I asked several questions (willing to be an obvious fanboy) during the event, I still went out for a drink with ChrisB at Liberty across the street to avoid any scary meeting with Mr. Owings. Best of luck on the tour though sir and keep making us laugh till we bleed (or are bleeding)!