Q: In the past Iíve spoken with musicians whoíve said that dabbling in drugs has opened them up to new ideas.
A: Well, thatís what Allen saidmy friend Allen Ginsberg. And thatís what Tim Leary said. However, they lived to regret having said that, because they realized later that that kind of blanket encouragement led to abuse among other people.
Q: You played the glockenspiel in your high-school marching band.
A: Yeah, I also played fife. I played a lot of things. I played the tenor trumpet, as well.
Q: Thatís an interesting way to meet cheerleaders.
A: That wasnít why I did it, because I went to an all-boys school. I did it because I could get into the football games free. And I discovered that I could sell hot dogs during the football games. I got to eat free, and I could make money. So I eventually gave up the marching band and became a hot-dog vendor.
Q: Youíre a rare birda contemporary composer whoís managed to make money at it.
A: But itís because I wanted to. I didnít give up and say, ďOh, Iím a composer, Iím an artist, I shouldnít touch money.Ē I didnít go to a university and get a teaching job. I didnít look for the security of academia. I looked for the security of making a living.
Q: Do people in the classical world give you shit about it?
A: They used to. Now theyíre totally envious of it.