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There was a time in the 1970s when getting The New Yorker magazine delivered to my house was something of an event. (I don’t feel that way now and it sometimes makes me sad.) In those days the magazine was posted with a brown paper covering. I tore off the brown paper, checked out the cover art, then turned to the Table of Contents looking for Ann Beattie’s name. When she was listed there (48 times now, and counting), I was happy. When she wasn’t, I made do.

What just happened?

I just stopped at a petrol station to feed the hungry diesel belly of Hyman Roth (that’s the name of my Sprinter touring vehicle). At these prices I could have opened up my own franchise of an Olive Garden and fed half of suburbia. I’m actually contractually obligated to mention The Olive Garden at least three times during this interview as they have promised to feed my band for free and provide us with clean underwear and 9 volt batteries and all the napkins and creamy garlic dressing we can handle. Really. (Not really. But that would be cool. No it wouldn’t). Sorry — just having a conversation with myself. Are you still here?

What is your earliest memory?

Shooting out of my Dad’s penis in the backseat of a car into a very warm and safe egg and then nine months later being thrust into this cold cruel world in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The one in Canada. Then I was pretty much drunk and stoned up to the age of four.

labianca interior

Jerry and Mary Neeley used to own the best video store on the east side of L.A. That’s where I met them, and since they closed shop two years ago to sell movie collectibles online, we’ve occasionally met for coffee and talk of, among other topics, true crime. We’ve also kept in touch by e-mail, and last week Mary sent the following message:

As you know, the 40th anniversary of Tate/LaBianca is this August 8th & 9th. (Technically, the 9th & 10th because both parties were killed after midnight.)

I wanted to go to the LaBianca house around 1am on the 10th to see if anyone else shows up. Would you be interested? I don’t want to walk up there alone at 1am.