Elsa Watson Cook is a retired nurse who works as an artist and a writer. She listens to music "24-7" and comes from a musical family—her mother was a professional country singer during the 1970s, and her younger brother is the renowned drummer Winston Watson.
What was the first concert you ever saw?
The first was Bread at the Tucson Convention Center Arena, in like 1971 or '72.
What are you listening to these days?
Pérez Prado, She Wants Revenge, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Dog Eat Dog by Joni Mitchell, Alberta Cross, Maggot Brain by Funkadelic, The Pixies, Black Flag, Tom Petty, Joy Division, Violet Femmes, Maggie Golston, Silverbell, Greyhound Soul, Roxy Music, Vince Guaraldi's music for the Peanuts specials.
What was the first album you owned?
Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
If I say this, a lot of people are going to kill me, especially you. So you can't print it. (Off the record, she cites a musical legend.) Oh, and also Katy Perry.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
NRBQ, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Jonny Sevin.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
No guilt, only pleasure: Steely Dan, The Carpenters, Dwight Yoakam, the Moody Blues, "Boys of Summer" by the Ataris.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
Gentlemen Afterdark, "No Flowers"; Colin James, "Crazy Over You"; The Church, "Under the Milky Way"; Charlie Sexton, "When We Were Younger." At the wake, I'd like everybody to dance to NRBQ's "Green Lights."
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac. When my second husband died in 2001, they helped calm me down, because he loved them so.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Ultravox, Vienna; Black Sabbath, Never Say Die!; Phantom Limbs, Romance; the Pills' 7-inch EP; and Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love.