9 Questions With Mayor Jonathan Rothschild

Editor's Note: It's the return of 9 Questions! This column was scrapped almost two years ago, but after much thought (and about a billion reader comments) it is back, kicking off with this talk we had with the mayor. Enjoy:

As the mayor of a major Arizona city, Jonathan Rothschild doesn't have a ton a time on his hands. But, that doesn't mean he can't listen to totally rad music. As a Tucson native, Rothschild's music taste has been heavily influenced by the Old Pueblo and his life experiences across the country.   

What was the first concert you went to?

The first concert I ever saw was at the Tucson Community Center, I think I was 15-years-old because I know I wasn’t driving. It was Chuck Berry opening for the James Gang.

What are you listening to these days?

Actually it probably hasn’t changed much. Most recently: Tom Petty, Steely Dan, Mountain, Van Morrison—I love Van Morrison—Jackson Browne, Buddy Guy, Dave Mason and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

What was the first album that you owned?

I’m so old, when I first started listening to music we didn’t buy albums we bought 45s. I do remember that two of my first 45s where “She Loves You” and “I’ll Get You” by The Beatles and “Get Off My Cloud” and “I’m Free” by The Rolling Stones. I was probably 8-years-old and I still have a little box of those 45s.

Tell me one musical trend that everyone loves but you don’t get?

That’s a hard one because I really like all sorts of music. I’ll listen to country, I’ll listen to hip-hop. But, I will admit that something I have never gotten is new age music. I just don’t.

Do you have a musical act in mind that you would love to see live?

So, someone that I haven’t seen and was here a couple of years ago—and hopefully he’ll be back soon because he’s friends with Dan Coleman—is John Legend. I would love to see him, hopefully that day will come soon. He showed up two years ago and I was so upset with my son because he’s friends with Dan. I asked ‘where did you go last night?’ He said he saw John Legend and afterward had drinks with him.

What song do you want played at your funeral?

It’s Van Morrison and it’s “Days Like This.” It’s a song that is a little bit sad in its harmony but if you listen to it carefully it’s actually upbeat in its message.

Is there a band or artist that has changed your life?

For today, I chose Tower of Power. … Growing up here the music was a little folk and country. To start listening to music that spoke more to an urban scene in a time that was becoming particularly relevant, you know post Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For me, as a college student, it gave me a little bit of a different attitude about what was important in life. You could deliver a hard message and at the same time do it in a way got people behind the message. Tower of Power is a band that has been doing that for a long time.

What is your favorite album of all time?

It would be Let it Bleed by The Rolling Stones. If you stop and think about some of the songs on it like "Midnight Rambler," "Monkey Man," "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" and "Gimme Shelter." Really, even today, when I sit in my office and face the problems we face in the city there will be times when I put that on so I remember to put things into perspective.